Sunday, March 06, 2005

Things of Interest

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is being made into a movie (link via SFSignal) America and Britain, two literary powers who don't understand one another. Is this really true? As a reader I don't think about where the author is from, all that matters to me is whether or not the book is good. There is a difference in style though, and no doubt someone will contradict me, but I think British writing tends to be more subtle than American. This is not to say that one is better than the other, just different. In terms of comedy, however, Britain wins hands down--Terry Pratchett, Jasper Fforde, Douglas Adams--and on the non-literary side, Monty Python, The Black Adder and the sitcom Keeping Up Appearances, classics every one. The Guardian has an excerpt of the introduction Christopher Hitchens wrote for a new edition of Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits. I read it several years ago as a mass market. It was the first book of Allende's that I read and I absolutely loved it. If you have never read it before I highly recommend it. On the book pile front, both my bedside and desk to read pile migrated to the empty bookshelf yesterday. I underestimated the space the books would take up when not stacked on top of each other. On the floor they took up less than two square feet of space and rose teetering up the corner against the wall. On the shelf, well, let's just say I don't have until the end of summer until the 5 1/2 foot shelf is filled. My Bookman estimates that it will be three months before a new pile begins to appear on the floor in addition to the books on the shelf. I am determined not to let that happen so I just might end up stashing books in a suitcase like Claire. Stay tuned.