Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A list of books that I have read in the past year and recommend for your consideration:

The Alchemist's Door by Lisa Goldstein
Declare by Tim Powers
The Jaguar Hunter by Lucius Shepard
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
Looking for Jake: Stories by China Mieville
Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link
Superstudio: Life Without Objects by Peter Lang and William Menking
Witch House by Evangeline Walton

The Shadow of the Wind was a real standout, a piece of literary candy. Its beautiful language (I read the English translation -- maybe it's even better in its native Spanish) and gothic elements tickled my brain cells. It is a spooky puzzle of a story set in Barcelona in the 1940s, chock full of doomed love, lost books, forbidden knowledge, corrupt police, secret libraries, ghosts, magic, madonnas, whores, a young man seeking love and the truth and his hilarious, roguish sidekick, Fermin.