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Subject:Am I reading too much Van Gulik?
Time:06:15 am
141. Elizaveta Shumskaya The Case of the White Tiger

18.11.2007. An amusing fantasy-mystery; the characters are a bit too pretty and talented and the development of the hero’s relationship is a bit too weird but a fun way to spend an evening on a train.

142. Kerry Greenwood Flying Too High

19.11.2007. These mysteries are a bit too short for me, but they’re fun. Here I liked the airplane tricks, and the cases with the kidnapped girl and the murder of a nasty man were interesting (I prefer murder victims to be nasty, really)

143. Charles Williams War in Heaven. Other Worlds.

16.11.2007 – 19.11.2007. An easier read than I expected (don’t know whether it’s the result of my reading it in translation). I liked the first novel more, I think, because in the second one Chloe made me uneasy. Also, these novels reminded me Dennis Wheatley.

144. Robert Van Gulik The Chinese Lake Murders

16.11.2007 – 19.11.2007. I think it was a reread and the first Van Gulik I ever read. I remember feeling worried and upset that the judge was scolded at the end; after reading other novels in the series it doesn’t seem too strange.

145. Robert Van Gulik Poets and Murder. The Willow Pattern

19.11.2007 – 20.11.2007. Two more novels about Judge Dee the second one closer towards the end of the saga when the judge serves in the capital. Somehow they made me a bit sad — maybe it was the motive of a servant woman sadistically murdered which is present in both novels.

146. Anthony Trollope The Eustace Diamonds

15.11.2007 – 22.11.2007. Loved it a lot and found Lizzie a very interesting character, but from time to time the goings-on made me tired and I had to switch to other books.

147. Katherine Neville The Magic Circle

21.11.2007 – 24.11.2007. A perfectly absurd conspirology thriller where everyone is secretly related to everyone and has deeply symbolic geographical names. Also, I think Jesus is supposed to be Pan.

148. Patricia Wentworth The Silent Pool

24.11.2007. A reread, I think. Another cozy with another rekindled romance — I like them, but they are so short…

149. Robert Van Gulik The Chinese Nail Murders

25.11.2007. This story about Judge Dee was very sad, as two people I liked died, and the general mood was a bit too melancholy for my liking.

150. Ellen Pall Slightly Abridged

28.11.2007. A mystery with a Regency romance writer as a sleuth. It’s the second one I’ve read and each time I like the setup and the heroine in the beginning and then start getting disappointed. And I am not sure I like her relationship with her policeman; too much of her running after him for my taste.
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Subject:Books 121-140
Time:03:58 am
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Subject:Books 101-120
Time:01:04 am
... because I haven't been updating this log for a while.

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Time:08:48 pm
96. Lilian Jackson Braun The Cat who Went Underground

11.08.2007 – 12.08.2007. I’m not a great fan of this series which, imho, tries too much to be a cozy, but it’s entertaining enough.

97. Alexander McCall Smith Tears of the Giraffe

15.08.2007 – 16.08.2007. The second book about Mma Ramotswe, and it’s as lovely as the first; a very sensory delight and a way to get into a calming mood.

98. Mark Frost The List of Seven

08.08.2007 – 16.08.2007. A very silly book pretending to be about Doyle and a prototype for Holmes, with lots of mystical horrors and lectures about supernatural things.

99. Jeff Lindsay Darkly Dreaming Dexter

18.08.2007 – 19.08.2007.

100. Jeff Lindsay Dearly Devoted Dexter

19.08.2007 – 20.08.2007.

Two detective stories about a man who is a sociopath and a killer, but his foster father, a police detective, recognized what he was and taught him to kill only uncaught murderers and to pass for normal. So now he is a blood analyst working for police and his foster sister is a police officer, and sometimes he helps her. Entertaining book in a way, if you like dark jokes.
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Time:01:07 pm
86. Suzanna Gregory Plague on Both Your Houses

14.06.2007 – 08.07.2007. Did not like it much; the main character is far too modern-thinking for someone living in his time period. Also, it’s the kind of mystery where the main character flails around trying to gather information but ultimately doesn’t solve anything.

87. A.S. Martynov Confucianism

27.06.2007 – 12.07.2007. Interesting overview, but I’m not sure how objective the author is; he seems a bit too bent on proving the superiority of the Confucian idea of education as compared to modern European.

88. Marina and Sergey Dyachenko Execution

16.07.2007 – 19.07.2007. A slightly weird fantasy novel about a woman whose ex-husband created models of worlds, and now she has to travel through these models to find him. Well-written story but unlikeable characters.

89. Ronald Blythe The Age of Illusion

23.07.2007 – 24.07.2007. A book about England in the 1920s and 1930s, written in the form of biographical and topical essays. Very readable and contained many things new for me.

90. Roger Zelazny Eye of Cat

28.07.2007. This is a weird novel, not so much SF as character study on the material of Native American legends. There are chases and other adventure stuff but all this proved to be quite insignificant. Not sure I liked it; the collection of short stories also in this book proved to be far more interesting to me.

91. Sergey Lukyanenko Emperors of Illusion

29.07.2007. I was told several times that the Dozor novels were not the best of Lukyanenko’s work and I should try something else of his. The library gave me the chance with this SF novel and I haven’t changed my opinion — he is still an easy and readable writer who can do an entertaining plot, but with essentially empty characters and strangely forced morals.

92. Vera Kamsha The Poison of the Past

24.07.2007 – 31.07.2007. Latest in the series; I haven’t even planned to read this but a friend who wanted me to read it lent me the book. Bits of it are still tasty, but the plot complications grew too sprawling for me to keep track of, and there are too many unpleasant people there.

93. Maria Semenova Where the Forest Doesn’t Grow

31.07.2007. – 02.08.2007. Kind of a side story to her Wolfhound series, set in the fantasy Slavic lands; I wish she hadn’t included cameo scenes with Wolfhound characters, though — most of them do not add anything to the story. And the end is too muddled for my taste. I like the general tone and the descriptions, but her books tend to lack in clear structure.

94. Philip Pullman The Shadow in the North

02.08.2007. – 03.08.2007. The second Sally Lockhart book; also entertaining but forgettable.

95. Sujata Massey The Flower Master

06.08.2007 – 07.08.2007. A mystery set in modern Japan, with a half-Japanese heroine; quite nice.
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Time:11:56 am
81. The Translator’s Art. Essays in Honour of Betty Radice

26.05.2007 – 24.06.2007. Mostly classical translators reminiscing about their work; most curious for me were the examples of language differences.

82. Natalya Rezanova Coup de Grace

01.07.2007. An interesting and original fantasy in a medieval setting. I liked the psychological setup but IMHO the most interesting characters had the least on-scene time to get to understand them.

83. Georg Brandes Shakespeare

04.03.2007 – 05.07.2007. Took a long time reading; a 19th-century approach to literary biography amuses me but at times gets tiresome.

84. Olga Golotvina The Guild Sign

01.04.2007 – 07.07.2007. Fantasy; not bad but not exceptional. I’m not even sure why I couldn’t finish it for such a long time.

85. Jonathan Wright The Jesuits

05.07.2007 – 08.07.2007. The translation is clumsy and the book itself is not as clearly organized as I would have liked, but still it has a lot of interesting material and is far more objective than the majority of books on this topic published here.
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Time:11:14 pm
76. G. K. Chesterton Orthodoxy

12.05.2007 – 28.05.2007. Interesting book, as always with Chesterton. I admire him for intensely personal way of looking at things which often brings out totally unexpected ideas about ordinary things.

77. P. D. James The Murder Room

28.05.2007. – 31.05.2007. Reread. I enjoy her way of looking at things, and the voices of her characters, even though she has types of characters that sometimes repeat. Perhaps one of the reasons I love her books is because she appreciates loneliness and alone-ness.

78. Terry Pratchett The Fifth Elephant

05.06.2007 – 09.06.2007. Reread. I think I love this a little less than some of the previous Watch books. Too many things happening, and I don’t feel a flow that carries me along (though the characters are still lots of fun).

79. Vladimir Malyavin Chinese Civilization

25.05.2007 – 13.06.2007. An interesting book; I’ve read stuff about Chinese history, but Malyavin analyzes various aspects of Chinese life and culture and the way they are influenced by the dominant ideas in Chinese philosophy and way of life.

80. Brian Aldiss Affairs At Hampden Ferrers

10.06.2007 – 14.06.2007. Strange book. I thought it’ll be just a novel; instead it turned out to be something along the lines of magic realism, and colder than I like – none of the characters aroused my sympathies. Still, it was interesting.
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Time:07:55 pm
71. Ivor Brown Shakespeare

15.05.2007 – 24.05.2007. Another biography; I think I like it more than the last ones I tried. It’s simple enough, not too full of the author’s personality and written with obvious sympathy.

72. David Starkey Elizabeth: the Apprenticeship

19.05.2007 – 25.05.2007. A book about Elizabeth I’s early life, before and immediately after she became queen. Starkey puts the accents a bit differently then, say, Jenkins, and he paints Elizabeth as much more politically active. I think I like that.

73. Juliusch Slowacki Anhelli

25.05.2007 – 27.05.2007. This is a Polish prose poem about Polish exiles in Siberia in, I think, 19th century. Actually it’s difficult to decide where and when they are, so heavily symbolic the poem is. I read it because I saw a painting of, as I know it now, two characters from this poem, and I wanted to know who they are.

74. Philip Pullman The Ruby in the Smoke

27.05.2007. Not a fantasy at all, but a Victorian thriller, sort of. Rather a fun read.

75. Andrey Ulanov All the Federal Cavalry

27.05.2007 – 28.05.2007. A curious book. Kind of an alternative history of US Civil War, only in a world where elves, dwarves etc exist (not alternative history, perhaps, but history of alternative world). Writeen with a lot of gusto, so a fun read.
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Time:11:36 am
66. Jill Churchill A Class Menagerie

14.05.2007. A mystery about a suburban housewife who’s helping a friend to organize a class reunion, and there is a murder. Fun enough for a quick read, but the solution was a bit too obvious (I was hoping it wouldn’t be X. But it was.)

67. C. P. Fitzgerald China: A Brief Cultural History

04.05.2007 – 14.05.2007. It is clear enough for an overview but also, for an overview of a topic I know little about, a bit too full of the author’s personal tastes.

68. Linor Goralik A Hollow Woman

14.05.2007 – 15.05.2007. A book about Barbie. An interesting enough topic, but given the lack of serious information about the Barbie history this book struck me as a bit too… pretentious and “clever” and also too full of the author’s tastes which stood in the way of information.

69. Umberto Eco To Say Almost the Same Thing

01.05.2007 – 21.05.2007. Took me a long time to read, mostly because I finished it staying with a friend on tow separate visits. I’m no linguist, and the more theoretical aspects of it went over my head, I suspect, but mainly it was very interesting, confirming my own view on translation as a compromise, choosing what parts of original text are more important to convey.

70. Sergey Lukianenko The Last Watch

22.05.2007. A quick read, once again while staying with friends; it’s easy and mildly entertaining but as shallow as the previous three books. I don’t think there’s a single character in those books whom I could like.
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Time:09:51 am
61. C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength

28.04.2007 – 03.05.2007. I heard too much about this book not to try it, though I haven’t read the previous two. Interesting, but confusing, and some things arouse an instinctive protest within me, but some make sense. Not sure what I think yet.

62. Grigory Kruzhkov The Remedy for Fortune

21.04.2007 – 04.05.2007. A collection of his translations of Elizabethan poets and articles about them (oh, and a couple of his poems about Elizabethan poets). Very interesting.

63. Tanya Huff What Ho, Magic!

04.05.2007 – 05.05.2007. A story collection. Some of them are rather fun — the one about elves in the Olympics, and about the woman who started to see living Tarot cards etc. Also, there are several stories from the Blood series.

64. G. K. Chesterton St. Francis of Assisi

18.01.2007 – 06.05.2007. A short book, but I had no time to read it in one sitting and kept losing my place. Interesting; I can see why Chesterton would feel close to St. Francis.

65. G. K. Chesterton St. Thomas Aquinas

06.05.2007 – 10.05.2007. I am probably too badly educated to see whether Chesterton is correct in what he says here, but he knows how to drag you into appreciating anything he sets his mind upon.
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I don't need anything except more space for books
View:Recent Entries.
You're looking at the latest 10 entries.
Missed some entries? Then simply jump back 10 entries