August 6th, 2008


Librarything picture meme

Tried this last night but it didn't work, so here goes again (for the entertainment of those not in Denver):

These are the authors in my Librarything gallery who I have actually met (for values of in-person encounter more substantial than getting an autograph). How many can you identify? The photographs are not always flattering, but I think accurate enough!

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  • Current Mood
    curious curious

August Books 9) Completely Unexpected Tales

9) Completely Unexpected Tales, by Roald Dahl

This volume combines the short story collections Tales of the Unexpected and More Tales of the Unexpected - I must have read the latter some time, but a lot of the stories in the former were new to me, eg the one with the disembodied brain which I think I would certainly have remembered. They are all real masterpieces, and actually reading them all at one go is probably not the best way to enjoy them - they are best piece by piece.

(NB - keeping tabs on this in my reading from now on - none of these stories passes the Bechdel test. Most have male narrators or viewpoint characters; the closest approach to a pass is "The Umbrella Man", where the twelve-year-old narrator and her mother do discuss the eponymous umbrella but mostly discuss the eponymous man.)

Local cuisine

Of which local delicacy was my wife speaking when she said, over lunch:

"It's not fair to say that it is like damp cardboard, because damp cardboard tastes nicer and has a more pleasant texture."

(My own thoughts about Marmite are unprintable.)
  • Current Mood
    cynical cynical
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August Books 10) The Child Garden

10) The Child Garden, by Geoff Ryman

This was one of the sf classics I resolved to read at the start of the year. It is a visionary tale of a future world where life is short, set in the London theatrical community where the central character has managed to escape the absorption into the collective unconsciousness undergone by all her contemporaries. I especially liked its rootedness in the future geography of London, and the exploration of art, creativity and personality. I wasn't quite so sure about the characterisation or plot.

Bechdel test: an easy pass. The first dialogue in the book has the viewpoint character discussing theatrical costumes with a female friend.