Tuesday, January 03, 2012

What I read: December 2011

OWW: 4

“The Courts of Chaos” by RZ. You know, Corwin is one of the most awesomest characters ever. He’s like basically a god, and yet he doesn’t win all the time (wrestling with his brother, sword fighting with his other brother), doesn’t get what he wants, doesn’t ultimately save the world all by himself. . . Roger Zelazny is awesome.

“Fool Moon” by Jim Butcher. Library book, #2 of the Dresden Files. I found it easier in this one easier to keep track of the characters than the first volume.

“Mother Tongue” by Bill Bryson. The information was really interesting, and that kept me reading, but I found this book obnoxious. If it was a little dated in sections, that can be forgiven because it was written in 1990. However, if you’re going to take a tone that says “wow, everyone else is so stupid!” which is how the ‘humor’ seemed sometimes, your research and editing really has to be absolutely impeccable. Torontoans? Who calls us that?

“Motel of the Mysteries” by David MacAulay. This was a silly quick read about a future excavation of a cheap hotel, where the future people get a lot of things completely wrong. They were British dilettantes who wore the toilet seat as a necklace/headdress and thought the plunger was a musical instrument but weren’t sure how it should be played. It reminded me a lot of a program book I had about King Tut’s tomb, and has aged very well (it was published in 1979).

“The Island of Lost Maps” by Miles Harvey. I’d never heard of the crime or the criminal, but this guy had walked into a bunch of libraries (many connected to universities) and stolen maps out of books quite brazenly. This book is a true crime investigation thing about that. To me, the book was more about the process of research and long-form journalism. The author was very evident in the story, as was the history of maps.

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