Archive for September, 2011

September 1st, 2011

» 24 Books: August

The Book of Merlyn, by T. H. White, read by Neville Jason — This is the last book in the Once and Future King compilation. It brought back some of the whimsy of the first, with Arthur being transformed into other creatures — but it mostly felt like a long political treatise. Que sera. On the whole I really enjoyed this series.

The Savage Girl, by Alex Shakar — I don’t remember how I found it, but I read this fascinating article about an author selling his first book for big bucks — the sudden change in his fortune, the whirlwind of fame, the eager anticipation as the publication date neared. Everyone involved feels it’s going to be the Next Great Thing: a novel about consumerism, marketing, irony. It’s set in New York; it has captured the zeitgeist. And then, a week before the book hits the shelves: 9/11. And the book is suddenly irrelevant. Or so goes the tone of the article. I’m not sure how I would have felt reading it almost a decade ago — hard to say. I liked it now — it’s edgy, interesting, the characters all sort of strange and otherworldly. I think I would have felt more or less the same back then — but I don’t live in New York, so I don’t think it ever would have spoken to me the way it did to the publishers and editors and marketers living in the heart of the city. It would never have been my story the way it was theirs.

A Cupboard Full of Coats, by Yvvette Edwards — When the 2011 Man Booker Prize longlist was announced at the end of July, I requested all of them that my library has (some haven’t been published yet). This was my first read of the batch. I found the story and characters compelling, but there were a few times I found myself daydreaming about how the author will write after she has a few more books under her belt (this is her first). Still, definitely recommended.

2011 Book Count: 31
January: 6
February: 2
March: 7
April: 3
May: 3
June: 3
July: 4
August: 3