2007 November archive at Stray Talk
an archive of my forays into fact and fiction

Archive: November ‘07

30th November, 2007
Movie Icons: Cary Grant; FX Feeney & Paul Duncan (ed.)
— Love @ 20:27 Comments (0)
Filed under: Biographies, English, Film, n/a

Movie Icons: Cary Grant; FX Feeney & Paul Duncan (ed.) Movie Icons: Cary Grant
by FX Feeney and Paul Duncan (ed.)

192 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8228-2212-8

First line: He is the most self-invented man in movies, this side of Charlie Chaplin.

Thoughts: Much like the book on James Dean, this book on Cary Grant was chock-full of photos, but not so much actual text (a fair few quotes, by and about him, though). Following his film career through the pictures was nice, however, and one photo in particular, of him in dreadful drag, had me giggling for minutes.

Just as with the Dean book, I won’t be rating this.

30th November, 2007
Movie Icons: James Dean; FX Feeney & Paul Duncan (ed.)
— Love @ 20:02 Comments (0)
Filed under: Biographies, English, Film, n/a

Movie Icons: James Dean; FX Feeney & Paul Duncan (ed.) Movie Icons: James Dean
by FX Feeney and Paul Duncan (ed.)

192 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8228-2220-3

First line: He died at age 24 in a car crash, testing a new, lightweight, ultra-swift Porsche Spyder en route to a weekend race in Northern California.

Thoughts: Full of photos, but not so full of actual text (though there are quotes and a short biography), I quite enjoyed this. James Dean is a bit of a favourite of mine, so it was nice to see photos I’d not seen before. However, because of the nature of the book, I will not grade it.

30th November, 2007
The World of Normal Boys; KM Soehnlein
— Love @ 13:06 Comments (0)
Filed under: B, English, Fiction, GLBT interest

The World of Normal Boys; KM Soehnlein The World of Normal Boys
by KM Soehnlein

282 pages
Kensington Books
ISBN: 0-965-14638-3

First line: Maybe this is the moment when his teenage years begin.

Back cover blurb:
The time is the late 1970s – an age of gas shortages, head shops, and Saturday Night Fever. The place, suburban New Jersey. At a time when the teenagers around him are coming of age, Robin MacKenzie is coming undone. While “normal boys” are into cars, sports, and bullying their classmates, Robin enjoys day trips to New York City with his elegant mother, spinning fantastic tales for her amusement in an intimate ritual he has come to love. He dutifully plays the role of the good son for his meat-and-potatoes father, even as his own mind is a jumble of sexual confusion and painful self-doubt. But everything changes in one, horrifying instant when a tragic accident wakes his family from their middle-American dream and plunges them into a spiral of slow destruction.

Thoughts: The language in this book was beautiful, but bleak and depressing, and there was a constant feeling of impending doom. I found it hard, sometimes, to keep reading, because I was sure that disaster was waiting just around the corner. Keep reading I did, though, because putting the book down was even harder than not going on.

The World of Normal Boys receives a well-deserved B.

21st November, 2007
Mitt brinnande hjärta; Tasso Stafilidis
— Love @ 15:16 Comments (0)
Filed under: Biographies, C, GLBT interest, Swedish

Mitt brinnande hjärta; Tasso Stafilidis Mitt brinnande hjärta
by Tasso Stafilidis

234 pages
Normal förlag
ISBN: 91-855505-13-7

First line: Det är tidig höst på Fredriksdalsskolan i Helsingborg.

Back cover blurb:
Mitt brinnande hjärta är Tasso Stafilidis personliga resa genom politiken och teatern. Det är en självutlämnande bok om rättsröta och rättspatos, men också om svikna ideal och slitig vardaglig kamp för förändring. Tasso Stafilidis berättar om hatbrev och mordhot, priset han fått betala för att vara öppet homosexuell och riksdagsledamot.

Mitt brinnande hjärta ger också en unik inblick bakom kulisserna i vänsterpartiet och striden om det kommunistiska arvet. En strid som innebar att Tasso, som tagit avstånd från kommunismen redan som 15-åring, förlorade sin riksdagsplats och till slut lämnade partiet helt och hållet efter 22 år.

I boken får vi också läsa om den rapport som Tasso Stafilidis skrev om homosexuellas situation i Iran, med uppgifter om den svenska ambassaden i Teheran som tidigare inte framkommit.

Thoughts: I have to admit I am a little disappointed in this book. It’s going to sound weird, especially since the biggest reason I wanted to read it in the first place was that it was written by the first openly gay member of the Swedish parliament, but it focused almost exclusively on gay issues. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but Stafilidis complains time and time again that people always zeroed in on the LGBT-issues that he worked with, as if they were the only things he was involved in, when in fact he did so many other things as well. My question, then, is why he doesn’t spend more time telling us about these other things. He mentions them, yes, but not nearly as much as his GLBT-work.

Still, the book is interesting, and I would’ve been willing to overlook the above-mentioned issue and give it a higher grade, had the language been better. As it was, it just didn’t engage me very much, and so it’s a C.

19th November, 2007
Reality check
— Love @ 23:11 Comments (3)
Filed under: General booktalk

I’ve been so busy with work lately that I have little to no energy left over for anything else, which means that my reading has suffered. As a consequence, there probably won’t be a new review (if you can even call what I do that) in a little while yet.

Instead, I thought I’d take the opportunity to ask who reads this blog?

If you do, would you please consider leaving a comment? It will take you all of a minute, and you don’t have to do it more than once — you can go straight back to lurking in the shadows after. I just want to get an idea about whether I’m the crazy person in the corner, muttering to themselves under their breath, or the person with a reader base (however small that readership is).

Thank you.

16th November, 2007
So Hard to Say; Alex Sanchez
— Love @ 23:35 Comments (1)
Filed under: C, English, Fiction, GLBT interest, Young Adult

So Hard to Say; Alex Sanchez So Hard to Say
by Alex Sanchez

232 pages
Simon Pulse
ISBN: 1-4169-1189-8

First line: My name is (drum roll, please) María Xiomara Iris Juárez Hidalgo, but nobody calls me María.

Back cover blurb:
When Frederick shows up at school, Xio is thrilled. The new boy is shy, cute and definitely good boyfriend material. Before long, she pulls him into her lively circle of friends.

Frederick knows he should be flattered by Xio’s attention. After all, she’s popular, pretty, and a lot of fun. So why can’t he stop thinking about Victor, the captain of the soccer team, instead?

Thoughts: When I got this book, I thought the main characters were older than they ended up being. Xio and Frederick are both thirteen, which is a little younger than I normally like reading about. Because the story is aimed at a little bit younger audience than the books I usually go for, it was a quick read and I finished it in one sitting, even though I hadn’t intended to. Not because it was fantastic, but because there didn’t really seem to be a point to put it down and go to sleep, since there was so little left of it. Kind of regretted it the next morning, though, since I was quite tired after too little sleep. Alas, such is the life of a book lover…

This book gets a C rating. My younger self would probably have wanted to give it a higher grade, but younger self is no longer around, so doesn’t actually have a say in things at the moment.

14th November, 2007
Rainbow Boys; Alex Sanchez
— Love @ 19:45 Comments (0)
Filed under: C, English, Fiction, GLBT interest, Young Adult

Rainbow Boys; Alex Sanchez Rainbow Boys
by Alex Sanchez

262 pages
Simon Pulse
ISBN: 0-689-85770-5

First line: Jason Carrillo walked around the block a third time, working up his courage to go into the brownstone.

Back cover blurb:
High school’s hard enough as it is without falling in love with your best friend–who’s crushing on the most popular guy in school. Or feeling like your parents would throw you out if they knew you were gay. Or being afraid of who you are…

Thoughts: I’ve been meaning to get my hands on this book for quite some time, especially after two of my friends read and enjoyed it at around the same time last summer. Personally, I liked it well enough. It’s your typical high school novel with a coming out theme, basically. No harm in that, of course, but it’s been done a lot of times before and for me to fall head over heels in love with it, the language would have had to be better. It’s not terrible, I just don’t think it’s earned more than a C rating from me, so that’s what it’s going to get.

14th November, 2007
Phonephucker; Tanja Suhinina
— Love @ 14:34 Comments (0)
Filed under: B, Sex, sexuality & gender, Swedish

Phonephucker; Tanja Suhinina Phonephucker
by Tanja Suhinina

203 pages
Hydra förlag
ISBN: 978-91-976885-0-5

First line: Fan i helvetes jävelkuken!

Back cover blurb:
Tanja Suhinina tar dig in i den svettiga världen av telefonsex. Långt in. Som smart, ung, blivande psykolog filéar Tanja telefontorskarna på löpande band. I sin självupplevda debutroman skildrar hon hur kampen för det nattliga brödet kan ta sig många, vitt skilda, och humoristiska uttryck, men att det trots allt ändå är en människa i den andra luren.

Elin Jonssons fuktiga tuschpenna bidrar med illustrationer som suggestivt skildrar både det dråpliga och det chockerande, det burläska och det mondäna.

Thoughts: I liked this book. I really did. When I started reading it, I was just planning on reading one chapter before switching over to another book (and to continue reading this one at a later time). By the time I finally managed to put it down, I was a little more than half-way in. Clearly, Suhinina’s writing style is one that grabs me and amuses me. Another B rating, then, and well-deserved it is.

13th November, 2007
Paper Moon; Marion Husband
— Love @ 21:43 Comments (0)
Filed under: B, English, GLBT interest, Historical

Paper Moon; Marion Husband Paper Moon
by Marion Husband

332 pages
Accent Press
ISBN: 1-905170-14-9

First line: The robe the man had given her to change into was dark blue silk, printed with storks and Japanese gardens and tiny bridges on which pigtailed men crossed shimmering streams.

Back cover blurb:
The passionate love affair between Spitfire pilot Bobby Harris and photographer’s model Nina Tate lasts through the turmoil of World War II, but is tested when his plain is shot down. Disfigured and wanting to hide from the world, Bobby retreats from Bohemian Soho to the empty house his grandfather has left him, a house haunted by the secrets of his childhood. Here the mysteries of his past are gradually unravelled.

Thoughts: This is the sequel to The Boy I Love and you can forget the issues I had with that book ending on a too depressing note. Turns out that, even though they are not the main characters this time around, my favourite people from that book still had story left for them and by the time I’d turned the last page, things were settled more to my liking.

It’s another B rating. It was easy enough to lose myself in (I couldn’t wait to get home from work so I could continue reading) and I’ll probably end up re-reading it at some point.

12th November, 2007
Faghag; Linda Leopold
— Love @ 21:15 Comments (0)
Filed under: F, GLBT interest, Sex, sexuality & gender, Swedish

Faghag; Linda Leopold Faghag
by Linda Leopold

263 pages
ISBN: 978-91-7389-318-3

First line: Året är 1985.

Back cover blurb:
“Man lär känna en och sen lär man känna en till. Sen upptäcker man att den tredje ocksÃ¥ är supertrevlig. Och sen börjar man liksom samla pÃ¥ dem.”

Faghag är en reportagebok om det speciella förhållandet mellan heterosexuella kvinnor och homosexuella män. Den utspelar sig i Berlin, New York, Göteborg, San Fransisco, Stockholm, Paris och Falun, på allt från sexklubbar till ålderdomshem, bland kvinnor som förenas i kärleken till bögar.
En del faghags föredrar att shoppa och dricka cocktails med sina gaybästisar, andra kämpar politiskt för dem. Några nöjer sig med att beundra bögarna på avstånd, likt de unga tjejerna i Faghagklubben som sitter hemma och skriver homoerotiska noveller.
Faghag handlar om symbiotisk vänskap, politisk kamp och en gemensam dröm om en värld bortom regnbågen.

Thoughts: I really did not like this book. It’s interesting, to be sure, and before I read it, I thought I’d like it a lot. But I don’t. I don’t know if it’s the language, or the author’s attitude, but we just didn’t click, this book and I. Well… except one part of one chapter, but that wasn’t enough to make me want to give it a better rating than an F.

12th November, 2007
The Boy I Love; Marion Husband
— Love @ 14:03 Comments (0)
Filed under: B, English, GLBT interest, Historical

The Boy I Love; Marion Husband The Boy I Love
by Marion Husband

276 pages
Accent Press
ISBN: 1-905170-00-9

First line: Hiding in Adam’s pantry, Paul remembered how he was once forced to eat marmalade at school, a whole pot of marmalade, Jenkins twisting his arms up his back as Nichols held his nose and clattered the spoon past his teeth.

Back cover blurb:
A tangled web of love and betrayal develops when war hero Paul returns from the trenches. He finds himself torn between desire and duty, his lover Adam awaits but so too does Margot, the pregnant fiancée of his dead brother. Set in a time when homosexuality was still illegal, Paul has to decide where his loyalty and his heart lie.

Thoughts: At first I found the story a little confusing, as there are frequent, though very short, flashbacks. You get used to them after a while though, and they are interesting in the way that they don’t give everything away at once.

Don’t read this if you want a happy ending, because you won’t get it here. I’m a little tired now, of books with a homosexual theme that end on a depressing note. I’ve read too many of them lately — I want a happy ending for a gay character, damn it! But I guess there’s no change in sight any time soon, since EM Forster lamented the lack of happy endings as early as at the beginning of the 20th century. But I digress.

Despite the somewhat mopey feeling I was left with, I quite liked it. A B is in order, I think.

11th November, 2007
Kydd; Julian Stockwin
— Love @ 18:23 Comments (2)
Filed under: Adventure, C, English, Historical, Seafaring Challenge

Kydd; Julian Stockwin Kydd
by Julian Stockwin

For the Seafaring Challenge.

440 pages
Coronet Books
ISBN: 0-340-79474-7

First line: ‘The Honourable Member for Molton.’

Back cover blurb:
Guns. Guts. Courage. Discipline. Death.

The year is 1793. Europe is ablaze with war and men are urgently needed to man the ships. Press-ganged off the streets of Guildford, young wig-maker Thomas Paine Kydd must learn the harsh realities of shipboard life very quickly. It’s that or die.

In all the danger of tempest and battle, Kydd eventually learns to admire the skills and courage of his shipmates. He comes to relish the challenge of the 98-gun line-of-battle ship HMS Duke William, and the camaraderie of its battle-hardened crew. Kydd is loyal, brave and passionate. But will that be enough to turn the raw youth into a true sailor?

Thoughts: All other novels I’ve read on this theme have, more or less, featured officers as the main characters. This one doesn’t, which in a sense made it more interesting. However, I’ve discovered that I rather do prefer to read about officers rather than able (or ordinary, as the case may be) seamen.

This is just the first in a series of books, and while it was certainly okay (once I got in to it properly, which took a while, because of the tedium of everyday life aboard a blockade-cruising ship) , I have no urge to read the following books. If it had given me taste for more, my rating would have been higher, but as things are, I give it a C.

10th November, 2007
Bush-Whacked; Leland Gregory
— Love @ 17:50 Comments (0)
Filed under: English, F, Humour

Bush-Whacked; Leland Gregory Bush-Whacked
by Leland Gregory

248 pages
Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN: 0-7407-5471-8

Back cover blurb:
From the best-selling author of America’s Dumbest Criminals, What’s the Number for 911? and Hey, Idiot! comes a hysterical collection of perplexing quotes and wacky anecdotes devoted to the governmental goofs of the Bush administration.

With his expert nose for nuttiness, Leland Gregory has captured the Bush administration at its funniest, not its finest.

Thoughts: I was expecting to be very amused by this book, but that just didn’t happen. It’s true that it contains a few gems that made me giggle, but the author (or editor, if you will, since it’s a collection of quotes, basically) included a bunch of budget decisions that I couldn’t personally see anything wrong with. Since they were included, I assume they were meant to be funny, but I just didn’t see it. Maybe it’s because I’m not an American and I have another view, perhaps, on how tax money is meant to be spent.

Either way, in the end, I didn’t much care for this book and it gets an F, the first I’ve given out since this blog started.

10th November, 2007
Geography Club; Brent Hartinger
— Love @ 02:58 Comments (0)
Filed under: B, English, Fiction, GLBT interest, Young Adult

Geography Club; Brent Hartinger Geography Club
by Brent Hartinger

226 pages
Harper Tempest
ISBN: 0-06-001223-4

First line: I was deep behind enemy lines, in the very heart of the opposing camp.

Back cover blurb:
I knew that any wrong action, however slight, could reveal my true identity…

Russel is still going on dates with girls. Kevin would do anything to prevent his teammates on the baseball team from finding out. Min and Terese tell everyone they’re just really good friends. But after a while, the truth’s too hard to hide — at least from each other — so they form the “Geography Club.” Nobody else will come. Why would they want to? Their secret should be safe.

Thoughts: A short and sweet, though occasionally also depressing, tale of high school and how hard it can be if you are not perceived as ‘normal’, or you have to fake it to fit in. I liked it well enough, though the language sometimes felt a little too simple to me (not to mention the net speak that plagued the first chapter or two), so it receives a B.

9th November, 2007
Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade; Diana Gabaldon
— Love @ 23:21 Comments (0)
Filed under: Adventure, B, English, GLBT interest, Historical, Mystery

Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade; Diana Gabaldon Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade
by Diana Gabaldon

504 pages
ISBN: 978-1-844-13201-0

First line: To the best of Lord John Grey’s knowledge, stepmothers as depicted in fiction tended to be venal, evil, cunning, homicidal, and occasionally cannibalistic.

Back cover blurb:
It’s 1758 and Europe is in turmoil — the Seven Years War is taking hold and London is ripe with deceit. The enigmatic Lord John Grey, a nobleman and high-ranking officer in His Majesty’s Army, pursues a clandestine love affair and a deadly family secret.

Grey’s father, the Duke of Pardloe, shot himself just days before he was to be accused of being a Jacobite traitor. Now, seventeen years on, the family name has been redeemed; but an impending marriage revives the scandal. Lord John knows that as Whitehall whispers, rumours all too often lead their victims to the wails of Newgate prison — and to the gallows.

From barracks and parade grounds to the bloody battlefields of Prussia, Grey faces danger and forbidden passions in his search for the truth. But it is in the stony fells of the Lake District that he finds the man who may hold the key to his quest: the enigmatic Jacobite prisoner Jamie Fraser.

Eighteenth-century Europe is brought startlingly to life in this compelling adventure mystery.

Thoughts: I’m not sure if I actually like Diana Gabaldon’s writing or not. I like some of her characters exceedingly well, but the writing itself? It’s so hard to decide, and so hard, sometimes, to separate the two. Either way, Lord John is one of my all-time favourite fictional characters and I was very pleased to have him back.

Poor man, though; Gabaldon treats him abominably ill throughout the course of the book. He does get a few happy moments in the middle somewhere, but there aren’t many of them. I know I can be an angst whore, but sometimes enough is just enough. And I wish the sex scenes were more appealingly written.

All in all, this gets a B. I’ll most likely go back for a re-read later on. It is Lord John we’re talking about here, after all!

6th November, 2007
Brothers; Ted van Lieshout
— Love @ 11:34 Comments (0)
Filed under: C, English, Fiction, GLBT interest, Young Adult

Brothers; Ted van Lieshout Brothers
by Ted van Lieshout
Original title: Gebr

155 pages
Collins Flamingo
ISBN: 0-00-711231-9

First line: This isn’t the beginning.

Back cover blurb:
Can you still be a brother when your brother is dead? Luke often wonders. His brother Marius has died, leaving Luke alone with their parents. When their mother decides to burn Marius’s belongings in a ceremonial bonfire, Luke saves his brother’s diary and makes it his own by writing in it. And so begins a dialogue between the brothers, the dead and the living, from which truths emerge, truths of life and death and love.

Thoughts: The language in this book isn’t spectacular, but I don’t know how much of that is from the translation, and how much is from the original. Despite this, I found myself captured for the moment and I have to admit I shed more than a few tears. Then again, I always have been a total sap when it comes to certain things.

I’m going to have to go with a C here. It’s a decent book and I don’t begrudge it the hour or two I spent reading it, but it’s far from being a favourite and the story and characters didn’t really stay with me long after I finished it.

4th November, 2007
Russian Reading Challenge 2008: The list
— Love @ 19:46 Comments (2)
Filed under: Russian Reading Challenge '08

The challenges never end, seemingly. This is a little one, though, and one I believe I can combine with one or two of the others I’m participating in.

Russian Reading Challenge
This challenge is a twelve month challenge, but the minimum number of books to read is only four. Why? Many Russian novels are quite lengthy, so it may take more than one month to read one book. Also, it keeps the burden to a minimum if you are, like me, participating in several reading challenges. You are welcome to read more, though!

Both fiction and non-fiction are acceptable here, as well as short stories and poetry. Authors read should either be authors who wrote (write) in Russian or authors who wrote (write) about Russia and Russians. The challenge begins January 1, 2008 and ends December 31, 2008.

My list:

  • Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog; Boris Akunin
  • Crime and Punishment; Fyodor Dostoyevsky (also in the Decades ’08 challenge)
  • The Idiot; Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Anna Karenina; Leo Tolstoy

4th November, 2007
Northanger Abbey; Jane Austen
— Love @ 18:15 Comments (2)
Filed under: B, Classics, English, Historical, Romance

Northanger Abbey; Jane Austen Northanger Abbey
by Jane Austen

236 pages
Penguin Popular Classics
ISBN: 0-14-062075-3

First line: No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine.

Back cover blurb:
Northanger Abbey is Jane Austen’s amusing and bitingly satirical pastiche of the ‘Gothic’ romances popular in her day.

Catherine Morland, an unremarkable tomboy as a child, is thrown amongst all the ‘difficulties and dangers’ of Bath at the ripe age of seventeen. Armed with an unworldly charm and a vivid imagination, she must overcome the caprices of elegant society, encountering along the way such characters as the vacuous Mrs Allen, coquettish Isabella and the brash bully John Thorpe. Catherine’s invitation to Northanger Abbey, in her eyes a haven of coffins, skeletons and other Gothic devices, does lead to an adventure, though one she didn’t expect, and her misjudgement of the ambitious, somewhat villainous General Tilney is not wholly unjustified. However, with the ‘unromantic’ hero Henry Tilney, Catherine gradually progresses towards maturity and self-knowledge.

Thoughts: I first read this almost ten years ago and I must say I had a whole new appreciation for it this time around. I don’t remember liking it exceptionally well before, but now I was quite enamoured — especially with Henry Tilney, who I believe I thought quite a bore previously. I still haven’t read any of the Gothic novels that Austen refers to on a number of occasions, but I do plan on getting some of them read within the next year. Perhaps I should have left my re-read of this until after, to appreciate it even more, but I don’t think it was absolutely necessary. And, after all, I could always read this again, should the fancy strike.

I give this book a B. It’s not the best book I ever read, but it was enjoyable.

3rd November, 2007
YA Challenge 2008: The list
— Love @ 23:36 Comments (6)
Filed under: YA Challenge 2008

YA Challenge 2008 Boy, do I blog tonight! But, but, but — it’s another challenge!

This one is straight-forward enough: simply pick twelve young adult books and read them at your own convenience during 2008.

I’ll probably edit my list as I go, especially considering that I don’t even know if one of the books I picked will actually be published before next year ends.

My list:

  • Nu heter jag Nirak; Peter Pohl
  • Som jag vill vara; Katarina von Bredow
  • The Princess Diaries V: Princess in Pink; Meg Cabot
  • Gathering Blue; Lois Lowry
  • Messenger; Lois Lowry
  • Twilight; Stephenie Meyer
  • Boy Meets Boy; David Levithan
  • Det fattas en tärning; Johanna Thydell
  • När kommer du tillbaka?; Marika Kolterjahn
  • Flambards; KM Peyton
  • Flambards Divided; KM Peyton
  • Postcards From No Man’s Land; Aidan Chambers

Would be on the list, but won’t be out until summer ’09:

  • The Demon’s Lexicon; Sarah Rees Brennan

3rd November, 2007
In the post
— Love @ 23:10 Comments (0)
Filed under: Shopping

Oh dear. Whilst looking around I Heart Paperbacks, I discovered that there is a new book out in the Lord John series by Diana Gabaldon. I did not know this before! Also found out that another one will be out soon — November I saw somewhere, but January seems more likely.

Either way, upon finding out, I trotted off to Bokus.com, to order the one already out, and to Amazon.co.uk, to pre-order the one released in January. Perhaps I shouldn’t have done it, but, well, I couldn’t really resist. Lord John is a great favourite of mine, after all.

I already have a bunch of books on their way to my mail box. Let me list them all and make you green with envy.

  • Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade; Diana Gabaldon
  • Mitt brinnande hjärta; Tasso Stafilidis
  • A Countess Below Stairs; Eva Ibbotson
  • Flambards; KM Peyton
  • Edge of the Cloud; KM Peyton
  • Flambards in Summer; KM Peyto
  • Flambards Divided; KM Peyton
  • Postcards from No Man’s Land; Aidan Chambers
  • Brothers; Ted Van Lieshout
  • The Boy I Love; Marion Husband
  • Paper Moon; Marion Husband
  • Geography Club; Brent Hartinger
  • While England Sleeps; David Leavitt
  • Bush-Whacked; Leland Gregory

3rd November, 2007
Seafaring Challenge: The list
— Love @ 20:20 Comments (2)
Filed under: Seafaring Challenge

Seafaring Challenge I just discovered the world of reading challenges and I just can’t get over how much fun it seems. Unfortunately, most of the ones I’m interested in don’t start until early ’08, which left me wanting something to bite into right now. Thankfully for me, I then stumbled upon the Seafaring Challenge which started only a couple of days ago. Basically, it’s the perfect match as I completely adore nautical books.

The challenge runs from November 1st, 2007 to January 31st, 2008, so I’m not going to make my list of books terribly long, but I do plan on reading at least four (which ought to earn me the rank of Admiral).

My list:

  • Mr Midshipman Easy; Captain Frederick Marryat
  • Kydd; Julian Stockwin — finished on 11th November, 2007
  • This Thing of Darkness; Harry Thompson
  • Beat to Quarters; CS Forester
  • His Majesty’s Dragon; Naomi Novik

3rd November, 2007
Decades ’08: The list
— Love @ 17:31 Comments (0)
Filed under: Decades '08

I forget exactly how I ended up there, but I found an interesting-sounding reading challenge called Decades ’08. The point of it all is to read at least 8 books from consecutive decades (below you will find my list of possible reads). The challenge doesn’t start until the first of January, which means that I am currently really, really antsy and want it to begin now. xD

Please keep in mind that I probably won’t read all of these, but they are the options I have chosen so far. Might add on or retract from the list at any time, so it’s by no means a completed thing.

A Tale of a Tub; Jonathan Swift

Robinson Crusoe; Daniel Defoe
The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe; Daniel Defoe

Gulliver’s Travels; Jonathan Swift
A Journal of the Plague Year; Daniel Defoe
Moll Flanders; Daniel Defoe

Manon Lescaut; Antoine François Prévost

Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded; Samuel Richardson
Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, or Fanny Hill; John Cleland

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman; Laurence Sterne
Candide; Voltaire

The Vicar of Wakefield; Oliver Goldsmith
The Castle of Otranto; Horace Walpole

The Sorrows of Young Werther; Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Les Liaisons dangereuses; Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

The Mysteries of Udolpho; Ann Radcliffe
Lady Susan; Jane Austen

Castle Rackrent; Maria Edgeworth

Sense & Sensibility; Jane Austen
Emma; Jane Austen
Rob Roy; Sir Walter Scott
Frankenstein; Mary Shelley

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater; Thomas de Quincey
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner; James Hogg
The Last of the Mohicans; James Fenimore Cooper

The Hunchback of Notre Dame; Victor Hugo
A Marriage Contract; Honoré de Balzac
The Pickwick Papers; Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist; Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol; Charles Dickens
The Count of Monte Cristo; Alexandre Dumas, père
Jane Eyre; Charlotte Brontë

The Man in the Iron Mask; Alexandre Dumas, père
The Scarlett Letter; Nathaniel Hawthorne
Moby Dick or the White Whale; Herman Melville
Bleak House; Charles Dickens
North and South; Elizabeth Gaskell
Madame Bovary; Gustave Flaubert

Journey to the Interior of the Earth; Jules Verne
Crime and Punishment; Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea; Jules Verne
Carmilla; Joseph Sheridan le Fanu
Around the World in Eighty Days; Jules Verne
A Pair of Blue Eyes; Thomas Hardy
Black Beauty; Anna Sewell
The Return of the Native; Thomas Hardy
Anna Karenina; Leo Tolstoy

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; Robert Louis Stevenson
Hemsöborna; August Strindberg
The Woodlanders; Thomas Hardy
Three Men in a Boat; Jerome K Jerome

The Picture of Dorian Gray; Oscar Wilde
Gösta Berlings saga; Selma Lagerlöf
Tess of the d’Urbervilles; Thomas Hardy
Jude the Obscure; Thomas Hardy
Dracula; Bram Stoker
The Turn of the Screw; Henry James

Heart of Darkness; Joseph Conrad
The Call of the Wild; Jack London
White Fang; Jack London
Anne of Green Gables; Lucy Maud Montgomery

The Phantom of the Opera; Gaston Leroux
Daddy-Long-Legs; Jean Webster
Dear Enemy; Jean Webster
Maurice; E M Forster
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; James Joyce


Kristin Lavransdatter; Sigrid Undset
Whose Body?; Dorothy L Sayers
Emily of New Moon; Lucy Maud Montgomery
The Great Gatsby; F Scott Fitzgerald

As I Lay Dying; William Faulkner
Five Red Herrings; Dorothy L Sayers
Murder Must Advertise; Dorothy L Sayers
Brave New World; Aldous Huxley

Brideshead Revisited; Evelyn Waugh
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept; Elizabeth Smart
Sparkling Cyanide; Agatha Christie
I Capture the Castle; Dodie Smith
Titus Groan; Mervyn Peake

Gormenghast; Mervyn Peake
Mr Midshipman Hornblower; CS Forester
Ring for Jeeves; PG Wodehouse
The Charioteer; Mary Renault

Flambards; KM Peyton
The Edge of the Cloud; KM Peyton
Flambards in Summer; KM Peyton
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead; Tom Stoppard
Fire From Heaven; Mary Renault

Funeral Games; Mary Renault
Danny the Champion of the World; Roald Dahl
Duktig pojke; Inger Edelfeldt

Flambards Divided; KM Peyton
A Countess Below Stairs; Eva Ibbotson

The Giver; Lois Lowry
Knappt lovlig; Katarina von Bredow
Postcards from No Man’s Land; Aidan Chambers