28 September 2010


'Oliver Twist' by Charles Dickens
September 20-26, 511 pages

I love Dickens. He is definitely one of my favourite authors. His characters are amazing. I love the way that all of their stories overlap and culminate at the end. And their names. The names are great.

I also love a happy ending. I know, I'm such a sop. But I do like knowing that, despite any misfortunes, in the good characters will be rewarded and bad ones will be punished.

And, of course, there are some hilarious lines. None that I have room for here unfortunately.

This is really just a great story, told by a great storyteller.

'There is a drowsy state, between sleeping and waking, when you dream more in five minutes with your eyes half open, and yourself half conscious of everything that is passing around you, than you would in five nights with your eyes fast closed, and your senses wrapt in perfect unconsciousness. At such times, a mortal knows just enough of what his mind is doing, to form some glimmering conception of its mighty powers, its bounding from earth and spurning time and space, when freed from the restraint of its corporeal associate.'  

After exclaiming several times that the robbery was 'so unexpected! In the silence of night, too!' 'Dear, dear':
'The doctor seemed especially troubled by the fact of the robbery having been unexpected, and attempted in the nighttime; as if it were the established custom of gentlemen in the housebreaking way to transact business at noon, and to make an appointment, by post, a day or two previous'

21 September 2010


'The Eyre Affair' by Jasper Fforde
September 13 - 17, 374 pages

I enjoyed this. It's hard to go wrong with a book about books. And dodos. Most importantly dodos. I like dodos.

Yes this novel is very good. It has a mix of everything: love, crime, action, mystery and humour. I really liked how surreal the setting is. And how much everyone cared about literature. I did not, however, appreciate the questioning of the authorship of Shakespeare's plays. I am a staunch believer in them being his. But that's my only complaint. In fact I was pleased to hear him (and Dickens, too) mentioned.

I can't decide whether it is good or bad that I hadn't rad 'Jane Eyre' before. Made it more surprising for sure.

14 September 2010


'A Confederacy of Dunces' by John Kennedy Toole
September 8 - 12, 338 pages

Just quickly, that cover was a pleasure to draw. I'm glad I decided to pay a bit extra for this edition.

And now to what's inside the awesome cover. This book is very funny. Ignatius, the central character, is just in a class of his own. You can't help but root for him, despite being a selfish, deluded, yet very intelligent, obese slob who still lives with his poor mother. In fact, all of Toole's characters are great. In a way this novel is quite Dickens-esque: the many overlapping characters and sub-plots are as complex as the are hilarious, and culminate wonderfully at the end. This is a really good read. I learned so many new words!

Toole actually didn't live to see this book published. He committed suicide after he could not find a publisher, and his mother pushed to get it published after he died. The foreword in this book is by the man who accepted it. Good thing he did; it's a great book and it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981.

07 September 2010


'The Dark Room' by Rachel Seiffert
September 1 - 3, 278 pages

This is a really good book. It's made up of three completely separate stories; one set just before and during World War Two, one just after it has finished, and the last 52 years later. All are in Germany. All incite different emotions.

At first I didn't like the way I had to just leave the characters and say hello to new ones, but then I saw that this meant that I could see this terrible war from more perspectives: the book hosted a microcosm of society.

I think that books like these are important to read. And this one I struggled to put down. I especially enjoyed the photography in it, shame I had to leave it at the first story.