Showing posts from September, 2010

Summer 2010 in review and Kook

First the book, then the summer in review... Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave by Peter Heller was an over-a-month page-at-a-time bedtime read for me. And for the most part it worked well that way. The one night when I reached for it during 4am sleeplessness and he was describing the slaughtering of whales, well, that didn't work so much. However. Mostly, it was great, in that it captures the adventurous spirit of a guy who has done a lot of running around alone, and now takes on both surfing and couplehood (SPOILER: marriage, in fact) at the same time. I appreciated the unconventional approach to life that this portrayed, and the author, while not a deeply introspective type, did manage to catch himself being a crappy partner more than once. But the real appeal was the landscape, the descriptions of waves and surfing, and the appreciation of our oceans. Heller has been an activist in defense of marine wildlife, and he sprinkles t

Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones

I'm a Jones fan from well before the Harry Potter crazes, and this book, while not one of her absolute best, will not disappoint. The adventure begins when Aidan's grandmother dies and he arrives on Dr. Andrew Hope's doorstep. Aidan is hoping to find Andrew's grandfather, whom his own grandmother had urged him to find should anything ever happen to her. Andrew has only recently inherited the place from his grandfather, and though he has long been part of a magical family, he seems to have forgotten much of the magic his grandfather taught him as a child. Aidan, on the other hand, seems to be brimming with magic and is overjoyed when he is able to show Andrew the trick of looking at things without glasses in order to see their magical elements. Together, and along with a colorful cast of friends, household servants, and local villagers, they set about restoring the old estate to its former glory. This includes cleaning the "enchanted glass" in the shed/a

did I miss anything?

This is something I read, and it is hilarious! Coming soon, Diana Wynne Jones' latest book...

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

The long-awaited final book of the Hunger Games trilogy is out and being read by millions, I'm sure. I'm one of them. I read it a little over two weeks ago, and online discussions with facebook friends kept me thinking and mulling before posting. It is clearly a book that can be read several ways, depending on your feelings about the first two books. So I'll briefly recap my take on the first two books in order to give context for my analysis of the third one. Hunger Games was brilliant, surprising, and in some ways now looks almost light compared to the books that followed. We see our heroine Katniss stand in for her sister Prim as their district's representative to the Hunger Games, a bloody spectacle in which young players are trapped in an arena until they kill each other off, all broadcast for the entertainment of the political leaders and populace of the all-controlling Capitol. Katniss emerges victorious and saves her friend Peeta too, and we get a very