Monday, January 31, 2005


So, I read 50 books in 2004. Here's the first of a series of reviews...

I'm not going to go in order that I read them, but rather group them into catagories...

So, here are THE CLASSICS

Emma by Jane Austen
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Suprisingly, I've never had to read any of these books. I took all advanced English classes and hold a degree from a good college, and the only one of these I had read before 2004 was Wuthering Heights, which I read for fun one Christmas break during college. (And it's not just these books, but I've never had to read any books by these authors!)

So, I liked Emma a lot, but I'm an Austen sucker. I also really enjoyed Jane Eyre, which I only read because everyone kept telling me to read Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair and I thought I should read Jane first, or else it would be cheating. The thing that struck me though was the fact that I never had a sense of Jane and Rochester falling in love. But, all of a sudden they were! I knew it was coming because who doesn't know that? But I was still suprised when it happened.

After I read Jane, I read The Eyre Affair which made me realize that I really didn't remember much about Wuthering Heights so I re-read that. It's a good book, but I've never understood the obsession with it. It's not that good. But, I'm obsessed with Pride and Prejudice so I really shouldn't say anything.

Then in spring I read Tale of Two Cities. I never really got into it. My mother-in-law and brother-in-law's S.O. were absolutely horrified that I didn't cry at the end. Horrified in a way that I'm sure they still think I am an absolutely awful person (as I'm sure you're thinking now as well). I think it was because I had to read it in short bursts. So, I'd read 10 pages, put it down, in a few days read another 10 pages... so I never really bonded with the characters. Or maybe I really am a heartless creature. Hmmm... I really do need to read Great Expectations though. It's on the list for this year.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The book is always better...

Finished Persausion and it made me all girly, like only a Jane Austen novel can...

However, I am now even more pissed off that they so drastically changed Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason when they made the movie. Because now it's not the same story.

What does it say that the original and best chick-lit books are Bridget and they don't have original plots?

Still, I will never argue with an opportunity to drool over Colin Firth. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Guy Stuff

So, this past week I read Guy Stuff by a guy named Dan.

It's an interesting publishing premise, as it's a blog, but each entry is a chapter. I don't know whether or not I'm sorry I came across it after it was finished. On one hand, I ripped through it pretty quickly, and would have been really impatient to wait for a new chapter every week. On the other hand, if it was only a chapter a week (they're pretty short chapters) then I probably would have wasted a lot less time at work!

The book, in itself, is pretty good. Nothing too deep or earth-shattering, but a pleasant read. Funny in parts. No great insights on life, but some fun jabs at the evilness of Starbucks.

It does, however, need a good edit. And not just in the occasional typo, but you can tell it wasn't edited as a whole, as certain turns of phrase are reused chapters later, and really shouldn't be. (For instance, the narrator twice makes the observation that his roommate was the only person who could lose weight by going out to eat. For the sake of good writing, it only should have been made once. The same is true for the comment "if it were an apartment, it would be called garden style". A good description once, but shouldn't be reused.)

All in all though, a good ladlit read, and you can't beat the price (though you should flip Dan a few bucks).

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Things my Girlfriend and I... was the funniest thing I've read in a long time.

Kinda like David Lodge on crack? I don't know if I like that analogy, but he captures relationships well and academia (but this time the support staff side) well, as does Lodge.

But there's more to it. More slapstick. More crazy. I mean, Lodge's people/situations are all totally believable everyday observations.

Millington's world is crazy, and yet, you do believe it anyway. I mean, Lodge would never have his university pay Chinese mobsters to recruit Asian students.

Don't read it if you're a librarain who is easily offended, though. He hits them pretty hard. But, on the other hand, I've known several librarians like the one in his book.

Monday, January 10, 2005


Currently Reading: Things My Girlfriend and I have Argued About Mil Millington

by Dava Sobel was suprisingly good. I'm not always the biggest fan of pop history. I think one of the reasons that I appreciated this book is that, unlike a lot of pop history, it didn't make grand claims without evidence or explanation.

Or maybe it was the pop science of it. Which I don't mind, because I don't know a lot about science.