Rantglass - because that's how things are.

Sub rosa.

The weekend came too soon, and went by equally fast as well. Sigh.

I strained my eyeballs a lot more this year. I have managed to read at least a book a month, on average – I think I failed to achieve that target during the past few years, when I was busy with assignments and classes while still in university.

I splurged on my first-ever visit to a Times warehouse sale back in May, which, sadly, was attempted under two hours.

Then, I had the opportunity to read books that I have never thought of reading (or buying!), for the sake of reviewing them. After all, we would usually go for books from our favourite writers or preferred genre, instead of taking the risk to part with our hard-earned money on relatively unknown authors with different writing styles.

Next came the bookshelf which I painstakingly assembled, before realising it was supposed to be a CD shelf instead. Thankfully, it can still house the considerable amount of books that I had previously stashed on any uninhabited spots of my room.

It says a lot, when you scan through the list and realise that you have, embarassingly, read only three, out of the one hundred books deemed to be the best English-language novels from 1923 to the present.

Never mind the fact that there are a lot more books in my to-read list as well. Besides, lists are overrated, eh?

It is such a great feeling to flip through the pages, anticipating, and not knowing what lies in store next. No colourful pictures, no fanciful artwork. Just plain text that conjure multiple images in your head, leading you on an exhilarating ride through worlds of intrigue and suspense, realms of might and magic.

These are some of the books I have read this year:

- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: a Trilogy in Four Parts, Douglas Adams
- Demon Wars saga – Demon Awakens, Demon Spirit, Demon Apostle; R.A. Salvatore
- About a Boy; Nick Hornby (teehee)
- 25th Hour; David Benioff
- Oxygen; Andrew Miller
- The Return of the Dancing Master; Henning Mankell
- Velocity; Dean Koontz
- Eldest; Christopher Paolini
- Wolves Eat Dogs; Martin Cruz Smith
- The Creature in the Case; Garth Nix
- Death is Forever; Elizabeth Lowell
- Tawny Man trilogy – Fool’s Errand, Golden Fool, Fool’s Fate; Robin Hobb
- The Da Vinci Code; Dan Brown

There are still a few more books to go, though. I know I should take it easy, but I think I am on a roll already…

On air now: Alibi, David Gray

Details of this entry.Sunday, October 23, 2005, filed under Personal.
This entry is open to comments.
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  1. Hi, been reading this site for quite awhile without really posting anything back. Sorta found it through someone else.
    Just dropping a hello. To set up an occasion in the future where I may really want to reply something back. It eggs me when I want to comment but felt it odd since I’ve never introduced myself. So “Hello”.
    And for a little bit of on-topic commentary: Were any two of the fantasy sagas you read in the list any good?
    Mint | 23/10/05 10:27 PM

  2. ooo.. nice selection of books there. :) wonder if anyone else follows the discworld series?
    nerdook | 24/10/05 09:21 AM

  3. I can’t believe Narnia is on the list. I wish I can get Watchmen. Hardcover edition costs oh, USD75…
    Wonger | 24/10/05 10:12 AM

  4. Mint – Hello. :) Yes, I er, sort of ‘know’ you. And if I’m not mistaken, you have dropped a comment here before, ages ago. ;)

    I didn’t like Demon Wars that much, actually. It didn’t make me want to keep turning the pages; I had the urge to throttle the characters every now and then.

    I really love Robin Hobb’s books, though. Chronologically, you might want to start with her Farseer series, follow it up with the Liveship Traders, and then finish it with the Tawny Man trilogy – they are all set in the same realm, and with a different kind of magic (not your usual spell-casting mages, annoying kenders and the like).

    Nerdook – Hmm, I’ve not tried out the Discworld series yet… but I’m sure one or two people here have. ;)

    Wonger – I read Narnia only last year, in preparation for the movie… You’ll get the book anyway, whether you want to or not. :P And you don’t normally buy hardcover editions! Go with paperback!
    Strizzt | 24/10/05 08:08 PM

  5. Mint! you’re alive! It’s the second coming!
    wonger, what’s wrong with narnia?
    although, yes, lists are overrated, especially when they’re by times. i mean, no murakami? please.
    and strizzt is right, nerdook, there are a few of us out here who believe pratchett is the new adams.
    soporific | 25/10/05 12:23 AM

  6. I have to admit to not reading as many books as I’d have liked to this year… I’ve probably only read 2, maybe three, Must read more!
    Nikki-ann | 25/10/05 06:52 AM

  7. Thx, might look into the Robin Hobb books though I suspect I would most likely get Narnia first since the movie is coming out and all.
    Btw, soporific, the list had a disclaimer stating that it was for books originally published in English so Murakami would not have qualified, regardless
    Mint | 25/10/05 08:27 AM

  8. Strizzt: No, Watchmen is not, I repeat NOT, a book. It’s a comic. 12 issues. Collected in one hardcover. They have a softcover edition. I don’t know. Maybe later…

    Demonwars are Salvatore’s ‘adult’ books. Mortalis is his best book ever, according to himeself. Written at the worst of times.

    Sopo: Nothing wrong, I guess. It’s just a personal preference that I stay away from ‘kiddy books’ like Narnia and Potter. Maybe Discworld too…. judging from the covers. :D

    Does no one like Terry Goodkind??
    Wonger | 25/10/05 10:22 AM

  9. originally published in english is it? oh, ok. then coetzee leh? douglas adams leh? and if watchmen is a graphic novel, then.. sandman how?

    wonger: actually, a lot of writers have favourite books which aren’t widely considered their best. but then, wide people arent the best source of opinion on this either.
    couple of other points. narnia and potter are both children’s books but narnia is hardly ‘kiddy’. would u call hobbit kiddy? it’s a children’s book but it deals with themes above and beyond that of the average preteen. potter on the other hand, never really tries to be more than good/great fiction. so, you’re probably right in saying it’s kiddie fare, although, possibly amongst the greatest kiddie fare ever.
    discworld, totally not kiddy. not at all, not in the slightest. pls read at least one and if you dont like it, then forget about the whole thing because they’re all mad that way. in fact, i’d recommend you start with strata, which is not a discworld book, but is its predecessor, the book which birthed the discworld series.
    soporific | 25/10/05 05:35 PM

  10. hehe. yea… the discworld series may just seem funny and off-the-wall at first, but under that skin are some pretty well developed characters, good stories, and some serious issues as well. in fact, it remains the only series that i’d spend my cash on at the moment… :) hehe.
    nerdook | 25/10/05 08:31 PM

  11. Nikki-ann – Ah yes, but don’t overstrain yourself. ;)

    Mint – Yep, I thought I’d read the book first just to prepare myself for the movie as well. But I think I’m a little too ‘old’ to be caught up in the Narnia magic. :/

    Wonger – Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series seems to go on and on lah. Demon Wars may be an adult book (hey, are you implying I’m still a kid?) but the hero is not… likable enough. Ahem.

    Soporific – Eh, thought you’ve been keeping in touch with Mint all this while.

    I’ve read Narnia, but like I mentioned above (and in an entry when I read the book some time ago)... I probably should have read it years ago, to fully appreciate it.
    Strizzt | 25/10/05 08:37 PM

  12. Nerdook – Righto.. will check out the Discworld series too! Help.. the to-read list keeps getting longer and longer…
    Strizzt | 25/10/05 08:39 PM


    eyeris | 26/10/05 03:14 PM

  14. keeping in touch is a phrase that is rather vague. but if he’s still reading this, then he, me and kwok hong are due to meetup at the same damn mamak some time soon.
    soporific | 26/10/05 05:58 PM

  15. Eyeris – Shaman’s Crossing has no Fitz! Ahem.

    Soporific – Aah, a reunion…
    Strizzt | 26/10/05 08:20 PM

  16. Yes.. “keeping in touch” is more than a little vague since there seems to be a reunion but I haven’t heard about it.
    Mint | 27/10/05 02:33 PM

  17. well, that’s because kwok hong hasnt gotten back to me. have no doubt though, that it will be impromptu and messy.
    soporific | 28/10/05 06:33 PM

  18. Messy. Heh heh. It IS hard to get a time and date that everyone can agree to. ;)
    Strizzt | 28/10/05 08:06 PM

  19. speaking of which, what of you and sze? this coming week holds many possibilities.
    soporific | 30/10/05 03:33 PM

  20. Soporific – Perhaps, but I’m always picky about the timing and everything, see. ;) Not sure about her, though. She always seems to be, ah, occupied.
    Strizzt | 30/10/05 06:52 PM

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