- Meredith, Martin — The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence (736 pages)
- Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o — Wizard of the Crow (766 pages)
- Coetzee, J.M. — Life & Times of Michael K (182 pages)
- Saint-Exupery, Antoine de — The Little Prince (101 pages)
- Brunner, John — Stand on Zanzibar (661 pages)
- Dahl, Roald — Fantastic Mr Fox (79 pages)
- Walker, Barbara — TEENY-TINY and the Witch-Woman (29 pages)
- Shakespeare, William — A Midsummer Night's Dream (23 pages)
- Powers, Richard — The Time of Our Singing (631 pages)
- McEwan, Ian — In Between the Sheets (134 pages)
- Ishiguro, Kazuo — A Pale View of Hills (182 pages)
- Niven, Larry — Ringworld (284 pages)
- Anderson, Poul — Tau Zero (184 pages)
- Eisenberg, Bryan & Jeffrey, with Lisa T. Davis — Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results (273 pages)
- Andrews, Stephen E. and Nick Rennison — 100 Must-Read Science Fiction Novels (205 pages)
- Andrews, Stephen E. and Nick Rennison — 100 Must-Read Fantasy Novels (197 pages)
- Niles, Steve and Ben Templesmith — 30 Days of Night (103 pages)
- Terkel, Studs — And They All Sang: Great Musicians Talk about Their Music (321 pages)
- Andrews, Stephen E. and Duncan Bowis — 100 Must-Read Books for Men (200 pages)
- Dahl, Roald — The Witches (202 pages)
Page count: 5390.
Roald Dahl's The Witches was the second of my three Halloween-themed reads. The first was a sensationalist disappointment; the third, still unfinished, is truly macabre and atmospheric. I decided I also wanted something fun, hence the Dahl.
I don't have a terrible lot to say about The Witches right now except to say that I enjoyed it a great deal. (Perhaps too much time has passed since I read it to have anything more insightful to say, or perhaps other concerns monopolized my thoughts back then.) I love the inventiveness and boldness of Dahl's imagination and the simplicity and directness with which he expresses it. I also love the grandmother's deliciously un-PC attitude.
I watched the movie a couple of weeks ago, and I enjoyed it as well. It was fairly faithful to Dahl's book except on one point, and I do have a quibble with this one point. I don't understand why the film felt the need to introduce a good witch and turn the boy-mouse back into a boy. Dahl properly understood that this sort of thing cheapens a story; why doesn't Hollywood get that? Oh well….