Saturday, September 25, 2010

Trenton Lee Stewart, The Mysterious Benedict Society

Trenton Lee Stewart, The Mysterious Benedict Society. An extremely gifted team of orphan children must save the world on their own while deep undercover at a shadowy and Brave-new-world-ish sinister academy. Cute, funny, vaguely unoriginal. I am passing it on to my little brother Ben, who I think will enjoy it more than I did.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Daniel Pinkwater, The Education of Robert Nifkin

Daniel Pinkwater, The Education of Robert Nifkin. Started reading it out loud in the car to the boys (we recently enjoyed listening to The Neddiad on tape), realized it was a little out of their age bracket and finished it up to myself. Hilarious. Home room, commie infiltration of ROTC, his parents' furnishing misadventures; Robert Nifkin relates his high school (and delinquency) experience in the best Pinkwater deadpan.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jonathan Stroud, The Bartimaeus Trilogy

Jonathan Stroud, The Bartimaeus Trilogy. The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem's Eye, and Ptolemy's Gate. I loved these. A really fun and funny well-written trilogy. Bartimaus (the sometimes snarky, extremely famous, quite accomplished, infinitely clever, fabulously powerful, and ever modest djinni-narrator) is priceless.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Philip Roth, Exit Ghost

Philip Roth, Exit Ghost. I was going to complain that this book was exactly the same as the last Roth book I read, but to be fair, it was a little better put together than Indignation. But nothing about Zuckerman's (it's another Zuckerman book) terminal obsession with decay and impotence was interesting or even novel - and even in his impotence and senility he can't narrate one damn female character that is anything more than the object of sexual fetish - no life of their own beyond a mirror for their men to gaze into. But really - the only reason I can't forgive this book is that there was not one damn beautiful or funny or amazing moment in it - it was stale and tired, a meandering waste of time.