September 22nd, 2004

morning coffee

Books read this summer

Anthony Trollope, The Warden. Nineteenth-century novel. A kindly clergyman is implicated in a financial scandal. I enjoyed it for its portrayal of rural Victorian England.
Hope Mirrlees, Lud-in-the-Mist. Fantasy novel. The practical citizens of Lud-in-the-Mist are forced to come to terms with Fairyland. I first bought this book in 1970, so it has taken me a while to get around to reading it. It was OK, but not something I would re-read.
Lord Dunsany, My Talks With Dean Spanley. Comic novel. If you can get the Dean to drink just the right amount of brandy, he will lapse into a trance state and start recounting tales of his prior incarnation as a dog. Quite funny, but long out of print and hard to find.
Lord Dunsany, The Collected Jorkens, Vol. 1. Short stories. Jorkens is an English clubman who can be persuaded to tell fascinating but highly improbable tales. Enjoyable. Two more volumes are to be published.
R.A. Lafferty, Strange Doings. Short story collection. If Jorkens tells tall tales, Lafferty tells TALL tales. Published as science fiction, but really Lafferty is in a genre of his own. Excellent!

Rather a short list. I really should make more time for reading.