Reading list update, anyone?

I have never been remotely tempted to read Terry Pratchett — any series of books based on a world carried around by elephants turns me right off before I’ve started — but this post by Mapletree7 at Book of the Day makes me wobble slightly in my resolve — or at least, so far as any teen readers in a house near you are concerned. Sounds just the thing for when you run out of Alex Rider books.

Kimbofo (Reading Matters) features "Take your imagination East", a series of books by Japanese and Chinese authors repackaged by Vintage with beautiful covers (featured at the link) and only £4.99 each. And what’s more, if you buy them at Foyles, and doubtless other bookshops, you can get them as a "3 for 2" offer. The list of titles is at the link: it includes The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima.

Everyman and the plot against America is the title of a thoughtful (as ever) post by James of New Tammany College, comparing the two Philip Roth titles of these names, and concluding the opposite of some recent opinions.

Associated Content features a Harry Potter quiz, if you can find it among the ads. There is a spoiler warning and no promise of a prize, but will help pass the time until number 7 is out.

Talking of competitions, Debra Hamel has issued a haiku challenge: the prize is a copy of Francine Prose’s new book, "Reading like a writer". Just so long as she doesn’t enter herself (she deservedly won the recent Superman haiku competition).

And some news from the Rap Sheet (groan) – – the August edition of the Bloodstained Bookshelf is out (sounds intriguing), with notes of at least five new novels that sound worth reading. (The Rap Sheet is a blog that used to be a monthly newsletter in January Magazine. These newsletters are archived via the link above.)

5 thoughts on “Reading list update, anyone?

  1. You know, I was very sure I wouldn’t like Terry Pratchett on the basis of having tried & failed to read the first Discworld book–and yet then I randomly read one of the later ones and COMPLETELY fell for them. I think I’ve read about 90% of his books now–the Discworld ones are variable, but the best of them are absolutely pricelessly funny (read LOST CONTINENT, Maxine, it’s the evolution one and quite excellent–also GOOD OMENS, his collaboration with Neil Gaiman, is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read, perfect comfort reading; HOGFATHER is one of my other favorites, and most though not all of them don’t suffer from being read out of sequence)–and I REALLY REALLY LOVE Pratchett’s ones about Tiffany Aching, that’s what you must get for Jenny but I bet that all of you will like them. (“The Wee Free Men” is the first one–I think a movie version is appearing shortly–and the sequel is “A Hat Full of Sky,” the third is coming out this fall.)

  2. Hi Maxine – thanks for the link to my quiety ranting post about Roth.
    I’ve read some Pratchett and generally enjoyed it. I find I like the original stuff most (usually to be found in the first 50 pages or so) and once he gets onto his ‘subject’ for that novel, it tends to be a write-by-numbers version of some well-known story or genre. And that’s just boring.
    I do love the Librarian character though. One of the greats, I think. And Death is pretty cool but overused now.

  3. Yes, there seems no doubt that the Librarian and Death are the two most appealing characters (I like Susan Sto-Helit also; Tiffany Aching is built along exactly the same lines). The academic satire is extremely good, in fact Pratchett’s wizard university ones (along with Diana Wynne Jones) are pretty much the only academic satire I can stand to read–otherwise it is too much like life!

  4. Yes, there seems no doubt that the Librarian and Death are the two most appealing characters (I like Susan Sto-Helit also; Tiffany Aching is built along exactly the same lines). The academic satire is extremely good, in fact Pratchett’s wizard university ones (along with Diana Wynne Jones) are pretty much the only academic satire I can stand to read–otherwise it is too much like life!

  5. Only You Can Save Mankind is good.
    I also liked Truckers / Diggers / Wings. One of the interesting ideas in that series is speculating about whether you can think about a concept, if your language has no words for it.
    Out of the Discworld series, the first two are very good if you’ve read a lot of fantasy, he really skewered the genre in the same way Douglas Adams did for SF. Also Small Gods is a very strong book. Funny and about religion, which can be a difficult mix.

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