When I have some spare time, I’ll write up some more reviews. In the mean time, this is what’s currently on my to-read list. Currently causing delays in the schedule is The Jewel in the Crown, which is taking time to get through – Scott writes in a great deal of detail and the plot is very slow-moving. All the books below are listed alphabetically by author, rather than when I will start reading them!
– Haunted – Kelley Armstrong
– Blood Music – Greg Bear
– Soulless – Gail Carriger^
– The Dark Volume – G. W. Dahlquist
– On the Origin of Species* – Charles Darwin
– The Story of Art* – E. H. Gombrich^
– The Alexiad* – Anna Komnene^
– The Secret Ministry of Frost – Nick Lake
– Maddigan’s Fantasia – Margaret Mahy
– A Very British Coup – Chris Mullin^
– Jewel in the Crown – Paul Scott^
– Hungry City* – Carolyn Steel^
Not yet picked up:
– The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Michael Chabon^
– The Alexandria Quartet – Lawrence Durrell
– The Siege of Krishnapur – J. G. Farrell^
– T is for Trespass – Sue Grafton
– The Forever War – Joe Haldeman^
– Point Counter Point – Aldous Huxley
– Those Barren Leaves – Aldous Huxley
– The Good Terrorist – Doris Lessing^
– The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England* – Ian Mortimer^
– A View from the Foothills* – Chris Mullin
– Decline and Fall* – Chris Mullin
– Burmese Days – George Orwell
– The Towers of Silence – Paul Scott
– The Day of the Scorpion – Paul Scott
– A Division of the Spoils – Paul Scott
– The Margarets – Sheri S. Tepper
– Darkness Rising – Frank Tallis
– Tooth and Claw – Jo Walton^
^ new author; * non-fiction
Oh, your reading list is so small and short! It makes mine look like a hulking behemoth. I highly recommend The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, as well as Tooth and Claw; they are fantastic.
I usually keep the list down smaller than that, but I finally put all the books I started reading and then stopped again in one place and will force myself to attempt them all properly before starting the next lot.
I got both the books you mention due to mentions from other bloggers (Jenny was reviewing other books by Jo Walton and I think you recommended all Chabon’s books!).
Also, my to-read list is limited because the majority of my books are currently in storage, and have been for nearly four years… I miss them.
Ah, I see! I have to heavily rely on libraries, being a college student.
Anything by Michael Chabon is fantastic. He’s amazing.
I hope you get your books out of storage soon!
The Alexiad is fascinating! (especially since I’m a medieval historian — hehe)
If you’re interested in the Byzantine Empire in that period — Byzantium in the Crusades by Jonathan is an well written semi-popular history which deals with the interactions between Byzantium and the Crusaders and some textual issues (an interesting reexamination of Anna Comena’s work which has been somewhat dismissed in some recent historiography). But, if you don’t read history for fun then you might not like either — ‘the Alexiad’ is really long and dry and Jonathan Harris’ work is a rigorous work of scholarship (in a more popular style)….
I recently (actually, it was probably two years ago) read ‘Byzantium’ by Judith Herrin, which I enjoyed, though she has to skip through Byzantium’s history in far less detail than Anna does, simply because of the length of it. I think I was first interested in Byzantine history by Robert Graves’ ‘Count Belisarius’ – I had a major Graves reading period some years ago (I love his short stories), and that was one I really enjoyed. I’m not sure how much is historically accurate, though!
The Alexiad I’m reading is the one published in the Penguin Classics imprint, translated by E. R. A. Sewter. I’d call it interesting, rather than fascinating, since I don’t know much about that period even from a Western European point of view!
You managed to enjoy Count Belisarius? I think Graves has an astonishing talent for taking exciting plots and ideas and making them desperately, desperately dull.
Sorry, this should have been as a reply to your reply to comment 2.
Well, I haven’t read Procopius’ The Secret History, upon which I gather Count Belisarius was based, so can’t comment. It’s a while since I read it, but I didn’t think it at all dull.
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