My list/goal can be found here.

Title: Fatal Shadows.
Author: Josh Lanyon.
Number of Pages: 232.
Genre: Mystery, LGBT, romance.
Book Number/Goal: 15 of 75 (minimum).
Review: Here.

Title: A Dangerous Thing.
Author: Josh Lanyon.
Number of Pages: 248.
Genre: Mystery, LGBT, romance.
Book Number/Goal: 16 of 75 (minimum).
Review: Here.

Title: The Hell You Say.
Author: Josh Lanyon.
Number of Pages: 230.
Genre: Mystery, LGBT, romance.
Book Number/Goal: 17 of 75 (minimum).
Review: Here.

Title: Death of a Pirate King.
Author: Josh Lanyon.
Number of Pages: 248.
Genre: Mystery, LGBT, romance.
Book Number/Goal: 18 of 75 (minimum).
Review: Here.

Title: The Dark Tide.
Author: Josh Lanyon.
Number of Pages: 304.
Genre: Mystery, LGBT, romance.
Book Number/Goal: 19 of 75 (minimum).
Review: Here.
Title: Honey & Honey [WIP, 19 chapters, read in English translation]
Author: Takeuchi Sachiko
Genre: yuri, autobiography
Book Number/Goal: 91/150

An autobiographical narrative purported to explain the finer points of the lesbian lifestyle (TM) to unsuspecting straight readers. I don't get the point though - I mean, what's there to explain? The whole story ranged from boring to embarassing, like listening to a couple discussing their relationship loudly in public transport.

Title: Pumpkin & Mayonnaise [WIP, 5 chapters, read in English translation]
Author: Kiriko Nananan
Genre: drama
Book Number/Goal: 92/150

A story of a girl supporting her unemployed striving musician boyfriend. Refreshingly realistic for manga, which often leans to more outlandish plots. Will make sure to read on as the new chapters get scanlated.

Title: I Spy Something Bloody
Author: Josh Lanyon
Genre: m/m romance
Book Number/Goal: 93/150

One of the more forgettable works, with no plot to speak of.

Title: Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison [read in Ukrainian translation]
Author: Michel Foucault
Genre: cultural history
Book Number/Goal: 94/150

Part of my attempt to read up on cultural history classics.

Title: Романи Куліша
Author: Віктор Домонтович
Genre: biography/drama
Book Number/Goal: 95/150

The title plays on the double meaning of the word "Романи", which in Ukrainian can denote either "novels" or "romantic relationships", thus providing both an intimate & a critical look on Kulish, one of the classical Ukrainian realist writers. This book jumps from close reading of Kulish's novels to fictionalized accounts of his personal life with startling nonchalance; makes me sorry that there are so few such biographies in Ukrainian literature :(

Title: Comrade Loves of the Samurai [read in English translation]
Author: Ihara Saikaku
Genre: drama
Book Number/Goal: 96/150

Several Saikaku's m/m-centered short stories which I had not, to the best of my knowledge, read before. Makes me wonder whether he was familiar with the Decameron?

Title: Reading Lolita in Tehran
Author: Azar Nafisi
Genre: autobiography
Book Number/Goal: 97/150

A sort of autobiography, or the biography of an era, as told through reading experiences - which is all sorts of awesome. Azar Nafisi tells a story of a reading club she had organized for her students in the wake of the Iranian revolution, recounting the girls' experiences and her country's history through the way her acquaintances read books. "Lolita" pops up in the title because she draws parallels between the way Humbert robs Lolita of her personal narrative (as we only see her through his 1st-person POV) and the way Iranian women get shaped by the image the rulers have of them as Moslem women. An interesting, if terrifying read.

Title: An Artist of the Flowating World
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Genre: drama, historical
Book Number/Goal: 98/150

This follows the life of a once-succesful Japanese painter in the aftermath of the WW II. Liked the rambling, roaming style, and the way some events, like the bruning of paintings, crop up again & again, shaping the narrative.

Title: Cards on the Table
Author: Josh Lanyon
Genre: m/m romance, murder mystery
Book Number/Goal: 99/150

Forgettable to the point I had to open the file to know what it was about - not even a week after I've read it!

Title: Dangerous Ground
Author: Josh Lanyon
Genre: m/m romance
Book Number/Goal: 100/150

Lanyon has once stated that soldiers & FBI agents are hot in the genre, and this novella is his attempt at exploiting this trend. If this is your thing, this might be an enjoyable read, but there's little besides the trend there.

Title: Snowball in Hell
Author: Josh Lanyon
Genre: m/m romance, murder mystery
Book Number/Goal: 101/150

A piece set in LA during WW II, dealing with the theme of homophobia (both internalized & coming from the world at large) first and foremost. One of the better Lanyon's works, if depressing.

Title: The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks
Author: Josh Lanyon
Genre: m/m romance, murder mystery
Book Number/Goal: 102/150

A cool murder mystery with a healthy dollop of Gothic sensibility - my cup of tea exactly!

Title: The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
Author: Erving Goffman
Genre: cultural history
Book Number/Goal: 103/150

An enlightening read; also, surprising how fine a line between fiction and non-fiction is for classical works of sociology/cultural history XD

Title: Kant's Aesthetics [read in Russian]
Author: Afasizhev M.
Genre: philosophy
Book Number/Goal: 104/150

I usually have hard times getting into philosophy treatises, as they seem too abstract to me; tracing the impact some ideas had on cultural axioms up to our times is fun though :) For example, I'm pretty sure that the idea that true art (TM) should be a selfless act not to be paid for (to the extent that said selflesness becomes one of its defining characteristics) was to a large extent made popular by Kant.

Title: Death Trick [1st volume of Donald Strachey murder mysteries]
Author: Richard Stevenson
Genre: murder mystery
Book Number/Goal: 105/150

Read it after Lanyon, so couldn't help comparing the two. Stevenson wins for portraying the gay scene (his characters do not just float in space! they interact with other people, some of whom are gay too!) & avoiding the much-dread "true love heals all" trope, but his plots seem less tight than those of the better Lanyon novels.
potted_music: (Default)
([personal profile] potted_music Aug. 1st, 2009 12:06 am)
Title: Narratology
Author: Wolf Schmidt
Genre: litcrit
Book Number/Goal: 71/150

Title: Persepolis [2 volumes, English translation]
Author: Marjane Satrape
Genre: graphic novel, autobiography
Book Number/Goal: 72/150

This autobiographical coming-of-age story of the Iranian girl in the years following the revolution sure was an interesting read, but just in the way travelogues are interesting. It treats all the cliched topics in all the cliched ways: dictatorships are bad, massacres are bad, the state intruding on the private lives of its citizens is bad... nothing a reader could not have surmised on her own.

Title: Tele Vision
Author: Jacques Lacan
Book Number/Goal: 73/150

I chose it as a Lacan primer because it's quite short, and I had a bilingual French-Russian edition, which allowed me to brush up on my French somewhat. Though this book might be interesting, it's definitely not a place to start reading Lacan, as it explains nothing, referring to some of his established concepts without going into any detail.

Title: Woman in the Dunes [read in Ukrainian translation]
Author: Kobo Abe
Book Number/Goal: 74/150

A man gets kidnapped to help local villagers shovel ever-shifting sands. The tale is Kafkaesque in its mundane horror - not quite so bleak on the surface (which, I think, is a plus), but all the more horrific for it in the long run (for the defeat gets treated like a win).

Title: Очерк истории европейского стиха [read in Russian - Notes on the History of European Verse]
Author: М. Гаспаров [M. Hasparov]
Genre: litcrit
Book Number/Goal: 75/150

Title: Wizard and Glass [the 4th book of the Dark Tower series]
Author: Stephen King
Genre: fantasy
Book Number/Goal: 76/150

I'm pretty torn about this volume. On the one hand, I like King's writing style (audiobooks do bring out how *precise* he is with his words, how effectively he uses assonances & alliterations & stuff), but he doesn't always know when to stop, so many descriptive passages get repetitive & redundant. The plot, a volume-long flashback created for infodumpy purposes, felt like too much of a digression, and could have been much shorter (and, I feel, more powerful for it).

Title: Magic or Madness
Author: Justine Larbalestier
Genre: YA urban fantasy
Book Number/Goal: 77/150
+
Title: Magic Lessons
Author: Justine Larbalestier
Genre: YA urban fantasy
Book Number/Goal: 78/150
+
Title: Magic's Child
Author: Justine Larbalestier
Genre: YA urban fantasy
Book Number/Goal: 79/150

Liked the premise of this trilogy: magic users die when they run out of magic, but if they don't use it at all, they go mad. One hell of a choice that is - but the finale felt like an easy way out. The plot never quite grabbed me, and some plot points (like teenage pregnancy - yuck) just plain-out squicked me.

Title: Somebody Killed His Editor
Author: Josh Lanyon
Genre: mystery, romance
Book Number/Goal: 80/150

For an author writing romace for a mostly female audience, Lanyon sure disses both his genre, target audience AND fellow writers a lot. The protagonist of the novel is a middle-aged writer stuck at the writers' retreat, spouting insults at his co-attendants & investigating some murders. This constant stream of insults might be perceived as an attempt at creating a flawed narrator, but this made him too unlikeable for me to really care about.

Title: Palimpsest
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
Genre: urban fantasy
Book Number/Goal: 81/150

Loved it to the point of imposing the book on several friends. Beautifully written, and with a great premise - it's an urban fantasy in a sense that a city is the protagonist, a sexually-tansmitted dream-city. I don't get what purpose the non-linear narration was serving though.

Title: The Book of Dreams
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
Genre: fantasy
Book Number/Goal: 82/150

The tale of shifting identity, much like Palimpsest; beautifully written too. It's a tale of a woman from mediaeval Japan living through a number of myths in her dreams (Osiris&Isis, Oedipus Rex as told by the Sphinx, etc.). The only downside is, I'm not big on the essentialist idea of womanhood pushed forward in this novella, as some points (predestination, all-women-are-one, etc.) make me uncomfortable.

Title: Lawrence of Arabia
Author: Alistair MacLean
Genre: biography
Book Number/Goal: 83/150

I had high hopes for this one, as I adore both MacLean's prose and T.E. Lawrence, but it turned out to be a huge let-down. It's a simple retelling of Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom, but without the gorgeous descriptive passages and sharp observations that made the latter book such a rewarding read.

Title: Микола Лукаш. Від Бокаччо до Аполлінера [re-read, read in Ukrainian - the anthology of translations by Mykola Lukash from Boccaccio to Apollinaire]
Author: various
Genre: poetry
Book Number/Goal: 84/150

The ouevre of this legendary Ukrainian translator is interesting on so many points - the way some things, which would have got censored in original writing, could be smuggled into print via translations, etc. What grabbed me the most on this re-read though is how, while rendering most European meters masterfully, he fails with Japanese poetry. His failure is spectacular in its own way, as he is the only Ukrainian translator (that I know of) who tried recreating the wordplays, but such wordplays become just puns & good clean fun in translations, which misses the point of most poems.

Title: Sakura Gari [2 volumes, English translation]
Author: Watase Yuu
Genre: yaoi, historical, manga
Book Number/Goal: 85/150

Gave it a try because the art is pretty, and the Taishou Era (which this story is set in) is not often used in manga, but the plot is nothing to write home about. It features some of the most unlikeable characters I have ever encountered, as well as the good old "rape is how love is spelled in Japanese" trope.
taelle: (Default)
([personal profile] taelle Jul. 30th, 2009 02:54 am)

Title: Прогулки по Парижу [Parisian Walks], read in Russian
Author:  
Борис Носик [Boris Nosik]
Genre: travel
Book Number/Goal: 64/175

The author is a Russian travel writer living in Paris. He obviously knows the city well and has a lot of interesting details to tell, but I disliked his bias for Orthodox Christianity and against any revolutions and his propensity for self-aggrandizement.

Title: Four and Twenty Blackbirds
Author: Cherie Priest
Genre: thriller
Book Number/Goal: 65/175

The protagonist of this book had a number of strange things happening around her when she was a child, and when she grew up she finally had to find what it all meant. I love the type of thrillers which deals with someone dealing with family mysteries, and this is quite well done, with an engaging heroine.


Title: Everyday Life in Florence in Dante’s Times
Author:  Pierre Antonetti
Genre: History
Book Number/Goal: 66/175

The Everyday Life series include books of varying quality, but this one is well organized and clearly written.

Title: MAN, OH, MAN! Writing M/M Fiction for Kinks and Ca$h
Author:  Josh Lanyon
Genre: writing
Book Number/Goal: 67/175

 

Not many new writing advices for me, but an interesting look at the genre/

Title: Dead in the Morning
Author:  Margaret Yorke
Genre: mystery
Book Number/Goal: 68/175

A nosy college don deals with a murder in a family mansion; a typical cozy mystery, which was just what I wanted.

Title: In Search of London
Author:  Henry Morton
Genre: travel
Book Number/Goal: 69/175

Travels around London in early 1950s — both a travel guide and a journey back in time told by a man with a lively interest in people and an eye for description. I liked this book a lot.

Title: A Night in the Lonesome October/Doorways in the Sand
Author:  Roger Zelazny
Genre: fantasy, SF
Book Number/Goal: 70/175

Two novels in one book; the first is a fantasy of a kind, a story of some Halloween ritual told by a dog. The second is a SF mystery and the protagonist, though human, seems intriguing and entertaining. Liked both books

Title: Шик, блеск, красота [Chic and Beauty], read in Russian
Author:  
Марина Серова [Marina Serova]
Genre: mystery
Book Number/Goal: 71/175

A female PI investigates a murder at a fashion show. The writing is flat, and the protagonist seems incompetent.

Title: Convergence Culture
Author:  Henry Jenkins
Genre: cultural history
Book Number/Goal: 72/175

This book shows how today’s culture works across many types of media and how the audience participates in all this. Lots of things to think about.

Title: The Partner
Author:  John Grisham
Genre: thriller
Book Number/Goal: 73/175

A lawyer who embezzled 90 million dollars from his firm is found and brought home for trial, but things aren’t what they seem to be. Clever and entertaining; I read this in 3 hours in a train. Interesting how the author found necessary to give at least _some_ punishment to the protagonist.

Title: Murder on the Menu
Author:  Beverly Byrne
Genre: mystery
Book Number/Goal: 74/175

Not a cozy mystery I expected, but a man’s journey into his memories with a murder as more or less a pretext/starting point.

Title: Calahari Typing School for Men
Author:  Alexander McCall Smith
Genre: mystery
Book Number/Goal: 75/175

Mma Ramotswe has competition in business, mma Makutsi starts a new venture and meets a man. Everything ends well, of course, and keeps getting me into a good mood.

potted_music: (bookz)
([personal profile] potted_music Jul. 1st, 2009 05:54 pm)
Title: Lady Susan
Author: Jane Austen
Book Number/Goal: 66/150

insta-reaction )


Title: Hourou Musuko [English scanlation up to ch.73 = ~9 volumes?]
Author: Shimura Takako
Book Number/Goal: 67/150

insta-reaction )


Title: What is Cultural History?
Author: Peter Burke
Book Number/Goal: 68/150

insta-reaction )

Title: City of Glass [the 3d book of the Mortal Instruments trilogy]
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA urban fantasy
Book Number/Goal: 69/150

insta-reaction )


Title: Man, Oh Man! Writing M/M for Kinks and Ca$h
Author: Josh Lanyon
Book Number/Goal: 70/150

insta-reaction )
Title: Dangerous Ground [Adrien English Mysteries, volume 2]
Author: Josh Lanyon
Genre: mystery
Book Number/Goal: 50/150

+

Title: The Hell You Say [Adrien English Mysteries, volume 3]
Author: Josh Lanyon
Genre: mystery
Book Number/Goal: 51/150

+

Title: Death of the Pirate King [Adrien English Mysteries, volume 4]
Author: Josh Lanyon
Genre: mystery
Book Number/Goal: 52/150

insta-reaction, major spoilers for the romace plotline )


Title: Dark Horse
Author: Josh Lanyon
Genre: mystery
Book Number/Goal: 53/150

insta-reaction )


Title: Книга Буття, Глава четверта [Ukrainian]
Author: Оксана Забужко
Genre: sci-fi
Book Number/Goal: 54/150

insta-reaction )


Title: The Poetry Chains of Dominic Luxford
Author: various
Genre: poetry
Book Number/Goal: 55/150

insta-reaction )
potted_music: (Default)
([personal profile] potted_music Jun. 6th, 2009 11:38 pm)
Title: Achter de spiegel: film en fictie [Russian translation]
Author: Anton Haakman
Genre: non-fiction; essays on movies
Book Number/Goal: 47/150


Title: The Demon's Lexicon
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Genre: YA fantasy
Book Number/Goal: 48/150

insta-reaction )


Title: Fatal Shadows [Adrien English Mysteries, volume 1]
Author: Josh Lanyon
Genre: mystery
Book Number/Goal: 49/150

insta-reaction - yay, at last I've found my dream book with glbt characters! )
.

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