Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Newsflashes

An irritating/ joyful surprise. Just before Christmas I purchased what I believed to be the final book in the Sword of Shadows-trilogy, A Sword from Red Ice. With only a 100 pages left I was starting to question whether or not this COULD be the final book. Too much was left to sort out. So I check the author, J. V. Jones' web page, and lo! and behold, another book is due at the end of 2009. I'm glad, because this means that I have another book to look forward to, but annoyed because I thought I would know the answers soon. Waiting another year (or more) will ruin the momentum, but so be it.

Whilst checking out her page, I also decided to see when the next novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire-series by George R R Martin is due. Turns out the plan is seven books in all, and I have read 3 of these. Lots of good reading to look forward to. BUT the big surprise here was, apparently HBO is planning to make a series out of the books! The idea is really really kewl, and I hope, if they do, that they make the effects sexy and believable. The series can only be as succesful visually as it is in book form, unless they make it REAL, LOTR-real...

So it seems there are a number of books to look forward to in the coming year. 2009 is very soon upon us, so happy new year to every fantasy-lover out there:D

Sunday, 14 December 2008

How literate are you?

According to the BBC most people (Brits in this case), have read only six out of the hundred books listed below. I stole this list from Ziarah's blog En Leseblogg, but the real source is BBC's Big Read (2003).

Feel tagged if you want:
1) Mark the books you have read with bold
2) Underline the books you want to read (since ctrl - u is not working in my blog for unknown reasons, I'm rather changing the colour of the books in question)
3) Put the books you love in italics

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - Have read part of his ouvre, including Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth og A Midsummer Night's Dream
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Alborn
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

21 out of 100 I can live with (at least I beat the "average" Brit, although Ziarah beats me by 7... Had the list consisted of a hundred Norwegian books, I can guarantee that I would have read tops 2 of them... One can of course question the election of what books to put on the list, because who decides which books one should read, or not?

Friday, 5 December 2008

My Work

As a scholar and literature fanatic with ambitions, I want to share what I am most proud of from my 5 years of literature studies. My first published article, originally a home exam in Johan Schimanski's fantasy and sci-fi course, was an utter pleasure to write and work with. The reward was getting it published in the "Arctic Discourses"-issue of Nordlit, summer of 2008. The title is "The Fantastic Identity: De/constructing the Feminine Hero in Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass", and it can be accessed here.

The second one is more obvious, namely my MA thesis on J. M. Coetzee's novels In the Heart of the Country and Waiting for the Barbarians. Coetzee is an amazing writer, and his works have opened up so many doors for me -both on a personal level, as well as in terms of critical, historical and literary perspectives. Even though I do not love all of his fiction, I trust that he will continue to surprise and cut new paths in the years to come. My thesis can be accessed here.

Soon I will be shipping off my latest product, an article on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel Half of a Yellow Sun, to its (hopefully) future home. The aim of my article is to make people aware of the quality of her work, and to emphasize the healing powers of literature. The novel is extremely powerful and really draws the reader into the action.

the words are purposes
the words are maps