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44 of 50

  1. Alexander, Lloyd — The Black Cauldron
  2. Anthony, Piers — Letters to Jenny
  3. Cooper, Susan — Over Sea, Under Stone
  4. Proulx, Annie — Close Range: Wyoming Stories
  5. Kincaid, Jamaica — Lucy
  6. Christie, Agatha — The Unexpected Guest
  7. Dick, Philip K. — Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  8. Cooper, Susan — The Dark Is Rising
  9. Cooper, Susan — Greenwitch
  10. Shaffer, Peter — Amadeus
  11. Anonymous — Go Ask Alice
  12. Cooper, Susan — The Grey King
  13. Martin, Steve — Shopgirl
  14. Cooper, Susan — Silver on the Tree
  15. Gaiman, Neil — Stardust
  16. Gaiman, Neil — Coraline
  17. Le Guin, Ursula — A Wizard of Earthsea
  18. Le Guin, Ursula — The Tombs of Atuan
  19. Le Guin, Ursula — The Farthest Shore
  20. Le Guin, Ursula — Tehanu
  21. Merton, Thomas — The Seven Storey Mountain: An Autobiography of Faith
  22. Alexander, Lloyd — The Castle of Llyr
  23. Zelazny, Roger — Lord of Light
  24. Card, Orson Scott — Ender's Game
  25. Clarke, Arthur C. — Childhood's End
  26. Grahame, Kenneth — The Wind in the Willows
  27. Dahl, Roald — James and the Giant Peach
  28. Lewis, C.S. — Out of the Silent Planet
  29. Lewis, C.S. — Perelandra
  30. Milne, A.A. — Winnie-the-Pooh
  31. Card, Orson Scott — Speaker for the Dead
  32. Bester, Alfred — The Stars My Destination
  33. Greene, Graham — The Power and the Glory
  34. Gaiman, Neil — Neverwhere
  35. Ballard, J.G. — The Drowned World
  36. Ballard, J.G. — Crash
  37. Joyce, James — The Dubliners
  38. Le Guin, Ursula — Tales from Earthsea
  39. Le Guin, Ursula — The Other Wind
  40. Asimov, Isaac — The Robots of Dawn
  41. Dick, Philip K. — A Scanner Darkly
  42. Stewart, George R. — Earth Abides
  43. du Bois, William Pène — The Twenty-One Balloons
  44. Wells, H.G. — The Time Machine

I only grabbed this off my shelf because, with my shipment of books arriving any day, I did not want to commit to a longer novel. As with The Twenty-One Balloons, I figured I'd finish this in one to three days, just in time to start A Case for Conscience. I even stretched it out as long as I could, reading only during commutes and finding other stuff to do at other normal reading times. Still, I finished The Time Machine shortly before arriving at work this morning.

In terms of the prose, The Time Machine compares favorably with The War of the Worlds, the only other Wells I've read. While perhaps that is a better story, it's prose was a drag to read at times. Interestingly, Wells wrote more fluidly in this, his first novel, than in that later, better known one.

Other comparisons must fall in favor of the later novel, though. Wells supposedly prided himself as having a rational, scientific mind. The scientific errors he committed in The War of the Worlds were excusable, as he was describing an almost complete unknown. However, such is not the case with The Time Machine. I found his gross misunderstanding of basic physics distracting — and believe me, if I know it, it's very basic physics indeed. One cannot excuse Wells based on the lack of scientific advancement in his day: he published The Time Machine in 1895, practically the eve of quantum physics; Newtonian physics was not a foreign concept in his time. (By errors I don't refer to his theories on time travel — those simply require suspension of disbelief — but rather to his apparent complete ignorance of Keppler and Newton.)

In addition to a couple of distracting gross scientific errors, I found his radical social theories playing a part of the novel much moreso than in The War of the Worlds. They were so obtrusive at times that I wondered whether this was more a treatise on Wells' numerous, to put it bluntly, whacked out views than it was a novel. If I'm going to have my tale interrupted by obtrusive philosophising, I'd rather have Lewis, with whose ideas I at least sympathize, than Wells.

My new books still have not arrived, so I completed another New York Times crossword puzzle on my way home. I'm not going to go through the weekend's numerous commutes without reading, and I have no short reads left on my shelf (besides The House on Pooh Corner, but I don't want that to be commute reading). Thus, I'm going to have to abandon my October reading plan, as I'm not going to be able to get a normal length novel, A Case for Conscience, and The Sparrow read in time to allow me to read Something Wicked This Way Comes for Halloween. So, I've got to choose something else from amongst my slim pickings to carry me to the Bradbury.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
rsc
Oct. 7th, 2006 04:35 pm (UTC)
besides The House on Pooh Corner, but I don't want that to be commute reading

Why not?
spwebdesign
Oct. 8th, 2006 12:25 am (UTC)
Because I want to savor it in a less harried environment. I'd like to sit on the reclining chair in this room (or the loveseat at my old place) on a rainy day when I have nothing else to do and give it all my attention without having to interrupt my reading because I've reached my destination or because the drunk girl next to me is gabbing so loudly I can't focus.
am0
Oct. 9th, 2006 02:32 am (UTC)
Oh, Pooh!
I rather expect you don't want to be seen in public reading a Pooh story.
spwebdesign
Oct. 9th, 2006 09:25 am (UTC)
Re: Oh, Pooh!
I had no problem being seen reading Winnie the Pooh in public, nor The Twenty-One Balloons, which is also a children's story.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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