Rachel's Blog: Recommended Reading: 2005 or 100

Mon, 30 Jan 2006

Locus Magazine have announced their recommended reading list of 2005, which should keep us busy for the next couple of years at least.

If that's too much of a commitment, try this list of 100 best first lines complied by American Book Review. All the usual suspects are there, but some seem to be more exercises in punctuation or breath-holding than anything. My favourite is number 47.
(via Coode Street and docbrite)

Comment by toby on Mon, 30 Jan 2006

I'm a little surprised that 'Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell' isn't there.

Comment by toby on Mon, 30 Jan 2006

59. It was love at first sight. óJoseph Heller, Catch-22 (1961)

This, to me, is proof that the quality of the first line is judged in the context of the whole novel, which kind of defeats the point. If that were the first line of a romance novel (and I bet, somewhere, somehow, it is) there's no way it'd be on that list.

Comment by Richard on Mon, 30 Jan 2006

Went out on a limb and got 'Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell' for my Mum for Christmas, and she's quite liking it. 'Tis a good read.

Comment by Rachel on Mon, 30 Jan 2006

Toby:
"Jonathan Strange et al" was on Locus' 2004 reading list. I just checked my copy - the one with Neil Gaiman on the cover. (I may have just crossed a line there; from fan to scary-obsessive.)

And that's exactly what Poppy Brite said re: Catch-22

Comment by toby on Mon, 30 Jan 2006

...It's not bad taste, I'm just sooooo last year...

(and: how embarrassing re. Poppy (is the Z optional these days?) Brite)

Comment by toby on Mon, 30 Jan 2006

Oh: and you'll have to tell us what the JS&MN of Locus 2005's is. (I noticed a Paul McAuley book on the list - Fairyland was exceedingly enjoyable - but everything else was either unrecognised or vaguely uninspiring)

Comment by Rachel Holkner on Tue, 31 Jan 2006

Well, given the sample of one that I have read on that list I would have to say the standout entry is Anansi Boys. But that's not a suprise to anyone (can lend it to you, Toby, if you want).
I'm hopping-up-and-down-keen to read Peeps by Scott Westerfeld, I think it's released here in April. Try and get hold of a copy of his 2004 book So Yesterday if you can. Neither Richard or I could put it down.
Black Juice by Margo Lanagan is another 2004 book that you will love. Guaranteed.

Comment by toby on Tue, 31 Jan 2006

We own an unread copy of Anasazi Boys. Last thing I read of Gaiman's was Coraline, which I really liked. I was just about to start Quicksilver, which might take me a while (especially if I persist in trying to sleep/use the laptop on the train). Maybe I should try AB first.