March Book Thoughts

Island of the Sequined Love Nun

I’ve always been somewhat quick to know what I want and what I don’t want.  I can tell you after the first taste of food whether or not I’ll have it again.  Most of the time, I don’t even bother trying anything new.  (It’s a #1 at Chick-Fil-A, #11 at McDonalds, #9 at Burger King, a Two Taco Breakfast Combo with Potato and Egg from Taco Cabana, and a Bean and Cheese Burrito from Taco Bell.  Oh yeah, and a Ruprict from Moe’s.)  I’m quick to fall and somewhat quick to recover.

All of this to tell you, Island is my second ever Christopher Moore book and I am proud to say I love this writer.  Before I started, I read the reviews.  “Not his best work….” seemed to be a common thought in most reviewer’s minds.

Ladies and Gentlemen, if this is not his best work… I’m sold.  Buy me everything he has written and let me shake the man’s hand.  I’m a fan.

Be Honest, You’re Not That Into Him Either

The subtext of this book is “Raising your standards and getting the love you deserve.”  Isn’t that what everyone wants?  I want the love I think I deserve.  I know Lucky does.  That pretty much covers us over on this end.

It seems like I’ve had issue with the books I’ve been reading lately.  This one was no exception.  For starters, almost everyone “interviewed’ for the book was some kind of CEO or executive and barely 25.  There were a few exceptions.  There was one teacher.  And I think there was a 32 year old in there somewhere.

So now I have been educated in everything that I’ve done wrong on my struggle with the “dating treadmill” and I’ve learned that I am hopelessly behind the power curve since I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up and I hardly believe it will be anything as cool as the women in that book.

Ender’s Shadow

I read Ender’s Game and fell in love.  I was petrified to read Speaker for the Dead in case it destroyed the series.  It didn’t… it gave me peace about Ender and his life.  I stopped there, because NOTHING else could possibly add to this series.  Again, I was afraid the one horrible book would ruin it for me.  (Like the Pretties or Hunger Games)

Ender’s Shadow follows Bean.  We get to see his side of life as he follows quite literally in Ender’s shadow.  Ender was the little kid who made a big name for himself.  He was THE ONE.  Bean came in even younger, just as Ender was starting his last year of Battle School.  He heard he was like Ender Wiggin so much he decided to find out about this guy.

It was an amazing story.  Being inside Bean’s head got a little old toward the end.  Part of me wanted him to stop analyzing EVERYTHING and just save the world already.  It really shows you the difference between pure genius and having skills.

I really hate to continue to gush on the Enderverse.  This book has sealed my faith in the other novels.  I will be collecting them and reading them with a fervor.  And I will put this into the universe again:  Even if you do not like science fiction, please read Ender’s Game. It is just one of those books you have to experience.

Lord of the Flies

I’m sure rotten tomatoes are going to fly out of my computer screen and splatter themselves all over my glasses and computer desk (just don’t hit my iPod).

I *HATED* this book.  I see how it could be fun to teach (There’s a strong difference between liking a book and finding out that it has teachable qualities) but I really don’t ever want to pick it up again for personal pleasure.  Simon was off his rocker, Piggy was annoying, Jack was a dirtball, and Ralph was obnoxious.  Oh yeah, Roger.  That kid probably grew up to be Hannibal Lecter.

So there lies my problem.  As a reader, I simply cannot enjoy a book that I hate every character.  I have to find someone to at least sympathize with to be able to enjoy it.  LotF… didn’t have that for me.

The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear

Let me tell you the story of how I came across this book.  I was wandering through Barnes and Noble (like I *love* to do) and I wanted to see if the new Christopher Moore book came out (March 23rd people… Love Bites hits the stores).  There was a bright yellow book with a huge blue bear on it.  I opened it up and was blown away by the size of it.  Seven hundred pages.  Who can write seven hundred pages about a blue bear?!?

In Walter Moer’s defense, there were pictures.  And some big type.  It was still a sizeable book but he caught me.  I was hooked.  I had to read it.  The library carried it (my <a href=”http://www.youseemore.com/TemplePL/default.asp”>library</a&gt; is amazing).  So I spent seven days in the land of Zamonia enjoying Bluebear’s 13 1/2 lives.

A writer with imagination is probably my biggest soft spot.  It was pointed out to me that I love “weird” writers:  Vonnegut, Christopher Moore, Tom Robbins… and it makes sense.  I love someone who can take me on an adventure.  I have a crazy imagination and I love to laugh.  Take me somewhere, I’ll follow.

Parts of Bluebear’s adventures felt a little long.  Maybe a five hundred page adventure.  Maybe only giving me 10 1/2 lives worth of stuff.  (That half life was important.)  Or maybe just give me a few more half-lives.  Maybe that blue bear should have kept a few more secrets. 🙂

Next week I’m going to the library in search of more Walter Moers books. So, obviously, it wasn’t that bad.

World of Warcraft and Philosophy

I picked this up as my “easy” read.  After the 700 page tome of adventure… I wanted something thoughless and fun.  What better choice than a book about one of my favorite games (WoW) and one of my favorite subjects (philosophy).  This book was the polar opposite of what I was expecting.  After the first chapter, it was clear that I was going to be scratching my head on more than one occasion.

Who would expect to learn something from a World of Warcraft book?  Especially something about economy, game design, metaphysics, and ethics?  (Okay, maybe the game design… but I never realized how detailed game design was!)  All-in-all, I have to say I’m pretty impressed by this little book.  If you are interested in the series at all, make sure you don’t underestimate the level of thinking required!  Its like the world’s coolest philsophy textbook!  With 52 books and counting, I’m sure you can find something to dive into.

Someone Like You

My easy read.  I figured you can’t get any easier than a Sarah Dessen novel.  I had read one in college for my Adolescent Literature class and enjoyed it.  Basically, she tends to write Chick-Lit for 13-year-olds.

Ten pages into it, I caught myself thinking “I’ve read this before.”  Thirty pages into it confirmed it… This was the same book I had read in college.  Only my version of this book was called How to Deal after the movie put out by Mandy Moore.

It carefully deals with those hot-button issues no one ever wants to talk about with teenagers: birth and death.  Surprisingly, she does it with great tact.  There are (of course) the cliches and the plot line is utterly predictable.  It is well done.  I would definitely suggest it to anyone who is interested.

Secrets to Happiness

I have to admit, I missed Sarah Dunn’s debut novel, Big Love.  Contrary to popular belief, I’m not a fan of what I deem the “Crap-Chick-Lit,” the books that can’t be considered Harlequin Romances because there are no sex scenes but can’t be real literature because the lack anything even remotely thought-provoking or worthy of conversation.  I’m not saying people shouldn’t read these, I’m just saying I feel like I’m wasting my time.

The cover of this book is what drew me in:

Doesn’t he just look… blissful?  Doesn’t it make you just want to smile and plop down beside him?  You want to run off to some huge park with thick green grass and create your own version of this book jacket.  I picked it up because every time I looked at the novel on my Amazon list… I couldn’t help but smile and want to cuddle my dog.

For Crap-Lit, it wasn’t so bad.  You have the lost woman who just wants to be loved but keeps getting screwed over, even by her whore of a best friend.  You have the list of ex’s who can’t keep it in their pants.  You have the big city, blind dates, woe-is-me, and you also have the typical Crap-Lit ending.  Awwwwww.  So yeah, its like every Rom-Com you’ve ever watched.  Heartbroken Girl, everything goes right, The End.

Dead and Gone

Don’t give me that look.  Yes, I read the Southern Vampire Mystery series.  And I actually really enjoy them.

I had put off reading this book for a multitude of reasons.  First and foremost, I kind of liked the idea that t here was just ONE MORE story out there waiting for me.  Now that she has firmed up the release date of the next installment (just in time for my birthday too!), I decided to indulge.  I was ready for the worst based on a few reviews I had gotten.

I loved it.  I had been waiting for some of the things that happened *ahem* in this book to happen.  I would have been more than happy just to put the book down and just know it happened.

The book, however, is typical Charlaine Harris.  Continuity errors galore, rambling on where there doesn’t need to be any extra explanation then leaving you to Google minor characters from the first three books… the usual.  Overall, it ranks up there right under Dead to the World… my favorite from the series so far.

I’m waiting for my nightly cup of green tea to cool enough to be enjoyed.  In the process, you guys get an update (However sporadic it may be).

My reading goals are progressing along quite nicely.  I’m not even halfway through the year and I’ve almost hit my halfway point.  Lord of the Flies was my 24th book for this year.  My 25th book is a bit of a doozy.  Its called The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear:  A Novel by Walter Moers.  Our dear Captain Bluebear has over 700 pages of adventures in this book.  Needless to say, it should last me a while.  I have a bunch of books in my “Want to Read Soon” pile.  From where I’m sitting I can see Plague of the Dead, Shadow of the Hegemon, Foxfire, and a collection of poems by my favorite poet, e. e. cummings.  I’ve also decided that I’m going to read my collection of Pablo Neruda in his native Spanish.  I have 8 years of Spanish.  That SHOULD be enough.  I hope.

I turned my car in today to get fixed.  My car is among the many in recall these days.  Part of me didn’t want to get it fixed…. I would at least have an excuse if I got pulled over for speeding.  “Sorry, officer.  My car just took off!”  They took it back in the shop and worked on it for almost two hours.  The computer had to be reprogrammed and a bunch of other stuff supported and fiddled with.  I laughed and joked with the service people.  They take bets on how long it will take me to come back for an oil change.  My car gets a LOT of use.

Lucky and I went on an adventure the last day of February.  While A was here on leave, we drove out toward Lampasas for coffee.  On the way home I saw one of those glorious brown signs that indicate that we are in the vicinity of fun.  I swore I’d come back before the warm weather left to venture out and see what it was all about.  It took me a few months, but that’s where Lucky and I went.  I got a few pictures of Gorman Falls… wanted to venture around more but the terrain was a little rough for my puppy.  Maybe next weekend I’ll strap on my pack and go for a longer walk.

My 365 project ended kind of non-spectacularly.  (Is that even a word?)  I got a little sidetracked, then more sidetracked, and ended up taking pictures of myself moments before I shut off the light with my iPhone.  I really want to start it again.  The pictures give me something wonderful to look at.  I can remember what was happening in each picture.  Well, that is… until I got lazy and starting taking bed pictures.  The next 365 days is going to prove to be pretty busy.  Next month alone I’m going to several Teacher Job Fairs and heading to Colorado for an interview.  It would be nice to have it all captured.

The idea of moving to a colder climate is fun.  I’m sort of excited about the prospect of moving completely out of the South. In all honesty, it makes me want my Liberty back.  Not my old Liberty with its cracked engine block and three canister of oil a day habit.  I want a somewhat shiny, new-to-me one.  With 4×4 and a sunroof.  I don’t ask for much.  Unfortunately, my car is still upside down.  Meaning I’d be beyond upside down in my new vehicle.

Well, I’m off to see what Bluebear does next and sleep well past 8 AM.  I hope you all enjoy your day!