Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Snippets #16

Good afternoon, lovely people!

I just noticed that my last Sunday Snippets goes back to somewhere in the middle of December, so instead of a review I'm writing one of those today.

The winter has finally arrived - with a bit of snow and temperatures that go from -15 to -18 C. Honestly, I try to stick my nose out as little as possible just now, and am waiting for it to drop to -10 or so, because higher minuses combined with winds that we get here by the seaside are not pleasant. So mostly I've been reading, though we've also been watching some Arrested Development with Jan (finished season S2 last night and started with S3). The Bluth family is definitely the most dysfunctional family I've seen on TV (although I do love The Royal Tenenbaums a great deal as well), almost every character is uniquely hilarious - I love this show.
Book-wise, I decided to relax after Bout of Books readathon and finished off some books I had "still in process" - The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (I rated it 3.5 and it's definitely the best newer YA book I've read so far, keeping in mind I've only ever read 4 or so...), The Quantum Thief (I rated it 3, such an overwhelming experience but also very difficult to follow - I blame the GAD) and The Curse of Europa (one of those books that is so bad it's almost good - some awesome ideas, but as long as the author hit the dialogue parts in the story, it became a bit embarrassing). I will be writing about all these books longer as well.
And then I arranged my unread books on Kindle (I have currently about 10 unread books on Kindle, if anyone's interested - not as bad as I thought!) and decided to start The Lies of Locke Lamora. Ugh... what can I say - there is a lot to appreciate about this novel. A lot. And I don't mean only the kind of captivating story that keeps you up at night - I've never been obsessed with fast pace in books, but it's not that I particularly mind it either, and in The Lies of Locke Lamora there are so many other things I enjoy. Also, if you open The Lies... page on Goodreads and start scrolling down people's ratings and reviews, there is a review by Patrick Rothfuss right in the beginning there - I chuckled a bit when reading it, and it solidified my wish to read The Name of the Wind in February - the book has 4.56 average rating on Goodreads, which is pretty jaw-dropping and even more than I hope to like the book, I am merely curious to check out what is behind this almost perfect rating.
I got one book in mail this week, but what a book it is -
I have not yet decided how exactly I am going to be reading this one, but I want to start it some time soon-ish, in spring the latest. I am a bit unsure because I chose Pevear-Volokhonsky translation, and it was only after I had ordered the book that lovely Lucy over at Therapy Through Tolstoy wrote her beautiful posts on why she is not happy with this translation (and she has read War and Peace at least three times if I'm correct), but I'll give it a go anyway and hope the translation does not start annoying me too much. Here are Lucy's posts - part 1 and part 2.


  1. I hear you with the cold weather! We've had some days a few or two back were it dropped down into the high -30 range *yuck* but its warmed up recently and we even got above zero several days this past week.

    I'm so glad to hear your thoughts on The Lies of Locke Lamora. I have it on my shelves but have put off reading it. Seems I'll have to make an effort to read it soon!

    I have the Pevear-Volokhonsky translation of War and Peace (such a beautiful cover, don't you think?) but I'm not ready to tackle it yet. I thought this was supposed to be a well regarded translation, so I'm disappointed to hear that maybe it's not.

    1. I wish I could edit my comment! That should read "We had some days a week or two back..."

    2. Now I feel bad for complaining - minus 30 is clearly... worse. I still hope it warms up here too, going out in very cold weather is one of the most horrible things for me personally.

      It is *such* a beautiful cover! I am not overly worried about the translation, I just wish I would have seen Lucy's posts a few days earlier to think a bit more of which translation to get.

  2. Sounds like it's much colder there than it is here - we've had a very mild but wet winter. I don't mind, snow is such an inconvenience.
    I have Lies of Locke Lamora and I do want to read it, but the edition I have has such teeny tiny font that's it's off-putting. I might have to get a kindle version too.

    And I'm big fans of Peaver & Volokhonsky. I've not read their War & Peace (although I own the same version as you), but I've read several other books translated by them and have had no issues. I think it's down to personal preference a bit?

    1. I think the Kindle version of The Lies of Locke Lamora wasn't overly expensive (otherwise I wouldn't have got it), but I'm actually planning to buy physical copies now. However, I don't want the one with the teeny tiny font, so I am wondering which copy you have so I know to avoid it :p

      I have so far read all my Russian classics in Estonian, so I have *no* experience with English translations. And I do agree it has a lot to do with personal preference, but based on the sections that I read in Lucy's blog (comparison's of the same paragraphs), I know now that I would actually prefer the Briggs' translation. It just feels somehow smoother. However, I'm not overly worried, I am sure the book will be enjoyable in any case. :)

  3. War & Peace is quite a commitment, but such a pretty edition! I hope that translation works out OK for you.

    1. Thanks Christine, I'm sure it'll be an awesome experience reading War and Peace :)

  4. I am SO FREAKING HAPPY that you're enjoying Locke Lamora. I hope it stays that way. And awwww, Patrick Rothfuss's review! He is awesome. His blurb on the cover of "Stormdancer" is what made me buy it. He's usually pretty reliable when it comes to book recs.

    I've heard good things about Pevear for translations... his version of The Three Musketeers was highly recommended. BUT of course I bought it and still haven't read it, so I can't really comment from personal experience. I hope W&P is good! Let me know when you're thinking about starting it, maybe we can attempt to kinda read it at the same time?

    1. I did enjoy Locke Lamora and ordered the physical books (1 and 2) yesterday - I know Jan will love those too.

      Would be cool to attempt War and Peace kinda at the same time - I think I'm aiming for March-April, because winter and the complete lack of energy that is dominant right now is definitely no time to start with this tome.

  5. That is SO COLD! Wow. I constantly have a bluish tinge to my skin in winter over here and it barely hits the minus numbers. Stay warm :)

    I'm not going to admit how many unread books I have on my kindle. Let's just say it is considerably more than 10...

    That edition of War and Peace is beautiful! I'm strangely feeling like attempting it this year but I may wait to hear how you get on with it first. I'll let you be the guinea pig :D

    Have a good week!

    1. Thanks, Ellie - it is pretty cold, but not as cold as Canadians had it earlier this winter.

      Actually I have more than 10 unread books on Kindle, but I didn't include the free classics. With those it's maybe around 20-25...

      Hah. I will gladly be the guinea pig, but I think the fact that you enjoyed Anna Karenina is quite encouraging when it comes to War and Peace :)

  6. Hi Riv, sorry I've only just got round to commenting on this! Life has been hectic and I could really do with a book retreat to a desert island (with a way to comment on blogs, of course).

    I'm really looking forward to reading your thoughts on War & Peace! I agree that you should tackle it in Spring. That sounds like a good time to schedule it for!

    Apologies if my posts on the P&V translation have made you wary... maybe approach it with an open mind and see what you think of it ;) It is a wonderful book, regardless of the translation. Some translations just suit certain readers best I think!

    How are you finding Arrested Development? I've been looking for a new series to watch so maybe this could be it.

    Thank you so much for the links to my blog, hopefully I'll be posting more War and Peace and Tolstoy related content as the year progresses! I'm feeling a year of rereading coming on.

    Hope you're well and enjoying January (and that it's not too cold!)


    1. Oh no, Lucy, I am not wary - I am happy you made War & Peace posts because it is *always* a good thing to be informed and have the opportunity to compare. I am also very laid back, meaning that certain details don't really make me go to extremes and announce that I won't read this ever or some such :) Also - since English isn't even my native language I might not even notice all the details and be bothered about it. We'll see how it goes.

      Oh, I would recommend Arrested Development if you want a good laugh. It's probably the funniest series I've ever seen. I still remember how me and Jan both were in stomach pain and quite literally rolling on the floor when watching the first season. Now 10 years later they made the fourth season, of which we watched the first episode, which was weird, but that was to be expected, and we'll watch all there is to watch.

      I hope January was okay for you too, and that things with the jobs and stuff will calm down in the coming months :)


Leave a comment if you feel like it - it warms my little bookish heart. :)