Saturday, 13 February 2010


I'm behind.
I should be hanged by my ankles in a dungeon.
Though I doubt that'd make me procrastinate less.
Here's an incomplete list of my readings of the latter half of 2009, which is only incomplete because I failed to be OCD-ish about it and forgot I was a perfectionist:

- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
-... and the Prisoner of Azkaban
-... and the Goblet of Fire
-... and the Order of the Phoenix
-... and the Half Blood Prince (Twice)
- Pure Land , by Alan Spence
- Three Wishes, by Liane Moriarty
- Tussen Hoofddoek en Naaldhak, by Bea Mol
- Charmante Leugen (Originally: Spirit Willing, Flesh Weak) , Julian Cohen
- Twilight (Always have been curious to read that one. Was quite disappointing.) By Stephanie Meyer.
- Slam , Nick Hornby
- New Moon, Stephanie Meyer
- Match Me If You Can, Susan Elizabeth Philips
- Gluckskekse, Anna Hertz
- Eclipse, Stephanie Meyer
- De Dochters van Khadija, Sytze van der Zee
- Disgraced, Saira Ahmed
- Die Luge, Petra Hammesfahr
- 101 Cat Stories ( Emile Zola, Mark Twain, Colette ..etc)
- Geluksblind, *Marian Mulder
- De Mannentester, *Heleen van Rooyen
- Ademloos, *Kim Moelands
- The Gunslinger, *Stephen King
- Breaking Dawn, *Stephanie Meyer
- My Uncle Oswald, *Roald Dahl
- Tales of the Unexpected, *Roald Dahl
- Kan Ik Hem Nog Ruilen, *Yvonne Kroonenberg
- Het Zit Op De Bank En Het Zapt, *Yvonne Kroonenberg
- Alles Went Behalve Een Vent, *Yvonne Kroonenberg
- Ik Haal Je Op, Ik Neem Je Mee, *Nicollo Ammaniti (Translation from the Italian "Ti Prendo E Ti Porto Via")
- The Lord Of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
* The Fellowship of the Ring
* The Two Towers
* The Return of the The King
- Aber Aisha ist doch nicht euer Eigentum, Ben Faridi
- Taal is Zeg Maar Echt Mijn Ding, Pauline Cornelisse
- Een Moslima Ontsluiert, Naema Tahir
- The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux

The Gypsy

Monday, 23 March 2009

"A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," Douglas Adams

I've read a lot by Poul Anderson lately, but this is the one I want to talk about. Not that he didn't write anything that utterly blew my mind...but it's nothing I'm ready to commit to words yet. Suffice it to say "Brain Wave" was the best.

Now, you have to respect this book for its sheer cultural impact. I laughed hysterically while reading this because he hit the nail on the head as far as weaving banality into matters of galactic and personal devastation. Beautiful, no?

- Johnny "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish"

Sunday, 15 March 2009

So, I've taken kind of a hiatus from reading as much. Or posting. Anyway, I can sum up the things worth mentioning in two words: Vernor Vinge. Whatever he writes, pick it up and read it. I have read every novel he's written, and every one of them is brilliant beyond words. But the best one? "A Fire Upon the Deep." A book so genius that it set the course of science fiction for nearly two decades since. It has literally staggered other sci-fi writers with its brilliance so much that they're not even sure where to take the genre from there. In other words, it's an innovation so intimidating that no one's sure yet how to proceed from there.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

- Johnny Vincero

Saturday, 28 February 2009

A whole list.

I painted. And watched movies. And tried sleeping.
Basically doing anything but reading. D;

I did read three books over the last two weeks, however.

1. Ghosts, by Hendrik Ibsen, author of A Doll's House.
I liked the idea behind it, but did not enjoy the actual reading itself.

2. Answered Prayers, by Danielle Steel. A real Steel-novel. Nothing less, nothing more.
This one got me thinking about how stuff's going in my life, and those closest to me.. So yeah. Personal.

3. A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man, by James Joyce. And man, that Joyce is a genius x.x I liked reading it, a lot. Although honestly, it takes a while to figure out what the hell the guy is on about.
I'll make it a link, too, as soon as I get to write more about it.

The other two are links to a bit more of my own opinion about it all. I couldn't get myself to write about either more than once.

And right now I'm trying to read the first book of Vampire Earth series, as well as a chick lit and a drama. Anything but what I'm supposed to read for college, in other words. God help me. xD

The Gypsy.

Friday, 27 February 2009

"Tales of the Dying Earth," Jack Vance

Okay, so this isn't really a book so much as it's an omnibus. That is, it's four books collected under one titles. In this case, that's "The Dying Earth," "Eyes of the Overworld," "Cugel's Saga," and "Rhialto the Magnificent." While I'm not 100% finished with this book, I have to say I would recommend it. Yes, it pisses me off. Yes, the main character for the middle two books (so far) is an honorless dog of a man. That said, there's something left to be said about this guy. Take the segment "The Seventeen Virgins," for example: for a guy with absolutely nothing going for him but a glib tongue and uncanny cunning, his ability to, um, "charm" people deserves mention. Care to guess at how many of the seventeen are still virgins by the end of the story? That is the kind of slice you take from this omnibus. In a word, it's like an updated version of "The Arabian Nights."

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Family Values Again? Not Quite.

A review of Nick Horby's bestseller "How To Be Good".

Nick Hornby

Katie Carr is a London GP (general practitioner) who believes she is a good person because she helps people out of physical misery every day. On the other hand, her husband, David, is the angriest man in Holloway and his newspaper column is living proof. When DJ Goodnews moves in with the couple and their two kids, David is suddenly transformed into a do-gooder who goes to extremes to do good. It is when Katie starts criticizing and resenting David's "good" deeds that confusion takes hold of her and she starts to wonder whether she really is a good person or not.

This book did not seem to want to end when I realized there were only two pages to go. It wanted to say more. It seemed to have wanted to say that the kind of marital and familial arguments presented in this heartdrenching book is there to stay, to occur and reoccur. But then I read the last two pages.

If I try to reflect this book on my own personal experience, I would end up with this conclusion: we live for a long period of time obsessing over a confusion that haunts us or a problem so complicated that no solution seems to be viable. Then, one day, we go to sleep and wake up the next morning with a certain sparkle of positive energy which guides us throughout that day and then in a flick of a moment, that positive energy causes the simplest of solutions to manifest in the simplest of ways. And since this theory is most practical and true when it comes to marital confusions, this book hits the spot.

Hornby, like every other Brit, has no problem swearing when necessary, and although some bookworms insist that using the "f" word is not very "literary" of modern writers, I think that this book, like any other Hornby book, could not have been what it is without the ultimatspontaneity  with which Hornby writes. It highly contributes to the sincerity of emotions.

Would I recommend this book? I would mostly recommend this book to people who have families or who are at least in a relationship. However, if you are a Nick Horby fan or you really love down-to-earth books, then this is a must-read.

Friday, 20 February 2009

"Harvest of Stars," Poul Anderson

Isn't bad, but doesn't stand out. Oh Vernor Vinge, I wish you were an ever flowing font of writing that never stopped for ever and ever. One would think, "How many books could this guy write that are worth reading?" So far? The count's three for three. And, actually, his ex-wife Joan D. Vinge's works "The Snow Queen" and "The Summer Queen" are fantastic also.

I have Mr. Vinge's "Rainbow's End" on hold at the library, but whoever's reading it right now is taking their bloody sweet time with it. And while I can't blame them for savoring his work, they should be vivisected for this minor inconvenience.

- Johnny VINGEro <3