I bought the first book of the Thursday Next novel series sometime in 2007, I think. I didn’t read it until the christmas/new year holiday 2009/2010 and then spent the first weeks of 2010 reading the remaining books of this series and totally loved it. It’s so difficult to describe what it’s all about. It’s comic fantasy, which is such a far cry from the usual fantasy a la Tolkien and such. It’s equally imaginative, but in a much more playful and hilariously funny kind of way.
I tried to sum up what it’s all about in a few words, because I want to share some of my favourite lines/moments from this story and it’s impossible to understand what’s funny about it without a general idea what the Thursday Next series is about. I failed to come up with a decent summary of the whole Thursday Next Universe though.
The books I’ve read in 2011 are from now on listed at my “Read Shelf” at Goodreads.com. I’ll plan to add all the other books I’ve read as well, but it will take some time…
Book List 2010 | Book List 2009 | Book List 2008
For my own reference. The list is chronological and [G/E] indicates the book’s language.
01. Lost in a Good Book – Jasper Fforde, 2002 [E]
02. The Well of Lost Plots – Jasper Fforde, 2003 [E]
03. Something Rotten – Jasper Fforde, 2004 [E]
04. The First Among Sequels – Jasper Fforde, 2007 [E]
05. Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins – Rupert Everett, 2006 [E]
06. Der Nobelpreis – Andreas Eschbach, 2005 [G]
07. Ali zum Dessert – Hatice Akyün, 2010 [G]
08. The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet – Reif Larsen, 2009 [E]
09. Was glaubst denn du? – Andrea Fischer, 2008 [G]
10. Gut gegen Nordwind – Daniel Glattauer, 2006 [G]
11. Alle sieben Wellen – Daniel Glattauer, 2009 [G]
12. Immer für Sie da – Hilfreiche Gedichte und Geschichten – Fritz Eckenga, 2007 [G]
13. The C-Word – Lisa Lynch, 2010 [E]
14. This Body of Death – Elizabeth George, 2010 [E]
15. Du bist Deutschland? Ich bin Einkaufen! Geschichten uns Gedichte – Fritz Eckenga, 2008 [G]
16. Bad Monkeys – Matt Ruff, 2007 [E]
17. Weil Samstag ist – Frank Goosen, 2010 [G]
18. The Year of Living Biblically – A.J. Jacobs, 2007 [E]
19. Ein Jahr in Stockholm – Veronika Beer, 2010 [G]
20. Die Essensfälscher – Thilo Bode, 2010 [G]
21. The Exile – Diana Gabaldon, 2010 [E]
22. Anne of Ingleside – Lucy Maud Montgomery, 1939 [E]
23. Rainbow Valley – Lucy Maud Montgomery, 1923 [E]
24. Rilla of Ingleside – Lucy Maud Montgomery, 1920 [E]
25. Mondflet – J. Meade Falkner, 1898 [G]
[G/E] indicates the language and it’s interesting to see that most of the books are in English. The latest purchase is on top of the list, the one at the bottom was purchased in 2004 :-)
The Big Over Easy – Jasper Fforde, 2005 [E]
Fleischlos schwanger mit Pilates (Focus Kolumnen) – Harald Schmidt, 2011 [G]
Mit 80.000 Fragen um die Welt – Dennis Gastmann, 2011 [G]
Ach so! – Ranga Yogeshwar, 2010 [G]
Stories of Love & Death – G.R.R. Martin & G. Dozios (Ed.), 2010 [E]
Poems – Robert Frost, 1946 [E]
The Colour of Magic – Terry Pratchett, 1983 [E]
Last Night in Twisted River – John Irving, 2009 [E]
Somnia – Christoph Marzi, 2008 [G]
Nuhr unterwegs – Dieter Nuhr, 2008 [G]
Der kleine Medicus – Dietrich Grönemeyer, 2005 [G]
Klassik für Dummies – Douglas Pogue / Scott Speck, 2005 [G]
Das große Heinz Erhard Buch – Heinz Erhard, 1970 [G]
The Complete Penguin Sherlock Holmes Collection – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1930 [E]
Die Bastardin – Juliane Korelski, 2009 [G]
The Post-Birthday World – Lionel Shriver, 2008 [E]
Hot, Flat and Crowded – Thomas L. Friedman, 2008 [E]
Dreams from My Father – Barack Obama, 2004 [E]
The Princess Bride – William Goldman, 1973 [E]
Drachenläufer – Kahled Hosseini, 2003 [G]
Der Geschmack von Apfelkernen – Katharina Hagena, 2008 [G]
Deja Dead – Kathy Reichs, 1998 [E]
What Came Before He Shot Her – Elizabeth George, 2007 [E]
The History of Love – Nicole Krauss, 2005 [E]
Tea-Bag – Henning Mankell, 2005 [G]
Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt, 1996 [E]
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell – Susanna Clarke, 2004 [G]
Die Kapuzinergruft – Joseph Roth, 1967 [G]
Drehen Sie sich um, Frau Lot! – Ephraim Kishon, 1980 [G]
Die Tote im Götakanal – Sjöwall/Wahlöö, 1968 [G]
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens, 1850 [E]
Das Mädchen – Stephan King, 1999 [G]
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde, 1891 [E]
Basically just for my own reference: the list of books I’ve read in 2009. [G/E] indicates the book’s language.
I could kick my own ass for keeping “The Eyre Affair” on my SUB (Shelf of Unread Books) for over 2.5 years. I missed out on so much fun. It’s probably as much fun to read now as it would have been back then, but still… I really don’t know why I didn’t give it a try earlier. It obviously seemed interesting enough to me to buy it. Anyway, I started reading a few days before Christmas and I just finished it and eagerly wait for the delivery of the second and third book of the “Thursday Next” novel series. According to the DHL shipment tracking these are on their way to the outbound hub and hopefully will be delivered tomorrow.
Why did I have so much fun during my first visit to the “Thursday Next” universe? It’s really difficult to explain, because all the funny details that put the broad grin on my face, might sound rather silly if I retell them. Details like the translating carbon paper that Thursday’s uncle had invented. I just realize that you need to know what carbon paper is and how it worked in the first place. To all those born after 1980… did you ever wonder what the CC in your mail header stands for *g*? Google it…. But that’s not the point here anyway.
Some of the appraisal on the book sleeve sum it up pretty accurately: “A wonderful mixture of the literary and the very silly” – “a silly book for smart people” – “This year’s grown-up J.K. Rowling”. All the fantasy stuff and the difference between our real world and the one portrayed in the story reminded me of Harry Potter in the beginning, but Fforde’s story definitely is much funnier and it isn’t situated in a highschool :-). The story is a fascinating mix of thriller, comedy, romance (almost a bit soap-opera-ish sometimes) and then of course there is the whole fantasy element to it all.
“I feel… empty”
I couldn’t help myself to start this post with this Grey’s Anatomy quote from early season 2 :-) I’m a nerd that way, that I perfectly remember some dialogues, which probably has something to do with watching the episodes or favourite moments of it multiple times. But this line just came to my mind, when I thought how to write about the strange feeling I woke up to this morning. And no, it has nothing to do with being sick and throwing up *g*. Just with having said goodbye to some very lovely people, who I spent most of my spare time with during the last few days. Yes, I’ve finished reading “An Echo in the Bone” late last night, very late last night. Early this morning to be exact. I just couldn’t put it down and go to sleep not knowing what’s going to happen to the Frasers. And the MacKenzies. And of course Lord John and William Ransom. And now I know, or at least I know parts of it, because of course there were some cliffhangers and in fact I don’t know anything at all really. Which sucks a little. But I guess that’s the price you have to pay when you let yourself get sucked into this fictional world and get so so attached to all these wonderful characters.
This 7th novel of the Outlander series was just published last week so I’ll try to now give anything away and to not spoil anyone’s pleasure of reading it. Because it has been a tremendous pleasure. I know I’ve said it before, when I have spent almost two months this summer reading the first six novels in a row. But I really have to express my deepest thanks to Diana Gabaldon for creating these characters and to make them so loveable, that I couldn’t help but fall in love with them and care about their fate. Gabaldon has a wonderful way with words and she made these broad range of various characters with their different ways of living and their sense of honor and morality come alive, which is really fascinating.