Monday, August 30, 2010

Pretty thoughtful.

Where The Apes of God was long, silly, and unreadable, Arcanum 17 was pretty, thoughtful and WAY over my head.

The book is not really a story. It is more of a series of musings on the world in 1944 that the author assembled while spending time in Quebec. It is beautifully written with some really cool imagery. I liked that the author seemed to have a lot of respect for women and thought their contributions to society were undervalued. I'm sure I missed some important points because it was kind of confusing at times, but I'm glad I read this. It was short and really beautiful.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Thud is the sound The Apes of God made when the reference librarian placed it on the counter in front of me. This book weighs a ton, and it is about 640 pages.

Thud is also the figurative sound this book made as I was reading it. Not interesting. Whatever Lewis was trying to do with this book ("tell a story" not really working out for him) doesn't translate to a contemporary audience. I was glad to see in the afterword that lots of people find it unreadable. I have to admit that I kind of gave up trying to figure it out and just skimmed to get through it.

Here is a recipe for Peasant Stew we had a few weeks ago and loved. It's not made from peasants or anything, don't worry.Peasant Stew from Cooking Light

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The amazing race!

Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days is like a book version of my favorite show, The Amazing Race! I loved it! I loved how methodical Fogg is and the different ways he devises to solve his various travel issues. I liked the servant and how he gradually became more trusted and able to make decisions as the journey progressed. And I liked the ending! This was super fun and over too soon.

I was amazed at how quickly they got out of the house and off to their trip once it was decided. They definitely weren't traveling with a toddler, that is for sure. (No! Burpies! Yellow doggie turtle! No! Green car! Ball! Snacks! Nooooo!)

Next up for me is The Apes of God, over 600 pages. Due back at the library on September 9, no renewals. I better get going!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Not many antics here.

I didn't know what to expect when I started Aldous Huxley's Antic Hay. I think I skimmed Brave New World at some point in my educational career but I don't remember anything about it at all. This book was kind of a disappointment. I could tell that the author was trying to put forth certain views but I honestly have no idea what those are. I am really not enjoying the books that consist mainly of characters sitting around talking to each other. DO something! I didn't like any of the characters and they just didn't seem real to me. I feel like the author just created them as mouthpieces for various views.

I'm sure I missed the point of this book but I'm just glad it's over!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

From Russia with love.

Anna Karenina was a lot different for me this time around. A lot has changed in my life since I read this 5 years ago and I enjoyed this book a great deal more now. The last time I read this perhaps I didn't have the patience to really enjoy it, or wasn't in the right frame of mind. Plus I think there is something about reading a lot of great's like I have more practice or something, so I'm getting more out of each one.

This book is just incredible. It's a novel but the reader also learns so much about the history and culture of Russia from the story as well. Mike said something interesting the other day when I was marveling at how much I was enjoying the book. He said, imagine how amazing it must have been when it first came out too. People must have been awestruck by what an incredible novel it was.

Lately I've been thinking that there is a very wide disparity among the 1001 books. There are some that are incredible like this one. Even people who aren't fans of Russian literature could probably appreciate what a masterpiece it is. On the other hand, there are also there random weird books that are stream of consciousness, or there's a hole cut out in the book, or whatever. Gimmicky things. It is just interesting the wide range of books that the editors considered the best.