I was comparing it to William Maxwell and during re-reading I realized that it has more difference after all. Maxwell's stories has this comfort in it, of time running in slowly stately quiet pace, whereas Loory's stories has the roller coaster feel, bringing you up and dash you down, black dark ambience where you not quite sure that everything will end well. Still loving it, but perhaps not for every mood.
I've finished reading only the first part then I have to return it the library. It's fine though because I know I'll hunt this book down and own it for myself and nobody will be allowed to borrow it.Is it that wonderful, you asked? Well, these rambling marvelous stories reminded me of my most loved book, lThe Old Man at the Railroad Crossing: And Other Tales, only that it has more steel-grey and ultramarine edge on it and with an advantage that the author is still alive! Which means I can look forward for more in the future.
i lost track on how where I found out about this book. It's really a odd duck, this one. It's not that the writing is bad, it's actually good. Interesting topic, mistery of a lost wife with background of a crumbling town. It called out to my mistery, snobbish lit and urban enthusiast soul. But, at some point, an overpowering feeling just appeared. Suddenly it's like I'm reading A Series of Unfortunate Events for adult. The black premonition, puzzle clues scattered everywhere, the feeling that world goes unhinge, that nobody is who they tell you they are, unrealistic imagination(show spoiler)
and this image of all-encompassing-evil-puppeteer(show spoiler)
. It's just too much and I just read it to the end and still not quite sure what I've read.
PS: The amount of cigarettes smoked and people sponging for one from Sven is remarkable!! nobody in that whole town buy ciggy except him. Makes me wonder if Lundgren was on withdrawal or have had too many people bleeding him to death for cigarettes.
I like it that the editor took the broadest sense of ghost story and lump down not only things-that-go-bump-in-the-night (there are several) but also eery or sometimes spiritual circumstances. Combined with a some top notch writers this is a really good compilation that can satisfy not only ghost story lovers but everyone who loves good yarn.
All in all I only have my reservation about Borges' story. Probably reading at the wrong timing too, I remember not being really lucid at the time and couldn't follow the story. Wodehouse, though, hilarious & satisfying. I was doubting some of the authors included in it, but with the boad range interpretation of "ghost stories" it's really working well.
Slightly off-topic, I just loved the book format. Hard-cover pocket size, cover design, ribbon for bookmark. Almost perfect.
Technically it's already 2014, but we still have 359 unplanned reading days. So let's dream about books and stories I want to read this year.
I have this bad habit of not reading books I've slotted to be read, shelving books to to-read pretty much guarantee it not to get read. Naming the shelf differently help slightly but honestly I never refer to it when I'm groping around for new reading material. Those that got lucky to get read owe their luck to the cover, title or just the serendipity of a reaching hand. So I'm not going to list titles, instead I'm just going to list some themes that I'm hoping to cover this year, or perhaps some authors.
- Verses/Poetry: Something I wanted to read more for a long time. My excuse was that I didn't have the patience to read through it carefully, read it repeatedly to understand the meaning hidden behind the words (I'm a notorious skimmer, a sin I always regret deeply). However, in 2013 I did manage to read Dante's Inferno, re-read Sapardi Djoko Damono's Hujan Bulan Juni and Robert Frost's compilation; and I enjoyed it immensely. I like the reading rhythmn I got from Inferno once I warmed up my verse muscle. I rediscovered some poems from Sapardi & Frost that actually stuck in my memory even after the distance of decade of years. So this year, more poetry.
- Indonesian History: I've read some history books last year. But somehow it was all on European (German) history. Sign of lack of patriotism? I hope not. Maybe more of the case of getting all the interest beaten out of me in my school day. This year it shouldn't be an excuse anymore. I already have one that I've started last year but put down after a chapter. Getting to know more about where I've come from will I hope show me also where I should go in the future.
- Doorstopper Classic : I actually have never had any problem with this. I'm not the type who got intimidated by the thickness or the language. I just need to boost it up a bit and pay attention not to skate my way across in full speed. To read carefully is to enjoy it more I hope.
- Book Club selection : I found a local bookclub meeting with interesting list. I've read some of it and the others I've wanted to read. My problem is again this tendency to rebel against reading schedule. So far I'm almost finished with the first book, Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. It went quite well and perhaps the key is to get the book way earlier than the scheduled meeting and give more leeway to read it inbetween my other reading. I've been distracted by more than 5 books while reading W&P.
- German Books : Just to make sure I'm not losing my german.
- Books on Stoicism : I've tried to read some and think about it on and off during last couple of months. I've had some of the principle's hammered down in me on my upbringing without knowing it as stoicism. I'm still thinking about it and am not sure yet about how I really feel about it but I sure want to know more and examined my life more.
- Lighting/Design/Technical Books : Yeah, work related. I need to read more not only technical but also philosophical books. Mind enriching and all that lot.
- Random Non-fiction : miscellanous books about the world. Some should be about Islam (same reason as Indonesian history books). The rest could be micro-history, biography or whatever strikes my fancy.
- Detective/Mystery : There's no way I'm not going to read bunch of them this year. It's my comfort read.
- Current Lit : I guess I'm not bad in those. Though not so current, I'd like to finally read DFW. Otherwise I'm game to pick some stuff based on random discovery. I've found some wonderful new writer last year & would read more of their books and hoping to discover some other.
- Booker Shortlist : I didn't manage to even a single one last year. In fact, I still need to read last year's winner. Targetting to read the books before they announced the winner.
- Indonesian Lit : I'm so hopelessly behind in this. I know some writers that I've loved but somehow I missed buying their new books and I'm yet to find new writers that I can enjoy. Note to myself to go to bookstore on my holiday at home.
Well, this looks like a full reading year. Let's see how this year's reading really looks like. Looking forward to books that will cross path with me this year.
It's the most dog-eared library book I've borrowed so far. Some kind hearted people tried to smooth it out again, but it's no use, dog-ear is a one way road for paper. So when I fold the pages I tried to follow the crease. Was I vandalising a public property? Yes, I was. And believe me it took a lot of will-power to stay just with dog-earing and not go to the worse sin of scribbling on the margin. Because this is THAT kind of book. A book where you need to high-light, underline, writing down your own opinion or comment. I'm sure many agreed with me looking at the state of the book.
A book about books and life, how fiction connects with life which explains readers just couldn't get enough of reading. An imagined world and the hard real world, their connection is bigger and stronger than you can imagine, if you look carefully enough; and Alberto Manguel has the eye. He's an example of the embodiment for this quote from Marcel Proust.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having a new eyes.
The whole book is filled with his discoveries, jewels found in book and real life. A familiar book, others that you've read which you put aside with a wondering crease or boredom; he found some new things in it that picked your interest or maybe showed you how it looks like seen from different pair of eyes. My first Manguel, not going to be the last one, and it has earned a space in my future library. I need my own copy to scribble at will.
I've stopped buying printed books quite a while ago, books are the damnedest thing to move around when you haven't really decided where you want to settle down. So these 10 years I've been relying more on the e-books; what a coincidence, I've just realized that exactly 10 years ago, roughly around this time of the year was the time when I bought my first palm and fallen headlong into digital reading bunny hole.
Of course I'm still a library member in every city i've lived on. It's one of the standard things I do when settling down and honestly I've been really lucky because even the smallest town have a respectable library. Still, it's easier to carry 1 gadget compared to a stack of books so electronic has been my best friend for the past 10 years.
This holiday season, though, I fell in love with printed book again. Even the giant W&P preferable to me on the strength of its onion paper as well as the ease of reading the translation note. Combined with extra free time and more opportunity to hang around at the library, suddenly I wound up with this lovely stack of books. Some of them was the reason I went to the library, some picked up after skimming it, the rest just because the book size & form just feels right in my hand.
From top to bottom:
- A Reading Diary, Alberto Manguel
- Negotiating with the Dead, Margaret Atwood
- Ghost Stories, compilation
- The True Deceiver, Tove Jansson
- Collected Poem, Prose, and Plays, Robert Frost
- Writings & Drawings, James Thurber
- The Seducer, Jan Kjaerstad
- Light Show, Cliff Lauson
That's what Miss Hargreaves said, and that's what I wished I could say to Frank Baker.
So, Miss Hargreaves, she's the type I'd call dragon woman. Luckily I've met only one or two of this species, although deep in my heart I have secret aspiration to grow into one. I don't think I'll ever reach that goal though. Because these type of woman, well, they're cool, they're invincible, they're strong, they're fun to be with if you're their friend, nobody should mess around with them and deep inside they have golden heart; though you'd have to dig deep with strongest implement and maybe some explosive material to get to it.
And this one, she's born from the figment of imagination. Born from the spur of the moment type of imagination; striding strong and determined to conquer the real world. Despite the whole mess of problem she caused, Norman ,the creator, couldn't really let her go nor could he help being proud of her. So the story continuous with the dynamic of creation and creator, energy shifting, control given and taken away until the last heartbreaking moment.
To wrap it up, it even have great ending. Where it stays true to Norman's mental turmoil and the key moment came about with the help of his friend. I wanted to clap my hand reading it. Yes, this is how it should be. Just because Norman's the main protagonist, doesn't mean he'd have to be the superman at the end. I'm glad that Frank Baker didn't make him one. So glad I can forgive his giving an easy way out on the romance side of it.
Once I finished reading it, I couldn't help wishing to read the other book with character born from imagination, Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi. So I did.