Saturday, March 03, 2007

Why I love The Strand!

I finally managed to pull together all the books that I purchased at The Strand.

Here they are:
Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

I first heard about this book through my Folio Society catalogue. Sunday Times calls it the funniest book ever written.

Cold Comfort Farm is the story of Flora Poste, who at the age of twenty finds herself destitute and forced to live her backwater relatives on the oddly named Cold Comfort Farm. I imagine this is one of those books that's soothing to read at night, with a cup of hot chocolate, near a roaring fire.

This edition is the Penguin Classics Edition, cover illustrated by Roz Chast.

A Sound of Thunder and Other Stories - Ray Bradbury

I have to confess that I hated Fahrenheit 451; absolutely hated it. I thought the characterizations were cliched and 1-dimensional, did not find the writing appealing, and thought that the plot lacked originality. (I feel this way about many of our acknowledged "great" dystopian novels, but Fahrenheit 451 stood out as one of the worst)

That was a long time ago, and I've always felt that I should give Bradbury another chance.

The Unconsoled - Kazuo Ishiguro

I don't think I would have appreciated Kazuo Ishiguro if I hadn't had help from some very well written reviews online. Mr. Ishiguro is an powerful yet subtle writer. One that I appreciate enormously. I am really happy to get my hands on The Unconsoled.

Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

It's probably high time that I finished this book. I began Lolita the summer of my freshman (or was it sophomore?) year of college, but never finished it. I'm glad that I waited this long. I am not sure I would have appreciated Nabokov as much as I could now.

I also really like this cover, and think its a fantastic pick for the novel.

Vellum: The Book of All Hours - Hal Duncan

David picked up this one. And I am glad that he did, since I was daunted by the reviews of it online. This one should be a doozy to read. Click on the link to find a review.

The Master and the Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov

This book keeps on popping up on recommendations lists from authors and writers that I admire. I couldn't really pass up a copy for $5. I love The Strand.

The Tortilla Curtain - T. C. Boyle

T.C. Boyle, like Kate Atkinson, is one of the authors that I discovered by listening to The Bat Segundo Show.

I absolutely love Kate Atkinson, so I'm excited to try T.C. Boyle. (I know, not the soundest of logic, but it works more often than you'd expect).

I am very greatful to Ed Champion (The Bat Segundo Show) and Rick Kleffel (The Agony Column) for providing David and me with an ever growing lists of authors to read.

The Hollow Earth - Rudy Rucker

David wanted to read Rudy Rucker ever after listening to his interview on The Agony Column Audio Archive. Rudy Rucker sounds like a fascinating guy, so David was very happy to discover this at The Strand.

Blue Angel - Francine Prose

I have to confess that this is the only book that I regret picking up. The cover and synopsis pulled me in, but now after looking up a little info on the book, I'm not so sure that I will like it. Still you never know.

The End of Mr. Y - Scarlett Thomas

I was so happy to find a copy of this book at The Strand (it wasn't easy, and I nearly got trampled in the process) I have already finished it and would highly recommend it. Check out my review below for the synopsis.

Twilight of the Superheroes: Stories - Deborah Eisenberg

I'm currently reading this. Almost everyone gave it rave reviews.

I wasn't too fond of the title story ("Twilight of the Superheroes"), and thought the story was too ambiguous for its intentions, and somewhat contrived on the subject matter (9/11). I found the other story I have read "Like It Or Not" to be much more profound. I will write more on this collection in the future.

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