January 19th, 2007

Reading List 2007 (5/16)

This week’s reading:

A Hero of Our Time, Lermontov
The Children of Men, James
You’ll Never Nanny in This Town Again, Hansen
The Mammoth Book of Golden Age Science Fiction, ed. Asimov, Waugh & Greenberg
The Deadly Bride, ed. Gorman & Greenberg

Hey! Check it out! I’m posting more than five minutes before Shabbat!

This week’s reading was decent but not extraordinary. The high point was probably Children of Men (though I feel a bit bad that the Lermontov didn’t grab me more than it did). I saw the movie last weekend with the boy, which I thought was a beautifully crafted piece of storytelling. On our way home, I insisted on stopping in a bookstore to check out the first page of the novel, and I’m glad that I did. As wonderful as the movie is, it doesn’t come anywhere near capturing the essence of the book. The movie’s better in some ways; it does a lovely job of creating the feel of the world, and the extended battle sequence near the end is masterful both emotionally and technically. But the book is softer, more thoughtful, more meditative, as novels can be. While the movie’s about “How can we get from point A to point B, and what will happen to us along the way?” the book takes on questions of love, loss, family, authority, deception and betrayal which the movie only gently hints at. I’d definitely recommend it.

The nanny book is on there as a “I started teaching today and require a guilty pleasure” choice. Unfortunately it was no Nanny Diaries on the “must read bits of this aloud” front; even worse, it’s autobiographical and I can’t say I liked the author too much more than her clients. She needed to grow a spine, badly.

As for Lermontov - I’m sorry, even though I know the historical relevance of the book, I don’t really find misogynists romantic (or Romantic).