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Old 29th Dec 2010, 18:35   #11
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Default Re: Palimplists 2011

Most certainly. I'll list non-fiction this year too.

36. Harper Lee - To Kill A Mockingbird
35 Philip Roth - The Ghost Writer
34. Jim Crace - Quarantine ...which puts me in a small minorty, I know
33. Ryszard Kapuscinski - Another Day Of Life
32. John Dickson Carr - The Hollow Man
31. Cormac McCarthy - Outer Dark
30. Stephen Vizinczey - In Praise Of Older Women
29. Patrick McGrath - Asylum
28. Ray Takeyh - Hidden Iran : Power and Paradox in the Islamic Republic - didn't really read for enjoyment but it's very good
27. Philip Roth - Portnoy's Complaint
26. Tove Jansson - The True Deceiver
25. Tom Sharpe - Wilt
24. Philip Roth - The Humbling
23. William Maxwell - They Came Like Swallows (Docked a star for an excess of dream scenes)
22. Joseph Heller - Something Happened
21. John Updike - Rabbit, Run
20. Jean-Patrick Manchette - Fatale
19. Patrick Hamilton - Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky
18. David Simon - Homicide : A Year On The Killing Streets
17. Martin Amis - Other People
16. Philip Roth - Indignation
15. Michael Chabon - The Yiddish Policemens' Union
14. Philip Roth - Deception
13. Martin Amis - Night Train
12. Iris Owens - After Claude
11. Kazuo Ishiguro - The Remains Of The Day
10. Ernest Hemingway - For Whom The Bell Tolls ABANDONED!!
9. John Irving - A Prayer For Owen Meany
8. Simon Hughes - And God Created Cricket
7. Carl Hiaasen - Nature Girl
6. Martin Amis - The Information
5. Howard Sturgis - Belchamber ABANDONED!!! A third of the way through and I hadn't a clue what it was trying to achieve other than pity for the main character.
4. Philip Roth - Sabbath's Theater
3. Robert Baer - See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism (can you tell that Independent People has demanded of me rather a change of pace...?)
2. Andrey Kurkov - Death and the Penguin
1. Haldor Laxness - Independent People
Reading Bruce Chatwin - Utz

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Old 29th Dec 2010, 19:21   #12
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Default Re: Palimplists 2011

43. Our Man In Havana - Graham Greene ½
42. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
41. The Sisters Brothers - Patrick deWitt ½
40. Howard's End Is On The Landing - Susan Hill
39. Freedom - Jonathan Franzen
38. It's Beginning To Hurt - James Lasdun
37. The Missing Of The Somme - Geoff Dyer
37. Thirteen Moons - Charles Frazier
36. The Good Man Jesus And The Scoundrel Christ - Philip Pullman ½
35. Room - Emma Donoghue
34. At Play In The Fields Of The Lord - Peter Matthieson ½
33. Tolstoy And The Purple Chair - Nina Sankovitch ½
32. Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky - Patrick Hamilton
31. My Father's Tears - John Updike
30. Firmin - Sam Savage
29. Edwin Mullhouse - Steven Millhauser
28. Of Human Bondage - W. Somerset Maugham
27.A Town Like Alice - Neville Shute
26. The Spectator Bird - Wallace Stegner
25. The Secret Scripture - Sebastian Barry
24. Volt - Alan Heathcock ½
23. The Age Of Innocence - Edith Wharton
22. Babbit - Sinclair Lewis ½
21. The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien
20. The Wapshot Chronicle - John Cheever
19. Hitch-22 - Christopher Hitchens
18. Dress Your Family In Corduroy And Denim - David Sedaris
17. Breakfast Of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut
16. The Thousand Autumns Of Jacob de Zoet - David Mitchell ½
15. A Farewell To Arms - Ernest Hemingway
14. Outer Dark - Cormac McCarthy
13. Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout
12. Solar - Ian McEwan ½
11. The Brothers K - David James Duncan
10. The People's Act Of Love - James Meek ½
09. Some Hope: A Trilogy - Edward St. Aubyn ½
08. Close Range: Wyoming Stories - Annie Proulx (R)
07. Jesus' Son: Stories - Denis Johnson
06. Asylum - Patrick McGrath (R) ½
05. The Counterlife - Philip Roth
04. Agnes Grey - Anne Bronte
03. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
02. Under The Volcano - Malcolm Lowry ½
01. The Pregnant Widow - Martin Amis
2009 2010 2011
2012 20132014

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Old 29th Dec 2010, 20:57   #13
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Default Re: Palimplists 2011

2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006

  1. Animal's People - Sinha, Indra
  2. House at Pooh's Corner - Milne, AA (e-book)
  3. The Slave - Singer, Isaac Bashevis
  4. The Wasp Factory - Banks, Iain (e-book)
  5. By Night In Chile - Bolaño, Roberto
  6. The Housekeeper And The Professor - Ogawa, Yoko
  7. The Rain Period - Yun Hung-gil
  8. Norrtullsligan - Wägner, Elin

  9. Gränsvarelser - Uddenberg, Nils (e-book)
  10. Little Man, What Now? - Fallada, Hans
  11. Nickel And Dimed - Ehrenreich, Barbara
  12. Orbitor: Left Wing - Cartarescu, Mircea

  13. Hill Of Destiny - Giono, Jean
    The Last Ringbearer - Yeskov, Kiril (Abandoned)
  14. Maskerad - Stoopendal, Andrés
  15. Leopard In The Sun - Restrepo, Laura
  16. Herredjuret - Hagberg, Mattias
  17. The Hunger Games - Collins, Suzanne
  18. How We Became Posthuman - Hayles, N. Katherine
  19. Catching Fire - Collins, Suzanne

  20. Mockingjay - Collins, Suzanne
  21. Dawn Over The Kalahari - Berg, Lasse
  22. Salome - Lee, Mara
  23. Mort - Pratchett, Terry
  24. Tjärven - Ajvide Lindqvist, John
  25. Skymningssång över Kalahari - Berg, Lasse
  26. 1Q84, Vol 1 - Murakami, Haruki

  27. 1Q84, Vol 2 - Murakami, Haruki
  28. Kolyma Tales - Shalamov, Varlam
  29. Nietzsche - Onfray, Michel
  30. The Whale Caller - Mda, Zakes
  31. Snakes And Earrings - Kanehara, Hitomi
  32. My Friend Jesus Christ - Husum, Lars

  33. Cantatrix Sopranica L - Perec, Georges
  34. A Day In The Life Of An Oprichnik - Sorokin, Vladimir
  35. On Beauty - Eco, Umberto
  36. Samlade svenska kulter - Fager, Anders
  37. Skippy Dies - Murray, Paul

  38. Nazi Literature In The Americas - Bolaño, Roberto
  39. Mrs Dalloway - Woolf, Virginia
  40. I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive - Earle, Steve
  41. Indignation - Roth, Philip
  42. Gösta Berling's Saga - Lagerlöf, Selma
  43. The Big Nowhere - Ellroy, James

  44. Doctor Faustus - Marlowe, Christopher
  45. The Art of Immersion - Rose, Frank
  46. Kick Me In The Traditions - Panduro, Leif
  47. Flod - Fredriksson, Carolina
  48. (Faust) Eric - Pratchett, Terry
  49. A Lovely Tale Of Photography - Nadas, Peter
  50. Orbitor: The Body - Cartarescu, Mircea

  51. Moderspassion - Axelsson, Majgull
  52. Meg: A Novel Of Deep Terror - Alten, Steve
  53. The Diamond Age - Stephenson, Neal
  54. The Zombie Survival Guide - Brooks, Max
  55. Med Stalin som gud - Utvik, Magnus
  56. The Bastard of Istanbul - Shafak, Elif

  57. Where The Deep Ones Are - Hite, Kenneth
  58. The Prague Cemetery - Eco, Umberto
  59. Post Everything: Outsider Rock and Roll - Haines, Luke
  60. Baltics - Tranströmer, Tomas
  61. The Other City - Ajvaz, Michal
  62. Människor helt utan betydelse - Kling, Johan
  63. Tredje rikets myter - Olausson, Peter
  64. Ich werde hier sein im Sonnenschein und im Schatten - Kracht, Christian
  65. 1Q84, Vol 3 - Murakami, Haruki
  66. The Invention of Curried Sausage - Timm, Uwe

  67. Orbitor: Right Wing - Cartarescu, Mircea
  68. 17 Poems - Tranströmer, Tomas
  69. Skräck - boken som Gud glömde - Lindeblad, Mattias
  70. Äkta skräck - Blomdahl, Magnus
  71. How To Survive A Garden Gnome Attack - Sambuchino, Chuck
  72. Blind Sunflowers - Mendez, Alberto
  73. Anarchy In The UKR - Zhadan, Serhiy
  74. An Alien Heat - Moorcock, Michael
  75. Can YOU Survive The Zombie Apocalypse? - Brallier, Max

  76. 11.22.63 - King, Stephen
  77. Korparna - Bannerhed, Tomas
  78. Serve The People! - Yan Lianke
  79. Adventures In The Immediate Unreality - Blecher, Max
  80. Therese Raquin - Zola, Emile
  81. Desmoronamiento - Castellanos Moya, Horacio
  82. Akhenaten: Dweller In Truth - Mahfouz, Naguib
  83. Dictionary Of The Khazars - Pavic, Milorad
See the cat? See the cradle?

Goodreads (2013 and older)
Movies I've seen

Last edited by beer good; 20th Mar 2012 at 23:20.
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Old 29th Dec 2010, 21:38   #14
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Default Re: Palimplists 2011

26 The Last Castle - Jack Vance Short but richly entertaining sf novel about conflict and reconciliation.
25 The Narrow Land - Jack Vance Jack Vance never fails to surprise with the originality of his invention. One short story after another in this 1982 book is different and interesting.
24 Sidetracked - Henning Mankell Yet another very readable Swedish police drama23 Barrier Island - John D Macdonald Workmanlike eco conspiracy thriller.
22 Cosi fan Tutti - Michael Dibdin The best of the Aurelio Zen books. Zen in Naples - a plot as unlikely as a Mozart opera.
21 Dead Lagoon - Michael Dibdin The second best of the Aurelio Zen books. Zen in Venice - sinister and atmospheric.
20 Before the Frost - Henning Mankell Another very readable Swedish police drama
Started Early - Took my Dog - Kate Atkinson Bought this, anticipating entertainment. Stalled after 30 pages. Gave up after 50. It was just too nauseously twee, especially the elderly actress.
18 Nine Princes in Amber -Roger Zelazny A big surprise, because I really loved it first time round.
17 A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson
Entertaining travelogue. Recommended for outdoor types.
16 Darker than Amber - John D Macdonald Workmanlike Travis McGee thriller.
15 Jar City - Arnaldur Indridason
- Very good Iceland-based detective mystery.
14 Reflections on a Marine Venus - Lawrence Durrell - a kind of travelogue of immediately post-WW2 Rhodes. I like it, and it's beautiful, but it's not up to Prospero's Cell, which is magical.
13 Wolfbane - Pohl and Kornbluth - Classic sf novel, a bit dated, but the product of sick imaginations, and therefore entertaining.
12 End Games - Michael Dibdin - My least favourite Zen novel, and Dibdin's last, I'm afraid.
11 Earthly Powers - Anthony Burgess - Lengthy, entertaining, fictional biography. Review
10 Half-life - Hal Clement
- Slightly dreary, but well-argued science fiction with a very original premise.
09 Iceworld - Hal Clement - Young adult science fiction with quite good science.
08 Surface Detail - Iain M. Banks - Cracking piece of Culture space opera from Banks. Review
07 Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami
- Finally read Kafka on the Shore, despite being warned off by negative comments in the Murakami thread. It was typical Murakami - weird and not necessarily making sense. But I felt it was reasonably neatly resolved for a Murakami. And I enjoyed it.
06 Back to Bologna - Michael Dibdin
- Hilarious. review here
05 Medusa - Michael Dibdin
- Another engrossing detective novel with the charming Aurelio Zen, The Zen retrospective continues.
04 Dress Her in Indigo
- John D MacDonald - the first Travis McGee book that I didn't enjoy very much. Sex, drugs and violence in Mexico. Who ever heard of such a thing?
03 The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet - David Mitchell - review here
02 Pompeii - Robert Harris
- Another excellent Roman novel from Harris. These books are always full of cool stuff. This time it was volcanoes and aqueducts. The plot? Well... It was OK. Had it been a better plot, it'd have been a 5 star.
01 And Then You Die - Michael Dibdin - 2011 finds me near the end of an Aurelio Zen retrospective.

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Old 29th Dec 2010, 23:50   #15
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Default Re: Palimplists 2011

19. Georges Perec, W or The Memory of Childhood
18. Terence Blacker, You Cannot Live As I Have Lived And Not End Up Like This: The Thoroughly Disgraceful Life and Times of Willie Donaldson
17. + John Burnside, A Lie About My Father
16. Jon Ronson, The Psychopath Test
15. Denis Johnson, Jesus' Son
14. Dorian Lynskey, 33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs

13. Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway
12. ½ Anna Kavan, Ice
11. J.R. Ackerley, My Dog Tulip
10. Daniel Clowes, Mr Wonderful
9. Stephen Kelman, Pigeon English
8. Saul Bellow, Him With His Foot in His Mouth

7. Matthias Politycki, Next World Novella
6. Nicholas Royle, Quilt
5. David Szalay, Spring
4. John O'Hara, BUtterfield 8
3. Edward St Aubyn, At Last
2. Charles Portis, True Grit
1. ½ Linda Grant, We Had It So Good
Reading Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate | Asylum | Book List
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Old 30th Dec 2010, 10:31   #16
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Default Re: Palimplists 2011

2010 2008 2007 2006 2005

P - read in Polish
E - read in English
r - reread

Titles of books written in languages other than Polish but read in Polish are given in English, if I couldn't find the established title - in the language of original

1. The Century of the Detective, J
ürgen Thorwald (P) -
2. The Book about Blanche and Marie, Per Olov Enquist (P) - 1/2
3. East of Eden, John Steinbeck (E) -
4. Because She Can, Bridie Clark (P) -
5. Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro -

Children and Young Adult Books

1. Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren (P) - 1/2
2. Omega, Marcin Szczygielski (P) -


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Old 30th Dec 2010, 13:39   #17
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Default Re: Palimplists 2011

To be carried forward to 2012

Atlas of Remote Islands - Judith Schalansky
The Pleasures of Reading in the Age of Distraction - Alan Jacobs
Granta Magazine - 10 Years After
Detective Muller Imperial Austrian Police - Augusta Groner
The History of History - Ida Hattemer-Higgins

100 The Raj's Diamond - R L Stevenson
99 Thyme Running Out - Panama Oxridge 1/2
98 The Cleansing Flames - Roger N Morris
97 The Tiny Wife - Andrew Kaufmann
96 Next World Novella - Matthias Politycki (R)
95 Talking Heads - Alan Bennett
94 Unusual Uses For Olive Oil - Alexander McCall-Smith
93 Death at Pemberley - P D James 1/2
92 Blow on A Dead Man's Embers - Mari Strachan

November (German Literature Month)
91 Selected Works - Heinrich von Kleist
90 Carsten The Trustee and Other Stories - Theodor Storm 1/2
89 Splithead - Julya Rabinowich
88 Effi Briest - Theodor Fontane (R)
87 Resistance - Owen Sheers
86 Therapy - Sebastian Fitzek
85 The Hottest Dishes of The Tartar Cuisine - Alina Bronsky

84 The Meowmorphosis - Coleridge Cook
83 The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka
82 The Beauty Room - Regi Claire
81 Vivaldi and the Number 3 - Ron Butlin
80 My Mother's Lover - Urs Widmer
79 Fighting It! - Regi Claire (R)
78 Pigeon English -Stephen Kelman
77 Jamrach's Menagerie - Carol Birch

76 Via Delle Oche - Carlo Lucarelli
75 The Damned Season - Carlo Lucarelli
74 Carte Blanche - Carlo Lucarelli
73 The Sisters Brothers - Patrick De Witt
72 Snowdrops - A D Miller
71 The Pledge - Friedrich Duerrenmatt
70 Half-Blood Blues - Esi Edugyan 1/2
69 The Help - Kathryn Stockett
68 Crime - Ferdinand von Schirach
67 The Sense of An Ending - Julian Barnes

66 The Rule of Four - Ian Caldwell and Justin Thomason (Audio)
65 Noir - Robert Coover 1/2
64 The Stillness of the Sea - Nicol Ljubic
63 Down The Rabbit Hole - Juan Pablos Villalobos
62 The Duel - Anton Chekhov
61 Dead Sharp - Len Wanner
60 The Duel - Heinrich von Kleist
59 The Taint of Midas - Anne Zouroudi (Audio)
58 Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson

57 On Canaan's Side - Sebastian Barry
56 The Break - Pietro Grossi
55 The Dark Vineyard - Martin Walker
54 Gillespie and I - Jane Harris
53 The Possessions of Doctor Forrest - Richard T Kelly
52 State of Wonder - Ann Patchett 1/2
51 Nocturnes - Kazuo Ishiguro 1/2 (Reread it for book group. Same rating but I enjoyed it more than when I listened to the audio book earlier this year.)

49 City of Dreadful Night - Peter Guttridge
48 Titus Groan - Mervyn Peake 1/2 (Another classic that left me bemused.)
47 Shadow Sister - Simone Van Der Vlugt
46 A Far Cry From Kensington - Muriel Spark
45 The Foxes Come At Night - Cees Nooteboom
44 The Assault - Harry Mulisch 1/2
43 The Tea Lords - Hella S Haasse 1/2
42 Tomorrow Pamplona - Jan Van Mersbergen

41 Next World Novella - Matthias Politycki
40 The Water Theatre - Lindsay Clarke 1/2
39 The Slaves of Solitude - Patrick Hamilton
38 Night Waking - Sarah Moss
37 The Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi - Charles Dickens
36 The Tiger's Wife - Tea Obrecht 1/2
35 The Quiet American - Graham Greene

34 Law and Peace - Tim Kevan
33 Baby Barista and The Art of War - Tim Kevan
32 An Uncertain Place - Fred Vargas
31 Irretrievable - Theodor Fontane 1/2
30 The Possessed - Elif Batuman 1/2
29 Water For Elephants - Sara Gruen
28 Great House - Nicole Krauss

27 Mansfield Park - Jane Austen (Audio)
26 A Dark Anatomy - Robin Blake
25 Hector and The Secrets of Love - Francois Lelord
24 The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives - Lula Shoneyin
23 Dark Matter - Juli Zeh
22 Fame - Daniel Kehlmann
21 Wondrak and Other Stories - Stefan Zweig 1/2
20 Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel no, actually
19 Flypaper - Robert Musil -

18 The Liberation of Celia Kahn - J David Simons 1/2
17 Short Treatise on the Joys of Morphinism - Hans Fallada
16 Bluebeard - Angela Carter
15 The Strange Crime of John Boulnois - G K Chesterton
14 Nocturnes - Kazuo Ishiguro (Audio) 1/2
13 A Shortcut to Paradise - Teresa Solano
12 Chocolate Wars - Deborah Cadbury
11 The View from Castle Rock - Alice Munro 1/2

10 Everything and Nothing - Araminta Hall
09 The Credit Draper - J David Simons
08 When Will There Be Good News? - Kate Atkinson (Audio)
07 Carte Blanche - Carlo Lucarelli
06 Steal You Away - Niccolo Ammaniti
05 The City and The City - China Mieville
04 The Consorts of Death - Gunnar Staalesen
03 Hotel Du Lac - Anita Brookner
02 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot
01 The London Train - Tessa Hadley

All the Lights - Clemens Meyer (Too gritty)
The Cloud Messenger - Aamer Hussein (Too quiet)
Reviews at Lizzy's Literary Life

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Old 30th Dec 2010, 13:47   #18
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Default Re: Palimplists 2011

27. The End of the Affair, Graham Greene (started on the 30th of December - see my 2012 Palimplist for my rating)
26. Flaubert's Parrot, Julian Barnes
25. An Education, Lynn Barber
24. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
23. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, Marina Lewycka
22. The Diving-Bell & the Butterfly, Jean-Dominique Bauby
21. Dawn of the Dumb, Charlie Brooker
20. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami
19. Making History, Stephen Fry
18. Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Kate Atkinson
17. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, Kate Summerscale
16. The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir (abandoned, for now)
15. Room, Emma Donoghue .5
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain ***0
13. When Will There Be Good News?, Kate Atkinson
12. The Pelican Brief, John Grisham
11. The White Woman on the Green Bicycle, Monique Roffey ABANDONED
10. A Pale View of Hills, Kazuo Ishiguro
9. The Adventure of English, Melvyn Bragg
8. Seeing Stars, Simon Armitage
7. I, Robot, Isaac Asimov
6. No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy
5. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
4. Gangsta Rap, Benjamin Zephaniah
3. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
2. Labyrinth, Kate Mosse (revised from on retrospection)
1. The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens (started 2010)
Libraries gave us power.

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Old 1st Jan 2011, 0:42   #19
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Default Re: Palimplists 2011


  1. The Dancers of Noyo - Margaret St.Clair. 'How long would men dance beneath the whips of the androids?' Dull 1973 SF novel in which our heroes get captured and escaped with relentless monotony (sometimes between chapters) and a lot of unexplained spooky action at a distance stuff goes on, groovy cover though.
  2. The City Dwellers - Charles Platt (1970) A collection of linked short stories, snaphots from a loose future history that charts the decline of the human population which clings stubbornly to a decaying city. Reminded me that I haven't read Bradbury's Martian Chronicles for a few years. I like books that are collections of short stories that form a larger narrative. Keith Roberts Pavane is very good example. The City Dwellers is a pale shadow of both those books.
  3. The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling Bedtime reading with the girls.
  4. Projections 10 - ed. Mike Figgis.
  5. The Food of the Gods - HG Wells. 40 odd years since I read this. I must have been a tenacious reader as a kid or skipped a lot. I don't remember it being anything like a preachy as it is. People sermonise at each other at great length.
  6. Diary of a Nobody - G & W Grossmith

  1. Gentlemen of the Road - Michael Chabon. Rollicking old-fashioned historical adventure yarn full of hairsbreadth escapes and convenient coincidences which only stopped me dead in its tracks once. The word 'teamster' seemed wildly out of place in the world of the Byzantine Empire.
  2. The Syndic - C M Kornbluth. A 1953 SF novel set in a future where the Syndicate and the Mob rule. Surprisingly funny.
  3. The Priests of PSI - Frank Herbert. More proof, if proof be needed, that had he not written Dune, Herbert would be long forgotten by now.
  4. Solaris - Stanislaw Lem. I have meant to read this for a long long time. The 1972 film version has been a favourite of mine since I first saw it in the mid 70s. After repeated watchings I'm still no clearer what it's all about. Reading the book hasn't really helped me to a deeper understanding of it. The film is much more layered and mysterious, with the book (which in parts I found ponderously dull) acting as a central core from which much more interesting ideas and images have been spun.
  5. Vortex: New Soviet SF - Ed. C G Bearne. More Soviet era SF. Short stories this time, a couple of them interesting, A couple just dull and a couple of them so hackneyed they wouldn't have been out place in a copy of Tales to Astonish:

  6. Run to the Stars - Michael Scott Rohan. Modern(ish) but 'good old-fashioned', 'only one man can save the Earth', crash and bash SF. (Except that, in the end, he doesn't manage it and the implication is that he also fails to stop a planet full of aliens getting destroyed too.)

  1. Toyman- E C Tubb. The third (of the 33) adventures of lone rent-a-hero, Earl Dumarest as he wanders the galaxy looking for his lost home planet, Earth. I read several of these as a kid and remember them as not being that interesting. I was right. Page turning pulp from an author credited with writing over 140 novels and 230 short stories and novellas, many of which I must have read but none that I can bring to mind. Curiously, re-reading Toyman 35 or so years after I first read it bought back none of the memories of time or place that re-reading half remembered books often invoke. Utterly forgettable - I probably didn't even notice I was reading it.
  2. Tales of Wonder - H G Wells. Not quite as wonderful as they probably once were but interesting as precursors of modern SF. One story 'The Star' is an interesting precursor of Wells' own War of the Worlds.
  3. Mission to the Stars - A E Van Vogt. More weirdness from Van Vogt - though not as weird and badly written as his later stuff. Starts out as a rip roaring full blown space opera (one spaceship has a crew of 30,000!) and ends as a cheesy romance. The odd shape of the book may be due to the fact it is a 'fix-up' of previously published stories.
  4. Into the Labyrinth - Francoise Mallet-Joris. 'A tender and Brutal Story of Forbidden Love' no less.

    A French teenager is seduced by her father's mistress and swans around wallowing in self-inflicted teenage misery for 150 pages before deciding to stop.
    I adored her for saying that. She was holding in her lap a long sheaf of flowers and she looked, in her yellow blouse, like a dazzling idol a Mexican or Incan godess in a temple lost in the jungle full of precious stones and serpents. And on my shoulder she laid her hand, that brown, hard, lined hand of a haymaker, not at all the hand of a sexual pervert but rather a hand made to lie on the neck of a horse or the hip of a woman, with its fingers a little too flat, a little too supple, evoking the hands of Chinese torturers.
    The author was only 19.
  5. Veruchia - E C Tubb. More instantly forgettable adventure (5 of 33) with lone rent-a-hero, Earl Dumarest. This time the book contained a fantastic amount of blank paper. Most publishers seem to like to start chapters on the recto (right hand) page so if a chapter ends somewhere on a right hand page it will be immediately followed by a blank verso (left hand) page. Here chapters are headed by a chapter number that takes up a whole page. The numbers aren't very big and are surrounded by a lot of white paper (well yellowish and slightly foxed paper, this book is 40 years old), this is followed by a blank verso page and the text of the next chapter starts about a third the way down the following recto. This book is 191 pages long. By the time you have taken away all the blurbs, printing history, 'other books by this author', title page, and advertising at the back, you are left with 181 pages. 18 pages of that (10%) are totally blank apart from the chapter numbers (that's whole pages, I haven't included all the bits, the blanks thirds at the start of every chapter and the half empty pages at their ends which must add up to another four or five pages in total). No wonder it didn't take long to read.
  1. Of Time and Stars - Arthur C Clarke. More quaint, old-time SF shorts.
  2. Kaleidoscope Century - John Barnes.
  3. Raven 2: A Time of Ghosts - Richard Kirk the pen name for Robert Holdstock who was writing with his tongue firmly stuck in his cheek. Well, I hope he was taking the piss; it made me laugh so much.

  4. Invasion of the Body Snatchers - Jack Finney. A crackingly well paced little chiller which copped out at the end - the films' endings are a vast improvement.
  5. Sea-horse in the Sky - Edmund Cooper. Read in one sitting, in one eyeball out the other, 'so what' SF.
  6. The World Grabbers - Paul W Fairman. Mercifully short novel of indeterminate genre in which our hero goes from one pointless circular conversation to another without learning anything about his nemesis or why a mysterious group of mystics won't stop him from taking over the world. Right at the end of the book the mysterious group of mystics do decide to stop him taking over the world for no apparent reason (other than the author had hit his contracted number of words) and the book just stops. Groovy cover though..

    by Jim Barker, on Flickr
  7. Earth Abides - George R Stewart. Early (1949) post-apocalyptic SF.
  8. A Rage in Harlem - Chester Himes

    Another book bought for 25p just because I liked the cover. What a discovery. It's great. I'm on the lookout for more Himes.
  9. Duel - Ed. William Patrick, a collection of "Horror stories of the road" that varied from ancient and creaky stories that just didn't bear resurrecting to a couple of interesting, more modern pieces. The best is the title story by Richard Matheson.
  10. Charisma - Michael Coney. Mid 70s British SF novel which swithers between being a traditional crime novel (who did murder the obnoxious hotel owner businessman Mellors?) and a parallel world love story. The only people who can travel to a parallel world have to be dead in the world they are going to; if the person in the destination world was still alive and the two met they would cancel each other out and vanish. The hero loves a girl who is dead in this world and conversely he is dead in hers. Lots of to-ing and fro-ing between worlds as the hero becomes the main suspect in the murder case (probably because he did it - or rather his doppelgänger from another world did.) Lots of the same characters dying in different ways and it's all getting wonderfully confusing and mind-boggling before it all gets resolved in a cop-out ending that appears from nowhere. (But with a final twistette to sweeten the disappointment.) Christopher Nolan should make a film version.

  1. Wildeblood's Empire - Brian M Stableford. Innocuous mid 70s SF.
  2. The Anarchistic Colossus - A E van Vogt. Late, and therefore almost incoherent, van Vogt. Van Vogt is one of those rare writers who actually seemed to get worse over the years. SF writer and critic Damon Knight said that:
    van Vogt "is no giant; he is a pygmy who has learned to operate an overgrown typewriter." Knight described The World of Null-A as "one of the worst allegedly-adult science fiction stories ever published." About van Vogt's writing in general, Knight saidIn general van Vogt seems to me to fail consistently as a writer in these elementary ways: 1. His plots do not bear examination. 2. His choice of words and his sentence-structure are fumbling and insensitive. 3. He is unable either to visualize a scene or to make a character seem real. Wikipedia
    And though I agree with just about every word of that I find his books compulsive reading. They are so odd I just can't put them down and while his contemporaries from the Golden Age went on to write longer and longer more complex tomes (I'm thinking particularly of Robert Heinlein's later doorstops of novels) van Vogt continued write fairly short books. This one clocks in at 176 pages and I had no idea what was going on for most of them.
  3. The Wages of Fear - Georges Arnaud. Another book picked up because I liked the groovy cover - then remembered the film was pretty terrific.

    The book is pretty good too. From time to time it looks like it's suffering from translator trouble and it takes a long time to get to the meat of the story but when we get there the almost suicidal attempt to drive two trucks loaded with Nitroglycerine along a rough and unmade South American road is gripping stuff.
  4. Lieutenant Gullivar Jones: His Vacation (1905) - Edwin Lester Arnold. Limp 'I go to Mars by some magical means (flying carpet!?) and almost have some incredible coincidence-laden adventures, including rescuing and falling in love with a Martian princess, before being mysteriously returned to Earth'. Six years later Edgar Rice Burroughs used almost exactly the same storyline in his A Princess of Mars, Burroughs made his hero more vigorous and proactive, made the coincidences even more outrageous, and cleaned up. Princess of Mars still sells by the shitloads and is getting a film adaptation as we speak, Gullivar Jones is an obscure bit of SF that is almost totally forgotten; though the character Gullivar Jones does geekily turn up from time to time in more modern works. He is the first character to appear (magic carpet and all) in Vol 2 of Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen adventures.
  5. Simon Rack: Earth Lies Dreaming - Laurence James. The first book by the incredibly prolific Laurence James (he wrote at least 150 books under various pseudonyms). The first of a short lived series, five books were published, featuring an interstellar James Bond type and his pun prone sidekick. All sex and violence. Being published in the seventies the violence is bone-crunching, eyeball-poppingly graphic and, being British, the sex never quite happens on the page. It's total shite.
  6. The Monitors - Keith Laumer. Funny (in places)1960's SF.
  1. The Undercover Aliens - AE van Vogt aka The House That Stood Still which is my second favourite pointless book title. (The first is The Man With Only One Head). More bewilderingly plotted nonsense from a master of the genre. This time the bewilderingly plotted nonsense concerns a bunch of immortal Aztec cultists and their radioactive marble house and one of their number's overly complex shenanigans to destroy the others and take over the world. When I tell you that the plot involves secret tunnels (as does every other van Vogt book I have read. I suspect he wrote secret passages into his spaceships when he could), immortal Aztecs pretending to be Martians and destroying nuclear bomb factories in hostile countries, secret spaceships that launched from (and returned to - without anyone noticing) downtown office blocks, lifelike masks which could be applied in seconds and make the wearer indistinguishable from whoever they were modelled upon, a three thousand year old mind-reading alien robot, a private investigator, phials of three thousand year old plus transuranic elements 'unknown on Earth', and a hero who manages to fall in love with the daughter of an ancient Roman official in Britain (shipwrecked in California (sic) on her way home to Rome) - and get slugged unconscious several times during the course of the 172 pages, you will have some idea of why, even having just finished the damn thing, I have no idea who did what to whom or why in the end. Imagine Enid Blyton deciding to write an SF novel while on acid. That's the flavour.
  2. Screen Burn - Charlie Brooker. I laughed. A lot. I have no idea who half the people he was talking about were but his spleen is so well vented I don't think I missed much. Most wannabee celebulites are pretty interchangeable anyway (from what I gather from my brief glances at the covers of Hello!, Chat! Take a Break! and Twat! and the other celeb mags up on display at the checkouts in Morrisons - in true Charlie Brooker style I just made that last one up though, to continue in Brooker mode, it would make make a great magazine - Celebs naked from the waist down. I'd buy it.) More!
  3. The Status Civilization - Robert Sheckley.
  4. Dawn of the Dumb - Charlie Brooker. I laughed. A lot. Again.
  5. The Saint Closes the Case - Leslie Charteris. I've never read a Saint book before which I thought was an oversight. I doubt if I will read another.

  1. Body Politic - Paul Johnston. A serial killer novel set in an ill thought out Orwellian future. Another of those books set in a hypothesised future written by someone who don't like (or understand) SF. The author even disclaims any SFness on his webpage, "the novels are not sci-fi" he says. Which raises the question why bother coming up with a (not very) complex society different from our own in which to set the story? Sorry, kiddo, you do that and you've stuck a bloody big SF label on yourself no matter how hard you deny it's there and, unfortunately for you, it's going to get measured, judged, whatever by the rules of that particular genre. As a crime novel, I've read worse, as an SF novel, it's shit.
  2. Adam, One Afternoon - Italio Calvino.
  3. Wetworld - Mark Michalowski. A dire Dr Who novel only because daughter number one had just read it and I wanted to see what she what she was enjoying - she's young.
  4. I am Legend - Richard Matheson. First time I had ever read it. Another Must read classic of the genre ticked off. Not bad.
  5. The Underground Man - Ross MacDonald (a Lew Archer Mystery). Dreadfully dull. I will not be going back for more.
  6. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S Thompson. Many years since I read this. I had forgotten how funny it was
  7. Michael Tolliver Lives - Armistead Maupin. Many years since I read the Tales in the City books (end to end, in one go) and this was a wistfully sad little coda.
  8. Foundation - Isaac Asimov. Another of those Great Novels of SF which, when you actually look at them objectively don't look that good all these years later. In this one we get to see the fall and rise of Galactic Empires via the medium of people in offices describing the political situation to each other in one to one meetings.
  9. Bad Science - Ben Goldacre. One of those books which I am going to lend to people and loose.
  1. The Eye in the Pyramid - Robert Shea and Anton Wilson. The first of The Illuminatus! Trilogy. Not as weirdly compelling as when I read it back in the early 80s. But I was stoned half the time back then.
  2. The Survivalist No. 6: The Savage Horde - Jerry Ahern. Jesus, Mary and all the Saints! This has to be THE single most fuckingly awful book I have ever read. 59 chapters spread over 208 pages (that's 3.5 pages per chapter - though some are actually less than a page long) of porny gun-wanking in which our 'hero', John Thomas Rourke, shoots people. Lots of people. He must kill at least hundred people in this book. He doesn't ask many questions before shooting them either, but it's all right really, this is Post Apoc America and the people he kills with relentless and boring frequency are all 'brigands' or 'wildmen', hairy ill-shaven (and therefore amoral) targets for clean shaven and God fearing him to gun down page after page after page after page.
    “He already had the target-a man about six-foot four, unshaven, his black leather jacket mud-stained, a riot shotgun in his hands, the pump tromboning* as the twelve-gauge, roughly .70 caliber muzzle swung on line.”
    To break the monotony reading about John Thomas shooting people in the head page after page we are often treated to fetishistic descriptions of guns being reloaded; the hero's weaponry: a pair of chromed Detonics Combat Master .45 pistols in Alessi shoulder holsters, Colt Python and Colt Lawman revolvers, an A.G. Russell Sting 1A knife, and a shoulder sling with a CAR-15 assault rifle; and, occasionally, a parallel story in which John Thomas' wife shoots hairy amoral, would be rapists in the head with either an M-16 assault rifle or .45 automatic - even their 8 year old son gets in the act and shoots the occasional hairy ill-shaven biker in the head - though he has to make do with an antique lever action .30-30 Winchester rifle. There are twenty-nine books in the series. Four books after this one (according to Wikipedia) the united Rourke family get themselves cryonically frozen and wake up 500 years later - by which time the human race will have presumably bred enough targets for them to bother getting up again. *'Tromboning' is, apparently, a genuine shooting term and nothing to do with the male gay sexual act of the same name.
  3. The Disaster Zone - J G Ballard.
  4. Bonk: the Curious Coupling of Science and Sex - Mary Roach. Mildly entertaining, but sometimes irritatingly smug, book about the science of sex. Very reassuring too, every time I read about another interestingly horrible sexual dysfunction it was like ticking off another 'No' box in some extensive medical check-list in my head. I came out the other end of the book reassured by my (relative) sexual non weirdness, but above all glad I don't spend my days doing any of this research for a living - or even masturbating pigs to orgasm to increase their fertility, as employees on Danish farms are encouraged to do (there is an illustration showing how to do this). Not one to read anywhere near kids who are likely to over your shoulder and ask, "What's that man doing?"
  1. The Dinosaur Hunters - Deborah Cadbury
  2. Modesty Blaise - Peter O'Donnel. I'm sad to say, camp trash fan that I am, that I have never seen the Joseph Losey film version with Monica Vitti and Terence Stamp. This books turns out to be a novelization of a script that wasn't used. Dated, but trash crime/spy action fun with a bit more than the usual amount of character development.

  3. Honey West: This Girl for Hire - G G Fickling. My scheme to spend September reading books with strong female protagonists wearing black and carrying a gun on the front cover comes to a grinding halt with this dull, badly written piece of 'tec drek. Girl private eye Honey West wanders around loosing her bra a lot and blunders around a Hollywood populated by six identical people who all hate each others guts and all have feeble excuses (and plenty of coincidence laden opportunities) to see every one of the others dead. I didn't finish it.

  4. The Dylis Powell Film Reader - Ed. Christopher Cook. Collected reviews and other writings from one of the doyennes of grown-up British film Criticism. Enjoyable stuff. As a book, however, it had one major annoyance. Each section - some only a couple of pages long - was dated at the end of the piece. Personally I would have preferred the date at the start of the article so I knew whether she was talking about a film she had just seen for the first time in 1949, or coming back to thirty years later. I never knew if I was reading an initial response, or a mature consideration. I took to reading with a pencil in hand, flipping to the end of the next article, then writing the date I found at the end in at the start so I don't have to wonder next time I read / look something up in it. It pained me every time. I hate writing in books.
  5. The Mad Old Ads - Dick Sutphen
  6. Scrivener's Moon - Philip Reeve.
  7. The Fortunes of Captain Blood - Rafael Sabatini. Swashbuckling nonsense from 1936 in which Captain Blood walks through six 'adventures' aided by a lot of luck, buckets of coincidence, and a motley assortment of minor characters who say things like, "Od's blood! He speaks aright!"

  1. Tyranopolis (aka Future Glitter) - A E van Vogt. Another late (1973) bonkers piece of van Vogtiness which starts with the words:
    Professor Dun Higenroth read the offical letter with pursed lips:
    "...Your good fortune to have won the Accolade for your field... Hence, your decapitation on behalf of your students in the advanced educational program... will take place on Patriotic Day. Congratulations..."
    There was more, but that was the gist.
    ...and ends with an incidental character everyone had forgotten about from midway through the book suddenly reappearing on the last page and decapitating the villain for no apparent reason. In between there is the usual van Vogtian confusion of false starts, unexplained endings, and 'what the hell is going on?' middles.
  2. The Winds of Gath - E C Tubb. The first of the 30+ book thud and blunder Dumarest Saga.
  3. The Iron and the Anger - Francis S Rayer. A forgotten novel by a forgotten author. Though with prose like this at his fingertips you have to wonder why:
    Kyrie Michaelson stood by the wide workshop door. "Explain what this crystal you call mensite is and what it does," he urged gravely. His brows jutted bushily. He was a large man and his wide face was concentrated somberly.
    dang it must have been great being an SF writer in the glory days of pulp.
  4. The Hell of it All - Charlie Booker. Either I have overdosed on Charlie Booker or (more likely) I am Charlie Booker. many of his fulminations and 'misanthropic scribblings' strike me as perfectly reasonable and sensible.
  5. Raven 5: A time of Dying - the fifth and final novel in the Raven Swordmistress of Chaos books written by the tag team of Robert Holdstock and Angus Wells. This one was written by Wells and is pretty dire. Stuffed to the gunwales with padding: detailed page-filling descriptions of rooms which the characters immediately leave never to return - that sort of thing. Expanding a paper thin plot: Five pages of plotless, "I'll tell you a tale", framing device. Ravening Beast terrorises a city. Ravening Beast captures Raven and takes her to another realm. Secondary hero companion rescues Raven who destroys Ravening Beast in the final pages. Two more pages of pointless framing device.
  6. Barrier 346 - Karl Zeigfreid (R L Fanthorpe) A long time since I have read a Badger Book. They haven't improved while I wasn't looking at them.
  1. 101 Movies to Avoid: The Most Overrated Films Ever - Alan Smithee. Not bad little, read in one sitting, list book by someone who I would guess is in the business but has chosen to hide behind the pen name Alan Smithee, a name used by Hollywood directors for years when they didn't want their name to appear on the final product.
  2. The Face on the Cutting Room Floor - Cameron McCabe. A really really odd detective novel which, after the story finishes on page 248 with the narrator/murderer about to be in turn murdered by the policeman in the case, there is a 50 page epilogue penned by one of the characters in the book explaining in laborious lit crit detail why what you have just read is all rubbish. At which point the original narrator comes back from the dead for a bit, and after it has been explained that everyone else in the book was in fact the lone murderer, it only remains for narrator of the epilogue to shoot someone dead in the last three words of the book. Everyone did it. Very very odd indeed.
  3. Projections 12 - Var. Probably the least interesting of the Projections series I have read so far in that it spends a lot of its length talking about Film Schools which don't really interest me. Not the book's fault, mine. I like this series. It's ostensibly written by film makers for film makers though I suspect their readership is mostly made up of fanboys like me who like to think we are listening in on part the creative process. That's the trouble with eavesdropping, sometimes the conversations you listen to are a tad dull.
  4. F.A.T.E. No 6 Settetee Alert! - by Greogory Kern. 'Adventures of Captain Kennedy Super-hero of the Spaceways.' Total rubbish with a cliffhanger '"Move and you die!' said a voice." endings to every chapter and a character so prescient he gets his people to investigate an evil corporation even though no one (his informant or the author) has mentioned their existence until he orders his minions into action.
  5. Witchcraft Through the Ages: The Story of Haxan, the World's Strangest Film , and the Man Who Made It - Jack Stevenson interesting little read. Could have done with a better editor though; some of the sentence structures were very odd.
  6. The Ice Schooner - Michael Moorcock. I consumed huge numbers of Moorcock's books when I was a lad. I remember this one as being better than most of his Sciencey Sword and Fantasy nonsense. A Heart of Darkness type journey through madness and obsession to an mythic goal set in a post holocaustian ice-age world. Moby Dick on ice. And it was all right too, right up until the last couple of chapters when the destination is reached and great gobbits of exposition are thrown at the reader to explain everything and finish the book quickly. Pity.
  7. The Black Corridor - Michael Moorcock. Written in the same year as The Ice Schooner (and at least one other novel - he was prolific was Mr Moorcock) this is a straight SF novel about loneliness and madness and isolation and it works. I read it one sitting. Hooked.
  8. The Distant Suns - Michael Moorcock. Now here's the other side of Moorcock, infantile trash which I hope was written for the juvenile market. A plot Hugo Gernsback would have dismissed as simplistic, and characters and situations which wouldn't strain the readers of Enid Blyton. According to the introduction it was co-written with Jim Cawthorn - who I remember as an illustrator more than an author. I would guess they wrote alternate chapters and left each other with cliffhangers to resolve. Like this from chapter 23. Our hero has just found his wife (previously presumed eaten by troglodytes) in a camp of the primitive tribes-people who have just captured him:
    Gasping, he halted before her staring into the face he knew better than any other in his personal universe. The familiar wide green eyes looked calmly back at him without any sign of recognition. "Cathy!" he cried, "My God, what have they done to you?"
    A brief chapter in some parallel action later he touches her face tenderly and all her memories instantly flood back.
    Note in margin of original manuscript:
    Ha! You have to do better than that, Jim.
    Hard to believe that this is the same author as The Black Corridor and harder to see why it was ever reprinted.
  1. Movies From the Mansion - George Perry. Gushy, well illustrated history of the first 50 years of Pinewood studios.
  2. Critical Threshold - Brian M Stableford
  3. Coraline - Neil Gaiman. Read to the kids. Number one daughter says 'it's better than the film' and it's a joy to read aloud.
  4. The Drums of Dracula - Robert Lory. A New English Library Piece of shit from 1976 full of the most gloriously godawful writing:
    The Snake now had wound its way upwards to Euleila's thigh, a thigh which was trembling in almost volatile shudders as the snake's head rose even higher.
    'Volatile shudders' wow! Actually I feel a bit sorry for Euleila a 'beautiful black woman' with a 'primitive mind' who, for the sin of being easily duped by our musclebound hero, gets stripped naked, chained to a wall, gang-raped, almost sacrificed on a voodoo altar (see above) then gets turned into a vampire before finally getting staked through the heart on the last page.
    When the door of the ramshackle house had closed behind the old black woman, an almost silent pair of wings disturbed the air across the way. they had descended from a height not all that great, but so swiftly that, even had there been eyes to see their movement, they would have had to be especially alert. A blink of the eyelids, and there would have been nothing to see.

    But there was no observer. If there had been, the wings would not have come downward. They would have waited until the pair of red eyes between them had satisfied themselves that the risk of detection was gone.

    For the space of four human heartbeats there was no sound in the street, no movement anywhere, including the darkest of the dark shadows between the two houses across the way from the door the old woman had entered. And then, suddenly, where there had been nothing, no one, there was.
    Drums of Dracula is number five in a series of nine. I can't wait to find the rest.
  5. Excavating Kafka - James Hawes. A fascinating debunking of the Kafka myth (lonely, isolated, unknown, tormented, persecuted Jewish genius) that places him in (and therefore his writing) in context. Turns out he was a well-liked son of a millionaire businessman father, and was well connected in literary circles. Kafka far from being an unknown was making a real name for himself before the minor inconvenience of the collapse of the Hapsburg Empire got in the way. The tormented bit may be true, but no more than any other middle-class sado-masochist of the day.
  6. Shadow and Light - Jonathan Rabb.
  7. The Planets - Dava Sobel. Easy to read, science lite, whistle stop tour around the solar system that, nevertheless, made me grind my teeth by using variably Fahrenheit, Centigrade, and Kelvin scales from chapter to chapter. So the Sun's core was X Kelvin, one planet's surface was Y Centigrade and another's was Z Fahrenheit. It's a personal hate of mine but if you're going to use a system of measurement, stick to it! She also sometimes used centemeters and sometimes miles and, at one point, miles and 'Roman miles' in one sentence without giving any way of comparing the two. Grrrrrr.
  8. The Master Weed (Another Adventure of the Space-Puppet) - John Rackham. Another oddity found in my attic. A 1954 'Tit-Bits Science Fiction Library' about the thrilling adventures of a Captain Video like space-ranger and his identical remote-controlable simulacrum. In this episode they thwart the evil plans of a mad scientist whose dastardly scheme to take over the planet Mars hinges upon everyone on the planet simultaniously smoking drugged cigarettes. So cunning is his plan that they all do just that! He would have got away with it too, if it hadn't been for our meddling hero who turned up at the fateful event as a robot. He had to pretend to be drugged until he could rescue the token semi-naked space bimbo which he did by skewering the villain to a control panel with a casually discarded screwdriver - and then electrocuting her head. They don't write them like this any more.

Total 80 (must do better next year).
Next Year
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Old 1st Jan 2011, 1:52   #20
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Default Re: Palimplists 2011

I know the year isn't over yet, but I've gone through my list below to see how my ratings have held up. So, the rating on the left is the original rating from when I finished the book and the one on the right represents the effects of time, if there were any. Much of this was to give me the change to insert a larger spread between my favorite books and the ho-hum books and to give the books that have grown on my with time (sometimes a very short time, as the case was with The Adventures of Sindbad) their better rating.

80. Denis Johnson: Train Dreams
79. Nikolai Gogol: The Night Before Christmas
78. Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky: The Letter Killers Club

77. Evelio Rosero: Good Offices
76. Osamu Dazai: Schoolgirls
75. Albert Cossery: The Colors of Infamy
74. Gyula Krúdy: The Adventures of Sindbad
73. Joan Didion: Blue Nights

72. Teju Cole: Open City
71. Lynn Coady: The Antagonist
70. Julian Barnes: The Sense of an Ending
69. Esi Edugyan: Half-Blood Blues
68. Michael Ondaatje: The Cat's Table

67. Zsuzsi Gartner: Better Living Through Plastic Explosives
66. Michael Christie: The Beggar's Garden
65. Clark Blaise: The Meagre Tarmac
64. Genni Gunn: Solitaria
63. Steven Milhauser: We Others

62. W.G. Sebald: Austerlitz
61. Patrik Ouředn*k: Europeana
60. Alan Holinghurst: The Stranger's Child (on hold)
59. Patrick deWitt: The Sisters Brothers
58. Alison Pick: Far to Go

57. A.D. Miller: Snowdrops
56. Andrea Barrett: Ship Fever
55. Gert Hofmann: The Parable of the Blind
54. Tove Jansson: The Summer Book
53. Sergio Chejfec: My Two Worlds
52. László Krasznahorkai: The Melancholy of Resistance
51. César Aira: Varamo

50. Roberto Bolaño: Between Parentheses
49. Patrick McGrath: Dr. Haggard's Disease
48. László Krasznahorkai: Animalinside
47. Jean Echenoz: Ravel
46. Jean Echenoz: Running
45. Jean Echenoz: Lightning
44. Ann Patchett: State of Wonder
43. Elif Batuman: The Possessed
42. Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö: Roseanna
41. Joseph Roth: The Leviathan
40. C.E. Morgan: All the Living

39. David Bezmozgis: The Free World
38. René Belletto: Coda
37. Javier Mar*as: Your Face Tomorrow: Poison, Shadow and Farewell
36. Tove Jansson: Fair Play
35. Jean Echenoz: I'm Gone
34. Tove Jansson: The True Deceiver
33. César Aira: The Seamstress and the Wind
32. Francine Prose: My New American Life

31. Alistair MacLeod: No Great Mischief
30. Téa Obreht: The Tiger's Wife
29. Steven Milhauser: Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Deth of an American Writer (1943 - 1954), by Jeffrey Cartwright
28. Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum: Madeleine Is Sleeping

27. Alan Bennett: The Uncommon Reader
26. Alan Heathcock: Volt
25. Jaimy Gordon: Lord of Misrule
24. Imre Kertész: Fiasco
23. J.M. Coetzee: Summertime
22. J.M. Coetzee: Youth
21. J.M. Coetzee: Boyhood
20. John McGahern: Amongst Women

19. Philip Roth: Operation Shylock
18. Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud: A Life on Paper
17. Dezső Kosztolányi: Kornél Esti
16. Javier Mar*as: Bad Nature, or With Elvis in Mexico
15. Ann Beattie: Walks with Men
14. Jacques Chessex: A Jew Must Die
13. Cynthia Ozick: The Puttermesser Papers

12. Patrick Leigh Fermor: A Time to Keep Silence
11. Hannah Pittard: The Fates Will Find Their Way
10. J.A. Baker: The Peregrine
9. John O'Hara: Appointment in Samarra
8. Gert Hofmann: Lichtenberg & the Little Flower Girl
7. Herman Melville: Bartleby the Scrivener
6. Karen Russell: Swamplandia!
5. Cormac McCarthy: The Orchard Keeper
4. Heinrich Böll: The Clown
3. Vivant Denon: No Tomorrow
2. Alexandros Papadiamantis: The Murderess
1. George Saunders: The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil
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