Tag Archives: humor

Samuel Beckett, David Shenk, Jostein Gaarder (trans. Anne Born), Martin Palmer, P.G. Wodehouse

Endgame and Act Without Words, by Samuel Beckett: I went to see the Cutting Ball Theater production of Endgame in San Francisco with Steve, who later lent me his copy of the play since I hadn’t read it prior to the performance. I don’t know how I would have reacted if I read the [...]

Tanith Lee, Dorothy L. Sayers, P.G. Wodehouse

A Bed of Earth, by Tanith Lee: I remember reading Saint Fire, the second book in the Secret Books of Venus by Tanith Lee, about six years ago, and I’ve been meaning to finish the series ever since. Much to my delight, the other three books are at the local public library. Set in Venus, [...]

Susanna Clarke, Naomi Novik, Terry Pratchett, William Gibson, Ursula K. Le Guin

The Ladies of Grace Adieu, by Susanna Clarke: A collection of short stories set in the same universe as Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. (Well, one is supposed to be set in Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, but it still reads very much like the other stories in the book.) I’m perpetually delighted by the attention Clarke [...]

Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami (trans. Philip Gabriel), Dorothy L. Sayers

I haven’t updated this blog since last October, due to considerable laziness on my part. But that doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned it, and I shall try my best over the next few days to catch up on the backlog. In this post, some notes on the books I read from October to November [...]

Terry Pratchett, Steven Brust, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Haruki Murakami (trans. Philip Gabriel), Dorothy L. Sayers, Neal Stephenson

Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett: Another Ankh-Morpork novel along the lines of The Truth, i.e. a look into the chaos that explodes when the Discworld equivalent of a modern-day convenience develops. Vetinari at his absolute best here. There’s definitely a gentle parody of that 50s film stereotype of the con man who ends [...]

Mercedes Lackey, Louis Cha (trans. John Minford), G.K. Chesterton, Jasper Fforde

The Fairy Godmother, by Mercedes Lackey: What is there to say? It’s exactly what one expects from Lackey, complete with empowered female protagonist and all. It “overthrows” romance novel conventions in such a predictable way that nothing about the plot is unusual or surprising. Lackey does her best to make her [...]

A.S. Byatt, Margaret Atwood, Lois McMaster Bujold, Kazuo Ishiguro, Douglas Adams, Laurie R. King, Orson Scott Card, George R.R. Martin

Ahem. So you see, lately I’ve discovered that while Widener may not be the perfect library that contains all the books that have ever been published, it still has an impressive contemporary fiction collection. Ah, Hollis, how I love thee. In any case, I’m still prepared to believe that Widener has very nearly all books [...]

Ellen Kushner, Terry Pratchett, Dorothy L. Sayers

Swordspoint, by Ellen Kushner: I bought this book on the recommendation of my best friend, despite my initial qualms about her plot summary—she described it as a medieval story about a swordsman and a scholar (I thought hopefully of Narcissus und Goldmund and less optimistically of Mercedes Lackey’s numerous swords-and-sworcery novels). Still, I wanted to [...]

Karen Jay Fowler, Terry Pratchett

It’s lonely being in Cambridge during the summer, when your friends are all back home in New York (or other places). Lab work is exciting, even when all I’m doing is pipetting isopropanol back and forth, but once I step outside the CGR building, a crushing sense of being entirely self-contained in my own consciousness, [...]