Friday, September 14, 2007

1d12 Book Reviews for September

It's been months since I last did a book review so here's a quick rundown to make up for all that lost time:

The Spirit of the Chinese Character: Gifts from the Heart by Barbara Aria with Russel Eng Gon - A novelty book explaining the roots of several Chinese characters, specifically the virtues. If you're unfamiliar with Chinese, it gives a good glimpse of the intricacies of the language and how words can be both beautiful and meaningful.

Fantasy: Best of the Year 2007 edited by Rich Horton - Great literary fantasy anthology. After reading it, it makes me feel I don't need to read another anthology for the rest of the year.

The Girl in the Flammable Skirt
by Aimee Bender
- A quaint and quick collection of short stories that only Bender can tell in her melding of both literary fiction and speculative fiction.

Science Fiction: Best of the Year 2007
edited by Rich Horton
- As far as I can remember, I loved all the stories in this collection. Easily the best book in the review, let alone the best anthology. Literary science fiction with excellent tastes.

An Invisible Sign of My Own by Aimee Bender - It was an okay novel for me. I loved Bender's short stories more, they're tighter.

Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa - More or less an interesting collection of stories. At the very least, it's valuable because of the story In The Grove that inspired Akira Kurosawa's famous film.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling
- Yes, I know, I'm only reading this now. A superior book compared to the novel that preceded it and is perhaps aided by the fact that this is the book that leads to the finale.

Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link - A superior collection as far as short stories go although Link reminds me a lot of Aimee Bender and I find that I prefer Link more.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu - Perhaps we should be reviewing which edition of the Art of War we're talking about and suffice to say, mine only had the foreword by James Clavell. Otherwise, it's a great and practical treatise on warfare and as long as those are your expectations, you'll do fine.

The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester - I was hooked by the concept but ended up reading a different novel entirely. Not bad really and Bester is one of the SF authors I'll probably get along with.

The Kite of Stars and Other Stories by Dean Alfar
- Alfar shows how diverse his writing can be in this collection. More or less a superior collection of short stories, page count aside.

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami
- Personally not the best of Murakami's short story collections but it does provide a lengthier read.

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