More books

Feb. 4th, 2010 11:35 pm
youngraven: (Default)
I found a record of a few that I'd missed the first time, and I'm adding a freshly read one.

TitleAuthorGenrePagesRatingSynopsis
Alias Madame DoubtfireAnne FineFiction199**A divorced man poses as a nanny in order to see more of his children.
The Nanny DiariesEmma McLaughlin/
Nicola Krause
Fiction 320 ****A single woman works as a nanny in order to see more of other people's children.
Myth AlliancesRobert AsprinScience fiction262**A wizard and his friends attempt to chase some scaly beings in power suits out of a castle.
Class Dis-MythedRobert Asprin/Jody Lynn NyeScience fiction300**A wizard trains young magicians for a reality show.
Something Myth-Inc.Robert AsprinScience fiction186**A wizard tries to convince the citizenry that he isn't out to overthrow anybody.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianSherman AlexieYoung adult fiction*288*****Junior Spirit leaves the reservation.

So, the last one gets a star by 'fiction', 'cos as I'd suspected, the work is largely autobiographical. There were entirely too many elements that rang true, so I found the author's web site and read his bio. I wasn't a bit surprised by what I found there.

So...I think that's all of them, now. I've got four more waiting; the one I'm reading now is called Wacky Chicks - I'm not sure of it yet. The author seems to be working too hard to sell his concept ('wacky-chickery').
youngraven: (Default)
So, I've just wriggled through my very first Sophie Kinsella.

I think my brain's now got holes in. Remember Me? is easily the most vapid book I've ever read. I wanted to see the irony in the piles of fashionista name droppings; I wanted to see the irony in the Rags to Riches to Rags again complete with Change of Heart brought on by Blow to Head, but the entire thing read like one long and confused advert (am I a smart wool coat or a pot of 200 quid face cream, hrm...decisions, decisions...). 

Seriously, ask me something intelligent. Sure I know I'll give you a glassy-eyed look, purr 'Giorgio? Simply divine', and then forget my own name. 

In all fairness, I did take it from the library with the idea that it would be Pool Fiction. You know, the sort of thing one reads whilst splayed out by the pool, 'cos it doesn't require her to think terribly much, and if it does happen to end up slightly dampened or smelling of sunscreen...well, at least it wasn't James Joyce, yeh? 

This lacked enough depth for even Pool Fiction - puddle fiction should have been a more apt description. Considering I did step in a couple of puddles on my way to the railway station this morning (I often read on the train), I suppose it applies. 

But och. Now I need something witty and glib. So I've got this book about sheep as detectives...
youngraven: (Hrm...)
A few hours ago, I finished reading The Tao of Pooh, and it's given me a bit to think about. For one, I think I should like to go and find all of the Winnie-the-Pooh books that I don't recall having read as a child (but surely must've done, 'cos I found them in and amongst my books), and for another, I think I should like to read The Tao of Pooh again and think a bit more about it.

Despite me suspecting that the author's intent was for readers not to spend terribly much time thinking but rather being. It did call to my mind the many times I've tried to force the issue on various aspects of my life. Whereas I can't truthfully say that by doing so I always banjaxed the outcome...well, there's merit to what the author has said.

...

It also made me think of Yoda. There. I said it. 
youngraven: (Off Centre)
...before I shove off for the evening.

Morning aggro
When I opened my office door this morning, I discovered that somebody had wedged a cart stacked with office detritus behind my chair. I'd been given a message to the effect of 'the area formerly known as Graphics has been cleared out - all of this is yours. Fetch out of the warehouse, please'. Only it never made it there, did it? 'Cos somebody stuffed it into my room.

The punchline? None of it actually belonged to me.

Books
I've read three books recently. One, a blast from the past; one, a waste of my time (largely); and one, about a walk in the woods. The first in the list was The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron.  When I was younger (I don't recall my actual age - 8? 9?), I was mad for Mushroom Planet books. They are all mostly out of print now and considered collectible. I don't think libraries have them anymore - not when they can fetch hundreds on Amazon.com.

The second in the list was Help Me, I'm Irish by Ray Hamill. The excerpt I'd read was amusing - seriously. I thought I'd stumbled over a gem. And then it arrived, and...well, I realise I'm never to judge a book by its cover, but the instant the thing was out of the box and into my hands I thought 'oh...this is a vanity pressing'. Now then, I've read a vanity pressing book before...and it wasn't terribly well-written as far as its language crafting was concerned. But the story that the woman told (she was a homesteader in Alaska in the 60s) was so unique and fascinating that I ignored the shortcomings. This thing by Ray Hamill? My. Somebody should have stopped you, mate. Seriously. He could have made it a genuine autobiography (rather than inventing a character and hiding behind him), and it would have had more merit. But. He didn't do that, and...he didn't exactly have a story to tell most of the time. And he includes this preface which is lengthy and too explanatory and...he insists upon using 'damn' when it should be 'damned' - and that gets up my nose. Oh, and he writes in eye dialect for his Irish characters. It's a spike to the head. Alright, they're from Dublin, we get it. Sure, jeez.

I'm going to foist the book off on somebody else tonight. Somebody who I suspect will appreciate it far more than myself. :|

The third in the list was A Walk in the Woods (see, told you) by Bill Bryson. In it, he tells the story of the time that he and his mate hiked the Appalachian Trail just for the craic. At the very end of the book, the publisher had a list of his other works, which I plan to read. Highly entertaining, and I learnt that a bear will eat you if you take a Snickers bar into the woods. So don't do that. I recommend it for those of you in need of a bit of non-fiction.

It's even a longer way to Tipperary, now
It's true. The Tipp is shutting. Tim, the chap who took it over from Martin all those years ago, sent round a message to the effect of 'we've had a good run, but'. I'm dismayed. Seriously. The Tipp afforded the local Irish scene a fantastic place to play. People were encouraged to come out for the ceol as well as the craic. Sure, I have spent more time of late at Trinity Hall, but that's largely 'cos I had sort of a regular gig there.

The original Tipperary was my first seisiun and where I met [livejournal.com profile] shaddowshoes . I've seen it through all of its iterations and owners, and we've lost something needful here. It was a noteworthy thing to have played the Tipp. I'm really pleased to say that I have done, and I'm terribly sorry to see it go.

Project Peaches
I've made a few contacts in Atlanta. [livejournal.com profile] shaddowshoes and I are going out to look round in a fortnight. We'll spend our tenth anniversary there, which is a bit bittersweet. I've, sight unseen, decided to look for a flat in Vinings. It's near to the river (one block of flats has got a fishing pier and a place to put in a canoe or kayak - I worry that it's entirely too costly to live there, but I am so intrigued), it seems a cosy place, I like the sound of the name 'Vinings', and it's not so far from the city proper that I'll spend the rest of my days stuck in traffic. I've heard that the traffic in Atlanta is horrid, but it's fairly rotten here as well, so... Who knows, right?

I've made myself a Google map with colour-coded 'pins' in to show where I plan to look. I've also got a list of flats, &c saved to a web site, so I've been doing rather a bit of work on that score. I've yet to begin packing, 'cos... sigh. I don't think that needs explanation, really.

And with that, I'm heading off to seisiun.

Slán go foill...
youngraven: (spriggan)
Because books are a better expression of language than is bashing two sticks together.

1. One book that changed your life?
Oh, likely The Dark Is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper. It's the typical epic story between good and evil...until it takes a wild turn for the existential at the end when the lead characters shrugged and said 'We've defeated the icky wickedness - you're on your own now' and walked away. Although Ishmael certainly made me think.

2. One book you have read more than once?
Various and sundry of the Harry Potter books - and no, I still haven't read the latest two.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?
[livejournal.com profile] shaddowshoes's SAS Survival Guide, 'cos it isn't likely I'll be afforded the opportunity to lie on the beach and drink rum for three days.

4. One book that made you laugh?
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - any of them.

5. One book that made you cry?
I'm not keen on things that make me cry. I'd rather be amused, actually. Having said that, the scene in Light a Penny Candle in which Eileen O'Connor finds out that her silly son, Sean, has got himself blown up in the war was a bit hard.

6. One book you wish had been written?
The one whose current working title is 'Nibbles'.

7. One book you wish had never been written...?
There are many books that I wish I'd never read, but none that I wish had never been written - and yes, that includes the Bible, and Mein Kampf, and any other book that a person may use as justification to play havoc on the rest of humanity.

8. One book you are currently reading?
Silent Spring, and I've got to admit that it's been a few days since I picked it up. I've decided to alternate fiction with nonfiction 'cos it occurred to me recently that the most of my nonfiction comes from magazines. Admittedly, the one I read the most often is 'Discover' but still there's no excuse for it.

Ha. Doesn't it seem as though I'm well-read and intellectual? I'm not. There are scores of books that I've never read, and easily as many that I have read and have forgotten.

9. One book you have been meaning to read?
After Silent Spring...I don't know. I somehow managed to avoid reading The Catcher in the Rye, so perhaps I'll read that one - or better yet, I'll go back and finish A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

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