Sunday, February 08, 2009

Smoke and Mirrors

I really like to read lit blogs. (This surprises no one, I am sure.)

When I read a review...or two...or three...about a book that sounds like something I'd like to read, too, I do one of several things. Sometimes I write the author and title on a piece of paper and try to remember to take the piece of paper to the library, if I think the foreign-language library might have it. I don't always remember the bits of paper, but the act of writing makes it more likely that I'll remember to check.

That's not really the most likely source for me to find a specific title, however--especially if the book is more recently published. The bulk of their collection was acquired from the 1960's to the 1980's, and the rest of the collection comes from random donations, not purchased titles.

Therefore, if I really want get hold of a book, I am more likely to put it on my wish list at Amazon or www.bookmooch.com . If I want it so immediately that I'm willing to pay a premium price, I may look for it at www.empik.com and purchase it here in Poland. That doesn't happen often. I'm usually willing to wait.


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Some time ago, in accordance with the habits described above, I read a review for a book entitled Cloud Atlas that sounded like something I might enjoy. I no longer remember who wrote the reviews that piqued my interest, or even how many reviews I might have read, but I added the book to my Bookmooch wishlist.

Not so very long ago, I received an email from Bookmooch letting me know that someone had the book available, and I requested and received it. I've added quite a few books to my "to be read" stack recently, so it was probably here for a few weeks before I picked it up and started reading it.

What I remember about Cloud Atlas was that is was a series of short stories that were connected; that the stories took place across a long span of time, and that it was somewhat post-Apocalyptic in nature.

I read the first few chapters...and the next few...and kept wondering when the story would move onto the future.

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What are the odds, do you suppose, of two authors writing a book entitled Cloud Atlas? And publishing them in the same year?

Because the book I meant to read was Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, and the book I did read was The Cloud Atlas
by Liam Callanan.

They are not the same books. Isn't that strange? Is "cloud atlas" some kind of catch-phrase that means something and I've simply never heard of it? Or did these two authors come up with the same unusual title for their books, which coincidentally were both published in 2004?

*************

I've updated my Bookmooch wishlist with the Cloud Atlas I originally wanted to read, and will continue to wait for it.

Maybe after I've had a little time to think about it, I'll write a proper post about The Cloud Atlas (you see there is a subtle difference?) and let you know what I thought of it. I did finish reading the book, so you know that's one point in its favor.

Has anyone read either of these two titles? What did you think?

3 Comments:

At 10:24 PM , Blogger Wendy said...

Oh, I am sorry you got the wrong one! I loved Mitchell's Cloud Atlas and included it on a recent post about must read novels. David Mitchell is an amazing writing...I hope you won't have to wait long to read his wonderful book!

 
At 11:53 AM , Blogger farmlanebooks said...

David Mitchell is one of my favourite authors. I've read,and loved all of his books. I hope that you find a copy of the other
Cloud Atlas soon!

 
At 1:46 PM , Blogger SFP said...

The David Mitchell is incredible and I hope you can get a copy of it soon. I have a copy of the other Cloud Atlas as well, but I've yet to read it.

 

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