Since I'm busy finishing an excellent novel at the moment (Lynne Sharon Schwartz's The Writing on the Wall), I decided I'd eschew a review tonight and post a quick blog instead about five books I want to read, inspired by two excellent bloggers and three newspaper reviewers. Of course I don't have any of these books, so I can't start them tomorrow. And I should cut up my credit cards so I can't start them the next day, either.
1. Nonsuch Book is hosting a discussion of Lydia Davis's new translation of Madame Bovary. Since Nonsuch is neither a gusher nor a publicist, we can probably trust her take on MB. I've already read two translations of Flaubert's novel, and though I don't share Nonsuch's enthusiasm--I'm definitely more an Anna Karenina person--I am game to try Davis' translation as soon as I've finished Trollope's Can You Forgive Her?
2. Guy Deutscher's Through the Looking Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Different Languages, reviewed in The Washington Post. "Guy Deutscher confidently asserts that a language influences how its users perceive the world. The book is a thrilling and challenging ride, and in the end you may find yourself agreeing with Frenchman Étienne de Condillac that 'each language expresses the character of the people who speak it.'"
3. Will Self's Walking to Hollywood, reviewed in The Spectator. This humorous memoir of his walks in Canada, Britain, and the West Coast of the U.S. annoys the reviewer. He complains of an imaginary talk with Scooby-Doo, and perhaps that is going too far, since I don't exactly know who Scooby-doo is. But I'm a fan of Self, I enjoyed The Butt and How the Dead Live, and we once drove 2 hours to a reading in Iowa City only to find it was canceled.
4. Roald Dahl's Boy and Going Solo, reviewed by Reading Copy Book Blog, the blog of Abebooks. "The two books document his own childhood at boarding school as well as his time working in East Africa for Royal Dutch Shell and flying with the RAF out of North Africa in WWII." I'm very fond of Dahl's short stories and look forward to trying his autobiographies.
5. Andrea Kremer's Nightshade, reviewed by The L.A. Times. "Although "Nightshade" is likely to be devoured by Twi-hards, there's a lot more to enjoy about this new series debut from young adult author Andrea Cremer than weak-kneed romanticism and its similarities to the vampires-and-werewolves blockbuster." I liked the Twilight books and would probably enjoy this. I have, however, some other science fiction and fantasy novels to read first.