christabel_daae: (The road goes ever on and on...)
I haven’t posted anything with these tags for a really long while due to a number of reasons. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t read anything and haven’t kept notes! So – back to my July reading now.
Для Эжени: тебе настоятельно рекомендуется Жан Рей, у меня под номером 33. Где-то в нете я натыкалась на это произведение по-русски. Ну и то, что я рекомендую всем в постскриптуме к 31 книге (но не ее саму, есснно!!!) И не забудь, с тебя тоже впечатления о "Перевале"!)

9 books, and endless rows of letters )
christabel_daae: (Wandering child)
#24
Author:
Quite various - Russian writers of the 19th century
Title: Белое привидение: Русская готика (The White Ghost: Russian Gothic stories)
Genre: gothic stories and novels - decent 19th century-fashioned
Language: Russian
Rating: 9/10
That's a collection of stories and short novels of famous - and not-so-famous - Russian writers of the early 19th century. To name several - A. Pogorelskiy, V. Odoyevskiy, A. Tolstoy (his novel 'Upyr', or 'The Vampire' is the one which comes into one's mind at once when the adjectives 'Russian' and 'gothic' appear together). The only story I've read before was this 'Upyr', other ones were completely new to me. They were amazing. I like this old fashon of writing, of narrating... the very air of 19th century gothic stories... The language, in brief, was very refreshing - after all those stupid modern bestsellers, in which the author violates the language, the style, the plot (if there's any plot present).
I recommend this book to all my Russian-speaking friends. And I also think these old writings are worth being translated into English.


#25
Author:
Charlotte Bronte
Title: Jane Eyre
Genre: classics, romance
Language: English
Rating: 10/10
That was formally a reread. But I've last read this marvellous novel not less then nine years ago. In addition to that, I've only read it in Russian translation. So this book was a real treat. The edition was also one, with those thick yellowish pages and a very long introduction by Lucy Hughes-Hallett (I didn't like many ideas of this lady, but I adore reading long introductions and literature criticism even if I don't agree with them). I won't say anything on the book itself - I guess it is known by everyone. I like it very much, that's just the sort of thick 19th century novel I adore. And the depiction of relations between Jane and Mr Rochester, ah! I didn't remember them to be so-o-o sensual. This book is a must-read for anyone (however, I doubt, whether there's someone who hasn't read it).
As a foreigner, I also should add that the language is rather sophisticated. It took me some effort. Jane Austen's novels have much 'easier' language.

#26
Author:
Марина і Сергій Дяченко (Marina and Sergey Dyachenko)
Title: Vita Nostra
Genre: As always, difficult to say - between fantasy and sci-fi. Let's say, psychological sci-fi
Language: Ukrainian
Rating: 8/10
The latest book of Dyachenko. A Ukrainian high-school student, Alexandra, gets under the influence of some horrifying dark man Farit. He tells her to do strange things: to bathe naked in the sea at four o'clock a.m.; to run in the nearby park at five a.m. each day - if she fails, something terrible - most likely, lethal - is going to happen to her mother or stepfather. After her graduation, she is forced to enter some eerie university in a small provincial town. There the rules are the same: study hard (and studying there is frighteningly difficult, for it seems nonsense), otherwise something terrible will happen to your relatives. Closer to the end Alexandra starts to see some sense in that... and then she comes to the final exam.
My thoughts: This book is said everywhere to be probably the most powerful of Dyachenko's novels. As for me, I can't agree with that. Yeah, it is strong - and quite cruel, as well. But the end is almost a disappointment. For me (and my mother, we've both read the book) there's no catharsis in it. a spoiler ) However, the book is pretty philosophical; captivating to read - few books offer such depth. That's the reason for my high rating.

#27
Author:
Barbara Hambly
Title: Travelling with the Dead
Genre: mystery, vampires
Language: Russian (read in translation)
Rating: 10/10
I won't say anything on the plot (better ask google(C) ), only my ardent emotions. That was great. As great as the first book ('Those Who Hunt the Night') was. Same Edwardian England - or, rather, pre-World War I age - we are shown France, Austria, and Turkey. Same precision of details, same subtle humour and ironising. And more on the characters. Especially on don Ysidro - here, when he is constantly in female society, we see that he is a real gentleman. And on Lydia Asher. She's my favourite beyond all doubts, me also being red-haired (I say, golden-haired), short-eyed, scientific-minded and studying and loving medicine and pathoanatomy. In addition to that in this novel I encountered a most moving vampire love story (for those who've read it: I'm not talking of the Farrens, not at all!) - so unspoken, so kept inside and so affecting!
This is the book I would (and I already do) advise to everybody. The Russian translation is perfect (bad translations are a pest for us). The scene, the plot, the ... oh yes, I've already said all this.

#28
Author:
Генри Лайон Олди (Henry Lion Oldie)
Title: Шмагия (Shmagic)
Genre: fantasy, parody, mystery
Language: Russian
Rating: 9/10
Henry Lion Oldie is a pen-name for Dmitry Gromov and Oleg Ladyzhensky. Sir Oldie is among the 'best Russian-language writers' of the present day, having a great number of novels and stories in stock. This one takes place in a world similar to Renaissance (or even probably 18th century) Europe, only with magic taking an important hand. The very subject of the book is quite serious. But in small details which describe the world, in the dialogues of the characters there's so much parody! Rich and hilarious - this is the depiction of the book. As for the plot... may I say only that it's one of a detective story mixed with mystery and fantasy (to say nothing of the humour...) Recommended. Both to be read and to be translated.

#29
Author:
Олег Дивов (Oleg Divov)
Title: Братья по разуму (Brothers in Mind)
Genre: science-fiction, action
Language: Russian
Rating: 8/10
I'm so tired and have no force to write more on the books... May I say only that this one is rather nice and it should be made into a blockbuster - it's a 'secret service action' set in the 2030s. The novel is 'a novel for boys' - my Dad, for instance, enjoyed it as much as possible. For me that was a bit too harsh. However, I did like it as well.

#30
Author:
Philip K. Dick
Title: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Genre: science-fiction
Language: Russian (read in translation)
Rating: 9/10
"A typical Philip K. Dick" - I've already read three other his novels and watched several movies (no, not this one - it somehow went by). I enjoyed it, although I usually don't like books about societies with mentalities quite different from what they are nowadays. And that's an acknowledged masterpiece, is it not?

If one would like to ask more about these books and what do I think of them, he's always welcome.
christabel_daae: (Default)
Some more books read. This time, as I promised to some certain person, the list is 100% vampire-free!
#20
Author:
Володимир Аренєв (Volodymyr - or Vladimir - Arenyev)
Title: Магус (Magus)
Genre: fantasy, mystery
Language: Ukrainian
Rating: 7/10
Ukrainian - or, better to say, Ukrainian-language, for many authors prefer to write in Russian - fantasy is very, very scanty. So I was really happy to discover this book which I've heard much about before. The plot intrigued me prety much: it takes place in alternative Renaissance Italy, 'pre-da Vinci'. In this Italy sorcery exists, though not in a usual way. There's an order of monks who do kind of necromancy: they return deceased people to this world, but only as ghosts. There exists another order - the one of Magi - its members are kind of magicians according to their abilities, but their occupation is extra class investigators. Finally, there exists 'the little people', pueruli - they vary much, but in general remind of Shakespeare's Puck.
The story centers around Oberto, a magus who came to the town Aliasso to investigate the theft of nine family rings of some VIP aristocrat. And around Fantin, a rather prosperous thief (a villa robber, to be exact) whom the magus hires to help him. The case appears much more complicated than it seemed, for the aristocrat wants to supress the case and send the magus away, which he would have done, if not the ghost of his determined ancestor.
Well, it was rather worse than I had expected. The detective line is, IMO, too complicated; the reader knows too little and is too bewildered with everything. Surely, in the end we are told and shown everything, but reading the novel is not so captivating as it should be.
The book is availiable in Russian as well. I can advise it to most people because its subject is fresh, and its language rich. There are also ve-ery nice 'literature and historical jokes' sscattered througout the text (a combination of don Vito Corleone and the Pinocchio's father in one person... apart from the fact that this awesome mafia leader is but a ghost...)

#21
Author:
Володимир Аренєв (Volodymyr - or Vladimir - Arenyev)
Title: Бісова душа, або заклятий скарб (The Devilish Soul, or the Cursed Treasure)
Genre: fantasy, horrors (kinda)
Language: Ukrainian
Rating: 8/10
This novel takes place in pre-Khmelnitskyy Cossack Ukraine. The main character, kharakternyk Andriy ('kharakternyk' is a term for a cossack warlock - and physician as well) decides to become a monk. That's very natural - not to say typical for many old warriors of those times. Still, a strange person 'whose cloak resembled broken wings' reminds him of a debt. Once that very person saved him from the Plain of Pre-Death, where Andriy followed an agonizing patient. Now he wants our hero to bury a strange chest in some strange place. Andriy starts a terrifying journey, travelling in our world and in Vyriy - that's the term for an eerie world between our one and the world of the dead. (By the way, in Ukrainian language we also use this word for the place birds fly to for winter;) Here Arenyev successfully combines Ukrainian myths and legends with those of his own invention. Werewolves are only the most habitual of them, one being the hero's companion during a great deal of his quest.
What do I think? Great. Really captivating. Really worthy translating to any language). I don't know whether it is availiable in Russian - but, alas, I am sure it's never been translated in English(( Though it should. Definitely)

#22
Author:
Марина и Сергей Дяченко(Marina and Sergey Dyachenko)
Title: Армагед-дом (Armaged-Home)
Genre: social science-fiction
Language: Russian
Rating: 9/10
Another novel by my favourite authors. Imagine a world where every 20 years a real apocalypse occurs. However, most people survive - if they enter one of the 'Portals' - mysterious constructions which appear only for several minutes in the moment of greatest need. The book describes different periods of the female heroine's life and the society she lives in. Surely, the novel is more social and psychological than sci-fi - quite a usual thing for all Dyachenko's books.
My thoughts? Pretty powerful. 'Not the best book in the world' (c) - but a very decent one. At least surely a book to make one think. And they did manage to write a happy-end which looks like a happy-end from any angles! (at least one can be sure about the situation in the end).

#23
Author:
Jane Austen
Title: Sense and Sensibility
Language: English, for sure)
Genre: classic, romance
Rating: 10/10
This was a reread, however, this time in original. The previous time was long ago, so I didn't even remember with whom Marianne will finally stay. As brilliant as all Austen novels. A must read for anyone, at least for anyone belonging to the fair sex)
christabel_daae: (Wandering child)
Strangely - for I didn't intend to - all the recent novels read by me turned out to be about vampires. However, they are all very diverse and regard the subject from various angles. Part of the entry are put under cut for length, not for spoilers (there may be some minor ones, but actually I do my best to avoid them)
#15
Author:
Lucius Shepard
Title: The Golden
(read in Russian)
Genre: vampires, gothic novels
Rating: 7/10
Nick Gevers' Review - I cannot describe the book any better than that
My Thoughts )

#16
Author:
Barbara Hambly
Title: Those Who Hunt the Night
(read in Russian)
Genre: vampires, mystery
Rating: 10/10
Spoilerfree Plot Synopsis and My Thoughts )

#17
Author:
Carrie, Arona, T'Alien, Banshee
Title: Dead travel (sequel to 'Dark Prague')
(read in Russian - as it is written in Russian, naturally:)
Genre: vampires. And, I'd say, kinda 'psychological fiction'.
Rating: 9/10
Here are HUGE spoilers to the first part - and probably several to this one as well. But since you won't find the book in English - I guess this doesn't matter for you )

#18
Author:
Marina and Sergey Dyachenko
Title: The Execution
(read in Russian - the original language)
Genre: fantasy (rather untypical, though)
Rating: 9/10
Here I couldn't do without spoilers )

#19
Author:
Jennifer Rardin
Title: Another One Bites the Dust
(read in English, finally:)
Genre: urban fantasy
Rating: 6/10
Those minor spoilers )

Currently reading: Rereading 'Those Who Hunt the Night'))))
christabel_daae: (Default)
I've taken the challenge only in May, but I still hope to read 100 books until the year's end. So far I am satisfied with the result)
#9
Author:
Orson Scott Card
Title: Ender's Game
(read in Russian)
Genre: science fiction
Rating: 10/10
My Thoughts: The book doubtlessly belongs to the Gold Collection of Literature (yeah, I say literature, not merely sci-fi). Really cruel in many ways, deeply psychological, it depicts how a child is made a grown-up too early and how grown-ups manipulate children, moulding their charaters (or, in a way, ruining their selves) in order to save the world from 'evil extra-terrestrials'. A captivating book. And a book to make one think a lot on various topics. Recommended to anyone.

#10
Author:
Orson Scott Card
Title: Speaker for the Dead
(read in Russian)
Genre: science fiction
Rating: 7/10
The Plot in a Nutshell (no spoilers, don't worry) - and My Thoughts: The sequel of 'Ender's Game', taking place in several milleniums. However, thanks to Einstein's theory of relativity, Ender and his sister are still alive and comparatively young. The plot revolves around the only one existing rational species (apart from humans, of course). So the main characters are xenologists of a Portuguese-speaking colony. The book is much better than a great amount of sci-fi, but rather weaker than the first one. Xenological problems aren't that affecting as the sight of children who act like grown-ups.

#11
Author:
Jude Deveraux
Title: Remembrance
(read in Russian)
Genre: romance
Rating: 8/10
My Thoughts: The author writes well and with a great sense of humour. Her heroine is an author of historical romances herself. That allows Ms. Deveraux to make complaints about all those who hold such romances in contempt - and how she does that!
I do say that the author writes well. The book is doubtlessly better than a mediocre romance 'for housewives'. The plot about reliving one's past lives is OK. But I didn't like that 'first life and love story' of the heroine, which took part in Elizabethan England. The author tells us at the beginning that 'The whole thing at Mayerling makes me ill', she really hates love stories ending with suicides. So why writing one? At least, afterwards in Edwardian England - and then in our time - the heroine corrected her mistake;)

#12
Author:
Eugenia Riley
Title: A Tryst in Time
(read in Russian)
Genre: romance
Rating: 6/10
My Thoughts: This time really 'a mediocre romance for housewives'. Rather weaker, I think, than her 'Phantom in Time'. Probably because there wasn't any seduction and almost nothing of psychological 'games' and development of relations between characters. Also, no opera this time) However, I enjoyed the pictures of American South pretty much. New Orleans, Atlanta, Charlestown... even mentioning these makes me put the book a higher mark)))

#13
Author:
Andrzej Sapkowski
Title: The World of King Arthur. Maladie. Something ends, Something begins... (etc)
(read in Russian)
Genre: fantasy, essays
Rating: 10/10
My Thoughts:A collection of stories and literature essays of one of the best (not to say 'The Very Best') fantasy writer of our time. I won't say Sapkowski is Tolkien's equal - nay, the Professor's name is sacred - but he's pretty close to that. It's a great pity his works aren't translated in English (except several short stories, the first ones of 'The Witcher Saga').
For me this book was a re-read. The stories are much diverse. My favourite one of this collection is 'The Golden Afternoon', a tribute to Lewis Carroll. Then I'd point out 'The World of King Arthur', a long essay about the legend, its roots, its development, its characters (up to the minor ones) and its influence. A must-read for those of non-English origin (I speak of myself as well), for I don't know a better way for them to become rather familiar with the Legend. I know I should read Thomas Malory - but where to find him?! And, last but not least, there are several funny essays about 'How to write fantasy' and the contemporary problems of the genre, in the whole world and in Poland in particular.

#14
Author:
Jennifer Rardin
Title: Once Bitten, Twice Shy
(ha-ha, finally I read sotmething in original)))
Genre: urban fantasy, vampires
Rating: 8/10
Probably these are spoilers )



14 / 100 books. 14% done!

Currently reading:
  • Jennifer Rardin - Another One Bites the Dust
  • Lucius Shepard - The Golden - a very strong book. Decadence, vampires, and NC-17, but still so powerful!
  • christabel_daae: (Wandering child)
    Dearest [livejournal.com profile] soldaja, don't read this! The major part of this entry doesn't do me any credit! I don't want you to regard me as a reader of 'женские романы'
    This week I was not supposed to read fiction at all - that's the end of the term at my university. I mean Mssrs Pathoanatomy, Pharmacology with a number of junior partners were trying hard to suck life out of me. I was supposed to be buried under textbooks and prints. But the decision was to rebel and to read something not very intelligent, nice and making me relax. By chance I found several 'romantic' e-books and a program to convert them into java. So...

    #2 Максимилиана Моррель "Код любви"
    (supposedly Maximilienne (or Maximiliana, can't found the Latin variant of her name) Morrel 'The Love code'

    Genre: romance (with vampires)
    Rating: 7/10
    I read this one, as well as the others, in Russian translation. But I couldn't find any trace of this one in the English-language net. However, the book was doubtlessly originally written in English and by an American. I know that the editors often strikingly change the titles when a translation of mediocre romance is published, probably they also change the author's name?
    My thoughts with possible spoilers )

    #3 'Secret Vampire' by Lisa Jane Smith
    (read actually as Лиза Джейн Смит, "Тайный вампир" ;-)

    Genre: romance, vampires
    Rating: 3/10
    My angry thoughts )

    #4 'Dark Angel' by Lisa Jane Smith
    (again read actually as Лиза Джейн Смит, "Темный ангел";)

    Genre: romance, supernatural
    Rating: 7/10
    Yes, I am really happy that after being that disappointed by the previous one, I still took another from Night World series.
    My thoughts with as few spoilers as I tried )

    #5 'Phantom in Time' by Eugenia Riley
    (or Юджиния Райли, "Позови меня, любовь" - 'Call me, my Love', if we translate it back;)

    Genre: romance, historical romance
    Rating: 9/10
    Annotation at the author's site:
    He is the ghostly tenor who haunts an old opera house. She is a modern soprano who hears his glorious voice. His passion draws her back in time to meet him as a real man. But will she be able to share his love and save him from a murderer? Or will he forever become her phantom in time?
    My enthusiastic thoughts and several spoilers )

    #6 'Mistress of Mellyn' by Victoria Holt
    (or Виктория Холт, "Госпожа замка Меллин")

    Genre: historical romance
    Rating: 8/10
    Plot summaries (spoilerless) from http://www.allreaders.com:
    "Martha Leigh falls on hard times and is forced to get a job. She gets a position as a governess for the spoiled daughter of Connan TreMellyn. She hears all sorts of gossip about the family and determines to discover whether or not it's true. A very intriguing story."
    Laura J. Miller, Resident Scholar

    "A young Victorian woman in England finds a job as a governess for a young girl in Cornwall, England. She enters service in a castle near the sea and within those walls, she finds mysteries she ends up solving and finds love at the end, too!"
    Debbie, Resident Scholar

    What do I think myself? Really nice. A good example of contemporary historical romance. I can advise it.

    #7 Надежда Первухина, "Имя для ведьмы"
    (Nadezhda Pervukhina, 'A Name for a Witch')

    Genre: urban fantasy, humorous fantasy
    Rating: 7/10
    I picked this book at my favourite library (the one offering the largest collection of newest published popular books, as well as the old ones, surely) quite recently and read it in one sitting. A bit too 'witchy' for the Christian in me, but written nicely and with a great sense of humour (for example, the heroine's lover is a parody of a well-known Russian author of humorous fantasy... And her mother, possessing not a drop of magic, has much power against the bad guys because she is a lieutenant colonel in tax police). If you read in Russian, this e-book can be got in the net. Still, if you read in Russian, there many other books I'd advise you.

    #8 Сергей и Марина Дяченко, "Алена и Аспирин"
    (Marina and Sergey Dyachenko, 'Alena and Aspirin')

    Genre: urban fantasy, supernatural
    Rating: 8/10
    I fortunately discovered a wiki article about this couple (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marina_and_Sergey_Dyachenko ). That made me very glad: I don't need to write this myself! So I'd just say a couple of words. They are spouses and the story of their life (up to today) could make a romance novel. They are among my favourite authors. Their books aren't primitive fantasy, but are deeply symbolic, make the reader think a lot. There are also very touching romances in their books (however, not in all of them, and not in this one).
    As for the book itself... Not their best one, I think. I've described it's genre it as urban fantasy, but it's rather psychological - and magical realism. Anyway, I liked 'The Ritual', 'Witch's Age', 'The Cave' and 'Magicians can do anything' MUCH more.



    8 / 100 books. 8% done!
    christabel_daae: (Wandering child)
    Have just found probably the community of my dream:
    50 Book Chalenge
    The point is: you have to read not less than 50 books in a year. You write about them, review them, discuss, advise, get tips about what to read next... There are discussions led about connected topics (the current, for instance, is about pros and cons of book reviews).

    [livejournal.com profile] soldaja and [livejournal.com profile] maxatma, I do advise this to you

    Profile

    christabel_daae: (Default)
    christabel_daae

    December 2014

    S M T W T F S
     12345 6
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    28293031   

    Syndicate

    RSS Atom

    Most Popular Tags

    Style Credit

    Expand Cut Tags

    No cut tags
    Page generated 21 July 2017 18:33
    Powered by Dreamwidth Studios