Thursday, April 30, 2009

2009 book 90

Peter Rock's My Abandonment
A girl and her father, living off of the grid, are discovered by a jogger and their lives are totally disrupted. I really enjoyed these characters, though wished the main character had been aged a little younger, as she sounded younger than 13. Also, the very end really depressed me. It's really well-written and moving though. A-.

2009 book 89

Charlaine Harris' Dead Until Dark
This really is a pretty terrible book--clumsy writing, people professing love for each other after knowing each other for twenty pages, etc--but it was just the kind of brainless read I needed! And of course I'll be reading the new Sookie Stackhouse book when it comes out in a couple of weeks. Anywya, to get a higher-quality vampire fix, I'm going to re-watch Buffy season one, since it's been a looooong time since I sat down w/ some Buffy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I haven't read a book in a week--can you believe that? It has to be some kind of record. I keep starting books, but having to put them down before I get into them, and then not caring enough to pick them back up. I think it's the heat (my a/c is broken).

So here's a few interesting links to tide you over:

Doesn't this carrot cake sound delicious? I don't have the patience to chop dates into a paste, so may try it with some extra banana and just throw a few dried chopped dates in for flavor.

A bunch of artists drew Kitty Pryde (my favorite superhero) for charity.

And--awesome Ms Pac-man cupcakes!

Friday, April 24, 2009


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy
Sorry for the lack of posting. I haven't been excited enough (or bored enough) about any of my library books to read any of them, plus I started a fidgety new knitting project that's taking up some time. Here's a picture of a robin by the radio station to tide you over till I think of something interesting to say! Or at least till I read a dang book.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

i heart craig ferguson

And last night's opening should tell you why.

2009 book 88

Laura Lippman's Life Sentences
This was categorized as a mystery at the library--I guess b/c mysteries are Lippman's usual fare--but it wasn't much of one. Which isn't to say it's a bad story, just that it's not a very good mystery. It's really more of a character study, as a fifty-something memoirist decides to investigate a case involving a childhood classmate. But it's much more about the memoirit meandering down memory lane than it is about the case, and when the information is finally revealed, it's really anticlimactic. I think I would have liked this much more if it hadn't been billed as a mystery and if it had a different ending. B.

Monday, April 20, 2009

jane austen comics

While I was fairly amused by Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Marvel's new P&P comic book is pretty bad. The cover is great, but the art inside is just awful. All the Bennett girls look sultry and slutty, and there's none of Austen's humor. I was really disappointed--it looks just thrown together, with no thought put into it. Kate Beaton is right--she is the only one who should be making comics about Jane Austen and her work.

Also speaking of comics, here's a funny review from Unshelved written by a dude at First Second (they put out pretty great books themselves).

2009 book 87

Angela Carter's Wise Children
A very British-witty look at a complicated family of performers, this novel was really entertaining, if moderately fluffy and unbelievable. B+.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

2009 book 86

Sally Beauman's The Sisters Mortland
This wasn't a bad novel--it deals with a family of three sisters and their various family friends in the summer of 1967, when Something Terrible Happened--and then the story skips ahead to the early 90s as everyone looks back on that fateful summer. The characters are well-written and I liked the three-part narration, but parts of the end were really over-the-top and unbelievable in context. B/B-.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

omg CUTE.

Here's some awesomeness to tide you over till I have time to finish a book--my friend Karen snapped this amazing shot of a fox family in her neighbor's yard. Don't you just want to die of cuteness?

hey there

Just wanted to let y'all know that I'm working a bunch of extra hours this week, so I have little time or energy for reading or blogging.

In good news, it looks like The State DVD is FINALLY coming out. I just hope they put Cannonball back into the pants sketch! It was so perfectly timed to the song.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

2009 book 85

Patrick Somerville's The Cradle
Really an excellent novel about a husband on a quest to find his pregnant wife's babyhood cradle, and all the stuff w/ their complicated families. I actually wished it had been longer b/c I liked the characters so much. A-.

2009 book 84

Jedediah Barry's The Manual of Detection
Can't go wrong with a mystery with more than a few elements of the fantastic! When a star detective goes missing, his clerk is promoted to detective and must figure out what happened. I msut say that things do get a little bit weird, but in a good way. A-/B+.

Monday, April 13, 2009

2009 book 83

Chris Cleave's Little Bee
At first I didn't want to read this book based solely on its cover, which cries out "uplifting YA!!!" (the novel is neither). But it's gotten some good reviews so I went for it anyway. It's about two women who meet under terrible circumstances (revealed about halfway through)--and then meet again two years later under more bad circumstances. My problem with the story was that I just couldn't suspend enough disbelief to make it work at all--it was all just a little overwrought and unbelievable. Especially the end. B/B-.

2009 book 82

Douglas Adams' Mostly Harmless
It's funny that I remembered this as being about Arthur and his daughter in New York, when they don't get there till like five pages from the end. Also, I can't believe I forgot about the sandwiches!! That did sound like an idyllic life.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

2009 book 81

Douglas Adams' So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish
This is my favorite of the first four b/c it has a little romance!

2009 book 80

Douglas Adams' Life, the Universe, and Everything
The third Hitchhiker book has slightly more of a plot than the first two (insofar as much as any of them have discernible plots)--apparently it's loosely based on an episode of Doctor Who that Adams wrote that was never made. It has some pretty funny bits, for sure.


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy
He's surveying his domain. Or hoping I'll feed him. Probably both.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

2009 book 79

Douglas Adams' The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
What's interesting on rereading these is that they're not really discrete novels--they're one big story that happens to be divided into four books. I don't mean like how the Harry Potter books are one big story in seven books--each of those has a distinct beginning, middle, and end, whereas the Hitchhiker's books don't really have much in the way of literary structure. They're fun and silly though.

Friday, April 10, 2009

2009 book 78

Sara Houghteling's Pictures at an Exhibition
This novel, which focuses on a Jewish/French art dealer's son on the eve of and just after WWII, should have been compelling, but the flow was just horrible. I mean, the characters are ok, and the story is strong I guess, but it was just too jumpy and there was little emotional impact to anything. B-.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy
Just got back from the Crooked Fingers/Neko Case show, which was totally awesome. Unfortunately, I did not get any awesome shots w/ my awesome new camera, as photography was not allowed (even w/o a flash) and I was scolded by an usher after sneaking this picture. Apparently I am not actually sneaky.

Anyway, both bands were great--Neko Case was backed by some amazing musicians (including a banjo guy and an upright bass guy) and played pretty much all of my favorite Neko songs. It was a little weird to be in a seated venue--on the one hand, I'm kind of old and tired now and it's nice to sit down, but on the other, I couldn't dance around when I wanted to. It was like, are we allowed to yell "wooo!" after songs, or just applaud politely? ("Woo!"ing seemed to be encouraged.)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

2009 book 77

Scott Lasser's The Year that Follows
I actually read this yesterday on the plane ride home, but couldn't be bothered to waste any time on my birthday to blog about it. It's just such a waste of paper. It's a post 9/11 novel dealing w/ a woman whose brother tells her on September 10th that he believes he has a son, and then he dies on 9/11. Then she and her dad are dealing w/ the aftermath. Sounds interesting enough, I guess, and the woman isn't a bad character, but the plots and endings are all completely unbelievable and stupid. C.

Monday, April 06, 2009


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy
My awesome sibs (and soon-to-be sister-in-law) got me a sweet new digital camera for my birthday! To show them how appreciative I am, I want to use it lots and lots, so I'm going to try and take a photo a day--my 30th year (technically 31st, since there's a year before you turn 1, but whatever) in pictures!

Starting off--a birthday cupcake from Mad Hatter's. It looked much tastier than it was--I didn't finish it (too much icing). Very festive though!

2009 book 76

Susan Coolidge's What Katy Did
This is one of those heartwarming books where a girl learns to be Good and Kind in the face of adversity. I guess I read it at some formative time in my childhood, b/c I love this book. The sequels are dumb though.

Oh hey, I'm 30 today. That's pretty freaking weird. I'm spending the day flying back to Durham and hoping my car starts when I get there (it had trouble starting when I was driving to the airport last week). Good times.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

2009 books 73,74, 75

L.M. Montgomery's Emily of New Moon, Emily Climbs, and Emily's Quest
It's been years since I read these and I remembered absolutely nothing about them. The first one is pretty great, though very much in the mold of Anne of Green Gables--an orphan goes to live with some middle-aged relatives, one super stern, the others kind and loving, and she turns their worlds upside down with her imagination and irrepressible personality. Fine and dandy. The second two are not as fun--I don't like how Montgomery jumps back and forth between 1st and 3rd person narration all the time, and the third is really just a really long and melodramatic love quadrangle that you know is going to turn out just how you expect, so all the twists and turns just seem like a big waste of time. Also, my favorite character gets his heart broken b/c of course he's not the right love interest for Emily. Whatever!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

2009 book 72

Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
I read recently (on Twitter or someplace, I'm sure) that, considering its ability to access Wikipedia and all the other books you can load into it, the Kindle is something like the Hitchhiker's Guide. And it really is! Anyway, it made me want to reread this series, since it's been many years. It's still entertaining, but maybe not quite as hilarious as I remembered. Still, onto the next one!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

2009 book 71

Spencer Quinn's Dog On It
OK, OK, I know what you're thinking. Is a mystery narrated by a dog actually worth reading? I was as skeptical as you are when my mom recommended it to me. But I have to say, hell yes it's worth reading! Especially when the dog is so lovable! This is no cutesy story--Quinn does a really good job ramping up the tension when a PI with the usual money and divorce issues and his dog sidekick take on the case of a missing teenager. I really enjoyed the dog's narrative voice, actually (barring once instance--I mean, would a dog really say someone is "the bomb"?) and will definitely read the next outing in this series. Not that parts aren't predictable, and the title is obviously terrible, but I really enjoyed it just the same. A-.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

2009 book 70

Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
I was really excited and bemused on first hearing about this book, which puts zombies into P&P, and was looking forward to reading it . . . then I saw an excerpt online that just seemed silly and wasn't so sure. However, the first chapter totally converted me--Grahame-Smith does a great job of integrating the zombies into the story--it's not just like a paragraph inserted here and there, but instead zombies are inserted into everything! Like the first chapter ends with "The business of Mr. Bennett's life was to keep his daughters alive. The business of Mrs. Bennett's was to get them married." It's very funny. Oh, also there are ninjas.

I did have some minor beefs--due to a printing error, I was missing a 30 page chunk in whcih one character apparently becomes a zombie, and I'm dying to know the circumstances! Also, Grahame-Smith does have a little too loose of a hand over the majority of the story--he loses most of its subtlety, has way too many innuendos involving balls, and some of his changes to the end are pretty needless. Still, it was a very entertaining read, and I loved seeing the Bennett girls as total badasses. B+.