Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wishlist Wednesday

"All the streetlights on Main Street know my shadow
All the stars up in the sky know all my wishes..."

There are so many books I want to buy/borrow and read! My reading journal has several pages full of wishlists, I have a wishlist up at amazon, and on my desk in my office is a notebook with book reviews torn out of magazines and glued or taped onto the pages. Oh yeah, and I started a wishlist at gurulib. All of this gets added to almost daily.

The dam of my bookworm heart just can't contain all of this longing, so every Wednesday from here on out, I'm going to choose a book from one of these wishlists and discuss it.

Angry Young Spaceman - Jim Munroe. This is the only science fiction book on my wishlist, so it's a good place to start: The year is 2959. Sam Breen just graduated from college, and he's looking for a job. He leaves Earth and ends up teaching EFL at an underwater planet called Octavia, where everyone has 8 tentacles and a fierce, burning desire to learn English.

Sounds pretty hokey, right? Ordinarily, I wouldn't give this kind of stuff a second glance, but those who have already gobbled up this 2001 novel have learned that the fun is in the details. Octavia is actually a portrait of modern-day Korea, thinly disguised. Really thinly disguised. For example, the national dish on Octavia is a spicy pickled vegetable known as chikim.

Although the inside joke has been spoiled for me (and now I'm spoiling it for others), I'm eager to read this novel and see what other aspects of Korean society Munroe selected to give Octavia that especial otherworldly feel. I'm always up for reading anything with a Korea connection, and from what I've heard, Jim Munroe nailed it with creativity and wit.


Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great book. Have you found it in Korea? Sounds like something that would be good for Bookin' Around, speaking of which you should put some of these books down for future consideration.

Bybee said...

I keep meaning to look for it at What The Book? Please put that on my list of Books To Look For. I first heard of it in Korea Bug and one of the Kiwis I work with said he read it when it first came out 7 years ago.

Susan said...

You had another great idea!! Stop it! Reasons why we want to read this book...why it's on our wishlist....since I have several lists, many lists, ok, lists everywhere! - I hate to think of how many books that is....all waiting for me to get around to picking up to read......I'm afraid my blog might explode if I printed any more lists of books I'm challenging myself, so can't add a wishlist which would be interesting! so this idea of yours is a great it would be cool to see how long it takes us to then pick up the book - and if we can encourage anyone else to get it too......this idea is becoming more brilliant....sigh....I might borrow this one too, if you don't mind! :-)

Susan said...

PS I really look forward to seeing what is on your wish list, too :-)

Bybee said...

Oh, please. You've got me in a continual blush with your praise, which I probably don't deserve! If you want to borrow the idea, please help yourself. I borrowed it from Dewey but moved it to another day of the week.