The Backwards Book Chart of [iippo]
Back to the BBC
Or onwards to Poetry I greatly Enjoyed
Or or onwardser to iippo's bookshelf
to hear my bookshelf represent me as a person.
-Stephen King -- The Dark Tower (first quarter of the first book)
I had this recommended to me for a really long time by two of my bestest friends, so I finally piked it up, and read the first quarter of the first book... And I must have un-desensitised recently, because it had too muh sex and gore and other bad stuff in it, and I couldn't read on. o.O The guy went to town hunting another guy, had sex with someone all the time (basically a lot of people got horny for some reason a lot of the time) and smashed the hands of her jealous pianist ex-lover, and when he was leaving town they all tried to kill him so he killed them all. And it was just a bit too much for me, so I give up. I like the sort of magial Wild West setting, and the text is very smooth and good reading - generally, a good text and as it's been recommended to me by two awesome people, I believe all of it is ery good. But I just... :/
-Fyodor Dostoyevski -- Demons
What possessed me to pick up a Dostoyevski-brick I have no idea, but I love it already. I must admit though, I must be reading it wrong or something, or maybe I'm not just very clever when it coems to Russian stuff, but I really struggle with everything except the sort of flow and excitement of the story: names, descriptions of characters, places, things that happen -- I don't quite register any of it very well. I keep forgetting who's who, and I have no mental picture of what anybody looks like. But I really love it all the same. It's one of these wonderful modern books like Grapes of Wrath where nothing really happens but where every page is so significant and full of meaning and gravitas that all you can say is "it's a classic."
Margaret Atwood -- Tent
A collection of short stories that I picked up pretty randomly in the library. It's pretty much right up my road: small snippety observations about life. It was a really delightful read.
-John Berger -- Here Is Where We Meet
I picked this up in the library after a long while of not being able to read anything even remotely fiction... And it's great. It's sort of autobiographical fiction, descriptions of the author's meetings with people he knew - and who have been dead for years. There's some really beautiful dialogue (which, by the way, is written without any indicators of who is speaking, you haev to figure it out of the context, and I like that), conversations about life and stuff.
-William Gibson -- Virtual Light
A friend lent me this saying it's the sequel to Neuromancer. It's not though, butit was pretty good anyway. More future-y than cyberworld-y, and as such a wee bit less interesting to me professionally (Neuromancer is about the Internet, this one is just... dystopian future sci-fi thing). I enjoyed it anyway, as I enjoy literature in general. The main characters are cool, I liked the terminology (particularly the words 'NoCal' and 'SoCal' for the different states of North and South California, the abbreviations just work :3) as well as the concept of all these homeless people taking over the bridge and living on it in shacks and shambles.
-Lewis Mumford -- Myth of the Machine
Alike "Ghost in the Machine", it is a all-areas-of-thinking book. It begins with the beginnings of human race, and is very slow-going, yet so interesting. I didn't manage to finish it befoer I had to return it to the library. But I did get a lot out of it.
-? -- Advice for Young Artists in a Post-Modern Era
With a preposterously stuck-up name like that, you wouldn't expect this book to be so good. It really is a "how to be a good student" -book, really - and the advice they give for young artists is good (although sometimes so brutally honest that it makes me cringe and want to give up on art and go mop someone's floors instead).
-Laura Wade -- Breathing Corpses
Another play. I just picked it up in the library and fiddled my way through it while waiting for the internet pages to load (net slow today). I really love reading plays, and I keep forgetting that. :3 I really enjoyed the composition, the way the story works backwards. I didn't feel it necessary to say the time of year in the beginning of every act (pointing out that we are in fact going back in time), it was much more satisfying to just catch up on the small hints like names. But in all, very well written (albeit maybe too much swearing for my liking).
-William Gibson -- Neuromancer
I picked Neuromancer up because in my area of artistic interest it is considered to be a very influential text. It was the first book to visualise cyberspace (the first one to even mention it?) and hackers as cyber-cowboys. It's good, bit too raunchy at times for my liking and sometimes the lingo and accents drive me crazy. But it's good.
-Samuel Butler -- Erewhon, or Over the Range
Absolutely fascinating, my kinda book. I picked it up after hearing/reading that it's about a society where machines are forbidden and ugliness and physical illness is criminal. It's a really interesting twisting of normalness, questioning whether what we take as granted is the right thing. Few chapters of it are called "The Book of Machines" which is absolutely fantastic description of a philosophical argument why all machines are horrible :P
-Leonie Swann -- Glennkill
A greatly entertaining detective story about a herd of sheep that decide to find out who murdered their sheperd and why. The story is great, sometimes the telling goes too deep into sheep-view and gets confusing (but not often) and it's full of sheepy wisdom about life, and one-liners. It's a light read so I do recommend it to everyone.
-John Grogan -- Marley and Me
A memoir of a sorts also, about the misbehaving labrador retriever (or labrador evader as they call it) Marley that the author's family had. I really enjoy this book, it's an easy read and as an owner of a not-perfect dog I can really relate to some of the troubles they have with this animal. It's also a sort of strange feeling to read this book, kind of "at least my dog isn't as bad as that!"
-Mika Waltari -- Where Men Are Made (Missä Miehiä Tehdään)
Waltari is one of the Finnish classic authors, and I really enjoy his work, albeit I have only read a small fraction of it. This is a kind of a memoir of the time he served in the army, infantry and reserve officer's school. I picked it up because I'm considering going to the army (although I realise that the Finnish army has changed in the 80 years that it has been since the writing of this book :P) I really enjoyed this book, it was honest.
-Peter Shaffer -- Equus
I went to see the play in London, and afterwards read it as well. It's gorgeous, and I heartily recommend it. Especially for the monologues of the psychiatrist when he describes and compares the landscapes of his soul and his patient's.
-Arthur Koestler -- The Ghost in the Machine
An interesting text I read for uni mainly, it's a kind of mix of philosophy, biology, psychology, theology and such stuff. Makes a lot of interesting points and arrives at the wrong conclusion. But it's ok, I managed to discover the right conclusion at the end. :) Not recommending this to other people though.
-?? -- City of Fallen Angels
A birthday present, it is about Venice, and the investigations of the author about the people of Venice. It centers around the fire of Fenice, the opera house. It is gorgeous, like a grassroot level overview of one of the most romantic (I don't mean in a lovey-dovey kind of romantic, btw) cities in the world.
-Virginia Andrews -- Flowers in the Attic
I like this, a friend recommended it to me. It's a bit sinister in a strange old-fashioned way. It's about a family, that gets into financial trouble(due to the mother's expensive taste) after the father dies in a car accident. The mother is forced to go back to her very rich, heartless parents who diapproved of her marriage - but the old grandfather demand that the only way he'll accept his daughter back is if she never had children; so the four children are hidden in the attic of the house, the plan being that once the old grandfather dies (which should be any day now, he is so old and ill), the mother inherits his money and she and the children leave and live happily ever after.
-Dan Brown -- Meteorite
My mom and sister recommended me to read this so I am. It seems ok enough, kind of similar like Mario Puzo's Fourth K - USA president politics stuff. One thing I don't like in Brown's books is all these claims in the beginning "this is all real, these organizations exists, these rituals are still practised" etc... I think a good author doesn't need to do that, keep justifying himself, especially when writing fiction. :/ It would do him more credit if he didn't keep saying that it's fact. Also a very bad "literary device" he keeps using brings my appreciation down: At least eight chapters in the book end with something similar to "he had no idea that what he was about to would end in disaster." -_- I don't want to read on after that, it spoils! >_<;;;;
-? -- Bohemian life (reading in Finnish, not sure if that's the proper title, the author is French)
This book is, like the title suggests, full of Bohemian life. It's a sort of happier view on the gloom of Les Miserables, although the gloom doesn't stay out of this book either.
There's art, poverty, art, hunger, art, coldness, and above everything, love. I was crying my eyes out in parts (maybe partly because of my own miserable love-life) and sometimes laughing like anything. This book makes you want to be a boheme.
-Chris Niles -- Hell's Kitchen
A serial murderer story in New york, about apartment hunting etc... Quite cool but nothing fantabulous. A good relaxation.
-Amulya Malladi -- Serving Crazy with Curry
About a woman who tries to commit suicide, gets saved by her annoying mother and then all the dealing with of different family members, and all that. It's very good.
-Gabriel Garcia Marquez -- One Hundred Years of Solitude
Magical realism if I am not mistaken (my new favourite subgenre of writing). Similar repetitive elements like in Slughterhouse 5, and the surroundings feel like a world (I love it when books make a whole world...) This book is excellent, the ending left me gaping with my jaw open, literally and physically -> :O
-Blake Morrison -- Justification of Johann Gutenberg
I absolutely loved this. So realistic. Yes, it's about the Gutenberg who made the book press (a man any bibliophile should be in love with), and his life (in this book) was my life. The book is written very simply, with very few words, very close to my own style (the narration is that of old Gutenberg to a scribe). I cried so much when reading this book.
-Sarah Emily Miano -- Encyclopaedia of Snow
Written like an encyclopaedia, but prose (and some poetry). It has several stories, some of which tie together, a lot of it is about love, but also of loss, fear, pain, hate (especially self-hate). This was a very painful read in my current situation of life, maybe that's why I found it very excellent, purifying like snow itself. It's a pain-book for me, in every aspect of it.
But if emotions are intimate perceptions of bodily changes that occur when one is in love, I thought, then perhaps the sweating, the tears had caused my fear and sense of confusion, not the other way round. In that case, if I could simply keep my body from reacting, i could keep my heart and mind intact.
-Patrick O'Brian -- Master and Commander
This book is not an easy read. Seems that the writer didn't bother to put everything in: the paragraphs and phrases are a mess! Half an hour can pass during one comma! >.< It is sometimes very difficult to understad who is speaking. Plus unexplained naval vocabulary doesn't make things any easier. Definitely a book I should read in Finnish only. It also ends quite abruptly. Can't remember whether it's similar to the movie or not.
-Tom Sharpe -- Indecent Exposure
I don't really have an opinion. :/ It was an interesting read, very strange at times, not as funny to me as the cover reviews suggested. Another book that didn't have a synopsis or 'it is about this' -explanation in the cover... If it had, I probably wouldn't have picked it up.
-Ardashir Vakil -- Beach Boy
Quite a moment-in-time kind of book, about a young Parsi boy's growing pains: curiosity about sex, family ties especially after his parents' separation, etc... I liked it for all the cultural references.
-Dimitri Verhulst -- Problemski Hotel
This is the thinnest disturbing novel I have ever read. As the cover says, it's a story like a punch in the gut. It's about asylum seekers in Belgium. I can't even describe it properly... It's too real, yet too horrible to be accepted as reality...
The English are stark staring mad. They drive on the wrong side of the road and they think golf and cricket are exciting. Lady Di was the most beautiful woman they had ever seen, gossip is a national past time, killing foxes is a sign of wealth, and they take their minds off of unemployment by showing films about unemployment in their cinemas.
-Elizabeth Gaskell -- Gothic Tales
I liked the themes of the short stories (fear of witchcraft, power of prayer, sins of father avenged on their children, etc). The mroe I learn about the "proper" gothic things, the more I wonder why the teens are also called goths...
(Maid to an upset lady, urging her to eat cake): Those who eat, always laugh! - I agree, especially those who eat cake. :3
-Stephen Gray -- The Artist Is a Thief
I was intrigued by the name, I admit it. If I'd read the story synopsis, I would have been less intrigued. It's less about art and more about Australian Aboriginals and whether or not they're all going to ruin themselves with "white man's poison" and other evil things or are they the noble savages, the last remains of decent humanity, etc... I rarely find these race-questions interesting... It's a detective-story, so I'm captivated with the whodunit, but I don't think I'll remember this book for very long.
-Jules Verne -- Around the World in 80 Days
Phileas Fogg was indeed a paragon of precision, as could be seen from the expressiveness of his feet and hands since in human beings as well as in animals the limbs are themselves a means of expressing feelings.
Can I marry this man? Pwease?
That aside, I'm really fond of this book, I really liked the chapters that were set in India -- for both the obvious reason as well as the way it kind of continues the story of the film Mangal Pandey, which I saw recently. And this book is proving to be very educational too.
-William Golding -- Lord of the Flies
I'm one of those readers who always has to find out what the fuzz is about... And this one gets fuzzed a lot. I admit: I no likey. :( Yes it's powerful stuff, well-thought and -written, good literature - but that just wasn't enough. Maybe it's because i'm not a 12-year-old boy, but I couldn't relate to any of those boys at all. I basically force-fed the book for myself... Could be my life-situation or something... But I wouldn't recommend this book to myself. :/
He found himself understanding the wearisomeness of this life, where every path was an improvisation and a considerable part of one's waking life was spent watching one's feet.
-Miles Harvey -- The Island of Lost Maps
Well this is... really something. It is a story about a map thief. o.O It's a real person, and this author is tracking down why this incospicuous map thief committed his book-mutilating crime. Fascinating, and it's all fact. Everything from antique's dealers, librarians, trauma of Vietnam War and cartographic history is brought up in relation to this one man.
-Harpo Marx -- Harpo Speaks!
This is my all-time favourite, I love it, and you don't have to know the films nor the brothers to love this book
-Ron Goulart -- Groucho Marx and the Broadway Murders
dying to find the previous part, this is the sequel. This book is the sole reason for me learning how to sing "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" exactly like Groucho sings it :P
Another train passenger approached him. She produced an autograph album from within her purse. "Can you write your name on a moving train?"
"Depends on how fast the train is moving," Groucho replied. "This one, for example, is moving too fast for me to trot alongside and inscribe something on its panels. A slow milk train, however, I might be able to keep up until-"
-Victor Hugo -- Les Miserables
Classics are called that for a reason... Ensnaring, amazing book and story... I admit, the Waterloo-bit in the beginning is a bit boring if you're not into military tactics, but beyond that it works again.
-Richard Flanagan -- Gould's book of Fish
If there's any book I ever recommend, this is the one. You'll never read a book quite this strange.
-Is there anything that doesn't mean sex to the Americans?
Read some while ago, but still remember
-Christopher Paolini -- Eragon and Eldest
Waiting for book three... I have a lot of negative things to say about these, but they captured me all the same. I'm not sure if I've missed the film already, and I'm not sure if I should go watch it.
-David Eddings -- Elder Gods
It was okay after all, although incredibly similar to his previous works, which bothered me a little. Enjoyable enough. I started the second book as well but I wasn't able to finish it.
-J.K. Rowling -- Six earlier Harry Potter -books
I'm stark raving mad about Harry to be honest, partly because the translation is that good; had I read it in English first, I think I wouldn't be this impressed. I'm even fan of the cover artist: Mika Launis. :D --> http://hpfanit.vuotis.net/kuvittaja.php - click on the orange name-links to view images.
-Daniel Wallace -- Big Fish
I watched the film and was impressed, so I read the book. Then... I was more impressed with the film. :S
-Joseph Heller -- Catch-22
I saw the film first (because Art Garfunkel is in it), and read the book a bit later. It's absolutely fabulous of course. Yossarian lives. Ask [SilverFire] if you don't believe me :P
-John Steinbeck -- Grapes of Wrath
The most frustrating book I ever had the pleasure of reading... So... sloooow... Five pages of eating potato... X_x All the same, unforgettable, undescribable.
-Dan Brown -- The Da Vinci Code
Another book read because of the hype (plus my mom said I should read it). I like it as fiction, the treasure hunt -like plot is captivating, etc... But when people start to get into the "omg it's the ultimate truth, Christians sux0rsz", I've made a trademark reply: "I liked the Da Vinci Code, but I like Harry Potter more, because Harry Potter is real."
I consider this book an "airport book" because I had it with me when I flew to England for the first time and had a long wait in the airport. :P I also saw the movie recently: the albino made me cry, but he wasn't a proper albino :/
-Paulo Coelho -- The Alchemist
If there ever will be one book that can give direction and meaning to life (aside the Bible, but that's many books >_>), this is it. The story is told nearly like an anecdote (one of my favourite ways of telling stories) and... it makes sense. Note, it's not a "great book" when looking purely in terms of literature; it is very much a "popular" culture read.
(Other books by Coelho I've read: 'Devil and Miss Prym' and 'Veronica Decides to Die', which is pretty awesome too, about going mad and quality of life.)
-Fjodor Dostojevski -- The Idiot
Heavy in both physical appearance and text... Even though I read it in Finnish, I had to repeat some parts because of the way the text is... but it is surprisingly gripping and emotional, in a subtle way.
-Henri Charriere -- Papillon
This is an excellent book. Similar setting to Gould's Book of Fish (as in old time prisons), but Papillon is French and sent to Guyana for his sentence, and he escapes over 11 times - and it's all true story.
-Douglas Adams -- Hitchhiker's Galaxy (or what ever the whole lot of it is called) + the Dirk Gently -books.
Does anyone not like this stuff after reading it? :P I especially appreciated the attitude of the 'ruler of the universe' - I sleep well knowing that the universe is in such good hands. :)
-Antoine De Saint-Exupery -- The Little Prince
I love this book so much. I've read it many times: as a kid, as an older kid, for a school project, for another school project, for myself, made my boyfriend read it... It's so touching, I love it.
-Astrid Lindgren -- Brothers Lionheart
Another children's classic I liked as a kid and read for school later. It's a beautiful adventure of two boys who die and go to Nanginyala, the life after death. A side-note, I used to be mad afraid of the illustrations in the book, there were too pictures of Katla, the monster, in the whole book, and we (me and siblings) used to open them all the time to look at them and be scared. o.O
Read so long ago that barely remember anything
-Kurt Vonnegut -- Slaughterhouse Five
I recall being very impressed by this book. The recurring themes, the skipping around time, the absurdness...
-David Eddings -- Belgariad and Malloreon, Althalus,
I like his military tactics, it got me hyped on Fantasy General. Also the fact that all "races" are humans -> more politics, more intrigue, more accuracy. I just like the author a lot.
-Enid Blyton -- Most of the Famous Five -series.
I was mad about these when I was a kid... Man those kids ate well in those books! My mom had her influence in this: I read these because my mom bought them for me, my brother read the Adventure-series and my sister read the Secrets-series. We all had our own little corner of Enid covered... And then we found out the author was a woman! (Enid sounds like a male-name in Finnish...)
-J.R.R. Tolkien -- Lord of the Rings -stuff and Hobbitt.
The movies keep mixing in my head so it's all a blur by now... I know the plot, I know I've read and liked it - not fussed over it but it was ok - and that there were differences with the film and book that unimpressed me. I recall reading the first part at a waaayyy too young an age, also seeing a Finnish acted version at one point or another.
-Groucho Marx -- Groucho and Me
Read this before Harpo's, liked it, read Harpo's - which I adored - and found this one a bit... vague. It's pure Groucho allright: not accurate, all over the place, slightly annoying yet you can't let go or get away :P
-Torey Hayden -- One child & Tiger's Child
This is a very touching and disturbing book about a kid who's had it worst (abuse and all that jazz), and the teacher who had to deal with it. Tearfest.
Writings enjoyed here in the'Co
-[Annie] -- 415.Short Stories.Good Evening Satan, Meet Jesus.
I really liked this, maybe because of the accurateness of apple juice, or the religious tone, but all the asme, I love it.
-[Sheri1969] -- 347.short story
Books that were recommended to me or I otherwise intend to have a look at
Feel free to edit this bit people. ^_^
Robertson Davies -- 5th Business (recommended by [Kiddalee] in the forum Literature <joinforum:16:meeple> (Literature) )
Steven Frimmer -- Neverland
John Bunyan -- Pilgrim's Progress (from BBC of Annie)
Mark Twain -- I want to love this man. :/
Elie Wiesel -- Night (from BBC of Kidda)
Chris Kline -- God Speaks to the Weary Heart
Paulo Da Costa -- The Scent of a Lie
Lovecraft -- Cthulhu-stuff ([SilverFire]'s influence, who will also provide me with the literature :3)
Mad Marv -- Man-made monsters ( http://www.flamesrising.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=1537 )
Virginia Andrews -- Sequels of Flowers in the Attic
Dorothy Parker -- the best of Dorothy Parker
Salvador Dali -- Diary of a genius (I've read it before in Finnish but got it out again in English)
Short story collection -- Dorothy Parker's Elbow
Joseph Heller -- As Catch as Catch Can
Patrick Süskind -- Perfume : the story of a murderer (recommended by spincrus in ET)
Roussel (Duchamp seemed to be really keen on him)
Carlos Ruiz Zafon -- Shadow of the Wind
Josipovici, Gabriel -- The Big Glass
Aldous Huxley -- Brave New World (waiting on my shelf)
Voltaire -- Candide
George Orwell - 1984
And every book on this list: http://algonquinroundtable.org/books.html
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