March 28, 2005

April's Book: The Long Goodbye

The Long Goodbye (1954) was Raymond Chandler's last novel before he sunk into a downward spiral of personal tragedy, alcoholism and psychiatric hospitalization until his death in 1959. I know. That's cheerful. But now that's out of the way, we can hit the really good news: this book clocks in at under 400 pages!

I hope everyone's as ready as I am to enjoy some sunny Los Angeles instead of this drizzly half-spring.

March 03, 2005

March's Book: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

As one of the top ten books of 2004 on several book lists, I thought Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke would be fabulous for this month. I'm reading it right now, and if you love Jane Austen's books, you'll love this. It combines her comedy-of-manners style with a twist of the fantastic. Mr. Norrell is the only practical magician in 19th century England (the other magicians are theoretical--they read books and philosophize about magic) and quickly climbs into the elite of London because of his skills. Then along comes Mr. Strange, a practical magician that appears out of nowhere, and Mr. Norrell takes him as a pupil. But Mr. Strange isn't content with the conservative magic that Mr. Norrell performs. He delves into more dangerous magic as he learns about the Raven King--the most powerful magician in English history.

A word to the wise: if you want to read this for March, get crackin'. It's 700+ pages, and if your schedules are anything like mine, it could take a while.