Rantglass - because that's how things are.


Turn it in.

So this is a slightly higher count than last year’s attempt (see list for 2007).

In any case, the books I read this year (all acquired from previous warehouse sales, save one – guess which?) feels more satisfying, more engrossing, more… whole. I would labour through the weekends, wrapped up in a cosy blanket just to willingly soar out to space with Ender Wiggin, or to keep up with the magical adventures of John Mandrake – a blissful escapade from today’s world of strict targets and production deadlines.

Again, it is easy to fall in love with those two fictional characters, but… surely this is not the time to be rediscovering my youth? It makes me feel doubly old and dubiously young at the same time. I am not sure if I should steer clear off the young adult fiction racks the next time.

Read and love these:
Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
More than two decades too late, I was only two years old when Ender’s Game was first published. I have read this twice in this year alone, and both times were exciting cosmic journeys of a different kind; first transporting me to outer space on clean white spaceships and back, then painting grim pictures of a tough and exclusive battle school, revisited and reinforced during the second time.

As far fetched as the premise and plot may sound, there are still hints of reality in it somehow – and that is what makes this reading experience even more believable. Besides, Ender Wiggin is such an immensely likable hero who comes packaged with only all the good qualities one can only dream of.

I now realise that we have always been gamepieces, be it at work or play. The question is: what do we do about it? Life is but a game, and this is how we live it.

The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Jonathan Stroud
The Amulet of Samarkand
Golem’s Eye
Ptolemy’s Gate
This one is an interesting read; essentially a journey of self discovery for a young and gifted magician, whose ascent to a higher social status almost makes him forget all that he has held dear before. Nathaniel – or more widely known as John Mandrake – is aided by an able djinni by the name of Bartimaeus, who constantly peppers the pages with funny footnotes, historical anecdotes and witty comebacks.

Sigh. Why does all the excitement always has to happen in London?

Also read:
The Secret, Rhonda Byrne
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke
The Ladies of Grace Adieu, Susanna Clarke
Middlesex, Jeffrey Euginedes
Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman
Notes on a Scandal, Zoe Heller
A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby
High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
How to be Good, Nick Hornby
Transmission, Hari Kunzru
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
1984, George Orwell
Vernon God Little, DBC Pierre
Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris
Of Mice and Men, John Steinback

Warehouse sales attended:
MPH, 25 October 2008

Details of this entry.Thursday, December 25, 2008, filed under Reviews.
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