Saturday, October 09, 2004

Fondling the Books

Ended up taking the night off last night for my fortnightly ballroom dance lesson and the presidential "debate." I was hoping for a smackdown and Kerry had the chance a few times but declined, for whatever reason, to go for the jugular. Very disappointing. I was hoping to see blood and bulging eyeballs. At the very least I was hoping to hear Kerry say to Mr. Bush, "Don't make me come over there and wipe that smirk off your face!" Sadly that didn't happened either. Anyway, I did get to fondle some of the new tomes my Bookman got at his conference last week. I have selected a small pile of the choicest ones to tell you about here. Without further ado, in no particular order:

  • The Grim Grotto: Book the Eleventh (A Series of Unfortunate Events) by Lemony Snicket. A couple of years ago the Bookman and I, wanting to see what all the fuss was about, listened to the first Lemony Snicket book, The Bad Beginning, on cd read by Tim Curry. We enjoyed it and understood why kids love the series, but we ourselves did not feel compelled to continue on. But now I have the eleventh book and it is signed to me. Mr. Snicket gave, according to the Bookman, "the best author appearance I've ever been to." And for some reason he had Mr. Snicket inscribe the book to me after telling him that I was an aspiring writer, and so my book's inscription reads, "To Stefanie A fellow writer but not a writer fellow." On the back of the book where the blurbs and synopsis usually reside is a "letter" from Snicket that begins, "Dear Reader, Unless you are a slug, a sea anemone, or mildew, you probably prefer not to be damp. You might also prefer not to read this book, in which the Baudelaire siblings encounter an unpleasant amount of dampness as they descend into the depths of despair, underwater." I will have to read this book.
  • The Last Hero and The Art of Discworld by Terry Pratchett and Paul Kidby.
  • Different Dances by Shel Silverstein. You probably know him as the illustrious author of Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Giving Tree, wonderful books for children. Different Dances is for adults only. It is R-rated. A quick flip through was shocking and hilarious. I am looking forward to spending cover to cover time with it.
  • Shadowmarch by Tad Williams. I honestly haven't been paying that much attention, but this is supposedly Williams' first fantasy book in ten years. I read his first book Tailchaser's Song a long time ago thinking it would be another Watership Down which I loved. It wasn't anything like it. That doesn't mean it was bad, just not what I had expected. I haven't read Williams since, but he has supposedly developed into a good writer so I thought I'd give this book a go.
  • The Uncyclopedia by Gideon Haigh. This is a spiffy little book of interesting bits and pieces like 30 songs containing "radio" in the title and how to fold a broadsheet newspaper for easy reading.
  • Fury by Salman Rushdie. I already own this book and have yet to actually read it, but this copy is signed by the author. He wasn't at the conference but there is no fault in that
  • The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty. McLarty was an actor and an audio book reader. He wrote his own book but no one wanted to publish it. The company he read books for published it as an audio book which McLarty read. Stephen King raved about it. My Bookman, deciding that if King raves about a book it must be good, got ahold of the book on tape. He listened in his car going back and forth to work. He'd come home at night and tell me what a fabulous book it was. I am not much of an audio book listener since my place of employment is a whopping eight minute drive from my house, so I never listened. But now the book is in written form. I will have to read it. It will make my Bookman happy.
  • The Plot Against America by Philip Roth. Is there anyone who hasn't heard about this book yet? It seems like it's been talked about everywhere. It's an alternate history sort of book, what would have happened if Charles Lindbergh won the 1940 presidential election instead of Roosevelt? I normally don't go in for that kind of thing because, I mean, what's the point? It didn't happen so what good is speculation? But it's Philp Roth, a well respected Pulitzer Prize winning author, so I'll give it a go.
  • The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips. I meant to read Prague back when that first came out but never got around to it. Now there is this which is getting good word of mouth says the Bookman.
  • Best American Nonrequired Reading 2004 edited by Dave Eggers with and introduction by Viggo Mortensen. I couldn't have cared less about the 2003 version of this book. And wouldn't care about this one much either except the intro is by Viggo. Unfortunately it doesn't come with a glossy full-color centerfold.
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. I don't know much about this book other than it has something to do with England and magic. It is also a fat 800 pages and my Bookman keeps talking about it telling me that there is a good buzz about it.
  • The System of the World by Neal Stephenson. This is the third and final book in his Baroque Cycle series I have the first two and haven't read them yet, wanting to be in possession of all three before I began. Why, I am not sure. They are all huge books and I am not likely to read them one after the other. But there is the possibility. And so now I have all three and won't have to--gasp--wait for the next one.
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America the Book: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction. I am currently reading this and will tell more about it when I'm done. For now, all I will say is that this book is FUNNY!
That concludes the book fondling for today. I wouldn't recommend fondling books in public, but petting is okay as long as it is not accompanied by drooling.