The Silver Eel

"A gape-jawed serpentine shape of pale metal crested with soot hung high for a sign."

Thursday, July 14, 2005


As Sprog has reached the age where day-to-day New Dad comments and advice are likely enough redundant (apart from these: hang on in there, and invest in blackout blinds) this is more of a kinda test post to see how things will look...

So here are the Top Ten desert island books, in no particular order. This list is subject to change without warning.

Davy by Edgar Pangborn
Red Shift by Alan Garner
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson
Open Letters by Vaclav Havel
United States by Gore Vidal
Grey is the Colour of Hope by Irina Ratushinskaya
Essays by George Orwell
Life's a Dream by Pedro Calderon de la Barca (trans. Adrian Mitchell)

and, er,

Swords in the Mist by Fritz Leiber

No, really. Read Donna Tartt's introduction to True Grit (recently re-published in the UK) for a definition of what constitutes a favourite book. It's not about quality, or peer recognition, or perceived worthiness. It's about the sense of coming home and being welcomed, every time you open it. There's a surprisingly good page on Leiber's work on the TSR website, the only comment to which one can take exception being something along the lines of the D&D novels being the closest of current fantasies to the adventures of Fafhrd and the Mouser. One salutes their chutzpah even as one winces.


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