niina.amniisia » bits, pieces and photos from sydney, australia and elsewhere

new auster (Saturday January 17th, 2004 - 14:51)

category: mmhuh?

Stumbling about I found out that Paul Auster has a new novel (coming) out called Oracle Night. The launch date appears to have come and gone in some countries, not in others. So far I’ve only found it listed in Australia at Angus & Robertson but with a price of AUS$45! I’ll wait until it appears in shops a bit more readily and then maybe get it for a bit less (I’ll cave in before then, I just know I will).

I’ve been burrowing in to books, newspapers and magazines this year at a rather rapid pace that no doubt will drop off soon enough. Bit of an overview then:

Jonathan Lethem’s – the Fortress of Solitude:
Bit of a hard starter, it dumped me in 70s Brooklyn with a white kid in a black neighbourhood learning to fit in and learning to cope when he fit out. Once I’d stumbled through the scene setting I couldn’t put it down. It’s a tale of friendships and the strangeness of families, falling in love and learning about yourself. The characters are composed in all their uniqueness, the heart strings are genuinly tugged. As it follows through the years to present day it also allows for an element of fantasy that, in my mind, became reality.

Orson Scott Card’s – Ender’s Game:
Delving in to sci-fi is a rarity for me. It’s a genre I know little about and I’ve always been terrified that there’s too many bits and bytes for a story to be palatable. My brother gave me this novel for Christmas explaining that it was a classic and I trust his judgement. Absolute gem of a book. I’ve got to get the rest of the series now….

Haruki Murakami’s – Dance Dance Dance:
I’ve so far not read a Murakami’s novel that I haven’t enjoyed so I felt fairly safe in buying this and subsequently it’s become one of my favourites by him. It revolves around the concept of connections between people which is a favourite topic of mine.

Nicholson Baker’s – A Box of Matches:
This was a bit of a disappointment. In comparison to his other novels, this felt flat and made me feel like I was being taken for a fool. His observations weren’t as clever or as well portrayed as they normally are. It seemed limp and clumsy. Perhaps I need a re-read of it.. there are deeper threads within it but I somehow doubt I’ll ignore the insult I feel to allow them to make the book any good.

Mitch Albom’s – The Five People You Meet in Heaven:
A little gem I saw while I was browsing around a bookshop the other day about a man named Eddie who dies at the age of 83 trying to save a little girl from a fairground accident. In heaven he meets five people to whom he was connected and they explain his life to help him reach an understanding of all that was, of all that happened. It brings a smile, it brings a tear. Perhaps a little too soppy for some but I loved it.

Magazine wise I’m trying to find myself a nice substitute for Computer Arts which I bought religiously in the UK but the cheapest I’ve seen it here is AUS$20. I’m after a magazine that looks pretty, showcases people’s work, has articles about (print/web/whatever) design and web development, a few tutorials, reviews a few programs and hardware, and a cd on the cover would be nice.

So far I’ve bought Design Graphics, Desktop and but none of them have made me shriek for absolute joy yet.

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