All Quiet On The Western Front, books, Brian Lumley, Erich Maria Remarque, Finland, Frances Burney, Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin, H.P. Lovecraft, Isaac Marion, Lois Lowry, reading, The Giver, Thomas Ligotti, Utopia
I took this quiz and got a lot less excited about Finland’s visiting me.
No. No thanks, Finland.
Anyway, it’s September again, and since I am no longer in school, it is time for me to mark the passage of another “year” by posting everything I’ve read since last September.
* Marks the books I was recommended or given.
#Marks my personal favourites from this batch
1. Journal and Letters – Frances Burney#
She was a really sassy person, but the thing I most remember from this is her account of having a surgery without any kind of anesthesia, since that wasn’t really a thing back in 1810. It was pretty horrifying.
2. Teatro Grottesco – Thomas Ligotti#
One of my favourite collections of weird short stories. I have read it half a dozen times at this point, and I still don’t fully understand some things.
3. The Thing on The Doorstep and Other Weird Stories – H.P. Lovecraft (Ed. S.T. Joshi)#
Collection of Lovecraft stories, with my favourite being Pickman’s Model because it manages to be creepy and ridiculous at the same time.
4. The Dreams in The Witch House and Other Weird Stories – H.P. Lovecraft (Ed. S.T. Joshi)
Not my favourite Lovecraft stories, but they aren’t terrible. In one story, there is an army of cats. What more can I say?
5. The Giver – Lois Lowry
This book is harder to enjoy now than when I was a tweenager, but it is not bad. The movie is not worth it though. Read the book instead. It’s short.
6. Necroscope – Brian Lumley*
This guy…! This series is insufferable. I complained about it in my posts when I was actually reading the book…but it still annoys me to think about it. The hero in this series is about as bad as Twilight’s Bella Swann, and more than half of the book is taken up with the villain’s side of things…he was a much more developed character and I think it was unfair of the author to set him against a hero who was so bland. I have never rooted so much for a character who was SO OBVIOUSLY the villain.
7. Vamphyri! – Brian Lumley*
I hoped it would get better, but I was mistaken. Probably just don’t read this book at all.
8. The Amazing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl – Steven Lyga
This book annoyed me in a different way than the Lumley ones. Mostly because the protagonist’s change of heart regarding other people seemed way too sudden. It was not believable. Also, for a book where there is all kinds of stereotype smashing…the Goth character is a very stereotypical idea of what a Goth girl is like: emotionally unstable, engaged in risky behavior and self-harm, etc. It really took away from the bits of this book that were good.
9. Warm Bodies – Isaac Marion#
This book was fun and interesting, but the end was unsatisfactory. Completely unsatisfactory.
10. A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin
Good book, but there are still some things that throw me off about the introductory novel in this series. They seem incongruous, and I don’t think it was until later that Martin really got it to work together.
11. A Clash of Kings – George R.R. Martin#
Probably my favourite of the series because it branches out more and the stakes are much higher than in the first one.
12. A Storm of Swords – George R.R. Martin
More of the same, but still good.
13. A Feast for Crows – George R.R. Martin
My least favourite in the series so far. Plus, one giant plot hole that I don’t understand why nobody talks about it…
14. Utopia – Sir Thomas More
This story is ridiculous. I think that every time I see/hear something described as “utopian”, and I wonder if the person using that word has ever read this. Probably not.
15. All Quiet On The Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque#
This book is upsetting. If you like that kind of thing, you should read it.
16. The Road Back – Erich Maria Remarque
This book…isn’t so upsetting as its predecessor. Until you get to a certain point where a character that you and everyone else thought was doing fine suddenly dies and all of you are like, “wtf just happened?!” If you ever read this one, I do recommend skipping the last chapter because it’s not so much a part of the story as it is the main character reflecting on things that seem a little overly sentimental…aside from that though, I liked it well enough. There were even some funny moments that All Quiet doesn’t have (making jokes about redheads was apparently a thing 100 years ago), and I think it’s unfortunate that there are a lot of discouraging reviews for most of his books, aside from All Quiet. It could also be that I think more favourably about it because his protagonists seem to have similar personalities to my own…where when I really think about what is happening in the scenes, the narrator spends more time observing everyone else than actually taking part in conversations, and he ends up just daydreaming about dumb things or talking to his dog instead.
Right now I am on the last installment of the GoT series, and then I’ve got some books that Jester’s mom got me two Christmasses ago (“Bimbos of the Death Sun”? For real?), that story with its vague connection to the Condor Legion, aaaand a fantasy book that I never finished reading when I was a tweenager because it started out with a fairly graphic depiction of childbirth, and I was like, “nope, no, and definitely not”. I think that I can either read through it at this point or use my finely honed sense of how far to skip ahead when confronted with gore or sex that I don’t have time for.