Thursday, July 17, 2008

Is This Thing On?

Hello, virtual bibliobots. I have been too busy reading to spend any time typing. Like, menus and such. The yellow pages. And Don DeLillo.

I was reading "Underground" for some time. This book is massive. Go ahead, measure it. Weigh it. I am not lying. The usual hallmarks of a good read, for this amateur reader, were evident. I wanted to know what was happening, or going to happen, to the characters.* Plus: lofty prose, rapturous passages, olfactory hallucinations. The good stuff. I would recommend this book to friends I expect to see again.

Whereas "Mao II" is pissing me off. So much so I don't care where my prepositions are found in. Or on! That's right. I want everyone in the book to perish so someone interesting or worthy of further interest can arise. Right now the anti-hero, or protagonist, or whatever it is is in Athens waiting to meet a terrorist, or accountant, or something and likely something bad will happen to him. Or not. Who cares? I don't care. I put the book in my closet and I am now reading something crappy but mildly funny** until the next massive book crawls into my field of vision and refuses to leave until it is done with me.

Or maybe I should haul Mao II from the closet and wait for the cultural revolution. I don't know if it's worth the effort. Do you?


* Mostly nothing. Or they'd disappear. Don DeLillo has eaten the Texas Highway Killer.
** Morgan Spurlock in search of public enema #1.


So, I got a gift card to Borders and it's burning a hole in my pocket.

Anybody want to make a recommendation?

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Tipping Point

When I was in graduate school, I took a course in entrepreneurship -- The Tipping Point was assigned by the instructor and I was just too busy to read it. Listening to the class discussion, it was a book I'd regretted not reading -- so, I swore that I'd read it..... eventually.

Well, eventually is here -- I just finished it.

It is not the typical book club book. It's more text-booky than it is novel. It's non-fiction and it's full of facts, history, lots and lots of statistics...... all the things that make most people (unless they are math/accounting geeks like me) gloss over. But, it is also full of pop-culture, psychology and science.

This book is not for everyone, and I can understand why some people would pick it up and then promptly and permanently put it down.

However, there is a chapter on Sesame Street, Blue's Clues and child development that I think is worth reading for any parent.

I really enjoyed the book -- and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. It uses real examples to illustrate and explain how fads happen or, in many cases, why they fail to.

The next book in my line up is Maeve Binchey's Scarlet Feather

Being a first generation American who spent a lot of time in Ireland as a kid, I tend to really enjoy Maeve Binchey's books. I'm not sure if people without that connection would enjoy them quite as much, but -- given her popularity.... I'd say they do.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Jerk's Wife

oh, okay -- that was kind of harsh...

I just finished The Time Traveler's Wife -- I read it based on rave reviews I got from a bunch of people who have never steered me wrong before.

Honestly, I didn't really like it much in the beginning.

The author is clearly very talented and has an amazing imagination -- and the format or method she uses to unfold the story (journal entries of sorts) was effective and engaging -- but, I just didn't really like the main character very much.

Perhaps I'm old fashioned or just naive, but I like a main character I can love or love to hate..... this guy?... he just seemed like a waste of time. I didn't like him much, didn't find him all that attractive..... but, I also didn't think he was worth the effort or energy involved in hating.

As the story progressed, my opinion did change and I did begin to enjoy the story. Although I still didn't love or hate this guy, his character was redeemed as he matured. Additionally, there were some plot twists and turns in the middle/end that really threw me and kept me just engaged enough to keep reading -- even during parts where I didn't think the story was that great.

Given that I have a new baby, there were some parts of the story that really tugged at my post-partum heartstrings.... but I don't want to give too much away in case you want to read the book yourself.

In the end, I can say that I liked the book -- I didn't love it, but I liked it and I would certainly read her next book.

I'm probably going to read The Tipping Point Next -- if anybody's interested in joining me.

This is a book that I've been meaning to read for years.
When I was in graduate school it was assigned as required reading for an entrepreneurship class and I didn't read it, but from the class discussion -- I regretted my laziness and put it on my list of books that I wanted to read. Well, here we are 6 years later and I'm going to make good.