Read in 2003
List of the books I’ve read in 2004
- December 2003—Designing with web standards, from Jeffrey Zeldman.
A practical handbook, wittily written, on how to loose bad habits and get to write standards-respectful XHTML and CSS code.
- December 2003—Persépolis 4, from Marjane Satrapi.
The last installment of the author biography in bande dessingée, it ends with her departure for France. Very interesting series, where you can learn a lot about Iran, and feel both very close to and very far from the characters lives.
- December 2003—The human stain, from Philip Roth.
A faculty dean loses his position and his wife after being accused of racism. Later he founds a very carnal last love, and is accused of “ improper ” relationship. About politically correct and lies. I bought the book a while ago, went to see the movie without guessing the link because here both titles are different, and I find that the character description in this book is extremely richer and deeper…
- November 2003—Étoiles mourantes (Dying stars), from Ayerdhal and Dunyach.
A book based on the universe described in Étoiles mortes (Dead stars) from Dunyach. Humanity has divided itself in 4 irreconcilable groups. Mecanists, artefactors, organics or connected, they share nothing but hatred. But the city-animals want them to meet to be there when a star dies…
- October 2003—Freedom’s ransom from Anne McCaffrey.
The fourth book of the series telling how the Terrans transported as slaves on planet Botany got their freedom. In this book, they attempt to buy or ransom back what was stolen on Earth so that the two planets can recover from attack and slavery.
- October 2003—The city and the stars from Arthur C. Clarke.
A classical space opera about a city out of the flow of time, about its inhabitant living life after life, and about a “first-born” full of curiosity.
- September 2003—La conspiration de l’hermine (The ermine conspiracy), from Béatrice Nicodème.
An historical novel set during the beginning of Napoleon’s reign, when numerous conspirators tried to murder or abduct the consul.
- September 2003—Neverwhere, from Neil Gaiman.
Where an “ordinary” Londoner gets to encounter a city with a dark atmosphere hidden under his town.
- September 2003—Le chacal rouge (The red jackal), from Béatrice Nicodème.
An historical novel about the lives of the French emigres in London after the French Revolution.
- September 2003—La joueuse de Go (the Go player), from Shan Sa.
A novel which intertwines the lives of two characters, a 16 years old chinese girl who is a go player, and a Japanese officer of the occupying army, I think they might meet at some point. I like the rhythm of short sentences and chapters very much.
- September 2003—Les loups de la Terreur (The wolves of the Terror), from Béatrice Nicodème.
An historical novel set in 1794, it focuses on a girl hunting wolves in Brittany and trying to save herself from the Terror, the terrible period which followed the French Revolution.
- September 2003—Artifices, the 6th issue of the “Bandes Dessinées” series called Sillage, from Morvan and Buchet.
The heroin called Nävis crashes on a macho planet attacked by robots.
- August 2003—The years of rice and salt, from Kim Stanley Robinson.
Very interesting uchronia depicting the world from the disappearance of the Christian Europe during the 14th century plagues to the “present” times.
- July 2003—The renegades of Pern, from Anne MacCaffrey.
I’m slowly progressing through Pern’s stories, to make the pleasure last. I like it very much when Anne MacCaffrey tells the same story from different point of views in two different books…
- July 2003—Gould’s book of fish, from Richard Flanagan.
Brought back from Tasmania, this book tells the harsh story of the white settlement in this island, of the fate of the convicts. The tone is poetic and phantasmagorical, emphasizing the madness of the situation.
- July 2003—Kil’n people - a future thriller, from David Brin.
Interesting detective story taking place in a society where cloning has become common. I like the way David Brin departs from the kind of cloning we might be headed towards: in his story, cloning the “mind” is easy, cloning the body impossible. I think society might be more shattered than what he depicts if this became common.
- June 2003—Consider Phlebas, from Iain M. Banks.
Catching up on the first “Culture” novel from Iain M. Banks. This one depicts the Culture from outside, which doesn’t happen too often afterwards, and focuses on mercenaries and the Idiran war, the main character being a metamorph with a personal war against the Culture.
- June 2003—Quartier lointain 2 (Far away district 2), from Taniguchi Jirō.
Mangaka Taniguchi Jirō ends his very beautiful story of a middle-age man put back in his teenage body, at the time he was a teenager. about family life, traumas, and what we would all love to have at a moment: a “stop - go back - erase” button for life. But does it “work”?
- June 2003—Les derniers géants (The last giants), from François Place.
An illustrated album for children, with the always marvelous watercolors from François Place, and his talent for storytelling. It’s about an explorer discovering a race of giants, and the consequences…
- June 2003—32 Décembre (December 32), from Enki Bilal.
In this "bande dessinée", Enki Bilal takes the trio born in Sarajevo he had introduced in Le sommeil du Monstre (The monster’s sleep) to new adventures, including mini-nuclear bombs as conceptual art, and the discovery of a legacy of wisdom.
- June 2003—Men at arms, from Terry Pratchett.
Hilarious as always, one more Discworld story, this one about including minorities in Ankh-Morpork’s watch, which of course means trouble. Above all when there’s a “gonne” in town.
- May 2003—Look to winward, from Iain M. Banks.
About the relation between the Culture and the Chelgrians, a predator culture which is difficult to handle, this book centers on Ziller, a Chelgrian composer in exile on an orbital because he doesn’t want to hear about his native culture.
- May 2003—The silver pigs, from Lindsey Davis.
Adding an “ethnic detective” to my collection, this one, Marcus Didius Falco, being a private investigator in A.D. 70, emperor Vespasian’s time. Very good way to get to know this time better, humour, and a good plot to boost.