Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday reading update

What have I been up to in the reading world? Well, I finished Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, and it was fantastic! I also read The Hunting of the Snark: an Agony in Eight Fits by Lewis Carroll. Lewis Carroll is one of my favorite authors because he is so weird. I'm sure there were about a million sub-layers to Snark that I simply missed (and I apparently missed the Biblical story of Jacobs in Elephants, and I even went back and read the Bible story, and I still didn't really see it, so that tells you how intellectual I am). Anyway, Snark is a poem about these nine guys and a beaver (who makes lace!) who go off hunting a snark.

Lewis Carroll was apparently known for writing nonsense (how do I get that job?), and he does not disappoint. The part that describes the hunting actually reminded me of Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester, although technically, Snark was published first. Of the hunting technique of this motley group, the book says:

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.

I thought this was wonderful whimsy; after all, I can be charmed with smiles and soap!

I have also been doing some reading in The Science of Harry Potter by Roger Highfield. It's actually an interesting book that explains how some of the magical elements in the world of Harry Potter could actually exist. There was a bit on game theory, which I enjoyed, and the book also discusses genetic engineering and how it, theoretically, would be possible to create Fluffy, the three-headed dog.

Personally, I have no problem with the suspension of disbelief required to thoroughly enjoy the world of Harry Potter. (My mother, on the other hand, has some issues with this...for example, she didn't want to watch Pirates of the Caribbean because she thought it looked smelly. My aunt told her that it wasn't smell-o-vision, and I told her that Johnny Depp wore special sunglass contacts so he wasn't squinting all of the time. It wasn't the fantasy part of the story that bothered my mother, but how could someone be in the Caribbean without sunglasses and not squint?)

So, for me, reading Science isn't increasing my enjoyment of Harry Potter, which is not to say that it isn't interesting.

Finally, I am just about to start Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich, and I am so excited! She's written a ridiculous series of books about a character, Stephanie Plum, who is a bounty hunter in Trenton, NJ. I agree with many of the other comments on Amazon that this series has gotten a bit tired, with the same formulaic misadventures, and as least one other reviewer noted, how has Stephanie managed to string along two guys for this long? Wicked Appetite is the first of a new series featuring one of the occasional characters from the Stephanie Plum series, Diesel. I've always really liked Diesel, so I'm very excited to start this book. And stay tuned, because I'll probably have it finished by the next update!


  1. Yes, I constantly am amazed at how you have managed to be enchanted by whimsy and fantasy, and your mother - God knows I love her! - has no capacity at all to see beyond the black and white lines. It amuses me no end, the things she says about different movies. I had not heard about Pirates of the Caribbean comment, though. Who can not want to see Johnny Depp?? (PS - this is your aunt, not your cousin, and I don't know why!)

  2. The memory of the Pirates comment must have been eclipsed by other things my mother has said, since you were the one who said it wasn't smell-o-vision. I think at this point in the conversation, however, the real Julia and I were doubled over in laughter, trying not to spill our ice cream.