Being Bad

So remember how I wrote that I didn’t feel like buying books anymore? Yeah, that’s over. Very very over. See, the thing is, about a month ago it was my birthday. I got some great gifts – among them three books I haven’t even blogged about yet. On top of that, I got some charms for a bracelet. Unfortunately, I got three identical. Luckily, I could exchange two of these for money and buy books with. So without further ado, here’s both the books I got for my birthday as well as the books I’ve just bought.

Torben Munksgaard: Sort Hund (Title in English: Black Dog)

So Sort Hund is Torben Munksgaard’s third novel. Torben was in the same year as me at university and I know how much he wanted to be a writer so I’m so happy that he succeeded. This novel is about Bernhard who’s unemployed. One day he steals a dog because he’s lonely. The dog belonged to the wealthy Albert whose wife leaves him when the dog goes missing. The dog takes Bernhard new places and soon he meets the woman of his dermas whereas Albert’s life takes a turn for the worse. Destiny? Coincidence?

Andrew Taylor: The Anatomy of Ghosts

My brother bought me this for my birthday because he thought I would like it. I had never heard of either the book or it’s author before but it sounds very interesting.

1786, Jerusalem College Cambridge.

The ghost of Sylvia Whichcote is rumoured to be haunting Jerusalem since disturbed fellow-commoner, Frank Oldershaw, claims to have seen the dead woman prowling the grounds.

Desperate to salvage her son’s reputation, Lady Anne Oldershaw employs John Holdsworth, author of The Anatomy of Ghosts – a stinging account of why ghosts are mere delusion – to investigate. But his arrival in Cambridge disrupts an uneasy status quo as he glimpses a world of privilege and abuse, where the sinister Holy Ghost Club governs life at Jerusalem more effectively than the Master, Dr Carbury, ever could.

And when Holdsworth finds himself haunted – not only by the ghost of his dead wife, Maria, but also Elinor, the very-much-alive Master’s wife – his fate is sealed. He must find Sylvia’s murderer or the hauntings will continue. And not one of them will leave the claustrophobic confines of Jerusalem unchanged.

The Complete Illustrated Lewis Carroll

Well, as the title say, this is the complete and illustrated version of all of Lewis Carroll’s work. Here we have Alice Adventures in WonderlandThrough the Looking-Glass & What Alice Found ThereSylvie and BrunoSylvie and Bruno ConcludedRhyme and Reason as well as Miscellaneous Works. I don’t even know half of these – all I know is Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass & What Alice Found There. I’m not even sure if I’ve ever read Alice but now I have the chance, thanks to my brother.

Patrick Rothfuss: The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two)

I have such high hopes for this series so I’ve been putting off reading the first one because I want to read them together. I don’t know if I can wait ’till the third one comes out but now, at least, I have the two first. The third volume is due out May 1st 2013. And btw, I love the covers to my editions!

My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me.

The man was lost. The myth remained. Kvothe – the dragon-slayer, the renowned swordsman, the most feared, famed and notorious wizard the world has ever seen – vanished without warning and without trace. And even now, when he has been found, when darkness is rising in the corners of the world, he will not return.

But his story lives on and, for the first time, Kvothe is going to tell it…

Jonathan Safran Foer: Everything is Illuminated

I recently read Extremely Loud & Incredibly Loud and loved it. After finishing that, I knew I had to read more by Safran Foer and when I spotted Everything is Illuminated in the bookstore while shopping with my birthday money, I didn’t hesitate but grabbed it immediately. And since the main protagonist is named the same as the author, it reminded me of the Peter Høeg novel I read recently and the ambiguity between fiction and reality that can happen in such cases and which I find very interesting.

With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man — also named Jonathan Safran Foer — sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior; and the unforgettable Alex, a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape and into an unexpected past.

John Irving: In One Person

I think I have raved so much about this novel that I hardly need to continue to do so before I actually pick up the book and read it and find out if it’s actually rave-worthy. Suffice to say, I bought it.

A compelling novel of desire, secrecy, and sexual identity, In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love—tormented, funny, and affecting—and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences. Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character of In One Person, tells the tragicomic story (lasting more than half a century) of his life as a “sexual suspect,” a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 in his landmark novel of “terminal cases,” The World According to Garp. His most political novel since The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving’s In One Person is a poignant tribute to Billy’s friends and lovers—a theatrical cast of characters who defy category and convention. Not least, In One Person is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of the solitariness of a bisexual man who is dedicated to making himself “worthwhile.”

China Miéville: Railsea

I’ve read Un Lun Dun and The City & The City and really liked them both. I’m so very impressed by Miéville’s creativity and his ability to use his creativity to create unique settings for his stories. So when I spotted his new novel, it too made it’s way home with me.

On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt: the giant mole bursting from the earth, the harpoonists targeting their prey, the battle resulting in one’s death and the other’s glory. But no matter how spectacular it is, Sham can’t shake the sense that there is more to life than traveling the endless rails of the railsea–even if his captain can think only of the hunt for the ivory-coloured mole she’s been chasing since it took her arm all those years ago. When they come across a wrecked train, at first it’s a welcome distraction. But what Sham finds in the derelict—a series of pictures hinting at something, somewhere, that should be impossible—leads to considerably more than he’d bargained for. Soon he’s hunted on all sides, by pirates, trainsfolk, monsters and salvage-scrabblers. And it might not be just Sham’s life that’s about to change. It could be the whole of the railsea.

So that’s it for me. These were my new acquisitions. Such great books. But this also means that my to-read list is back up at 179 books again – not including The Flame Alphabet since I haven’t gotten it into my home yet. But 179 … so back to working my way back again… (But great, great books!!!)

Btw – if anyone is interested in a Wordsworth Classics version of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (paperback), never been read, I have one to spare now I got the Hardcover complete and illustrated one. Let me know and it’s yours for the taking. 🙂

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Something to be excited about in 2012

Edited December 30th – because I find out something HUUUUUGE. John Irving is publishing a new novel already! YAY! So that’s definitely something to look forward in 2012! And – the next one is coming in 2015 so we don’t have to wait too long for the next one either!!! The new novel is called ‘In One Person’. It’s about a 60-year-old man and is written in first person – Irving’s first novel in first person since Owen Meany. I can’t wait… Bu tI have to wait till June 2012…

This also means that my list now contains 12 books I’m looking forward to in 2012 – very fitting!!

So I’ve been doing a bit of research and I’ve realized that there’s a lot of really interesting books scheduled for publishing in 2012. I’ve compiled a list here of some of these – the ones, I’m most interested in reading.

  • Donna Tartt. I don’t know the title of this book yet but I’m so excited. Donna Tartt has so far written two books, I’ve read and loved one of these. I plan on reading her first novel next year and hopefully also the new one. The Little Friend, her second novel, was really a great book so I have high hopes for both these reads.
  • Joyce Carol Oates: Mudwoman. I love Joyce Carol Oates. She’s an amazing writer and I hope to make it through all her novels one day – a pretty hard task since she has written so many and keeps writing at least one a year. This one has been compared to Rebecca by Daphne de Maurier so how can it be anything but great?
  • Stephen King: The Wind Through the Keyhole. King is one of my favorite authors – he’s a master story teller. This book is an installment in his Dark Tower series, a series that I unfortunately haven’t started yet but I’m looking forward to it. I hope to start reading Dark Tower next year – just as soon as I’ve finished 11.22.63 …
  • Hilary Mantel: Bring up the Bodies. I’ve read Mantel’s Booker Prize winning novel Wolf Hall and liked it. I felt like my knowledge of English history was seriously lacking and that got a bit in the way of my enjoyment. Mantel is an excellent author, the writing is superb – but just as with The Satanic Verses and War and Peace, it helps if you know something about the subject before reading the novel.
  • China Mieville: Railsea. Mieville is one of those authors who has the potential to be one of my favorite authors. I’ve only read UnLundun which I really liked, but it’s a ya novel so it’s not necessarily a good one to compare the rest of his work to. So next year, I plan on reading at least one other Mieville novel (The City and The City) and maybe this one as well. Or Kraken. I’ve been meaning to read that one for a while.
  • Terry Pratchett: The Long Earth. This is a sci-fi series from Pratchett that he had written a lot of before Discworld took off – and because of that, The Long Earth was abandoned. So this is something completely different. I’m definitely looking forward to this!
  • Michael Chabon: Telegraph Avenue. Chabon is another author who has the potential to become a favorite (btw – a third author who has this potential is Jonathan Franzen!). Anyway, I’ve read a couple of novels by Chabon (Wonder Boys and The Final Solution) and I’ve liked them but they haven’t lived completely up to my expectations. Still, I definitely want to read more by Chabon so this one made the list as well.
  • Anne Rice: The Wolf Gift. It’s Anne Rice. It’s werewolves. What’s not to like??? Actually, I’m not that big a fan of werewolves and I haven’t read that much by Rice but still – it has potential!
  • Freda Warrington: Grail of the Summer Stars. This is the third novel in the Aetherial Tales series. I’ve read the first and loved it. It was new and refreshing so of course this one made it on the list.
  • Carlos Ruis Zafon: The Prisoner of Heaven. I’ve read The Shadow of the Wind and it was amazing. This is the third in that series so really looking forward to moving on to the second and third installment in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series.
  • Adrian Tchaikovsky: The Air War. This is the 8th installment in the Shadows of the Apt series. I’ve made it through the fourth first novels and they are really interesting and fascinating so until I finish this entire series, I’m looking forward to each new novel.

Hm – I think this list really shows that I need to get a lot of reading done in 2012. There’s a lot of books and series that I want to read and books I look forward to but where I need to read some other books before I can read them… I need to organize my reading better in 2012! More on that later!