April 2, 2013 by rachelcmann
Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg – Despite a kind of weak story (in terms of what he decided to share about his life) I couldn’t put the book down. He’s funny in sort of an understated way, like most Brits I guess. He spends a lot of time talking about his childhood, but somehow that’s okay because (and he talks about this a lot) of the circularity in his life. The whole Butterfly effect thing.
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – I’m not sure how it’s possible that I had never read either author until the last few weeks. Sometimes these things just slip past. Neil Gaiman came onto my radar when I watched “The Doctors Wife” episode of Doctor Who in Season 6. That episode may be my favorite Who episode of all time and I added some of his books to my “to-read” list. Fortunately for him and unfortunately for me, his books are always checked out at the library! But I lucked upon this collaboration and read one of the funniest scifi books I’ve read in a while. I’m not sure what it is about magic and dragons and space ships that make authors shy away from humor because it’s certainly not necessary. Death and mayhem and the apocalypse can be funny! (Just look at Supernatural, renewed for Season 9). PS – Turns out I have read Gaiman before, I was listening to the new BBC Neverwhere and realized I’d read it at some point.
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien – I can see why the books are a classic, assuming the LOTR books are similarly engaging. My niggling issue with the book is throw away ending. The book concludes this massive adventure in a couple of sentences about how Baggins returned to his hole safely. The End. Um…really? Did he just run out of steam? I can’t help but wonder how that abrupt conclusion would be received now and if fans would be so fervant when they realize that after numerous challenges to reach their destination, the return trip was completely uneventful.
I also finished Imagine and Immediate Fiction but I don’t have much more to say about them except that I enjoyed them and recommend them.
Ill Wind by Rachel Caine – This has been on my list awhile and I blazed through it! I’m looking forward to reading the next one. While it keeps a lot of the tropes of the scifi genre there are enough twists that it keeps you guessing.
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones – Stephanie Plum meets ghosts. She really makes you wait for the romance pay off too! If the next one in the series is handy I’ll pick it up but there are other sequels that take priority.
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson – Walking the Appalachian Trail is on my bucket list, although I’m not really sure why. I’m not a big hiker/camper to the chagrin and hilarity of my Northwest outdoorsy friends. I enjoy Bryson’s books though, and was interested to hear a tale of the trail that was more humor than philosophy. It’s not my favorite of Bryson’s work but it was certainly food for thought.
Plays by Oscar Wilde and Moliere – Turns out I’ve already read most of them (guess that minor in theater and a career in performing arts is handier than I thought…maybe). I’m trying to read more comedy (can you tell?) and those two playwrights are known for their clever turn of phrase. That said, despite working in theater, I still find it incredibly difficult to read plays. Not because I don’t find them interesting or engaging, but because I have a hard time tracking the story. Particularly with older plays when the language is different, because for me the characters all start to blend together, where with modern plays I feel like characters have more unique and distinct voices in the way they speak and use language.
A skimmed a couple of travel books. I’ll be traveling this summer and while I’m fairly experienced it’s been some time since I did any real travel, especially by myself.
Neuromancer by William Gibson – Again, this has been on the list awhile. And starting it I kind of feel like I may have started it before. A couple of pages in and I’m not sucked in so I don’t know how far I’ll get, a couple of chapters in and I’m still struggling. I read/heard recently a piece of writing advice about cutting anywhere from the first sentence to the first three pages as most writers start with a lot of explanation and set up when they need to jump into the action. My problem with Neuromancer is that we’ve jumped into the action but I’ve never gotten any explanation and I’m constantly lost.
Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely – I really do like these kind of pseudo-psychology books. I’m not very far into this one but I’ve already learned some fun/interesting things. Like, did you know that in the initial draft of Gone with the Wind our heroine’s name was Pansy O’Hara? Yeah, chew on that for awhile.