"Take no heed of her...She reads a lot of books."
~Jasper Fforde

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? (Pagett Powell)

Did I like this book?  What would you think if I told you there was a book written entirely in questions?  Do you think you would like it?  Why do you think I'm recommending it?  Do you think four stars is a good rating for a book?  Do you prefer black beans, pinto beans, or no beans on your Chipotle chicken burrito?  Do you even order a chicken burrito when you go to Chipotle?  Do you even like Chipotle?  Where do you like to eat?  Do you want to get lunch together?  If I told you that I had truly enjoyed this book, that I found it to be a wonderful experience, and one which I will treasure, would you be more or less inclined to read it?  Should I stop talking now?

Coca Cola (The Interrogative Mood)

Do you wonder why if there is, say, vanilla Coke and cherry Coke, and if the global market is the thing, why there is not, say nutmeg Coke and cumin Coke and anise Coke and garlic Coke and sauerbraten Coke and horseradish Coke and chili Coke and coconut Coke and lemongrass Coke?  Have you lost your mind?

~Padgett Powell, The Interrogative Mood

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Library Trip

I just returned from a trip to the library, and while I'm greatly dismayed by the renovations that have taken place in the building since I was last there over Christmas break, I was thrilled with the collection of books I've brought back with me.  There's going to be some interesting reviews to come, I'm sure :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Quick Update

Just got back from the library....The Fellowship of the Ring came in, so I'm starting on that right now :)  I got a few other books with it, so hopefully, there will be more reviews to follow!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Stranger (Albert Camus)

This post is dedicated to Robby, who, according to my book list, recommended this piece to me several months back.  Thank you, Robby!

From the back of my book: Through this story of an ordinary man who unwittingly gets drawn into a senseless murder on a sun-drenched Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd."

As one new to Camus (haha, that rhymes!), I have to say that The Stranger is one of the most unusual and unsettling pieces I've ever read.  In fact, it is so different that I'm not quite sure what to make of it.  To be sure, it was brilliant.  And it was wonderfully written.  I cannot remember the last time I've been so focused on the writing style; the types of sentences, their lengths....It was a fascinating read just from that aspect alone.  And there is so much more than the sentence structure!

During the entire reading, I could not help but feel that I was enjoying an evening with a sociopath.  While not outwardly crazy, there was something unnerving about this narrator, and while I could never quite put my finger on it, I felt it might have something to do with his tone, his mood, and his reactions to various events.  Told by anyone else, this story could have had feelings and emotion; it could have been sad or anxious or distraught.  But, instead, it was detached and distant.  It felt like watching the narrator through a pane of glass, while at the same time, he watched the narration unfold through a foggy haze, like in a dream.  Such an unusual experience.  But, such a fascinating book.

Since Camus wrote in French, a translation was obviously required.  And I would recommend the translation I used: Matthew Ward did a fine job; many times, translations are difficult to read because they do not flow right, or feel false.  This was a wonderful translation.  It was easy to read, felt authentic, and was highly engrossing.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


For more adventures of Cardboard Colin and Paper Pauline, visit Philippa's website: http://www.mycardboardlife.com/

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Hobbit (JRR Tolkien)

After reading The Hobbit for the nth time, I still have to say that this book is just as magical, epic, wonderful, and thrilling as it was when I read it the first time, back in grade school.  I don't think I could have been more than twelve or thirteen at the time.  There are so many memories of this book.  Late nights reading in bed....desperately trying to get in one more chapter, or even just a few more pages....renewing the book six times before the librarian told me that I had to simply finish it or return it (that was before we were given the chance to renew up to fifteen or twenty times).

The Hobbit is a story of adventure, loyalty, and courage.  When homebody Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, is visited by the wizard Gandalf and a troupe of dwarfs, he has no idea what adventures are in store for him.  But soon, the quiet, non-adventureous Mr. Baggins finds himself facing trolls, goblins, elves, and giant spiders in order to help his new companions reach the final challenge of their quest: rescue their stolen treasure from the dragon Smaug.

Besides being a pleasant and often thrilling read, this book has so much to offer in the way of adventures, characters, and plot.  Like Bilbo, the readers find themselves lulled into the action, drawn in slowly at first, and then all at once, are grabbed by the shirtfront and pulled right into the action.  From that point onward, you have nineteen chapters of bold, fastpaced adventure.  And when the story is over, you almost wish that it would keep going.

This provides a wonderful start to my summer reading challenge: A Summer in Middle Earth.  From there, I'll be moving on to Albert Camus's The Stranger and Jonathan Howard's Johannes Cabal: The Necromancer.  I'm still waiting for The Fellowship of the Ring to come in from the library.

As the Adventure Draws to a Close.....

I am within a day's time from finishing The Hobbit.  And that means it's time to prepare my next book.  After a bit of snooping on my library account online, I found to my immense delight that I have two books in: Johannes Cabal, The Detective (sequel to Johannes Cabal, The Necromancer) and Albert Camus's The Stranger.

I'm really excited to read both of these: The Detective has been on my reading list ever since I finished The Necromancer, and The Stranger is only reading list so many times (from continuous recommendations) that if I don't read it soon, it will continue to taunt me until I do.

So, there you have it.  A review for The Hobbit will be online in the next 48 hours, and soon, reviews for The Detective and The Stranger will follow in its wake.  Looking forward to hearing your opinions on these things :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Summer Reading 2012

Hi, everyone!  I'm finally back for summer!  And that means that there will be plenty more posts forthcoming, as well as book reviews, quotes, and summer stories!  I'm really looking forward to a lot of fun this year :)

First things first, a bit of business.  This summer, as with every summer, I hope to have a theme.  This year, it's "A Summer in Middle Earth".  I'm going to try and tackle the entire Lord of the Rings series this summer, as well as sample from some of Tolkien's other works.  As I'm sure many of you know, this December, the first part of a two-part movie series of The Hobbit is coming to theatres, and my excitement knows no bounds!  That's the reasoning behind this theme; I'm really trying to get into the Tolkienien spirit!  As a kick-off to the summer, therefore, I'm going to be starting with The Hobbit, which I read last summer.  After that, I'll be reading the other LoTR books, along with anything else I can get my hands on.  It's finally time to pull out the trusty reading list (a fat little notebook packed with books to read and movies to watch).  And of course, I'll be reviewing most of what I read :)

A running list will be kept of all the books I read this summer.  I've established it as a tab at the top of my page, along with Weekly Wodehouse, Wilde Wednesdays, and of course, the ever-present LXG Challenge.  I'm going to try and read at least one book from that list this summer.....Last year, I sadly only touched on one book from the challenge: The Picture of Dorian Gray.  Hopefully, I'll be able to add a couple more completed entries to that list.  (I have a copy of King Solomon's Mines sitting in my room--perhaps that will be next?)

So, with all that established, I believe it's time to get back to reading The Hobbit so that I can start posting as soon as possible :)  And, also, those of you who follow me on Goodreads can also see possible reviews and ratings of my reading selections.  (Not going to lie, though, they are not going to be as good as the reviews I'll post here; my heart's just not in Goodreads as it is in this blog).

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Three finals down and one to go.  And it really bothers me that I'm just blazing through these things.  Each time, I'm the first to finish; something that NEVER happens to me!  It's nice to be done, but at the same time, it's worrisome; I keep thinking my test was missing a page.

The first English final was easy; done in 20 minutes.  The next took me an hour, but I was still the first to finish.  This last one took me 35 minutes.  That's the one that I'm worried about.  It's for my political science course (which is not my strongest subject, by far!) and I was unprepared to answer the questions.  I studied, yes, but I was also helping my wonderful roommate Italia prepare to move out.  The format for the test involved a list of seven questions to prepare for, and on the day of the test, the professor chooses two.  Of the seven, there were three I wished to avoid at all costs.  She chose two of them.

Just preparing to finish up a few things; there's a guy I sorta like sitting at the computer just a little ways away from me.  He's in one of my English classes.  He's a real nice guy; writes movie review articles for the school newspaper after Movie Boy stopped doing them.  He's one of those people I almost wished I would have gotten to know better; he seems like a real quality person.  Ah well.  Nothing to be done at this point, since he's graduating.  Nothing to be done except wish him well.