Mar. 28th, 2009

juushika: Photograph of a row of books on a library shelf. (Books Once More)
Title: To Charles Fort, With Love
Author: Caitlín R. Kiernan / [livejournal.com profile] greygirlbeast
Published: Burton: Subterranean Press, 2005
Rating: 5 of 5
Page Count: 270
Total Page Count: 70,569
Text Number: 205
Read For: fan of the author, checked out from the library
Short review: Thirteen unconnected stories of Lovecraftian nature, united by their threat of the great unknown, this collection spans from a silently growing mud puddle to a goddess-haunted shack by the sea-shore. It can feel repetitive at times, but on the whole this collection is brilliant. It's fantastical, haunting, and frightening; all of the stories are good, and there are some real gems hidden within. Kiernan is a master storyteller, and these stories in particular are wonderful. I loved and highly recommend To Charles Fort, With Love.

Long review. )

Review posted here on Amazon.com.
juushika: Photograph of a stack of books, with one lying open. (Books)
Something I realized while writing my last review: when I call a book "a pleasure to read" it means more than just those words alone. The opening line of Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 (which is one of my brain-books, one of the works of fiction which I can point to and say: me) is "It was a pleasure to burn." To reverse that line is, for me, a weighty concept and high praise. It indicate a book worth consuming, containing, holding within oneself; a book worth saving from the flames.

As we may all have noticed, I've been reading a lot lately. I'm still playing SL, and multitasking the two isn't easy, but it's worth it—because I've pledged to read only good books.

No, really.

This month I read some truly beautiful books, including some books by Kiernan, Valente's incredible Palimpsest and a book she recommended. And I read some that were simply mediocre—but after those brilliant novels, they felt worse than that: they felt like a waste of time. My to be read list is pretty damn long and spans all sorts of books and genres, but it included a fair number of novels which I wrote down for a good reason, but ultimately do not intrigue me. Sometimes those books are pleasant surprises, but more often my whim is a better guide than my sense of obligation. Fledging fascination doesn't always leads to a wonderful read, but often it does, and sometimes, like Valente's novels, or Kiernan's; like The Story of O, Sharp Teeth, Maledicte, those books which call to me end up being, in a word, perfect.

And so to hell with obligation, to hell with the books which I hear are decent or may be interesting. I went through my TBR list, I crossed off the maybe-sos, and I filled it instead with books which intrigue me. The lore of mythpunk. The politicking of fantasy of manners. Books mentioned here, glimpsed there, brain-making books and fantasy books and barely-reviewed books and books which look to be beautiful. Some of them will disappoint me—I don't doubt that. But some of them will be wonderful, some of them have already been wonderful, and I am so excited to read.

Along the same line: if you want to recommend a book, a truly wonderful and amazing book, I'm always looking to add to my TBR list.

In somewhat more mundane book-news, I've gone back and tagged my book reviews as recommended/not recommended. My reviews are indexed here; here are recommended books and the not recommended books; they are also tagged on my Amazon profile. "Recommended" doesn't indicate the best of the best, but it does include those, and may make it easier to browse my reviews. (For those curious, there are 141 recommended to 50 not recommended, which surprised me. Some of those recommendations, however, are rather unenthusiastic.)

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