Monday, September 24, 2007

BOOKS | Library Haul

Swung by the library today and picked up some books. (Big surprise) I'm not keeping my Books In Progress pile in check -- obviously. But then I really seem to be reading more, when I'm reading more books all together. My haul for today:

The library finally brought in the Twilight Watch, the third book in the Night Watch series. In the mythos of the Russian Night Watch series, there is the Night Watch -- the ones who represent the Light, and then there is the Day Watch -- those who represent the Dark. Watching over the two factors, punishing them when either side defies the Treaty is the Twilight Watch -- the impartial Inquisitors. This is their tale.

New York City for Dummies. Okay, if the 2008 US Election goes well, I might consider visiting either New York or Hawaii next year (or in 2009). Nothing is confirmed, just looking at the travel guides. Say, anyone live in New York? Or Hawaii? Any recommendations for a vegetarian budget traveller who wants to visit either of these places for about 7~10 days?

One Foot in Laos. I really need to get down to reading it soon. Dad and I are supposed to go to Laos together but I've nothing planned. Haven't even broken into the Lonely Planet Laos guide yet.

A Time in Rome by Elizabeth Bowen. I was browsing the travel writing section when I stumbled upon this account of Bowen's sojourn in Rome between February and Easter. I am partial to Rome, or any Italian city in general, so I just picked it up.

I decided to expand my repertoire of authors for the Outmoded Authors Challenge, because all these bloggers reading and posting about Bowen -- they make me curious.

PS: Did anyone know that Elizabeth Bowen has a Myspace account? :)


Lotus Reads said...

New York, Hawai'i, Laos, your post makes me want to go on a long journey too, but sadly I am grounded until Christmas!

Enjoy your haul, those books sound wonderful!

Anonymous said...

i wonder what the fourth one in the series will be about - do you know? 'cause it would seem that with the fourth one (if there is a fourth one) they would have to expand or elaborate upon the concept a bit - and it would be interesting to see what they do?

i suppose a war of some sort. a more obvious war, if you know what i mean.

LK said...

I have to look up Elizabeth Bowen's myspace...thanks.

I think you've got some great reads.

darkorpheus said...

Lotus Ah, you can travel AFTER Christmas. Probably will be cheaper too. I hope I have time to read most of the haul though.

Jean Pierre I read online that the Night Watch series it's now a quartet -- or whatever is a series of 4 books. Quartology? But I haven't found anything else on it online.

I think I know what you mean about a war -- something close to the Apocalypse perhaps. An all out war. Or something.

LK That Elizabeth Bowen myspace was kind of fun, isn't it? How they catch up with times, these dead writers.

Carl V. Anderson said...

I'll have to read those Russian sci fi novels sometime. I loved the first film and am going to go ahead and watch the movies first now that I've started that way.

Jill said...

I haven't read the Nightwatch series - they sound good! I will give them a try. And by the way, you warm my librarian heart to hear you talk about your library haul - yay! I'm used to hearing about everyone's bookstore hauls, which is great, but I love that you use the library! :-)

darkorpheus said...

Carl If you find the time, do try the Night Watch novels. They take the mythos further than the films, and I find the storylines better. And the conflict between the Day Watch and Night Watch, it feels more like a chess game than an outright war.

Darla D One of the best thing a friend said to me about using the library: "You get to read books for free, and it's better for the environment."

With such advice, how can I not use the the library? :)

Doc Martian said...

hmmm. brings to mind 'riding the iron rooster' by Paul Theroux. A travelogue of railway journeys in china. His third train travelogue. it inspired one bud of mine enough to travel to china.

Doc Martian said...

btw. if you ever decide to do dinah shore (biggest lesbian weekend in the WORLD) lemme know, i'll hip you to all the hot spots. i live about 20 miles from the festivities.


Anonymous said...

I've got One Foot in Laos too, I'm bringing it to Hawaii with me next week. :)

Elizabeth Bowen has a knack to weave these philosophical prose into her story. I love her! :)

darkorpheus said...

Doc Martian Er -- thanks for offering to be my Dinah Shore guide, but I don't think I'll ever go there. What I've heard about Dinah Shore sounds scary. A national congregation of lesbians coming together to meet up and mate is just nightmarish! :)

Theroux -- his books also seem like something I would like to pick up. But China is a very different place from when he travelled. Always wondered if some travelogues can stay relevant over time.

Matt Oh! I'm envious! Hawaii! All my friends keep telling me to go eat pineapple and look at dormant volcanoes. Sheesh.

Bowen -- I like how they describe the book as her "meditation" on the city. Rome is just a beautiful city layered with history. I'm curious what she would make of it.

Doc Martian said...

heh. i didn't quite offer to be your guide, just your travel agent. as far as the 'weekend' in itself? i haven't read anything bad about it, but from what i've seen, most of the participants appear to be having a good time. palm springs is pretty gay friendly. like any resort, it probably would be better to visit once you have already mated. too much horseshit in a transient community to seek a partner there. i've seen more folks lyin' about their background in palm springs than i care to admit. still. a long weekend in a balmy tourist resort is nothing to sneer at. i wouldn't go for the literary society though, but when you reach that point where a weekend getting swackered with the girls sounds like a good time, that'd be a good place to go.


the best travelogues describe an experience that is irrepeatable, being from the experience of the author and his ability to observe and interface at that time in society. Blue Highways and PrairyErth by William Least Heat Moon being rewarding exemplars of the literate human at play on the road.

darkorpheus said...

Doc Martian Ever read "The Snow Leopard"? A great spiritual travelogue.

Doc Martian said...

nope. never seen that before. looks like something i might read someday though. right now i've got mort darthur, within a budding grove, closing the ring, and the kjv goin' on. i don't read as voraciously as i used to either. human rights stuff is more rewarding. still, i usually have a good book goin' on. just finished 'decline and fall of the roman empire' last year. took me 18 years to read. read thousands of other books in that period though.


p.s. i'll probably finish 'within a budding grove' tomorrow or the next day.

Anonymous said...

Ha! I'm all set and ready to go! Pineapple sounds good. I look forward to uninterrupted periods of sun and ocean.

But I have to resolve one thing before I go: what books I'll bring with me?

Unknown said...

Eh, my mum bugging me to plan for USA 2008. But the thought of those awful immigration officials i encountered on previous trips makes me sibeh sian.

Plus the super long plane ride, even though it's business but still so many hours!

darkorpheus said...

Doc Martian Good luck with Proust then. I'm still trying to finish Sodom & Gomorrah.

Matt Didn't you just come back from a trip? Again?

But oh yes, the eternal question of what to bring on a trip. I always shuffle the books until the last minute -- when I have to head for the airport.

Ah Leng What does your mom want to see in the US? More shopping? Where are you guys heading out?

Business class? Yeah, I know about the long flight and business flight only. How you guys suffer. Why not just do more stop-overs?

Anonymous said...

Library books always mess up the books in progress pile--at least for me. But I can't seem to stop myself from borrowing books. I love Elizabeth Bowen--A Time in Rome sounds like an interesting title!

Doc Martian said...

my advice for proust is to try a lil valerian with it, or maybe an opiate. proust was a lil' bit sedated during his writing, its easy to read his stuff so fast that you miss stuff, a calmer more reflective state of mind helps some. maybe after a yoga session if you avoid intoxicants.

darkorpheus said...

Danielle Libraries are wonderful, aren't they? So glad my mom used to bring us to the library every Saturday when we were growing up. We didn't go to MacDonalds or shopping. Family time was the weekend library trip.

Thanks, Mom.

This is the first time I'm read Elizabeth Bowen. Matt mentioned she weaved "philosophical prose" into her story -- and I'm wondering if she'll do that with her thoughts on Rome.

Doc Martian I think with Proust, I can only do a certain amount everyday. The key is a consistent reading everyday. It's just not the kind of book I can speed through.

All that meandering prose:

Meander, meander, parties, parties, bitchy wit, gossip, meander,, party, Princess Blah Blah and another Duc Blah Blah Blah...meander, meander.

And yet, it all seems beautiful when you step back to consider it.

Unknown said...

I haven't planned anything yet but my mum's for america (shopping & las vegas), hubby's gunning for europe......i am more keen on asia.

How to compromise like that?

Doc Martian said...

dark: I like the depth laid per scene. setting, then groupings, then people, then the wit of people, then some act of god. each setting has so much place and spirit from the people dancing within it. still, it shows a real catty awareness (with little interjection) of different ranges of wit. low and high.

i'm reading about 40 pages a day, 45 one day 32 the next you know the score. moves the stories forward about right. more seems overzealous. some days i'll asplurge and read 60-odd pages.


darkorpheus said...

Doc Martian I like the way you paced yourself. I usually read too many books at once, so I always rotate the books -- takes longer to finish books that way.

Doc Martian said...

I used to do that when i was in my tweens. 10-15 books in various levels of completion. 5 piled up on the top of the couch as i lay there reading. less imperative these days though. i think i primarily needed the intellectual rigor to be able to whomp the shit out of fascist people who are trying to brainwash folks without breaking a sweat. i've been banned from more chatrooms than I care to count. All I have to do is say the words "Lavon Affair", i can even go into chatrooms and flame folks i know are trouble for hours, but as soon as i say those two magic words? Presto! I have to find another chatroom. So, I usually keep it to backing political positions that i know that fascist dickheads don't like until i get bored, then i say the magic words and maybe mention the u.s.s. liberty if its a u.s. jingoroom. keeps me mighty entertained, sometimes even ecstatic. when my fingers get tired? i lay back with some churchill or proust or the mabinogion or yoshikawa's musashi or a big fat compilation of howard the duck or dr. strange or batman or something. ever read will and ariel durant?