The Gambler, by Dostoevsky - one of his easier works, and still very recommended.
Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, by Freud - pretty much does what it says on the tin, and does amuse with the occasional dubious insight: apparently any instance of flying in a dream represents a p*n*s, because p*n*s's (peni?) defy gravity in a similar manner by, erm, raising themselves upwards without assisstance...
I've been reading "The Dream Of Rome", by Boris*. I'm about half way through, and so far it's a mixture of a history book about Rome and an editorial about why the EU (as a union) is such a mess. Of course, it's all written in the typical Boris style, so it's actually a very different and refreshing (and occasionally humerous) look at things both ancient and modern.
Next on the hitlist: "The Art of Deception" by infamous hacker Kevin Mitnick and "Freakonomics" by, uh, those two guys called Steve.
* Johnson, that is - are there any other notable Borises (Borisi?) these days? Becker, Karloff and Yeltsin are all retired or dead).
I've been reading Gregory Maguire's Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and its sequel, Son of a Witch. They're both absolutely amazing - and when I was in London looking at the Hall-Carpenter archives, I kept getting distracted by a theatre showing the musical version of Wicked.
As the title suggests, Wicked is a rethinking of the character of the Wicked Witch of the West. In this, Elphaba (who becomes the Witch) is a political dissident and her sister the Wicked Witch of the East is a religious fundamentalist. The Wizard is a tyrant who's making life difficult for the Animals (the talking, sentient ones, as opposed to mere animals).
The only downside is that it makes The Wizard of Oz difficult to read afterwards - you can't help sympathising with the Witch and hating Dorothy's guts. Maguire makes Oz an incredibly rich place, with the various races and religions much more fleshed-out than they are in the original book. (Though L. Frank Baum wrote loads of Oz books, and I haven't read any of the others.)
Gregory Maguire's also written Lost and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, but someone's had them overdue from the library I work in for the past month, so my reservations have come to naught. Woe.
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