Right, first true post.

Err…

Why not start with a summary of what I got and bought for my birthday? That’s as good a start as anything and it also shows something of my reading tastes.

Joe Abercrombie – Best Served Cold

I quite enjoyed Joe Abercrombie’s earlier works, so hopefully this one is just as good.

R. Scott Bakker – Neuropath

I was really intrigued about this one when it first came out, but other books were higher on my to-buy list. But this year Bakker did make it all the way to The Netherlands. Besides that, it is quite fun to have people ask me why I’m reading a Dutch writer in translation.

Patrizio Canaponi – Een Gondel in de Herengracht (a gondola in the Herengracht)

I’m from the Netherlands, but I’m not very well-read in Dutch Literature. I’ve read some novels by Mulisch and Hermans, and I had to read some classics in High school, but that’s about it. In order to widen my experience in Dutch Literature I bought this debut collection by A. F. Th. van der Heijden (written under the pen name Patrizio Canaponi). Van der Heijden is more known for an ongoing series called De Tandeloze Tijd, but a debut is quite a good starter in my experience.

Susanna Clarke – The Ladies of Grace Adieu

Susanna Clarke’s novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrel was great fun to read. So when I came across a limited edition of The Ladies of Grace Adieu, I didn’t hesitate, but bought it immediately.

Stephanie Dalley (translator) – Myths from Mesopotamia

I’ve read the Gilgamesh epos a while back and it left me hungering for more myths from the same period. This seemed an obvious starter.

Lord Dunsany – Time and the Gods (Fantasy Masterworks)

My first encounter with Lord Dunsany was the Gutenberg website and it impressed me enough to buy almost the whole lot of the stories. Unfortunately this book is out of print at the moment, but luckily I could get it second hand

Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard book / The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish / Wolves in the Wall / Mirrormask / Interworld

Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite writers. All of these books (except Interworld) I’ve already listened to as audio books, but I also wanted to have them in their physical format.

John Irving – A Prayer for Owen Meany

Irving is another new writer for me. I haven’t read any books by Irving so far, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about this one, so I added it to my ever growing reading pile.

Diana Wynne Jones – The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Volume 1: Charmed Life / The Lives of Christopher Chant

If Neil Gaiman endorses it, it must be good right? Well, I can’t find the blog post which brought Jones to my attention, but I do know it made me quite curious and yes it does have Mr Gaiman name on the front cover…

Fritz Leiber – The Second Book of Lankhmar

I really enjoyed the First book of Lanhmar, so how could I refuse another helping?

Hope Mirrlees – Lud-in-the-Mist

Another Fantasy Masterwork title. I have heard quite a lot about this novel so I’m really curious. It is the third Fantasy Masterworks title I bought this year, bringing my total collection to a whopping total of six (The First Book of Lankhmar, The Book of the New Sun Volume 1 and Peace being the other three).

Walter Moers – Rumo

This book I got in Dutch translation. It is not my first Moers, I’ve already read and greatly enjoyed The 13 1/2 lives of Captain Bluebear and The City of the  Dreaming Books, so I’m looking greatly forward to reading this latest addition to my library.

Terry Pratchett – The Science of the Discworld 3: Darwin’s Watch

Ah, Terry Pratchett. Already I’ve got more than one shelf filled with novels by Sir Terry, but there are still some missing. I got this one from my parents, which is quite ironic, because they don’t like fantasy and are devout creationists.

J.R.R. Tolkien – Mr Bliss / Finn and Hengest: The fragment and the Episode / Sir Gawain and the Green Knight with Pearl and Sir Orfeo

Three more books to add to my growing collection of Tolkien. I’ve not yet tried reading The History of Middle Earth, but a lot of his other writings I’ve already obtained. Besides, it is always a good thing to read some Old or Middle English. I must say I was a little disappointed when Finn and Hengest arrived, because I thought it would be mostly a translation, but actually it isn’t. We’ll see what my opinion is when I’ve read it.

Gene Wolfe – The Best of Gene Wolfe: A Definitive Retrospective of His Finest Short Fiction

Gene Wolfe impressed me with his Book of the New Sun. Since he is also well known for his shorter works, I thought this to be a great sampler.

Yevgeny Zamyatin – We

I haven’t read a bad dystopian novel yet. Mind you, I haven’t read that many novels in this genre, but until now I’ve always enjoyed them. Zamyatin’s novel is said to be on par or even better than Orwell and Huxley and I’m really interested what my own view of this novel will be.

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Right, how to start?

Well, how about: Welcome to my blog!

To learn something about me, visit my about page.

I will use this blog to chronicle the books I read and to tell others how I felt about the books

To start of with a quote by Umberto Eco (one of my favourite writers) :

The writer Umberto Eco belongs to that small class of scholars who are encyclopedic, insightful, and non dull. He is the owner of a large personal library (containing thirty thousand books), and separates visitors into two categories: those who react with ‘Wow! Signore professore dottore Eco, what a library you have! How many of these books have you read?’ and the others – a very small minority – who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates, and the currently tight read-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary.

(source: The OF Blog)

The title of this blog, Managing the Reading Pile is meant to convey my dilemma: on the one hand I would like to buy as many books as I could, but on the other hand, my wife, my salary and my time wouldn’t allow me to read all of them.  So I try to find a way in between unlimited buying and being without any new books to read completely.

At this moment I’ve still got 142 books to look forward to reading, so I’m not complaining or moaning about my Reading Pile!