Books that I have read, reread, or am in the process of reading. I've always wished I read more, so hopefully this list helps me out as it keeps track of my progress.

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I don't know how many times I've gone through this book, but every time feels like a new and different experience. Strangely enough, I've never read it from cover to cover. More than anything, I read it as philosophy first and fiction second.

  • Beloved by Toni Morrison

Still a difficult but rewarding read. Proof that language need not be high-flown to be rich and beautiful. Picked it up again after watching the movie again. Both are sublime in their own way.

  • Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

Another book I've never read from cover to cover, and it shouldn't be! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Along with One Hundred Years of Solitude, one of my very favorites.

  • The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

I've finally read something new! And boy is it a masterpiece! The language is magnificent:

Now the other side presented itself to Lily, the volcanic nether side of the surface over which conjecture and innuendo glide so lightly till the first fissure turns their whisper to a shriek...

And the heroine and her love story. So damn exquisite and heartbreaking. Now I want to read The Age of Innocence!

  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Still can't seem to finish this book. There's something about the middle part that turns me off. There is definitely nothing wrong with the technique, as the beginning and end are lovely. I'll try again some time.

  • The Elephant Vanishes by Murakami Haruki
  • After the Quake by Murakami Haruki

Despite his reputation, I can't say I've been terribly impressed by this author. There are quite a few short stories in these anthologies that I find very good, but I wouldn't call them great. I found the cultural displacement from Japan and constant references to Western art and culture extremely irritating at first, but now I've gotten used to it. Perhaps he doesn't translate well into English? Maybe his novels are better.

  • The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon
  • Rage of Angels by Sidney Sheldon
  • If Tomorrow Comes by Sidney Sheldon

Honestly, I'd rather read and reread these novels than either of the Murakamis. Supremely enjoyable, and surprisingly literary at times! With me, there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure.

  • Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface

I still don't entirely get this manga, but that's not unexepected as it's the same case with the first book. From what I can glean from it, this, along with Ghost in the Shell, is perhaps the most profound statement I've encountered regarding the body, identity, technology, and virtual space. Marvelous, but a downright challenge to get through.

  • Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics by Frederik L. Schodt

Fascinating and enlightening. Discusses the aesthetics, cultural context, and economics of Japanese comics with intelligence and, more importantly, critical academic insight. Nary a trace of fanboyism or fangirlism.

  • Eyewitness Travel Guides: Portugal with Madeira and the Azores
  • Eyewitness Travel Guides: Seville And Andalusia

The best guidebooks I've come across so far. Visually spectacular: they're in full color and the photographs range from places to people to food to art to money and road signs! Also extremely informative, they provide not only details on the sights to see, but historical and cultural backgrounds as well. Love them!

  • After the Funeral by Agatha Christie

I'm slowly figuring out the tropes Christie uses to construct her mysteries, so the solution this time around wasn't altogether too surprising. What is more interesting, however, is that the novel reads like a dark comedy about class relations beneath the conventional whodunit trappings. It seems like there is always something else going on in Christie's writings than she is usually given credit for.

apr 6 2008 ∞
jan 12 2009 +