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Sat, Jun. 12th, 2004, 01:17 am
Book review/ number two/

It's been a long time since I've done a real LiveJournal post. I feel obligated, as if some cosmic force of thought-sharing is using it's influence to spew my cognitive chunks all over the Internet; hey, the cosmic force sounds like a stereotypical frat leader at hazing time. Perhaps, holohedron, LiveJournal isn't a collective consciousness, but instead an omni-present frat-house. Sure seems that way sometimes.

Speaking of books (don't question; keep reading.), I've been using some of my spare time for catching up on books. I really am a bookworm, but I can't do too much pleasure reading at college; thus, I now read like a crazed bibliophile — and will continue to do so until I have to up North again (if you catch my drift).

“Enow,” cries a Shakespearean voice in the back of my head. “On t' the lit!”

Oh, Shakespearean voice, — that's likely another damned brain parasite — I have to do them in a LiveJournal cut, because some people don't like books, what I have to say about them, or just me in general.

I've read, cover to cover, four books since last time. One is a collection of personal essays, two are fiction, and the last is a book about punctuation.

No, I'm not joking: it's about punctuation. Would I lie to you? What? I would? Why you little- For the sake of list respectiveness, let's take it from the top.

David Sedaris's Me Talk Pretty One Day.

A collection of personal essays from an American man living in France. He was raised in the South by an engineer and jazz-loving father, and a charming mother. Oh, yes, and he's gay.

Most of the essays have something or another to do with communication, as the title might suggest. However, his wit and experiences with his own eccentric family really carry them all over. They really are humorous, and a distinct humor at that. He's not Dave Barry, or Mark Twain, no: he's David Sedaris. If you're into short humorous narratives, I think you'll really enjoy this one.

Christopher Moore's The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Grove.

I like to count how many times people re-read parts of my posts. Right now, we're at two. Heh heh heh.

[Bad username: thetakogun] got to suffer and hear me jabber on and on about this book talk a little about this one. The most amazing thing about this book is that it's researched. It never seems whimsical, although it damn well is. The basic plot starts like this: an ancient massive lizard-like sea-beast is roused by a radiation leak onto land, where he uses his neurological chemical-electromagnetic ability to send animals with low seratonin levels (slightly to full-blown depressed) into a sexy trance so he can eat them. It's how he hunts.

Can you follow that? No? Why are even bothering to reading my journal? It gets even more complex and... well, alright, bizarre.

The unfortunate town this reptilian titan approaches is Pine Cove, California. The stoner constable of the town, Theo Crowe, is at a loss for the recent suicide of Bess Leander, a local woman. Meanwhile, Val Riordan, the town's only psychiatrist, is hit hard by her patient's suicide. So, she takes the entire town off their anti-depressant medication (by switching them with placebos), choosing to counsel them instead. Also, a local bar owner, that's practically a cyborg because of all of her prosthetics, put out an advertisement for a jazz singer to boost patronage. Answering the call is-... Well, there's a lot of interesting characters, and all of them matter, okay? And the sea beast is later named Steve by an awesome washed-up B-movie actress, Molly, who befriends the titan, and later (uh) they... get... really close. It results in a scene that, if drawn, would go straight to vcl_horrors .

(Book sales for L.L.M.C.: SOAR!)

Yes, it's a raunchy, hilarious, bizarre hunk of fiction. Quite frankly, I enjoyed it. I think just about anyone would, provided they have a sense of humor and few sensitivities!

Jasper Fforde The Eyre Affair. Literature references GO!

It's set in Britian. Kind of. More like an alternate Britian: a Britian with time travel, genetic mastery, and a very serious view of fiction; mess with fiction in this world and you can get into some deep legal trouble. Thursday Next is a Spec-Ops (something of a secret police force designed to handle jobs the traditional branches of cannot) agent, LiteraTec division. Basically, she tracks down people illegally pedaling “first edition books” and things like that. However, a few twists of fate, and she's chasing after a horrible criminal by the name of Archeron Hades, who seems to have tremendous unusual power.

If the lead character's name isn't a hint, this book is bursting with clever wordplay and pure inventiveness. The wit and imagination revealed by the details this world is painted with makes it a great ride. Sure, it seems a little whimsical, but it works wonderfully.

However, if you didn't take many literature classes in high school, didn't pay attention to the ones you did take, or you just don't care much for reading, again, what are you doing reading my journal if you're this kind of person?! I wouldn't recommend this book; you won't get the most out of it. If you immediately recognize that “Eyre” is referring to “Jane Eyre,” and this fact delights you, then go for it.

Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots & Leaves. “Sticklers unite!”

(Quote)A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.
“Why?” asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The Panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
“I'm a panda,” he says, at the door. “Look it up.”
The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds and explanation.
Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”

(Center)So, punctuation really does matter, even if it is only occasionally a matter of life and death.(center)(quote)

A book absolutely every writer must read. ([Bad username: raiblu], when I get up there, I'll be sure to loan it to you.) Lynne Truss is personal and downright hilarious with her illustrative examples on incorrect and correct punctuation. This book answers so many questions you never even knew you had. Even if you knew it all already (HAHAHA THAT'S WHAT YOU THINK), this book is still an entertaining and informative read.

And, yes, it is about punctuation.

And so this is where my post ends. Seems incomplete somehow.



Harold shot momma from the train a kiss.

Sat, Jun. 12th, 2004 01:23 pm (UTC)
holohedron

Hey, Livejournal posts aren't holy writ. If it's fun, or blows off some steam at the time, that's reason enough.

Don't second guess yourself, or worry too much about what others think. That way lies madness (or, at least, bitchiness ;P)

Sat, Jun. 12th, 2004 02:14 pm (UTC)
masstreble

Oh, who said frat parties can't be fun? :D

I most certainly will take these words to heart, and step on my inner censor!

Sat, Jun. 12th, 2004 01:25 pm (UTC)
holohedron

Ooh. I must pass that second book on to leviathan_chan sometime. ;>

Sat, Jun. 12th, 2004 02:16 pm (UTC)
masstreble

Oh, who is this mysterious new LJ user? Obviously, a friend from the muck, but I can't discern much else...

What a hearty first entry, too! :)

Sat, Jun. 12th, 2004 02:13 pm (UTC)
masstreble

"BAD USERNAME IN LJ TAG?" What the heck? Save me your value judgements, LiveJournal!

...And I checked, and there's nothing wrong with those tags, OR the names!