Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Adventures of Goodnight & Loving

by Leslie Thomas

"Dedicated to Paul Gauguin and other men who have run away

and discovered the consequences"

Thrown out by his wife, George Goodnight (a lawyer for a London newspaper) sets out on a hilarious round of aimless travel, taking him to Cherbourg, Paris, Rome, India, Darwin, Alice Springs, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Manila, Los Angeles, Texas and New York City. He sells his stamp collection piecemeal to fund his exploits and calling himself Oliver Loving. Occasional short-term employment is sometimes required to pay for food or lodging or ticket to somewhere else. He is frequently in trouble with the law (spent one Christmas in prison).

This is one of the goofiest novels I've ever read, and loved every minute of it. I came to know about Leslie Thomas after watching the "Last Detective" series on public television, in which Detective Constable Davies shares his weekly adventures with Mod, a longtime friend and sometimes housemate, and a giant dog. His nickname is "Dangerous Davies", a tongue-in-cheek reference by his coworkers.

This is the second of his novels that I've read so far ... the first was Dangerous by Moonlight. Recuperating from an injury, Davies is hired to investigate a murder of 15 years before ... more outlandish adventures

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tove Jansson and the Moomin Books

After reading The Summer Book and The Winter Book, I went immediately to look up the Moomin Books. And what a wonderful discovery this has been ... thanks to Simon of Stuck-in-a-Book for recommending this Finnish writer and illustrator. The Moomin stories have been translated into 35 languages. She was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen medal in 1966.

The characters who live in Moominland are entirely charming. Besides Moominpappa and Moominmamma and Moomintroll, there are Thingamy and Bob, Misabel and Hemulen, Too-ticky and Sniff, Snufkin and Groke, Little My and Snork Maiden who has taken a fancy to Moomintroll..

Moomins generally sleep through the winter, but one January morning, Moomintroll woke to find the valley covered in strange white-stuff. Little My is awake too and having a wonderful time sledding on Moominmamma's tea tray.

Monday, July 9, 2007

a new Reading Journal

I made a new journal because the old one was full

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Monday, July 2, 2007

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

After two years of starting and stopping, I finally finished this book. I'm still not sure why it didn't grab my interest completely, but I suspect it might have been about the size of the book. Apart from the number of pages, the physical dimensions were awkward and uncomfortable.

Two magicians are attempting to restore English magic in the age of Napoleon. Mr. Norrell, a reclusive, mistrustful bookworm, reveals that he is capable of producing magic and becomes the toast of London society, while an impetuous young aristocrat named Jonathan Strange tumbles into the practice, too, and finds himself quickly mastering it.

With the onset of Harry Potter mania and release of the last book of the series, I'm returning to magic and fantasy. I wonder if Jonathan Strange will be made into a movie. Looking forward to seeing Phillip Pulman's The Golden Compass and Neil Gaiman's Stardust, both to be released this year.