A meme, via Abigail, Martin, and Alison. The idea is that you list the ten books on your shelves that you haven’t read. I have many, many more than ten books on my shelves that I haven’t read; I couldn’t tell you exactly which have been sitting there the longest, but these are the ones that are nagging at me at the moment:
1. Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks
Four years ago I spent six months working in a bookshop. When I left, I shamelessly abused my staff discount and bought vast piles of books. I haven’t even nearly worked my way through them. This, being by all accounts the Banks sf novel to read, has been nagging at me since then.
2. The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
I loved Cryptonomicon, so I bought these as they came out. In hardback. Next time I have a spare three months, I’ll read them. (So, mid-2008, then.)
3. Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler
I picked this up at an Eastercon at some point in the past few years. I haven’t read much by Fowler, but everything I have has filled me with joy, with the exception of The Jane Austen Book Club, and even that was pretty good. The premise of this one intrigues me:
The American Old West, Winter, 1873: a white woman of indeterminate age and great ugliness materialises in a Chinese railway workers’ camp, babbling incomprehensibly. Chin Ah Kin believes she is one of the fabled immortals, sent to enchant him. His more practical uncle sees trouble, and orders Chin to escort her back to the white world and the local lunatic asylum where she must belong. [...] Neither malign nor benign, who is she and where does she come from?
4. Dubliners by James Joyce
A while ago I attempted Ulysses and bounced fairly hard; being me, I turn to Joyce’s short stories for my next attempt on his oeuvre. Except that this was given to me as a birthday present last year, and I haven’t gotten around to it yet.
5. Temeraire by Naomi Novik
The major fantasy release this year that I want to read and should read but haven’t read, despite having bought a hardback on publication.
6. Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge
The major sf release this year that I want to read and should read but haven’t read, despite having bought a hardback on publication.
7. Snow by Orhan Pamuk
Recommended by Abigail when we were discussing The King’s Last Song, as relevant to thinking about political art, so I should try to make time for it soon.
8. Orlando by Virgina Woolf
Having read A Room of One’s Own for the first time earlier this year and fallen thoroughly in love with Woolfe’s voice, I went and bought an omnibus edition of three of her novels quicksharp. Victoria assures me this is the one to start with.
9. Selected Stories by Theodore Sturgeon
Sturgeon is the great classic short story sf writer I want to read and haven’t (just ahead of Cordwainer Smith). I’m not brave enough to dive into the umpteen-volume “Complete Stories” series being put together by North Atlantic Books, but this looks like an easier way in, so I snapped up a copy a little while ago.
10. Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
It sounds like my sort of thing, I’ve owned a copy since about March, and now it’s won the Best Novel Hugo. I have no excuse.
- I’ve been in Copenhagen for most of the past week. It was a work-related trip, but I did manage to find a couple of hours to wander around the city. There are photos here. Had I been concentrating, I’d have taken Miss Smilia’s Feeling For Snow with me, or something; as it is I’ve been reading Julie Phillips’ biography of James Tiptree Jr, which (amazingly) is about as good as everyone says it is.
- For those who may care but haven’t checked, there are some interesting comments on the last two posts.
- Gabe Chouinard has a long essay on reviewing and criticism and all that jazz. It’s broken up into several chunks for discussion on his livejournal.