November 23rd, 2006



Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Leave it to Marquez to come up with a precise, elegant, jewel box of a book about a 90 year old man falling in love with an under-aged prostitute. Really, it's a long short story, or a novella, but after having read all of his long, difficult books, it's nice that in his old age he's able to be concise. A real pleasure.

Farthing by Jo Walton.
A murder mystery, set in an alternate universe where America didn't enter WWII, and England made peace with Germany in 1941. Really effing creepy and depressing, but inexorably logical. A nightmare of Anti-Semitism that's too plausible for comfort.

The Novels of Christopher Moore. Chris Moore writes popular entertainments that are funny and delicious. He likes writing about angels and vampires and giant sea monsters, and he likes him a big heaping plateful of Silly. These books are so lightweight and fun to read, it's easy to forget how hard it is to make art that's really funny. My favorite is "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal": Yeah it's exactly that jokey, but it's quite good.

River Of Gods by ianmcdonald takes up where Neal Stephenson and William Gibson leave off, in a well-written and absorbing tale of near-future India. I'll be on the lookout for his other novels, but he's underrepresented at the Iowa City Public Library, so I'll have to break down and buy his other books.