Sunday, July 27, 2014
Matthew Quick, The Good Luck of Right Now. This story of a non-neurotypical adult dealing with the loss of his mother and only friend started with both comedy and a potential for uniqueness, but devolved into sugary predictability.
Lev Grossman, The Magicians and The Magician King. Harry Potter and his friends go to Narnia in college. Better than you'd expect, and fun to read. The rare sequel that is better than the first, partly because there is an actual female character rather than stage prop, if she is a bit flat - so are the rest of them.
Friday, July 25, 2014
George Eliot, Middlemarch. I enjoyed this so much more than the first time. I have more sympathy for the constrained choices and maddening behaviors of the young women, probably because I no longer identify with them. I think that it tied up too neatly with happy endings for all honesty, but it does make for a satisfied glow at the finish.
Simon Winchester, The Professor and the Madman. The story of the OED. I've always been fascinated and puzzled by the creation of dictionaries - how would you write the first one? Apparently, by reading every book and writing down every word and quotes of it used in every context. The story of the people who created the dictionary (an army of volunteers including one notable murderer and lunatic) was interesting, but I enjoyed the dictionary parts more. I think I read the wrong book, as the author has written another book about the venerable dictionary focusing on the work itself.
Friday, July 11, 2014
G. B. Edwards, The Book of Ebenezer Le Page. An obstinate, garrulous, and witty old man recounts his life spanning two world wars on the island of Guernsey. He tells the story of his friends, family, and neighbors and of the way of life and language that have disappeared. And best, it is a funny book, full of zeal and enjoyment rather than exclusively nostalgia.