Monday, March 28, 2016

Things I Liked About Ross McCammon’s "Works Well With Others"

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Things I Liked About Ross McCammon’s Works Well With Others: An Outsider’s Guide to Shaking Hands, Shutting Up, Handling Jerks, and Other Crucial Skills in Business That No One Ever Teaches You:

1.       Chapter 2: Should You Keep Reading This Book established that I was well within my rights to skip around in the book.  And so I did.
2.       Chapter 4: Classic Interview Rules, Plus One More is a good nutshell list. 
3.       Chapter 8: Ways in Which you Must Screw Up Early On: A Handy Checklist.  It made me feel good to read about someone even more horrible at First Day Jitters at a job than I [hope that I] am.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Play-By-Play Reactions: A Review of Haruki Murakami's "The Strange Library"


Source: http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1419549475l/23128304.jpg
An unnamed, unaged, undescribed boy character goes to a library in his new shoes to return his books.  He has to be home by 6:00 or else his mother will worry; not long ago he was attacked by a Big Black Dog and ever since then he has never been the same and his mother has always expected him to get home in a timely fashion.  The librarian at the checkout counter is a stranger to him.  Checking in the returned items, she asks if there is anything else.  The boy says yes, he’d like some books.

 

Me: Really?  Well from now on, unnamed boy of indeterminate age, I shall refer to you in my blog as Captain Obvious.

 

The librarian points him in the direction of the basement, where Captain Obvious comes across yet another stranger, an Old Man with glasses and an overactive sense of outrage.  Captain Obvious, who is not a very smart cookie, allows himself to be bullied and cajoled by the Old Man, first to decide what kind of book he wants—

 

Me: “Tax Regulations in the Ottoman Empire”?!  I wouldn’t read books on current tax regulations, much less a long-gone empire!

 

--and then that he will stay and read the books at the library instead of checking them out, even though he knows he has to get home to his mother any time.

 

Then Captain Not-So-Smart-Cookie Obvious proceeds to follow the Angry Old Man alone into a laberinthine basement dungeon . 

 

Me: This is not a book for children.  It teaches them to follow strangers.

 

And yes, yes I did just say “dungeon.” Because that’s where the Old Man leads him.  They come across another man, a little guy dressed in a sheepskin.  Old Man beats Sheep Guy, Captain Obvious is afraid of being beaten too, so agrees of his own volition to step into a jail cell and let the Old Man lock him up.

 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Agatha Christie's "Endless Night" - A Review


Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born 
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight 
Some are Born to sweet delight 
Some are Born to Endless Night 

~William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

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Source: http://images.booksense.com/images/397/839/9781602839397.jpg

It’s hard to describe Agatha Christie’s Endless Night without worrying about slipping up and spoiling the ending.  So I am not going to even try. 

 

So, um, if you don’t want spoilers, don’t read this.

 

 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/af/1877-winslow-homer-the-new-novel.jpg
"The New Novel" by Winslow Homer, 1877

Monday, March 7, 2016

Evaluating Readers by Their Books

The only real use of books is to make a person think for himself.  If a book will not set one to thinking, it is not worth shelf room. 
~ Aleph Bey

My theory is that people who don’t like mystery stories are anarchists.  
~ Rex Stout

Source: https://communicatingacrossboundaries.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/books-with-quote.jpg?w=529&h=351

In literature, as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others.  
~ Andre Mauros

Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man far better than through mortal friends.  
~ Silas Weir Mitchell