Charmed Life

I finished reading Diana Wynne Jones’s Charmed Life a few days ago. As far as young adult fantasy goes, it was quite good with more than a few unexpected twists. It wasn’t as funny as the other Chrestomanci novel I’ve read, Witch Week, but it was still very good. You can certainly see many of the roots of Harry Potter in these books, though they are certainly not as epic (or as long!) as Rowling’s work. Strangely enough, I never read Jones’s work as a child despite my many forays into fantasy literature. I’m glad I’ve discovered her now (thanks to Freddie) as her books are at once delightful reads and very quick, which is good when you have little time and little children.

Also on my reading list are two books I recently collected. The first is the opening novel of the Culture series by Iain M. Banks, Consider Phlebas. These books sound fascinating.  The other is John Crowley’s novel, Little, Big which I first heard of while reading this excellent review of the finale of Lost.

So much to read. So little time.

Anyone read anything particularly good lately?

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7 thoughts on “Charmed Life

  1. I recently started re-reading David Shi’s awesome “Simple Life,” which traces America’s tendency to flirt with “austerity” all the way back to the Pilgrims. Seriously. It’s more awesome than it sounds.

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  2. Consider Phlebas is a good starting point for The Culture. If you like it though, don’t be afraid to read the rest of them in any order – they barely mention each other.
    I’m reading Anathem by Neal Stephenson right now, which is great but long and a slow starter. That said, it’s recommended.
    On Tuesday the third “Laundry” book by Charles Stross comes out and you might say I’m excited. Laundry books are basically Lovecraft plus Len Deighton or Robert Ludlum. Spies versus the super ancient ones – shortish and excellent. Start with “Atrocity Archive”. You might try “Sweet Silver Blues” by Glen Cook for a good, but fast fantasy – fantasy world private eye basically.

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  3. Oh, and my current read is Terry Pratchett’s _Small Gods_, in which we learn, among other things, that

    “Life in the world, is, as it were, a sojourn is a cave. What can we know of reality? For all we see of the true nature of existence is, shall we say, no more than bewildering and amusing shadows cast upon the inner wall of the cave […] and we as troglodyte seekers of wisdom can only lift our voices to the unseen and say humbly “Go on, do the Deformed Rabbit. It’s my favorite.”

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