Friday, July 27, 2007

He's Arrived!

Shhh, I'm reading. I'm finally in the Harry Potter loop. My copy arrived from yesterday, and I'm finally actually reading the book everyone finished last weekend.

I always get the UK edition, because that's how I was first introduced to Harry. My mom brought back a copy of the first book from a trip to England, and I got hooked. Now it's a nostalgic thing.

And I like the cover art and the size of the book better than the U.S. editions. Plus I like the English spellings, and the fact they don't switch out "jumper" for "sweater", and that other little Britishisms survive. Does anyone else have an opinion about U.S. vs. English Harry Potter cover art?

My son (age 11) is already in the middle of the U.S. edition, because he just couldn't wait any longer for the UPS truck, and I'm cool with it if he spends his money on books. Fine with me.

And I have a new stack of books, some courtesy of BookMooch.

Imani at The Books of My Numberless Dreams wrote temptingly about this Arden edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series) so I had to get it.

And Sarah at Book Buff in Oz and bookfool at Bookfoolery and Babble both mooched Anita Brookner's Hotel Du Lac at the same time I did, which I thought was funny. I suggested a tiny book group discussion :)

A while back Matt at A Variety of Words and John at The Book Mine Set, and probably more, but I don't recall, read Blindness (Harvest Book) by Jose Saramago, and I remember being intrigued by the reviews and discussions the book sparked. So here it is on my pile.

Lotus at Lotus Reads wrote a review of Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time which I thought was wonderful. She always reads such thought-provoking books.

I read about this book, I, California by Stacey Grenrock Woods, on a local website, and it sounded like a funny riff on Southern California.

Annie Dillard's new book The Maytrees: A Novelis out, so my husband got that for me. I feel like I must have read about this on someone's blog--let me know if it was you...

Water for Elephants: A Novel seemed to be everywhere, so that was a no-brainer.

And now I've got another pile of books to keep me busy for quite some time.


Matt said...

It will be interesting to read another opinion of Blindness.

Also, I have Water for Elephants on my bookshelf right now waiting to be read. Not sure when I'll get to it though.

And don't worry, my wife is only a couple of chapters into the new Harry Potter so you're not the last!

Gentle Reader said...

matt--glad I'm not alone reading Harry! I'll let you know what I think of Blindness. Not sure when I'll get to Water for Elephants, either--I've got a lot to choose from at the moment :)

Joy said...

I LOVED Water for Elephants. Don't put that one aside!

Have fun with your new book loot, GR! :)

Gentle Reader said...

joy--thanks for the tip on Water for Elephants--that's what I love about blogging, I get good book advice!

Tara said...

I can't decide what I think about the cover art of the different editions - I like both. Great stack of books you have there - I have a few of those in my TBR pile.

Gentle Reader said...

tara--I know, I only like the UK cover art better because it was what I got used to first. I'm really looking forward to diving into some of these books. Once I finish Harry Potter, of course :)

tanabata said...

I always read the UK editions of Harry Potter too. It would frustrate me terribly knowing many Britishisms had been lost in the US version. Luckily Amazon Japan sources from both the US and Europe so I could have a British one on the day of release. I started out with the children's covers but switched to the adult covers for the last 2. Someday I may buy the adult complete set as they're my favourite now.
Have fun with all your new books!

Gentle Reader said...

tanabata--thanks, I'm enjoying it! I have the children's covers, because for a long time I didn't know the adult ones existed. I'll have to check them out, too!

Imani said...

In Canada we get the British edition, which is one advantage of being in the Commonwealth. :) It had less pages than the US edition too -- I remember reading reviews and the writer would mention it being over 700 pages.

There was a list on-line put up around the time of the last release that revealed the changes made to the US edition. They really irked me. Besides changing some of the terms because they would supposedly be too "confusing" for American audiences, they also boosted the "multicultural" aspect or some such crock. Adding in random minorities standing in line for the Sorting hat and that sort of thing. The list was amusing I'll have to search for it.

Again, I'm so glad I persuaded you to get that Arden! Its Shakespeare editions are really among the best, IMO. And the introduction is really accessible, which isn't always the case.

Gentle Reader said...

imani--yes, that's one advantage to the Commonwealth! Another being socialized medicine, but don't get me started...The U.S. edition is really big and heavy, and yes, it's 759 pages. The U.S. edition has some black and white illustrations at the start of chapters, and more (goofy, if you ask me) design flourishes on the pages. I like the more streamlined British version better.

If you find that list about the changes to the U.S. edition, send me the link, I'm sure it will amuse and irk me in equal measure!

And thank you for recommending the Arden Shakespeare. I'm glad you say the intro is accessible, because there's nothing worse than being intimidated before you even start reading the text of the book!

stefanie said...

What a lovely stack of books. Can't wait to hear about them. I'm partial to the US coverart because the artist is from St Paul MN and a friend of a friend.

Bookfool said...

Oooh, what a lovely stack! You'll have to tell me when you read Hotel du Lac.

As to Harry . . . I prefer the UK versions. I have 1-4, purchased in Edinburgh and, although I've only read the first two, I really disliked the way they Americanized words for publication in the U.S. In my opinion, doing so ruins the delightful flavor of uniqueness and sense of place. If they must explain things for the stupid Americans, publishers could easily include a simple glossary, instead. I also like the British covers better.

However, having said all that, we bought the last three so close to their release that we ended up with the yucky old American hardbacks and the kiddo was fine with them.

John Mutford said...

Looking forward to the Blindness review!

Lotus Reads said...

Gentle Reader, wow, those are some wonderful books, hope you enjoy them all, especially the Harry Potter!

I am so glad you will be reading "Blindness", they started shooting for the screen version just a couple of days ago here in Toronto. Juliana Moore (one of my favorite actresses) will be in the movie, I simply cannot wait!!!

Hope you're having a wonderful Sunday!

Gentle Reader said...

stefanie--on the cover art, for me I liked what I was used to, guess I'm a creature of habit :) And I'm so happy to have some nice books to read.

bookfool--I agree about the glossary idea. That's the first thing I thought when I realized they changed things in the American editions--why not leave things as they were and just include a glossary?

john--I'm looking forward to reading Blindness!

lotus--ooh, interesting that they're making a movie from Blindness, I'll have to look that up on imdb...

Bellezza said...

I ordered my H. Potter from, too! I really wanted the British version. Now I'm going to read it again the way it should be. :)

Also, I adored Water For Elephants.

Gentle Reader said...

bellezza--I'm glad I'm not alone in liking the British version, and I do keep hearing great things about Water for Elephants, sounds like a must-read!

Dewey said...

It might have been me! I've mentioned The Maytrees twice this week. :)

We usually read the English editions, too, because my husband is English and it's just too odd to him that English kids are running around using American slang. Sometimes, though, we end up with the U.S. versions. As far as the cover art goes, sometimes I like the U.S. art better and other times the English art.

Gentle Reader said...

dewey--it must have been you--I'll have to go back and look at what you wrote. Thanks for the inspiration, I'll let you know what I think when I read it.

I can understand your husband's feelings, it does seem weird when the English kids in the book don't sound English. I never thought about it quite that way, but it makes sense!