like a wizard

Gravity's Rainbow (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon someday.

On Time - New Contributions to the Husserlian Phenomenology of Time (Phaenomenologica)

On Time   New Contributions To The Husserlian Phenomenology Of Time (Phaenomenologica) - Dieter Lohmar, Ichiro Yamaguchi wanky.

On Dreams (Dover Thrift Editions)

On Dreams - Sigmund Freud, Montague David Eder What a goofball. The parts where he talks about his own dreams are really great!

A Room with a View (Dover Thrift Editions)

A Room with a View - E.M. Forster If the ending hadn't lost me, this would have been a five-star'er. So much funnier than I thought it would be, similar to Waugh Evelyn or [a:Graham Greene|2533|Graham Greene|]. Enjoyment may have been augmented by the fact that I read it while traveling. Lucy, too, was perplexed; but she saw that they were in for what is known as “quite a scene,” and she had an odd feeling that whenever these ill-bred tourists spoke the contest widened and deepened till it dealt, not with rooms and views, but with—well, with something quite different, whose existence she had not realized before...Miss Bartlett, though skilled in the delicacies of conversation, was powerless in the presence of brutality. It was impossible to snub any one so gross. Her face reddened with displeasure. She looked around as much as to say, "Are you all like this?" And two little old ladies, who were sitting further up the table, with shawls hanging over the backs of the chairs, looked back, clearly indicating "We are not; we are genteel."

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games  - Suzanne  Collins Not as bad or as good as people had warned/enthused. A perfectly reasonable way to spend a day!Dystopian elements checklist:-New names for current geopolitical locations (The Districts, the Capital); -Forced propaganda consumption, often about vanquished foes ("The only time you can count on [electricity] is when they’re airing the Games or some important government message on television that it’s mandatory to watch.");-Constant surveillance ("I force myself to take deep, slow breaths, feeling quite certain the cameras are on my face. I can’t show weakness at this injury. Not if I want help.")-Being forced to hide true emotions due to aforementioned constant surveillance ("I learned to hold my tongue and to turn my features into an indifferent mask so that no one could ever read my thoughts. Do my work quietly in school. Make only polite small talk in the public market. Discuss little more than trades in the Hob, which is the black market where I make most of my money. Even at home, where I am less pleasant, I avoid discussing tricky topics. Like the reaping, or food shortages, or the Hunger Games. Prim might begin to repeat my words and then where would we be?")-Remaining true to yourself "inside" despite aforementioned hiding of true emotions ("'Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to . . . to show the Capitol they don’t own me. That I’m more than just a piece in their Games,' says Peeta.'But you’re not,' I say. 'None of us are. That’s how the Games work.''Okay, but within that framework, there’s still you, there’s still me,' he insists. 'Don’t you see?')-Ironic government slogans ("Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor")-Scapegoat/victimize to consolidate power (The Games themselves)-Everyday resistance ("At first one, then another, then almost every member of the crowd touches the three middle fingers of their left hand to their lips and holds it out to me. It is an old and rarely used gesture of our district, occasionally seen at funerals. It means thanks, it means admiration, it means good-bye to someone you love.")-Organized resistance (District 13)-Class structure, haves and have-nots (Districts v. Capitol; Seam v. merchants "…the glistening buildings in a rainbow of hues that tower into the air, the shiny cars that roll down the wide paved streets, the oddly dressed people with bizarre hair and painted faces who have never missed a meal.")-New vocabulary (Avox, Tributes, Careers, the Stockyard, Peacekeepers)-Remembering 'before' (allusions to implementation of Games due to rebellion)

The Handmaid's Tale (Everyman's Library)

The Handmaid's Tale - Valerie Martin, Margaret Atwood Liked this more after reading her chapter about it in her [b:In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination|10356713|In Other Worlds SF and the Human Imagination|Margaret Atwood||15259682].Dystopian elements checklist:-New names for current geopolitical locations (Gilead, National Homeland One); -Forced propaganda consumption, often about vanquished foes ("…after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time."); -Constant surveillance (the Eyes)-Being forced to hide true emotions due to aforementioned constant surveillance ("…the voice is placid, flat, unrevealing. We pass the first checkpoint without saying anything further.")-Remaining true to yourself "inside" despite aforementioned hiding of true emotions ("…I can feel speech backing up inside me, it's so long since I've really talked with anyone.")-Ironic government slogans ("God Is A Natural Resource")-New gov't bodies/orgs (The Commanders)-Scapegoat/victimize to consolidate power (Mob killing of accused rapists)-Everyday resistance ("…an event, a small defiance of rule, so small as to be undetectable, but such moments are the rewards I hold out for myself… such moments are possibilities, tiny peepholes.")-Organized resistance ("…the Appalachian Highlands, says the voice-over, where the Angels of the Apocalypse, Fourth Division, are smoking out a pocket of Baptist guerrillas, with air support from the Twenty-frist Battalion of the Angles of Light.")-Class structure, haves and have-nots ("It's only for officers…from all branches; and senior officials. And trade delegations of course. It stimulates trade. It's a good place to meet people. You can hardly do business without it…No nicotine-and-alcohol taboos here! You see, then do have some advantages here.")-New vocabulary (Unwomen, Econowives, Marthas, etc)-Remembering 'before' (tons! Life with Luke and her child, the transition of power)

1984: 60th-Anniversary Edition (Plume)

1984 - George Orwell Dystopian elements checklist:-New names for current geopolitical locations (Britain --> Airstrip One); -Forced propaganda consumption, often about vanquished foes ("The next moment a hideous, grinding speech, as of some monstrous machine running without oil, burst from the big telescreen at the end of the room. It was a noise that set one’s teeth on edge and bristled the hair at the back of one’s neck. The Hate had started...The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in");-Constant surveillance (telescreen: "Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plate commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment.")-Being forced to hide true emotions due to aforementioned constant surveillance ("Winston turned abruptly. He had set his features into the expression of quiet optimism which it was advisable to wear when facing the telescreen.")-Remaining true to yourself "inside" despite aforementioned hiding of true emotions ("'It's the one thing they can't do. They can make you say anything — ANYTHING— but they can't make you believe it. They can't get inside you.'")-Ironic government slogans (WAR IS PEACE; FREEDOM IS SLAVERY; IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH)-New gov't bodies/orgs (The Ministries)-Scapegoat/victimize to consolidate power (Goldstein)-Everyday resistance ("She must have slipped into some shop in the proletarian quarters and bought herself a complete set of make-up materials. Her lips were deeply reddened, her cheeks rouged, her nose powdered; there was even a touch of something under the eyes to make them brighter.")-Organized resistance (the Brotherhood)-Class structure, haves and have-nots ("It's Inner Party stuff. There's nothing those swine don't have, nothing.")-New vocabulary (Big Brother,Thought Police, thoughtcrime, unperson, memory hole, doublethink)-Remembering 'before' (the paperweight, his youth)

The Once and Future King

The Once and Future King - T.H. White Great one to listen to on audiobook-- Neville Jason is really fantastic.


Tigana - Guy Gavriel Kay I'm stuck between 2 and 3 stars. There were some parts of the world I really like, the set up is a good one, and I will read other books by Kay. Yet I never really grabbed onto any of the characters, did not always sympathize with or even understand their goals, and wish the mechanisms of magic were clearer.

Time and the Gods

Time and the Gods - Lord Dunsany Time and the Gods is probably one of the most metal things I have ever read. If I make a prog rock concept album, I have my source material:"Then Slid went backward growing and summoned together the waves of a whole sea and sent them singing full in Tintaggon's face. Then from Tintaggon's marble front the sea fell backwards crying on to a broken shore, and ripple by ripple straggled back to Slid saying: 'Tintaggon stands.'"-The Coming of the Sea. "And far away Trogool upon the utter Rim turned a page that was numbered six in a cipher that none might read. And as the golden ball went through the sky to gleam on lands and cities, there came the Fog towards it, stooping as he walked with his dark brown cloak about him, and behind him slunk the night."-The Legend of the Dawn"There in Pegana lay the gods asleep, and in a corner lay the Power of the gods alone on the floor, a thing wrought of black rock and four words graven upon it, whereof I might not give thee any clue, if even I should find it - four words of which none knoweth. Some say they tell of the opening of a flower towards dawn, and others say they concern earthquakes among hills, and others that they tell of the death of fishes, and others that the words be these: Power, Knowledge, Forgetting, and another word that not the gods themselves may ever guess."-When the Gods Slept

American Gods: A Novel

American Gods - Neil Gaiman This one sent me on a wikipedia adventure - highlights included: List of confidence tricks Lion man of the Hohlenstein StadelHypocorismDurgaThe Book of the City of LadiesYggdrasil (hey Hyperion!)Fictional spidersI like the mechanic that old gods (and the new suits for that matter) exist because people believe they exist, although it opens up the risk of 'anything goes' plot development, which is not my favorite. This was the first thing I read by Gaiman - I'll continue!

The Fall of Hyperion

The Fall of Hyperion - Dan Simmons Like in the first book in this series, my favorite parts related to the socioeconomic and political consequences of relativity, including instant travel (or lack thereof) as well as their implications within Hegemony, TechnoCore, and Ouster societies and cultures. I never really latched onto or connected with any of the characters, which was the main issue preventing me from getting full-on into the book and buying into its sprawling universe. It took me a while to get through the last third or so, which suggests that it will be a while before I return to this series (although I'm not ruling it out, and will likely continue eventually). I think I would have liked the book more than the audiobook, something to consider!

Through the Looking Glass

Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll "The shop seemed to be full of all manner of curious things-- but the oddest part of it all was, that whenever she looked hard at any shelf, to make out exactly what it had on it, that particular shelf was always quite empty: though the others round it were crowded as full as they could hold."


Hyperion (Hyperion, #1) - Dan Simmons I liked Simmons' take on time and space, especially the geopolitics and social implications of relativity. Some of my quibbles with this book might be due to the fact that I listened to the audiobook, which had uneven narration (why doesn't Steven Pacey read every book ever?). The thing that I disliked the most was the stiffness of the language, which seems overly formal or not suited towards the first-person and personal narration that the framing device requires. For example, oral accounts of action sequences are relayed in bizarrely specific detail (esp in the Soldier and Detective chapters):"Queue got the first blow in, feinting a straight-fingered jab with his left hand and coming up and around with a swinging kick instead. I ducked but he connected solidly enough to make my left shoulder and upper arm go numb. Queue danced backward. I followed. He swung a close-fisted right-handed punch. I blocked it. He chopped with his left hand. I blocked with my right forearm. Queue danced back, whirled, and unleashed a left-footed kick. I ducked, caught his leg as it passed over, and dumped him on the sand. Queue jumped up. I knocked him down with a short left hook. He rolled away and scrambled to his knees. I kicked him behind his left ear, pulling the blow enough to leave him conscious."It did not make me feel like I was on the Sea of Grass listening to a detective tell me why she was with me on Hyperion. But by the end I was interested in listening to book two! And here I go!

I, Robot

I, Robot - Isaac Asimov It was fun! More like a book of puzzles relating to how Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics have caused a problem, how the characters take advantage of the laws to solve the problem, and what it suggests about HUMANITY ITSELF! I think this would be a good one to read one chapter at a time over the course of some months, rather than all in one go. (Oh and there is a eye-roll-inducing line about the otherwise estimable Dr. Calvin when "some of the woman peered through the layer of doctorhood" and she worries about being beautiful or not, but hey, 1950!)

Cloud Atlas (Movie Tie-in Edition): A Novel

Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell Although the book really lost me on it's deeper message, it was a fun and interesting and great for the summer. I'm surprised the nested framing device didn't totally annoy me - it actually worked! Glad I got to read it before I saw the movie.

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