What I’ve Been Reading

I have taken a blogging and, mostly, internet sabbatical. Surprise, surprise, when one is not glued to the monitor, there suddenly seems to be much more time to read. Last week, I made my way through several books I had wanted to read for awhile:

  • Aurora Floyd by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. It lagged in the middle but I sat down and finished it in one evening. An interesting read but quite different from Lady Audley’s Secret.
  • Room by Emma Donoghue. Short listed for the Booker prize, this story is told entirely through the voice of five year old Jack who has spent his entire life captive in a garden shed. An amazing read and I finished it in two sittings.
  • The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. A deliciously, spine tingling Victorian ghost story.
  • The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill. Another Gothic, ghost novella with fun chilling twists and turns.
  • The Legend of the Infant of Prague. A story book with short fairy tales about Prague over the centuries. They’re very interesting although very religious. A friend gave this to me when she returned from her jaunt.

Finally, ABC seems to have turned Wednesday nights into geek nights which I absolutely adore. Not only is The Librarians back but I have just discovered how awesome The I.T. Crowd is. I do love all the geekiness. And Moss.

The I.T. Crowd



New Books & Stuff!

Well! So much for my self-imposed book buying ban for a few months. I got two more books from the book depository with ridiculous prices:

  • The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
  • Agnes Grey – Anne Bronte

I’ve always been interested in the manifesto and Oxford cover simply sucked me in. I’m surprised at how thin it is but I think it will make for some interesting reading. Perhaps not something for the train though. With Agnes Grey, I think I’ve completed my collection of the Brontes with the exception of Shirley and the fantasy tales of Angria, neither of which I’m particularly all that interested in.

Not too much happening on the reading front lately. I’ve been enjoying Jude and it’s all quite sad and poignant. I’ve made a semi resolution that for next month and perhaps in July too, I will try to read only my own books. They’re piling up but it seems that I can never get to them because of the constant stack of library books demanding to be read before their due date. My copy of Jude was bought five years ago and I have only now gotten around to reading it.

But the one thing that’s taken up most of time this week is the finale of Lost! I’m a little forlorn because it’s my favourite show. This isn’t really a complete random topic because the show had such a strong connection with literature, especially obscure and significant works not to mention various philosophical texts. The narrative devices used during the series was also constantly inspiring. It was very good story telling. After the finale, I’m no closer to understanding what the Island was about but I really did enjoy it. The score by Michael Giacchino was also simply amazing. I’m prowling the forums watching the fierce battles between die-hard Jate, Skate and Suliet fans. Ye-es!

Lost Books

I’m a huge fan of the T.V. show Lost (except half of season two and most of season three which were quite dreadful) and I love how ingrained and significant literature is in the show. Characters would nonchalantly read a book that would turn out to contribute or hint at a deeper level in the plot. And even if you’re not a fan of the show, the writers do manage to insert an impressive list of literary titles with classics and philosophy featured heavily.

(Jacob reading Everything that Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor)

This site – http://lostbooks.blogspot.com/ – has a list of all the books that have featured on Lost, its context and episode. Definitely worth checking out, even just for the titles.

Lost in Austen

The ABC is premiering the British series Lost in Austen tonight. It’s an interesting concept for T.V. but it’s not a new idea for literature. As a fan of Jasper Fforde’s Bookworld series where the characters are set in an alternate universe where there are literary detectives and some characters have the ability to enter books, I thought this new production was a basis of Fforde’s work. It appears to be removed from Fforde and independent.

The first episode features a bored bank worker who becomes ‘lost’ in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice then switches place with the novel’s heroine Elizabeth Bennet. It certainly sounds fun and the bibliophile in me squeals in delight everytime there’s something remotely bookish on tellie. And this re-telling of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice sounds much better than (and I’m serious) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

What do others think of this series?

Lost in Austen is screening on the ABC at 8.30pm for those in Oz.

The “Lost” booklist

I’m a huge fan of anything that advocates books and literature. I’m a even bigger fan when writers of popular shows weaves appropriate literature storylines and make references to obscure books in a clever way.

I was a fan of the t.v. show Lost at the beginning until it grew increasingly annoying by season 3 but I was hooked once more during season 4 which, in my honest opinion, is their best season so far. I particularly love the way they use literature to build up the island’s myth and character stories. I was delighted to learn that the show has put up their official booklist with all the titles that has appeared in the show.

1. ‘On the Road’ – Jack Kerouac

2. ‘The Invention of Morel’ – Adolpho Bioy Caseres

3. ‘Valis’ – Philip K. Dick

4. ‘Slaughter-house Five’ – Kurt Vonnegurt

5. ‘Survivors of the Chancellor’ – Jules Verne

6. ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ – Charles Dickens

7. ‘Carrie’ – Stephen King

8. ‘Of Mice and Men’ – John Steinbeck

9. ‘A Brief History of Time’ – Stephen Hawking

10. ‘Laughter in the Dark’ – Vladmir Nabokov

11. ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ – Robert A. Heinlein

12. ‘The Fountainhead’ – Ayn Rand

13. ‘Evil Under the Sun’ – Agatha Christie

14. ‘Jurassic Park’ – Michael Crichton

15. ‘Catch-22’ – Joseph Heller

16. ‘The Oath’ – John Lescroart

17. ‘Afro-Asian World: A Cultural Understanding’ – Edward Kolevzon

18. ‘The Coalwood Way’ – Homer Hicklam

19. ‘The Stone Leopard’ – Colin Forbes

20. ‘Through the Looking Glass’ – Lewis Carroll

21. ‘Bluebeard’ – Charles Perrault

22. ‘An ECG Workout: Exercises in Arrythmia Interpretation’ – Jane Huff

23. ‘Dirty Work’ – Stuart Woods

24. ‘High Hand’ – Gary Phillips

25. ‘Rainbow Six’ – Tom Clancy

26. ‘The Third Policeman’ – Fiona O’Brien

27. ‘The Turn of the Screw’ – Henry James

28. ‘After All These Years’ – Sussan Issacs

29. ‘Hindsights: The Wisdom and Breakthroughs of Remarkable People’ – Guy Kawasaki

30. ‘Lord of the Flies’ – William Golding

31. ‘An Occurance at Owl Creek Bridge’ – Ambrose Bierce

32. ‘Bad Twin’ – Gary Troup

33. ‘Bonjour, Baber’ – Jean de Brunhoff

34. ‘Lancelot’ – Walker Percy

35. ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

36. ‘Are You There God? It’s Me, Magaret’ – Judy Blume

37. ‘Musset: Poesies Completes, Tome 1’ – Alfred de Musset

38. ‘Bad Twin’ – Gary Troup

39. ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ – The Brothers Grimm

40. ‘Island’ – Aldous Huxley

41. ‘Our Mutual Friend’ – Charles Dickens

42. ‘Walden Two’ – B.F. Skinner

43. ‘Alice in Wonderland’ – Lewis Carroll

44. ‘Heart of Darkness’ – Joseph Conrad

45. ‘Watership Down’ – Richard Adams

46. ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ – Madeline L’Engle

47. ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ – J.K. Rowling

48. ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ – Arthur Golden

The ones in bold are the ones I’ve read. Quite disappointing.

There are also various other sites devoted to books featured, forefront or background, in the show but this is the main lot. Curious list, indeed!