October 13th, 2010

Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

I finished reading another mystery in a series by Bruce Alexander called Death of a Colonial which I found to be a quick, pleasant read. It's set in the era of pre-Revolutionary War England, and he seems to set the stage very well. In this one, there's a claimant for an inheritance of a lordship, and the blind magistrate who's the center of this series is set to confirm that this isn't the deceased lord's relative. It's a nice series. On to the next book!

Lol..getting old sucks (bibliophile style)

I finished reading another novel a few days ago, and returned it to the library.

I thought today that I needed to update my books read list (this would be #68 for the year).

Damned if I can remember now what the book was!!! Not title, not author, not what it was about.

There is just a BIG book blank in my brain!

This would be really funny if I didn't feel so stupid!
Knitting Vintage

Recent reads

 Oh posting, you elusive task, why do I only attempt you every so often, and when I have a huge backlog? Tis the way of life I suppose.

Notable Recent Reads:

Mysterious Skin by Scott Heim Mysterious Skin
This book was... troubling for me. I think I liked it, but I can't be really sure. Let's put it this way. I enjoyed elements of the book, and felt confused on other fronts.
First, a summary. Scott Heim tells the harsh and tragic story of two boys bound together by a traumatizing event, but go on to remember it in completely different ways. Brian spends his entire adolescence dreaming about and obsessing over alien abductions. Neil realizes he's gay and becomes a teen hustler. Throughout the novel, their lives become intertwined through common acquaintances and that initial, horrible act, though they only meet at the end. 
I respect Heim a lot for his sensitive portrayal of some really horrific events. He never demeans his characters, and passes no judgment upon them. The story plays out naturally in a very fluid, relaxed prose. However, I found it difficult to fully enjoy my reading experience because of the events that occured in the book. Maybe that's the point, though. Maybe I was supposed to feel uncomfortable and outraged.

Archer's Goon by Diana Wynn Jones Archer's Goon
After reading something as emotionally heavy as Mysterious Skin, it was nice to read something light and fantastical and rompy. This book did not let me down. It was funny, mysterious, and though I guessed some of the plot twists, still engaging.


The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan DoyleHound of the Baskervilles
This book has been on my reading list for years! It's also on nearly every "1000 books you must read before you die" list there is. I finally, FINALLY finished it. And I was... underwhelmed. Was it the hype? No, I think I can pin down my apathy to a couple of factors. 
1. I read most of the book on my iphone, using stanza. While I do other ereading perfectly well, the iphone really isn't the best tool. The screen is way too small and I found myself skipping sentences or even paragraphs with nary a thought. Also, the constant putting away and pulling out of the phone made for very disjointed reading.
2. I think I've been watching too much Sherlock.

I'm also currently reading
  • The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox
  • How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell on audiobook.
I think I will attempt a comprehensive list w/ short reviews sometime in the near future... hopefully...
bear jew

(no subject)

Title: Harry, A History
Author: Melissa Anelli
Year of Publication: 2008
Genre: Non-Fiction
Pages: 334
First Line: "Within twenty-four hours, everyone would know."
Summary: During the brief span of just one decade, hundreds of millions of perfectly ordinary people made history: they became the only ones who would remember what it was like when the Harry Potter saga was still unfinished. What it was like to seek out friends, families, online forums, fan fiction, and podcasts to get a fix between novels. When the potential death of a character was a hotter bet than the World Series. When the unfolding story of a boy wizard changed the way books are read for all time.

And as webmistress of the Leaky Cauldron, one of the most popular Harry Potter sites on the Internet, Melissa Anelli had a front row seat to it all. Whether it was helping Scholastic stop leaks and track down counterfeiters, hosting live PotterCasts at bookstores across the country, or touring to Edinburgh to interview J.K. Rowling personally, Melissa was at the center of the Harry Potter tornado, and nothing about her life would ever be the same.

The Harry Potter books are a triumph of the imagination that did far more than break sales records for all time. They restored the world's sense of wonder and took on a magical life of their own. Now the series has ended, but the story is not over. With remembrances from J.K. Rowling's editors, agents, publicists, fans, and Rowling herself, Melissa Anelli takes us on a personal journey through every aspect of the Harry Potter phenomenon -- from his very first psell to his lasting impact on the way we live and dream.

Source: Back of book

Review: Almost as emotional as reading Deathly Hallows for the first time. I really loved Anelli's style. It was engaging and interesting. Her insight is fantastic and she lived the dream of many Potter fans -- more-or-less befriending J.K. Rowling. As I was fairly young during the entire Potter phenomenon (I was seven or eight when the first book came out), much of this information is new to me or shown in a new light. I really enjoyed this book and it gave a lot of interesting information about the phenomenon as well as the books and J.K. Rowling. Even the parts concerning Anelli's life were interesting and I looked forward to those bits. Definitely worth checking out, even if you aren't (gasp!) a Potter fan.

Worst part: The arriving at the release day and such was kind of abrupt. But I think it's okay to have it this way, because that's how it felt.

Best part: J.K. Rowling's forward was really touching. I really enjoyed it.

Grade: A

Other Books by This Author: None, but she runs the Leaky Cauldron.

67 / 50 books. 134% done!

Book 96: Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami

Book 96: Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman .
Author: Haruki Murakami, 2006. Translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel.
Genre: Short Stories. Magical Realism. Contemporary Lit.
Other Details: Trade Paperback. 334 pages.

"I find writing novels a challenge, writing short stories a joy. If writing novels is like planting a forest, then writing short stories is more like planting a garden.” - Haruki Murakami.

This collection of 24 short stories was written between 1980 and 2005. It is a dazzling work and served as an excellent introduction to his writings for me.

Its introduction sets the tone as Murakami explains that although a number of the stories were written early in his career, he had subsequently revised a number of them extensively and tweaked others. This combined with the lack of original publication dates and a non-chronological order gives the collection a very organic feel. The stories are quite mixed in their content; some are very strange indeed, others feel autobiographical and many explore themes of alienation in contemporary culture.

It was a reading group selection and was met by a mixed response from some members, mainly due to the surrealistic aspects found in many of the stories. I quickly found myself smitten, embracing the dream-like quality of his writing. I didn't understand all of them by any means but that was fine. I enjoyed the feeling of being perplexed.
El Corazon

220. The Merry Wives of Windsor; 221. Breakfast at Tiffany's

The Merry Wives of Windsor
by William Shakespeare

Started: September 20, 2010
Finished: October 13, 2010

There was absolutely nothing redeeming about this play at all. It wasn't funny, there wasn't a single interesting character, the plot was moronic. I'm really second-guessing my plan of reading all of Shakespeare's plays as I haven't liked 90% of what I've read so far. It's just not my style. Maybe I'd like them better if I was watching them being performed at the same time. 25 pages. Grade: F
Breakfast at Tiffany's
by Truman Capote

Started: October 11, 2010
Finished: October 13, 2010

I've never read this before or seen the movie and I really knew nothing at all about the plot, but nonetheless I couldn't help but picture Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly the whole time I was reading this. Golightly is definitely a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, a character type I don't usually much enjoy reading about or watching, but her character somehow works in this smart novella. This isn't the greatest thing I've ever read but it was pretty darn entertaining overall. 105 pages. Grade: B+
Total # of Books Read in 2010: 221
Total # of Pages Read in 2010: 5

#3 The Eye

 The Eye is Vladimir Nabokov's fourth, and shortest, novel. It was a quick and easy read. Very funny - possibly one of the funniest Nabokov novels I've read to date (this is my fifth). The plot has a 'twist' which I did find slightly obvious, but perhaps only because I was looking for it. I also wanted to include this, a reminder of Nabokov's talent for putting into words those thoughts and feelings you don't even notice you have yourself:

It is amusing to catch another's room by surprise. The furniture froze in amazement when I switched on the light. 

Highly recommended.