Friday, May 16, 2008

Books I haven't read

I have a lot of books. A lot. I have probably 25,000 dollars worth of books, not including the first editions, and the rare books I have, including a rare James Joyce chapbook I got for Christmas one year. This post is going to highlight the books I plan to read, of the ones I own...

First off, I'm going to read Donna Tartt's second novel, The Little Friend, which I purchased from McNally Robinson for 7.99, in the bargain books section. I've started this book as of last night, when I got home from work. So far, in the first thirty pages, I've been blown away by the quality of prose. It's a Southern Gothic murder mystery children's adventure sociological treatise on the South. This doesn't even scratch the surface apparently of the themes and complexity working in this novel.

Next, I want to read Irvine Welsh's newest work, The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs, which again, I purchased from McNally Robinson for 7.99. This time, however, it's the UK hardcover. It's nice looking. I work in kitchens, and I have a thing for movies and books set in kitchens, so I'm jazzed to read this. The last Welsh novel I read, Porno, came out forever ago, and I sort of enjoyed it. Glue remains my favourite Welsh novel, though.

The design on the hardcover is what made me buy Vikram Chandra's Sacred Games. I really like India, for some bizarre reason. It might be because I grew up with Indians, and because of John Irving's A Son of the Circus, a novel I have in paperback and first edition hardcover. The difference between Chandra's novel and Irving's, is that Chandra's is legitimately Indian and filled with so much Hindi and Gujarati slang that it has a lexicon at the back. It's also 900 pages long, which seems daunting.

Special Topics in Calamity Physics is a book I bought with Christmas giftcards and I still haven't touched it. I had heard that it was a terrific debut novel and was optioned for a film adaptation. This was a word-of-mouth purchase, really, and I haven't been driven to read it yet.

Sadly, I have been reading Thomas Pynchon's Against The Day since it came out in hardcover, and I still haven't finished it. Not only is it really hard to read because there's no main character or main thrust of a plot, but it bogs down horribly in the last quarter with a tedious spy pastiche. I'm two hundred pages from the end, and I just can't summon the energy to finish it. I will eventually.

Clive Barker's newest "novel", Mister B. Gone, has a really neat synopsis, a really neat design to the book, and is another Christmas purchase that I haven't touched. I absolutely love Clive Barker, but I've grown up a lot since I last read his work, and he sort of leaves me cold now. The last novel I read of his was Coldheart Canyon, an amazing ghost story that I read twice since it's come out, but whenever I try and read another Barker, I'm just unmoved. I don't know what it is.

There's a ton of other books I haven't read that I plan to, but for now, I'm working on Donna Tartt, so I'll let you know when I finish it.

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