Jim's Book List
I am a life-long bookworm. Here are some books I've read in the last 3 years or so.
For the past few months it seems as if I've been reading nothing but Patrick O'Brian.
This isn't strictly true, but I have been gradually working my way thru his 20-volume Aubrey/Maturin series.
A truly outstanding set of novels best described as "Jane Austen onboard". I started
reading the first one after seeing Peter Wier's excellent movie "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the
World," which is based on the first and tenth book in the series.
I never would have predicted that a series of books in which the action is mostly confined to a sailing ship
(and that requires a reference volume to decode, such as A Sea of Words - right) would keep me enthralled, volume after volume. But Patrick
O' Brian was a remarkably good writer - his prose is economical and witty, his observation of character is
sharp and his erudition is immense.
I recently read Kristin Lavransdatter
by Sigrid Undset. This book was recommended by Connie Willis, a recent favorite author of mine. In
various interviews she cites this as her favorite book, so I thought I'd give it a try. The book was originally
written in Norwegian in the 1920s, and the author won the Nobel Literature prize. I read the Archer translation
for the first two volumes, but then switched to the more recent Tiina Nunnally translation (and went back and
reread a few parts). The Nunnally translation is much better.
Things to note from the book list below: I tend to buy books in groups
pertaining to my obsession du jour. You'll see from the following list that
among my recent obsessions were:
- 19th Century Technology
- British Folk Music
- Shamanism and Siberia
- Computer Chess
- The English Language & Dictionaries
- 3D Computer Graphics Progamming
- Tom Stoppard
- Fantasy Literature
Aside from the "obsession books," which are typically read to expand the mind, there are a few "comfort books" thrown in, which are typically read to sooth or entertain the mind. These include the books read to Jenna, the Nero Wolfe books, Nostalgia books (like the Little Rascals) and the Comic Books. I also haven't included the crossword puzzle books, which are intended to exercise the mind, without necessarily expanding it.
- Fight Club;Chuck Palahniuk
- Peace Like a River;Leif Enger
- The Doctor Is Sick;Anthony Burgess
- Kristin Lavransdatter III: The Cross; Sigrid Undset, Tiina Nunnally trans.
- Kristin Lavransdatter II: The Wife; Sigrid Undset, Tiina Nunnally trans.
- Kristin Lavransdatter I: The Wreath; Sigrid Undset, Tiina Nunnally trans.
- Kristin Lavransdatter I: The Bridal Wreath; Sigrid Undset, Archer trans.
- Passage; Connie Wilis
- To Say Nothing of the Dog; Connie Wilis
- Bellwether; Connie Willis
- Dooms Day Book ; Connie Willis
- The Anubis Gates; Tim Powers
- Ragtime; E.L. Doctorow
- Carter Beats the Devil; Glen David Gold
- The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay; Michael Chabon
- The Lovely Bones; Alice Seybold
- Life of Pi; Yann Martel
- His Dark Materials Trilogy; Philip Pullman
- Under the Tuscan Sun : At Home in Italy; Frances Mayes; Broadway Books
- The Gormenghast Novels : Titus Groan, Gormenghast, Titus Alone (didn't finish 'em); Mervyn Laurence Peake
- Travesties; Tom Stoppard
- Tom Stoppard Plays 4 : Dalliance, Undiscovered Country, Rough Crossing, on the Razzle, the Seagull; Tom Stoppard
- Tom Stoppard Plays 5 : Arcadia, the Real Thing, Night and Day, Indian Ink, Hapgood; Tom Stoppard
- The Invention of Love; Tom Stoppard
- Some Buried Caesar; Rex Stout
- (3 or 4 other Nero Wolfe Books by Rex Stout)
- Justice Hall: A Mary Russell Novel; Laurie R. King
For Young Readers:
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