Monday, October 18, 2004

Where art thou?

The problem with having a lot of books is that sometimes I can't find them! Just a while back, I was hunting high and low for a particular book I suddenly had the intense desire to read. I couldn't find it even after numerous searches as was about to buy another copy when I saw it tucked in one dark corner of the library.

I have only about 1,000 books. Okay, it may seem a lot to some, but to those with libraries, this seem like a mini library. My library probably wouldn't expand beyond 1,300 because I usually try to keep it 'under control' by selling some of my books away. Usually what I call 'bad buys'. Books that I wouldn't even think of reading again.

Anyway, the book that I've lost this time is Dave Barry's latest book which I can't remember the name. Wonderful. I'm due to review it and I can't find it! Argh.

Well, probably just have to take apart my library to find it somehow.

Another solution is that perhaps I should try a systematic arragement of my books next time and to create a 'borrower's record'. I lend my books out often, but typically, can't remember what I lent or to whom!

Wonderful librarian, aren't I?

(Which makes it doubly ironic since I was really one in school.)

Friday, October 15, 2004

Anne Rice strikes back at nasty reviewers

As a book reviewer, I try to remember that behind the book I'm reviewing is a person who has poured heart and soul (well, most of the time) into the writing of the novel. So you can say I'm nice most of the time in my reviews.

Now, Anne Rice's latest book Blood Canticle has drawn sharp reviews, to put it mildly, from some of the readers at Amazon.com. Some, supposedly, who were avid fans of hers. In a surprising turn of events, Rice struck back, posting a reply to all the nasty comments on Amazon.com:

Now, if it doesn't appeal to you, fine. You don't enjoy it? Read somebody else. But your stupid arrogant assumptions about me and what I am doing are slander. And you have used this site as if it were a public urinal to publish falsehood and lies. I'll never challenge your democratic freedom to do so, and yes, I'm answering you, but for what it's worth, be assured of the utter contempt I feel for you, especially those of you who post anonymously (and perhaps repeatedly?) and how glad I am that this book is the last one in a series that has invited your hateful and ugly responses.


Together now: Ouch.

To tell you the truth, Rice's later novels have not matched the standard she has set with The Vampire Lestat. Vittoro the Vampire was my last Rice book. It wasn't terribly bad but I felt as if I was reading a Young Adult version of Rice's vampire series, devoid of the complex relationships that entraced me earlier. After a while, they even got repetitive. I was supposed to read Blackwood Farm but it was so bad - it appeared to be the stream of consciousness ramblings of a vampire, and I've had enough of Virginia Woolf since college - that I had to return it, saying: "Uh-uh. If I review this, I'll trash this so bad it'll set sales plunging."

Another reason why I returned it was because I didn't want to end up having to read it all!

So, should Rice have dropped that comment like she did? Well, I can understand why she could be peeved. Criticise the book but not the person, says I. But dropping a comment like that does paint an image of 'bad loser' all over her. Several blogs commented on what she did: Cynical-C Blog and Weirdwriter

Read the nice long list of reviews at Amazon.com.