"The ability to read awoke inside me...

by tosca on Monday, August 23, 2010

...some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.”
~ Autobiography of Malcolm X

I do not remember when my love affair with books began. As a precocious 11 year old reading 'Fear of flying' by Erica Jong? As a curious 9 year old reading Nabokov's 'Lolita'? As a 7 year old with a literary crush reading The Hardy Boys under the blankets after lights out? As a 5 year old reading Milne's 'Now we are six' with my mum? As a 3 year old listening to my mum read me bible stories (that were more like horror stories as a toddler but hey, what did I know?). Earlier, perhaps? I'm not sure. I'll probably never know. But everyday I am grateful that it began some day, some when, and that my parents fostered it. It's Monday and this is an 'on the shelf' post or a 'what I'm reading' post.

I've been really slack about blogging for the last 4 weeks or so but I have a good reason: desktop pc go boom (well, not quite but it was a close thing) and has gone to doctor to get fixed and laptop blogging has never really appealed to me. It's too fiddly! But I feel somewhat motivated to talk books tonight.

I wrote a post late last week for our work Top 5 blog that had 5 titles I found while stalking cataloguing and acquisitions trolleys that piqued my interest enough to make my ever expanding to-be-read list. I've also put the reason as to why I want to read each title but, hey, there's no rhyme or reason to how I select books so don't moan at me if you don't agree:

What I'm wanting to read:
5. Numb: a novel by Sean Ferrell - Why? Umm no reason - I just think it could be an interesting book. Yes? Oh! And I liked the subject heading 'congenital insensitivity to pain' because, hey, I've never seen that one before.

4. Dracula in love: a novel by Karen Essex - Why? I count Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' as the first vampire novel I remember making an impact on my tiny mind, and the idea of a retelling from a different character POV (point of view) is intriguing. I do have a query, though: why do writers of fiction novels use the word 'novel' as a part of the title? I don't understand that. Can someone explain it?

3. The man with the golden touch: how the Bond films conquered the world by Sinclair McKay - Why? I heart Bond! He's horribly misogynistic and chauvinistic and cheesy to the core (not to mention terribly inappropriate for 9 year old girls to be reading but the book was just sitting there and so my lifelong affair with Bond began) but I love love LOVE him in all his horribleness. I cannot help myself. Well, truth be told, I refuse to help myself.

2. They called themselves the KKK: the birth of an American terrorist group by Susan Campbell Bartoletti - Why? There's no doubt that the KKK are an interesting part of American history - they're certainly a controversial part, geez. I am always fascinated by how majority cultures treat people and I don't think it's even anything to do with my being Maori. I think it's just general human interest on my part. While in Memphis, Tennessee I visited the National Civil Rights Museum - formerly the Lorraine Hotel where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated April 4th 1968 - and was saddened, appalled, angered and laid low by how badly we sometimes treat each other. I remember standing at the viewing window to King's former motel room and silently crying and thinking that sometimes people do atrocious things.

1. Clementine by Cherie Priest - Why? I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVED Priest's steampunk novel 'Boneshaker' and that alone has me impatiently awaiting this book to make its way through cataloguing. Am I perhaps building it up too much? Only a reading will tell.

What I am actually reading at the moment:
5. Doctor Who : the encyclopedia : a definitive guide to time and space by Gary Russell - Why? Because I love Doctor Who - why else?!? Although I do not love this book :( The script is little. Even Mr. 6, who is even more of a diehard fan than I am, agrees. We ooh and aah over the pictures but don't read the text. Ugh.

4. Nauti and Wild anthology by Lora Leigh and Jaci Burton - I think I may have finally found a Lora Leigh book whose alpha male character's overbearing attitude is a little too much for even me to take. I'm willing to forgive to all kinds of crazy, overly possessive behaviour in chasing after the happy-ever-after (although IRL I will slap your arse with a restraining order and send my insane sisters out to hunt you down and gut you) but unh-unh not this time around. I did *really* like Burton's story. Had never read one of the Wild books before and may have found a new romance series to go after. YAY is me :)

3. Chelsea Chelsea bang bang - Why? Because as rude as her mouth is, she's totally hilarious with it, and her 3rd memoir is no exception. I've laughed myself to tears reading it and then I put it down and now I can't remember where and there are books everywhere and it's now so overdue - 'cause I took ages to start it - that it's charged me. Oops. I apologise to those who're in waiting for it (if there are people waiting for it).

2. The day I swapped my dad for two goldfish with words by Neil Gaiman & pictures by Dave McKean - Why? Because I think it's never too early to foster a love of Gaiman in my 6 year old nephew. Amen. So far we've gotten as far as discussing the cover and thinking of what we'd swap our parents for (much laughter ensued which is why we never actually got to open the book. Maybe tomorrow night...?).

1. A book of tongues by Gemma Files - Why? It has m/m elements (male/male rather than male/female) and is a paranormal western. I'm reluctant to finish it for one very good reason: it's a whole year until the next book in this series *moans* and it's GOOD. It seriously is! I'm not sure which character that is on the cover - Chess? Rook? Ed? - but whoever it is that is NOT how I pictured them. In my head they all look like Gabriel Macht when he played Frank James (as in Jesse James' brother) in the 2001 made-for-tv film 'American Outlaws.' Pfft.

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