Archive for November, 2010

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Lathe-y Days

November 14, 2010

I’m glad you’ve picked a new book…I’ve been feeling positively lathe-y with no guided reading.  Get it, lathe-y…like lazy…I’ve been feeling LAZY but I decided to “riff” on the title of the new book you’ve chosen.  It’s even funnier when you realize that I have know idea what a lathe is!

lathe According to Wikipedia it looks like this.  Oh.  That’s not very illuminating.  It looks kind of  like a sewing machine had a baby with a record player and then their offspring took a lot of steroids.  Do you think this new book is actually going to be about a lathe or will the lathe be an overarching metaphor?  (real question…do I need to do some lathe-related research in order to “get” this book?) And what exactly could a lathe be a metaphor for (metaphor for…ha!)?  Probably the modern condition.

It also appears that you’ve continued the theme of afterlife focused books.  Unless it’s heaven instead of Heaven…with titles and their indiscriminate capitalization it’s hard to tell.  But speaking of fictional afterlifes…I was completely underwhelmed by O’Brien’s description of hell.  It’s tedious and people speak in weird syntax…meh.  I was hoping that the book would never let us know when the narrator had actually died…leaving the reader to wonder if even his interactions with his pal Divney were part of the afterlife (oh wait…spoiler alert?–I really don’t understand that concept), but they made it pretty clear cut when he died.  Oh well.  Overall I thought the book was okay.

But I’m excited for our foray into sci-fi.  Cue the theremin music (and/or Will Smith’s “Men in Black”) I’m ready to get jiggy with some aliens.  (Of course by “get jiggy” I mean I’d like to do jigsaw puzzles with them).

I requested the book from my work library and apparently its now waiting for pickup (I didn’t get the email until after I left the office on Friday).  So I’ll pick it up tomorrow…and get started soon!

Until then,

Jon

P.S.  The personal Bookit Countdown has moved along to 23!  I’ll keep keeping you posted.

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Second Post on The Third Policeman

November 12, 2010

Taking a page from you book, (Figuratively, only figuratively. I know how testy you get if someone starts taking pages from your books. Oh, how the “Where the heck is page 59 of The Moonstone” incident.) I’ve decided to post for a second consecutive time.

Is this due to my uncontainable excitement about everybody’s favorite philosophical farce? Is because I have many deep, insightful comments to make about Flann O’Brien’s representation of eternity? Is it because I thought of something funny and just have no other outlet for it?

Uhh…(awkward pause)…not really.

But I did finish the book, and I thought that was well worth a post.

And, while admittedly I spent the better portion of the book somewhat confused, a little bit lost, and unsure of what bicycles had to do with atomic theory, but in the end, I have to admit I liked it more than I didn’t. While not always exactly comprehensible, it was always entertaining.

Now that I’ve finished the book, I started thinking what we might read next. I thought a field trip into some classic genre fiction might be an interesting adventure, and well, hopefully, a little more straightforward. Being that I don’t read a lot of Sci-Fi, I thought choosing a book along those lines might motivate me to broaden my reading.

So here goes nothing. Up next, let’s read Ursula Le Guin’s The Lathe of Heaven.

Nanu-nanu*,

Justin

*Note to self: Stop equating Mork and Mindy to Sci-Fi.

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A Triumphant Return

November 9, 2010

I am guessing at this point you’ve started questioning whether or not you are participating in this blog alone. In actuality, I was giving this blog a little The Third Policeman flavor. Does a blog that involves brothers discussing various books cease to exist if one brother stops posting? Does it merely dissolve into its component particles and dissipate into nothingness…

Or, I’ve been busy. (And read “busy” as “lazy.”)

Now I’ve spent the better part of the weekend reading over your last few posts. (I go quiet for a week and somebody gets prolific!) And there are two points I wanted to raise:

1. I would like to introduce to two words: Spoiler Alert.

That’s right, I innocently peruse your postings and before I know it, the cat is out of the bag and I know the ending before I even get there. Next thing you’ll be telling me (**SPOILER ALERT**–notice how it’s used) Anna jumps on the tracks, The Sting is, in fact, a sting, Marlene Dietrich is the star witness, and Bruce Willis is a ghost. (SPOILERS COMPLETE–this is necessary, but I feel it’s a nice touch.)

2. If you wanted to see pictures of my Panama Canal trip why didn’t you just ask (although I have to admit I did enjoy your adventures in dialogue. I think you really captured my essence with ” The….book. Hmmm. Yes. The book…”–“That is so me!” I thought to myself.)

The Panama Canal!

Watching that canal fill is pretty darn amazing!

By the way, congratulations on finishing the book. I have, well, a few chapters left, but I’ll be done before you know. I will have to get back to you what’s next, but it will be good.

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25 And Counting

November 6, 2010

That’s right baby…cross another one off my list!  (That “baby” was a generic “baby”–I’m not calling you in the particular “baby”.)

I just finished The Third Policeman and can add that to the count to 100 for 2010!  I’ve got to go and get some dinner but thought I’d share my exultation with you.

I can’t really talk about the ending until you read it, so anytime you want to finish this book (or read a little bit more of it) I’ll be waiting.

And whenever you want to pick the next book I’ll be ready to move on (make it a short one …I’m reading to beat the clock!)

In celebration let me share what I stumbled upon this week…

It’s coming!

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Go Ahead Punk, Make My Block of Gold

November 2, 2010

That’s the next world?  Color me disappointed.

I did think it was funny (not funny, like The Third Policeman funny, but actually funny) that shortly after I finished writing the last post in which I created a faux-dialogue between you and I, I read another single person dialogue in Chapter 8 (or VIII) between the narrator and his soul.  What a crazy coincidence!

That previous paragraph should be an indication of just how little I have left to say about this book…I’m giving up.  I’m no longer going to try and force myself to like this book…for me its going to remain like the TV show Friday Night Lights–I can recognize its quality, but I just can’t get drawn into the storyline.  So I’m now going to slog through the last quarter of the book…I may chortle time and again, but I’m done try to puzzle out just what the hell is going on here…this book has beaten me.

And speaking of finishing books….my goal for 2010 was for this to be the year that I read 100 books…as we close in on the last two months of the year, I decided to do a count and discovered that I still have to read 26 books to make that milestone.  That’s disappointing.   So it’s probably not going to happen.  But I’ll keep you updated on progress (because I like to pretend that someone [anyone] else cares about this random goal [my own personal BookIt!] as much as I do.).

Well twin…I’m moving forward.  I’m thinking I’ll be finishing this book sometime later this week (then only 25 more to go!–look at me keep on top of keeping you posted)…so I think you have some serious (but comical) reading to do.

Until next time,

Jon