Monday, December 05, 2005

The ones that got away

This is my bookshelf. (It's pretty ugly, but that's not the point. The wallpaper behind it is also pretty ugly, but that's not the point either.)

Besides being my contribution to the Internet literary dick-measuring competition, I have another reason to post the picture: I would like to talk about some of the books I have, but haven't read yet.

Death is a lonely business by Ray Bradbury. I started reading this, but was quickly put off by it. It seems as if the author is trying to write a Stephen King-novel, only the problem is that he isn't any Stephen King. The premise is blurry at best, with the main character trying to chase someone, or perhaps something, down. What that thing is isn't clear yet, but at the pace it's going I'm not sure I'll stick around to see what it is.

The Corrections (Swedish edition) by Jonathan Franzen. I read this in English around the time it came out, and it's a really great book. I found the Swedish edition on sale so I bought it on an impulse. Now if I could only find time to read it.

Stuff by William Shakespeare. I have two books, Hamlet and a huge "Complete Works of" kind of book, both bought at a time when I was optimistic enough to think I'd be able to get through them. The collection book I found also on a discount for just a few euros, so I thought "what the heck, might as well get it". (Incidentally, I also got War and Peace for a similar price at the same time, you can imagine that the plastic bag I got to carry them in was close to breaking.)

Hothouse by Brian Aldiss. I had heard about Brian Aldiss being a good sci-fi author (him having written the short-story that the movie A.I. is based on and all), so when I found a book by him at a used books-sale at the local library I picked it up. It was pretty fascinating, but it just didn't hook me to read the entire book at the time. Perhaps I'll get back to it at some point.

Traitor for a cause by George Markstein. To be honest, it's such a long time since I stopped reading this book that I don't remember anything particular of it...

Berättelser om natten by Peter Høeg. I knew of Peter Høeg from having read The Woman and the Ape, so I picked bought this used from the library when they had it for sale. Haven't read it yet, though.

Hazard (Swedish edition) by Mario Puzo. I don't know if the English title is the same, but anyway... I used to be a big Mario Puzo-fan when I was younger. Or perhaps not Puzo directly, but more interested in the mafia thing as a whole. I also read a book dealing with the chase and capture of real-life mafia boss John Gotti. I think I've read all of the Godfather books seen all the movies based on them. Though the interest has died off a bit, you can still see traces of it in my current fascination with the yakuza movies by Takeshi Kitano.

The Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Robert A. Heinlein. Another one I picked up used. Haven't even read one page of it yet, just got it because it had an interesting title and I needed another book for the "4 books for 1 euro" deal.

River of Death (Swedish edition) by Alistair Maclean. Another used book I got from the library. I had heard of Alistair Maclean before, so I thought I'd pick it up and see how it was (but looking at the Amazon customer reviews, it doesn't seem to be too good).

Down Among the Dead Men (Swedish edition) by Micheal Hartland. Another one I got to even out the numbers. Have no idea what it's about.

Det långa avskedet by Jurij Trifonov (English translit.: Yuri Trifonov). I don't know what the title is in English. I also got this used (see a pattern?) just after having come off War and Peace, and I thought I'd try not to become one of those who just reads only one Russian novel and then thinks that's enough.

Crime and Punishment (Swedish edition) by Fjodor Dostojevskij (I imagine the English translit. is somewhat different). I borrowed this from my sister for about the same reason as above. And that there had recently been a mini-series on TV based on it that I couldn't be bothered to watch, so I thought I'd just read the book instead. Currently I have read half of it, being on quite a long break from it... But reading it is pretty difficult, simply because I seem to easily fall into the mind of Raskolnikov, so with all the hardship and tension he feels I also get put into a bit of the same torment. Whenever I'm actually reading it, it feels like I can't put it down because I want to know what comes next, but after every session I feel sort of drained...

Jag minns att jag drömde by Bo Carpelan. For those who don't know, Bo Carpelan is one of the most prominent Finnish-Swedish writers, so I figured I'd better read something by him.

Less than one (Swedish edition) by Joseph Brodsky. This is the last one on the list. Haven't read anything in it, but looking at Amazon it seems to be a collection of essays.

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