August Reading List

I realised something this week: I’m so not a winter person. This has been one of the coldest winters in Sydney for years and I’m sitting here with a tea and four blankets as I’m writing this, trying to nurse a nasty cold. I don’t want to whine but I’m really looking forward to spring next month.

One of the things I like about winter, though, is that it’s perfect reading weather. It’s absolutely freezing at the moment but there’s nothing better than curling up in bed with a good book on a cold day and letting the story carry you somewhere far, far away. I think I’ve read more in the last two months than during the rest of the year combined.

Lately I’ve been working my way through the nominees for this year’s Hugo Awards. The awards are being held in Melbourne this year, which means I was able to vote for the first time. It’s a good list this year too. I voted for Robert Charles Wilson’s Julian Comstock in the end; I loved how fun and inventive it was but any of the nominees could win really. Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl was the only one I couldn’t get to before the deadline; I’ll be reading that next.

I’m reading Nam Le’s The Boat at the moment and these are some of the other books I plan to read soon as well. The one I’m looking forward to the most is The Girl Who Played With Fire. I loved The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and I finally managed to get the first sequel the other day. Can’t wait to get stuck into it. It seems like everyone’s reading Larsson’s trilogy at the moment; it’s like The Da Vinci Code all over again. Except Larsson’s books are well written. And, you know, good.

I’ll post some reviews once I’ve finished them. I’ve been wanting to try out my new camera as well, so who knows, I might even do a couple of video reviews.

So what are you reading at the moment?

The Windup Girl
Paolo Bacigalupi

First Impressions: Bacigalupi’s short fiction has taken the SF world by storm in recent years. This is his first novel, about genetic engineering and a post-oil future where global corporations vie for the world’s remaining resources. Looks very promising.

The Girl Who Played with Fire
Stieg Larsson

First Impressions: Lisbeth Salander finds herself accused of murder and goes on the run while Mikael Blomkvist tries to clear her of the crime. Dragon Tattoo was the best thriller I’ve read in years; if this one’s even half as good as the first, I’ll be very happy.

The Forgotten Garden
Kate Morton

First Impressions: A young woman’s journey to find the truth about her grandmother’s life. It seems a little too reminiscent of The Secret Garden at times for me, at least in tone. I loved Morton’s The Shifting Fog, though, so maybe it’ll surprise me.

The Book of Illusions
Paul Auster

First Impressions: I’m not that familiar with Paul Auster, although he seems to really divide readers. Illusions is about a man who investigates the life of a silent movie star who disappeared in the 1920s, only to find similarities with his own life. Sounds interesting.

The Art of Travel
Alain de Botton

First Impressions: I’ve not read de Botton before but a friend recommended this to me recently. de Botton explores the nature of travel (why we travel, what we get out of it, etc.) through philosophy, art and other musings. Sounds like just my cup of tea.

The Copper Bracelet
Jeffrey Deaver (et al)

First Impressions: A sequel to The Chopin Manuscript, this is a collaborative audionovel written by 16 writers including Jeffrey Deaver, Lisa Scottoline and Lee Child. The Chopin Manuscript didn’t quite work but I like the idea of a collaborative novel. Hopefully this is more successful.

2 thoughts on “August Reading List

  1. Hey Chris! You’ve got quite a lot to read, and all the books seem interesting. Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to read anything new lately; the money that I had, I spent it on video games. Currently, I’m re-reading ‘Cloud Atlas’. I really like David Mitchell; he’s the best writer of the current generation (under 45), imho. I can’t wait to get my hands on his latest work: ‘The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet’. Have you read it? If yes, how’s it?

    There’s nothing else going on when it comes to reading. Aha, there is one more thing that I’m currently reading besides ‘Cloud Atlas’; it’s something called ‘Sleepless’. Unfortunately, its writer is kinda busy these days; he has forgotten to post the updates on the novel’s facebook page. Do you know him? If yes, please tell him to give his fingers some much needed exercise and post the updates ASAP.

    Take Care…

  2. Hi Nipun! Thanks for the comment and I’m sorry for taking so long with this reply… been busy and I’ve got a lot to catch up on!

    I tend to read a couple of books at the same time, so that’s why this is quite a long list. Usually I read about three books a month and listen to a couple of audiobooks as well… I love listening to audiobooks, particularly when I’m walking or exercising, and they’re a great way to get some extra reading done. I haven’t read as much this month as I’d wanted to, though. I finished The Magicians and then got stuck on The Windup Girl. Will have to try to get back into it soon.

    I haven’t read the new David Mitchell yet but I’m looking forward to it. I love all of Mitchell’s books… he’s definitely one of the best writers going round right now. The way he experiments reminds me a little of Philip Roth at his peak. The book I really want to read is the new Jonathan Franzen. I loved The Corrections and Freedom‘s had amazing reviews so far. I think it comes out here next week. Can’t wait.

    Hm. I think I’ve heard a bit about this Sleepless writer… he’s a young writer from Sydney, right? He’s a bit overrated if you ask me. 🙂 I’m still going with Sleepless… I’m just having a few problems working out how to move the story forward at the moment. It’s very different to anything I’ve written before and in many ways I’m still working out how to approach writing it… I should have some new updates posted later today and once everything finally clicks, they’ll come much more quickly. Promise. 😉

    So have you played any good games recently then? I’m on a bit of a break at the moment… trying to save my money for the new Halo and a couple of others next month. Might have to replay one of the first games while I wait.

    Take care, and hope you have a great day. 😉

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