Kate's Queen City Notes

Blundering through Cincinnati, laughing all the way


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100 Books by 40 – MAGICIAN

Book: Magician
Author: Raymond E. Feist
Published: 1983

Lord of the Rings. If you haven’t read that, please do so before reading this book. “Everything you can do, I can do better”, says Tolkien.

The future of a land peacefully inhabited by elves, dwarfs, humans, magicians, and trolls is threatened when aliens discover how to open a rift into their world. There are epic journeys and blood soaked battles. Political shenanigans abound.

If you’ve read LOTR, and you would have liked a dash of sci-fi thrown into the story, this book is for you. This isn’t a bad book. It’s just that the relationships between humans, elves, and dwarfs are considerably more enthralling as Tolkien tells it.


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100 Books by 40: NIGHT WATCH

Book: Night Watch
Author: Terry Pratchett
Published: 2002

It’s an accident that I finished Night Watch a few days after Terry Pratchett passed away earlier this month. But I will call it a happy accident. Because I can’t think of a better way to celebrate him and his life. While I’m sorry that I didn’t get turned on to his books earlier in my life, I am thankful that I found them at all.

In the same way that I cannot resist any combination of chocolate and peanut butter, dry British humor in any form will delight me. The humor obscures the science fiction elements of the plot; since I am not a fan of sci-fi, that works for me. This is an excellent outcome considering that time travel is often a lazy plot device, a device that this book uses. Although, I don’t think time travel is used in a lazy manner in this particular book. This was a dazzling, funny whirlwind. Read it.

Time for an update on my list.

Reading now:
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel

Finished reading:
1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen – only 99 cents for Kindle edition
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens – have on Kindle
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy – have on Kindle
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens *I read this when I was too young to appreciate it; I would like to read it again as an adult. I will do so if I have time.
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding *I’ve read this twice. I will read it again if I have time.
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac *I’ve read this twice. I will read it again if I have time. I have the unabriged unedited version and will probably take on that if time allows.
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo

Pending reading:
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie


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100 books by 40: GOOD OMENS

Book: Good Omens
Authors: Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Published: 1990

The writers of Supernatural, the TV show, seemed to borrow many of their idea from this book. The similarities are so close that I looked to see if one of the authors also write for the show. When I came up dry there, I checked to see if the show credits Gaiman or Pratchett. My less-than-exhaustive research came up dry.

What I did find is that rumors of Good Omens becoming a movie have been swirling for some time. These rumors have been persistent enough that the actor that plays Crowley in Supernatural was asked if he has been approached to play Crowley in the Good Omens movie. The actor denied this.

I wonder what’s up with the intellectual property here? Perhaps the authors or the publishing company lack the motivation to file suit. Maybe the publishing company and authors see the fan fiction that has sprouted merging the two story lines and sense that this is good for all involved. Or maybe the similarities relegated to side characters, aren’t significant enough for a claim.

In the book, an angel and demon join forces to postpone the apocalypse. The unique picture of good and evil that this book paints is reason enough for me to recommend reading this book. The book’s take on the banality of evil is communicated effortlessly; a feat that isn’t lost on me due to my past experience with numerous psychological texts that struggle to convey the same.

The shimmering, dry British humor, also reason enough to recommend the book, is a welcome diversion from the weighty premise of the book. That being said. This book is great for divergent interests; moralists and humorists can unite. If a book can be described as a romp, this would be the book. Read it.