Last week I read:
Howl's Moving Castle by Diane Wynne Jones (review here)
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl's castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there's far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.and
The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith (review here)
Weedon Grossmith's 1892 book presents the details of English suburban life through the anxious and accident-prone character of Charles Porter. Porter's diary chronicles his daily routine, which includes small parties, minor embarrassments, home improvements, and his relationship with a troublesome son. The small minded but essentially decent suburban world he inhabits is both hilarious and painfully familiar.and
The Testimony of River Ignatius Phoenix by Paul Sussman (review here)
Raphael Ignatius Phoenix has had enough. Born at the beginning of the 20th century, he is determined to take his own life as the old millennium ends and the new one begins. But before he ends it all, he wants to get his affairs in order and put the record straight, and that includes making sense of his own long life – a life that spanned the century. He decides to write it all down and, eschewing the more usual method of pen and paper, begins to record his story on the walls of the isolated castle that is his final home. Beginning with a fateful first adventure with Emily, the childhood friend who would become his constant companion, Raphael remembers the multitude of experiences, the myriad encounters and, of course, the ten murders he committed along the way . . .
This week I'm reading:
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
So begins the Time Traveller’s astonishing firsthand account of his journey 800,000 years beyond his own era -- and the story that launched H.G. Wells’s successful career and earned him his reputation as the father of science fiction. With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes...and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine’s lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth. There he discovers two bizarre races -- the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks -- who not only symbolize the duality of human nature, but offer a terrifying portrait of the men of tomorrow as well.and
The Rise and Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman
Following one of the most critically acclaimed fiction debuts in years,New York Times bestselling author Tom Rachman returns with a brilliant, intricately woven novel about a young woman who travels the world to make sense of her puzzling past.
Tooly Zylberberg, the American owner of an isolated bookshop in the Welsh countryside, conducts a life full of reading, but with few human beings. Books are safer than people, who might ask awkward questions about her life. She prefers never to mention the strange events of her youth, which mystify and worry her still.
Taken from home as a girl, Tooly found herself spirited away by a group of seductive outsiders, implicated in capers from Asia to Europe to the United States. But who were her abductors? Why did they take her? What did they really want? There was Humphrey, the curmudgeonly Russian with a passion for reading; there was the charming but tempestuous Sarah, who sowed chaos in her wake; and there was Venn, the charismatic leader whose worldview transformed Tooly forever. Until, quite suddenly, he disappeared.
Years later, Tooly believes she will never understand the true story of her own life. Then startling news arrives from a long-lost boyfriend in New York, raising old mysteries and propelling her on a quest around the world in search of answers.Sounds pretty good, no?
My mailbox has been relatively empty this week, which is very good. The Spider Woman: Agent of SWORD comics about which I talked last week came, which made me very happy. On Saturday I went out for dinner but was way too early, because I'm that kind of person, so I stopped by an amazing second hand bookstore. I managed to only buy 1 book though: The Magus by John Fowles.
The Magus is the story of Nicholas Urfe, a young Englishman who accepts a teaching assignment on a remote Greek island. There his friendship with a local millionaire evolves into a deadly game, one in which reality and fantasy are deliberately manipulated, and Nicholas must fight for his sanity and his very survival.Sounds very interesting. I haven't read anything by Fowles yet, so this will be a first. If I like this then I'll give The French Lieutenant's Woman a go.
So, how about you guys? What did you read last week? Any new exciting books in your mailbox?