Orion Reads
a diary of books etc.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

LeGuinn, Grimm, Snicket, O'Brien

this is a quick list-style entry before the next, which will be more in-depth.

Am currently reading The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien given to me by Thom Moyles. I'm only a few pages in so don't have a lot to say, but so far it's promising.

Most recently finished Ursula LeGuin's The Lathe Of Heaven. I'm a huge fan of LeGuin. This is one of her earlier works, and i'll admit is a bit more like ordinary science fiction than most of her stuff. It's about a man who's dreams modify reality, and his fear of that. It tries to be a love story as well, but honestly succeeds about as well as Tolkien does. .. Which is surprising, as Le Guin's later works are exemplars of understanding and portraying human relationships. (For example, her 2008 novel, Lavinia.) All in all, i'd suggest leaving this one on the bookstore shelf unless you're particularly into science fiction.

Speaking of Lavinia, i read it recently and it's fantastic. In Virgil's Aenid, the main character is Aenaes, who leads the Trojans home from the war and who's sons eventually found Rome. On the way, he lands on the coast and marries the daughter of a local king who becomes the mother of those sons. Little is said of her, and in fact Virgil gives her no speaking parts. Lavinia is that woman's story, told from her perspective. It's very good. LeGuin deals much with the brutality of war and life during those pre-roman days, as well as with a large variety of interpersonal relationships.

I also recently read the sixth book in the Series of Unfortunate Events, The Ersatz Elevator, by Lemony Snickett.

Am also currently reading Grimm's Fairytales, the 'complete' translation, given to me by Mom. they're pretty interesting. i think the translation is terrible, but it sort of makes the reading more interesting. They're extremely brutal.


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