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Monday, August 18, 2008

Fiction on my bookshelf



I saw today that Todd at Catholic Sensibility had a post titled On My Bookshelf: A World Too Near and I thought I'd post on the same subject.

I've been getting most of my fiction from the library - audio disc or taped books as it's getting harder ot actually "read". I just finished the 1938 novel by Daphne du Maurier - Rebecca. I first read it when I was 17, and I wondered if I'd still like it. I did, very much. Du Maurier wrote it while in Egypt and intended it as a kind of modern Jane Erye. As you probably know, it was adapted to film a number of times, the most famous version by Hitchcock.

Now I'm waiting for some other audio books that I've put on hold to come in at the library, like The Host, a novel about true love and planet-hopping parasites :) and The King Must Die, a novel about the Greek hero Theseus, who slew the Minotaur.

In the meantime, though, I'm almost bookless - yikes! - and am starting one my sister picked up for me at the library to tide me over. It's The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel and it's pretty light-weight but maybe I'll learn a little about the real Nicolas Flamel, and did I mention there are Golems? Here's the blurb from Amazon (Publishers Weekly) ....

Twin 15-year-old siblings Sophie and Josh Newman take summer jobs in San Francisco across the street from one another: she at a coffee shop, he at a bookstore owned by Nick and Perry Fleming. In the vey first chapter, armed goons garbed in black with "dead-looking skin and... marble eyes" (actually Golems) storm the bookshop, take Perry hostage and swipe a rare Book (but not before Josh snatches its two most important pages). The stolen volume is the Codex, an ancient text of magical wisdom. Nick Fleming is really Nicholas Flamel, the 14th-century alchemist who could turn base metal into gold, and make a potion that ensures immortality. Sophie and Josh learn that they are mentioned in the Codex's prophecies: "The two that are one will come either to save or to destroy the world." Mayhem ensues, as Irish author Scott draws on a wide knowledge of world mythology to stage a battle between the Dark Elders and their hired gun—Dr. John Dee—against the forces of good, led by Flamel and the twins (Sophie's powers are "awakened" by the goddess Hekate, who'd been living in an elaborate treehouse north of San Francisco). Not only do they need the Codex back to stop Dee and company, but the immortality potion must be brewed afresh every month. Time is running out, literally, for the Flamels. Proceeding at a breakneck pace, and populated by the likes of werewolves and vampires, the novel ends on a precipice, presumably to be picked up in volume two.


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