September 01, 2006

Pre-Weekend Slacker Posting and Reviews

I'm getting ready to move this weekend. Having decided not to hire a professional moving company, this is going to take a while. Don't get me started on my schoolwork. As Neville Rumsfeld might say, goodness gracious. So blogging-wise and for the moment, I got practically nothing. Except a songlist top 10 roundup of recent favorites and reviews for the last two novels I read. So.

1. Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
2. Love is a Stranger - Eurythmics
3. After the Garden - Neil Young
4. All These Things That I've Done - The Killers
5. Rock and Roll Babylon - Love and Rockets
6. Trouble - Shawn Colvin
7. Dragula - Rob Zombie
8. Evil - Interpol
9. Things Have Changed - Bob Dylan
10. Mary - Boingo

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell - Susanna Clarke

If you're a geek who likes the occasional fantasy fiction novel, you'll like this one. It's set in early 1800's England against a backdrop of the fictionalized Napoleonic wars and a vivid reconception of a parallel world of Faerie.

Mr. Norrell is the archetypal Overriding Obsession Geek, contented in full by his vast library and perhaps one other knowledgeable soul with which to discuss its contents. He's aware enough of his social ineptitude to employ a web of intermediaries, but as is usually the case when this strategy is employed without a concommittant attempt to learn from the process, this gets him into trouble in the end. Jonathan Strange is a Dilettante Geek of All Trades, brazening his was through society with his life of the party antics, but is ultimately every bit as passionate and attentive to his chosen study as Mr. Norrell. Hooray for geeky passions, including the author's own. Only someone with the devotion of a true geek could have put together such a convincingly planned out set of fictional footnotes.

I'd love a sequel, but I get the feeling that Clarke saw it as complete in itself. Oh well. Hopefully she'll at least grace us with more than this, her first book.

The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

You know those sci-fi novels where you end up wading through dozens of pages of supporting, explanatory text for the wilder concepts in the book? This is not one of those.

This book is a love story and character portrait first, science fiction novel second. It's charming, funny and poignant, in spite of the peril in being set around a done-to-death plot device, which the author has gladly performed deft reconstructive surgery on. And for a book in which foreshadowing and knowledge of future events come into play from the beginning, it still manages a good few interesting surprises.

As philosophical questions go, this book wants to know one of the big ones: If you knew what was going to happen to you, would you still get out of bed in the morning?

"A lot of water under the bridge, a lot of other stuff, too." - Things Have Changed by Bob Dylan

Posted by natasha at September 1, 2006 04:05 PM | Random Mumblings | Technorati links |

Damn. I lost the comment from skippy about just getting turned on to Franz Ferdinand while cleaning up the damn comment spam. Abject apologies, my friend.

Posted by: Mary at September 2, 2006 12:18 AM

You are SO not getting your allowance this week ;) I can forgive many things, but not the overzealous erasure of spam.

Posted by: natasha at September 2, 2006 10:37 AM

Whenever I move, I think of the song "Moving Day". It's from the ragtime era, but I know the version by Jim Kweskin and the Neo-Passe Jazz Band.

If you can't pay the rent, then you'll live out in a tent
Because it's moving day

Posted by: maidhc at September 5, 2006 12:45 AM