Sunday, December 26, 2010

For Readers: Books are the Best Gifts

I have given myself six-months to read the following books, which I received for Christmas 2010.  This is not a resolution by the way, as resolutions are, roughly translated, things-I-promise-to-fail-miserably-at.  This, in fact, is a deadline.  It's a deadline for no other reason than I am an 'INTJ Personality' and therefore need deadlines.
The Girl Who Played With Fire
(by Stieg Larsson) 
Like the Bourne Trilogy by Robert Ludlum, I hope the publishers of the Millennium Trilogy, similarly, don't ruin it by publishing additional Stieg Larsson books.  The Bourne Trilogy has been contaminated, I would argue, by further books being published that are not written by Ludlum; like, for instance, The Borne Legacy or The Borne Betrayal and more.  Who in their right mind wants to read those?
Ludlum and Larsson are dead and, in a manner of speaking, so should the characters they created be dead.
I'm told that Larsson left tons of source material to put together more "The Girl Who..." did something books, but marketing and profits aside, the Millennium Trilogy should end with The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest. 
Naturally, I read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (and I saw all the movies) so it's a given the The Girl Who Played With Fire was the one DEMAND on my 2010 Christmas List.
Thanks Mother.  :)
The Children's Book:  A Novel
(by A.S. Byatt) 
This is A.S. Byatt's current book and will be the only other book I read (or will read) by Byatt since I read Possession: A Romance, which is her masterpiece.  By various sources though, I'm hearing this book surpasses Possession in terms of 'literariness,' whatever that means.
Byatt, in a way, reminds me of Carol Shields in that they both tell stories about the complications, academically, of telling one's biography, but I don't know if this book follows that theme.
This book intrigues me because it has semblances of E.M. Forster's Howard's End in that they both depict a similar time period: Edwardian England.
 I am really looking forward to reading this book (The Children's Book) or the one below (Wolf Hall) after I read the one above (The Girl Who Played With Fire).
Thanks, once again, to my mother for the book.
Wolf Hall: A Novel
(by Hilary Mantel)
I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I love stories about Tudor England.  And, yes, I got this book from my mother too.
Wolf Hall: A Novel tells the story of Thomas Cromwell, who got what he deserved, I think.  Similar to Anne Boleyn and a great many after her and many before Cromwell, when Henry VIII got bored of Cromwell and he no longer suited his end game, Henry VIII simply cut off his head. 
Wolf Hall also won the 2009 Man Booker Prize and is therefore, for me, a must read.
The Good Earth
(by Pearl S. Buck)
Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth is a classic novel in the sense that Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic.  Both novels are 'must-reads' for any distinguished reader, which I like to consider myself (and is my most arrogant quality). 
The most intriguing thing about The Good Earth is that it is a novel about "pre-revolutionary China."
Give that Pearl S. Buck is a southerner, in every sense of the word,  and given she's writing about traditions not her own, this book, I think, can therefore be understood in terms of colonization; because of this, I am not surprised I received this book from my cousin Jibulee (aka, Winnipeg Jules).
And that's all the books I got for Christmas 2010.
Technically, I got more books for Christmas 2010, but I haven't bought them yet.  That being noted, I haven't decided if the books I buy with the gift card will fall within the six-month deadline noted above.  But I'm thinking though, maybe they should.

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