The Books of My Numberless Dreams

2008

Rereads are in italics.

January

Paulina 1880 – Pierre Jean Jouve, translated by Rosette Letellier and Robert Bullen (Wow)

Desire and Its Shadow – Ana Clavel, translated by Jay Miskowiec (This could have been an excellent read if the translation had been better.)

A Burnt-Out Case – Graham Greene (I enjoyed this one although it wasn’t what I expected.)

My Swordhand is Singing – Marcus Sedgwick (Crap.)

The Romance of a Shop – Amy Levy (Pleasant enough.)

Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys

Literature and Knowledge – Dorothy Walsh

The Ghost at Noon – Alberto Moravia, translated by Angus Davidson (Happens every January. No doubt I’ll only read 2 books in February. The Moravia was close to marvellous, btw.)

February

Electric Michelangelo – Sarah Hall (groan)

Innocent in Death – Nora Roberts

Charmed – Nora Roberts

Entranced – Nora Roberts

The Idylls of the King – Alfred, Lord Tennyson (Way better than you might first assume.)

Enchanted – Nora Roberts (Well! Guess I read enough of that to last me the year.)

The Stone Angel – Margaret Laurence (Truly a great novel.)

Escape to an Autumn Pavement – Andrew Salkey

March

The Carhullan Army – Sarah Hall (Wow, Hall. Whatever got into you when wrote this one please hang on to it.)

At Her Service – Susan Johnson (Eh. About what I expected outside of the decidedly unsentimental ending.)

V for Vendetta – Alan Moore & David Lloyd

Haweswater – Sarah Hall (The ending tainted it for me. Stupid epilogues.)

Finding a Girl in America and Other Stories – Andre Dubus (The first and last stories are pretty exceptional.)

Tropic Moon – Georges Simenon, translated by Marc Romano

Spin – Robert Charles Wilson

Blue-Eyed Devil – Lisa Kleypas (Her development of the romantic element significantly improved. Definitely my favourite of her two contemporaries published so far.)

Persuasion – Jane Austen (Best. Austen. Ever. I know this is based on intense afterglow but it’s how I feel, currently.)

April

From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her People – Lorna Goodison (I don’t feel comfortable ranking this book — it’s too singular to submit to such crass measurements. What a joy this was to read. I’m destined to pour over it again.)

How the Dead Dream – Lydia Millet (Hmmmm.)

Old Man’s War – John Scalzi (Golly. That was entertaining.)

The Ghost Brigades – Scalzi (Not quite as good but a bit more ambitious on some points.)

May

Villette – Charlotte Brontë (Sorry. Jane Eyre is still tops in my book. Less bigotry, for example.)

The Chrysalids – John Wyndham (Much better than I remembered.)

The Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham ( Wish I had read this sooner.)

The Trouble with Lichen – John Wyndham (Yes, I might just get through his entire oeuvre.)

Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss (This is just a dude doing other people doing Tolkien + some D&D crap put together in a thoroughly predictable and only occasionally exciting way — which, for a 700+ page book, is woefully too little. Equal to LOTR my ass. This is just some pedestrian adventure story that could be told in any medium in any setting.)

The Changeling Sea – Patricia A. McKillip (Aaaaahhh. Thanks for saving me, McKillip.)

Drumblair: Memories of a Jamaican Childhood – Rachel Manley

Chocky – John Wyndham (Comparatively minor work in the backlist not helped by sexist rhetoric.)

Bloodtide – Melvin Burgess (Yikesadoodle. It’s good but wow is it violent and twisted just like the good ol’ Icelandic myths it’s loosely based on. Is this really YA title? Me jealous.)

June

The Post-office Girl – Stefan Zweig translated by Joel Rotenberg (Wo wow.)

Glimpses of the Moon – Edith Wharton (Good good.)

Paradise – A.L. Kennedy

July

The Line of Beauty – Alan Hollinghurst

Chess Story – Stefan Zweig, translated by Joel Rotenberg

Voices Under The Window – John Hearne (More interesting that I initially gave it credit for.)

August

Adam Bede – George Eliot (I’m not a “dramatic sermon” kind of girl.)

The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with The Sea – Mishima Yukio translated by John Nathan

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen (Both Austens read to recover from Eliot.)

Harry Potter series 1 – 6 – J.K. Rowling

September

Doctor Copernicus – John Banville

Lady Audley’s Secret – Mary E. Braddon (The last tonic for a complete Eliot recovery!)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling

Chrestomanci Vol. I & II – Diana Wynne Jones

The Watchmen – Alan Moore

October

The Dalemark Quartet – Diana Wynne Jones

Pinhoe’s Egg – Diana Wynne Jones

The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot (Oustanding. Simply outstanding.)

4 Responses to "2008"

Hello Imani-

It seems like a couple of years since we had that little exchange about the value of older prose to contemporary writers.

Anyway, a while back I decided to check in and so how your blog has grown, and I happy to report that your continued dedication to literature and reading is quite moving.

So I just wanted to say that you are doing a great service of both maintaining this excellent blog as well as playing the role of herald of literature (in the same way that the Silver Surfer is the herald of Galactus except that literature (unlike Galactus) is not here to destroy the world).

By the way (and speaking about comic books) you’ve no doubt heard of Niel Gaiman who used to write the Sandman Comic Books (ok, he’s done a bunch of other stuff too). In the old Sandman comics (which is about the God of Dreams) there is a library in the world of dreams that houses all the books that were dreamt of but never written. The title of your blog reminds me of that dream library and if there ever was an opening for a librarian in the library dreams I would happily nominate you.

I’ll try to check in more often and leave the occasional comment.

kudos

Armand

I remember you Armand! I don’t know what else to say, I can only offer many many thanks for your heartening, encouraging assessment of my efforts here. I’ve been going through a dry spell as of late but your feedback certainly provides the proper motivation for me to get back to writing more about what I love.

I hope that you’re still pressing on with your writing efforts. I certainly have heard of Neil Gaiman. I’ll have to go read him now.

Imani,

You put me to shame :-) I am trying to read a book a week since my baby turned one and my older daughter started kindergarten. Unfortunately, I only manage to read if it’s in eBook format because it’s so portable.

Well, it’s much easier to me considering that I don’t have children. LOL. So I wouldn’t feel ashamed at all. Thanks for commenting. :)

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