Interview?

If someone asked you to give a short interview on a T.V channel, and talk for ten minutes about a book of your choice – which book would you choose?

Currently I’m reading a terribly predictable short novel by James Herbert called ‘Lair’. One of those horror+soft porn mish-mashes which leave absolutely no room for surprise, and whose pedantic prose tends to drive me away from the pleasure of reading, straight into the waiting arms of yet another Korean drama (yes, I’m a K-drama fan). Which further leads to the prolonging of the torture of reading said novel.

Incidentally, the plot revolves around a group of man-eating gigantic mutant rats, led by a two-headed overweight monstrosity living underground… people get killed and eaten while our main character, a lonely rat-catcher with no seeming past or ties of any kind, begs the powers that be to take action, but instead gets mired in tedious bureaucracy while innocent farmers and children in the surrounding countryside get bitten, mauled, gnawed upon, and turned into pulp.

Not the sort of thing one talks about during an interview with one of the organizers of the Malta International Book-fair on an educational channel – viewed by children and families, and espousing a wholesome and ‘respectable’ attitude.

So, which book to choose? One of the Classics? How about Pride and Prejudice? Shall I wax lyrical on how mamas ‘used to’ fish around for the richest bachelor for their ‘tender damsels’ in need of husbands? Used to… yeah right.

How about Jane Eyre? Ugly, poor, unwanted girl leaves school and travels to a beautiful mansion with gothic undertones, to work as the governess of a perfect doll of a French girl with an attractive, rich, single uncle who’s VERY interested in the main character… hmm the theme of P&P seems to be hidden in this one, but still present.

Something more modern then… George R.R Martin’s book series A Song of Ice and Fire – most commonly known as Game of Thrones? Nah – that one’s been reviewed, blogged, vlogged and analysed ad nauseum.

Umm.. shall I give the interview a feminist flavor with Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and preach against racism, rape and domestic abuse? Hmm might open a can of worms with that one.

How about trying to impress and mentioning Nobel Prize winner for literature Orham Pamuk and his My Name is Red? Better not = I tried reading that one and to be honest the style of writing did not ring my bell, so I did not even finish it *cringe*…

Rowling? Auster? D.H Lawrence? Wilde?

Well, fretting is pointless. I’m too shy to appear on T.V anyways so I’m telling the guy no. Thanks very much but no. I’m not the kind of person who likes to be in the spotlight. Quite the opposite actually. So, panic-mode averted and introvert mode reinstated.

So much for that hehe.

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February Book Round-Up

Wow, I came on here to write a bit about what I read this month, and then I realized that the last thing I contributed to my poor wee blog was actually last month’s January’s round-up! Bad, bad Moonsong! *slaps wrist*

Ah well, what with multiple writing commissions I never seem able to catch up with, my day-job which is getting more demanding lately, plus one week of travelling through Southern Germany, you could at least try to understand why right?

Anyways, here I am once again – ready to razzle and dazzle… or at least, to ramble a bit about the books I read this month. Here goes:

1, 2, 3, 4 The Giver Quartet – Lois Lowry – 5 Stars

The Giver
Gathering Blue
Messenger
Son

I had already read all four books previously some years ago, even before I even knew there was going to be a movie. Lois Lowry is a very good writer, tackling current social issues magnificently couched in fantasy. The four books all have different narrators and different settings, and yet I was impressed by how well they interlocked together in the end. The plot is masterful. I purchased a very beautiful hardbound copy of it and couldn’t resist re-reading it at once!

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5. Kissing the Gunner’s Daughter – Ruth Rendell – 3 Stars

I love Ruth Rendell but I had steered clear of her Inspector Wexford Mysteries before. This is because I’m not much into investigative books. I got this one from the public library because I was curious and thought I’d give it a go. It wasn’t bad, however it fell short of my expectations as R.R’s psychological stand-alone thrillers are usually really good and always have a twist at the end. This one… well let’s say that even someone who’s not into investigative fiction could see the so-called ‘twist’ half-way through the book… so no surprises at all there. Kind of disappointing really, though very well written of course.

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6. Mansfield Park – Jane Austen – 3 Stars

I found a beautiful and very cheap edition at my local store, and was honestly  ashamed to realize that although I’ve devoured Emma, Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice countless times, I had never actually read Mansfield Park! To be fair, I did not like the characters as much as the ones in Austen’s other novels, and the situations described were not particularly riveting either. No wonder this novel is not as famous as her other works.

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7. Furies of Calderon – Jim Butcher – 3 Stars

I had already read almost all of the Codex of Alera book series last year, however I was missing the last book. Now I’ve bought it, so I obviously need to re-read all the others too in order to refresh my memory, before reading the concluding novel. The first one of the book series was not so great to be honest, not because it was not masterfully written, or because the plot was weak. Not at all it was amazing in that way, however personally I did not like many of the characters much and would have preferred it if the writer had focused only on Tavi, who becomes the main character later on, than equally shift the narrating around.

8. Academ’s Fury – Jim Butcher – 4 Stars

Continuing the series previously mentioned, the second book focuses mainly on Tavi (finally) and is much more satisfying, hence the 4 stars instead of 3. I look forward to more!

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MY HIDDEN SHAME REVEALED! Yes, I admit…

… although I have been a monstrously voracious reader all my life, although I have a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in English and a Masters Degree in English Literature, although I can claim to be a published writer and an as-yet unpublished poet, although I have more than 900 books in my erstwhile tiny home, although I can’t see a darn person reading a book without bending over to peer at the title, although I have promised myself again and again to finally get it done and READ THOSE BLOODY CLASSICS… there are still ENORMOUS gaps in my reading list.

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I realized this after I read this post – http://746books.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/top-ten-tuesday-classics-i-havent-read/  – by Cathy746books – and as punishment to myself, I decided to write this post and reveal my deepest shame before you all.

images Here are 12 Classics which I have always planned to read, someday, but never actually did YET.

1. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye – J. D Salinger
3. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
4. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
6. The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
7. Moby-Dick – Herman Melville
8. One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
9. The War of the Worlds – H.G Wells
10. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
11. Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D.H Lawrence
12. The Mysteries of Udolpho – Ann Radcliffe

I have watched movies related to most of these, but that’s neither here nor there is it?

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Now, before you start flogging me with whips of fire, here is a list of important classics I HAVE read. I’m not mentioning them all, as obviously there are too many, however I will try to mention at least most of those which have had an impact on my perception of the world, and on my writing.

1. Anything and everything by Jane Austin
2. Anything and everything by the Bronte Sisters – most especially ‘Wuthering Heights’
3. Anything and everything by Oscar Wilde – most especially ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ (my MA thesis was based on him)
4. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carrol
4. 1984 – George Orwell
5. Anything and everything by Charles Dickens (my BA thesis was based on him)
6. Dracula – Bram Stoker
7. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
8. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
9. The Iliad/The Odyssey – Homer
10. The Birth of Tragedy/Thus Spake Zarathustra/Beyond Good and Evil – Friedrich Nietzche
11. The Divine Comedy – Dante Alighieri
12. Le Fleurs du Mal – Baudelaire
13 – Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
14 – Ulysses – James Joyce
15 – Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
16 – The Castle – Franz Kafka
17 – The Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer
18 – The Phantom of the Opera – Gaston Leroux
19 – The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
20. The Turn of the Screw – Henry James

I guess I had better stop now lol. Ofc I did not include anything by Tolkien, Bradbury, etc since I don’t consider them as classics as such – they are in a niche of their own.

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So, before you judge what I have not read yet, be honest, how many of those books I have mentioned have YOU read? ;p

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Now I admit, I’m feeling a bit better about myself, but I STILL have to get through those 12 classics and get rid of my shame!

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