Tuesday, August 3, 2010

one more about the books

So, as promised I bailed on my book-a-day project, although I think the only day I really missed was Saturday, and that was because [excuse alert] I had to work! So! One cannot possibly finish a book AND work in the same day. It just isn’t done.

BUT! Since then [and that was a whole week, or more, ago] I have finished a few more books so I might as well count ‘em, right?

All the other Scott Pilgrim books (ie., Vols 2-6) by Brian Lee O’Malley.
I loved these. 8-bit heart for Scott Pilgrim. I got my hair cut recently, and I almost told my hairstylist to give me Ramona Flowers hair. But two questions arise from that: 1, probably, what are you talking about and 2, which Ramona Flowers hair? (also, maybe, 3, can you HAVE hair like that and still work as a public librarian, although I think the answer to that is yes, at least in my case, since I already wear sparkly flip-flops, weird jewelry made of lego, and occasionally armwarmers to work.)

Anyway. I 8-bit heart these books, and you should read them too.

The Game of Sunken Places by M T Anderson.
MT Anderson is kind of an enigma to me. I know that his books (including the Octavian Nothing books, and Feed) are supposed to be these beloved, kind of cult favourites. This is the first book of his I’ve finished, having started Vol 1 of Octavian Nothing and never really getting into it. So, The Game Of Sunken Places is a creepy, old-fashioned children's story with moments of real levity and cleverness. I was genuinely creeped out by it, and I would read other things by him-- or its sequel, The Suburb Beyond the Stars. [Also, it helps that I read this book on my garden bench, and I took little breaks from reading to watch bees buzz around my tomatoes. I recommend that particular reading experience as much as the material. Please let me know before you come over though.]

Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant.
My friend Becky recommended this book to me and I loved it. It's a very quirky, whimsical, touching novel about a young woman who goes home to Newfoundland to deal with a family emergency. I think the reason it struck my friend as the kind of book I would like is probably the punning, which is impressive. But there is also a real sweetness to this book-- and the immersive feeling of genuinely experiencing the world as another person sees it, which is one of my favourite types of book-reading-experiences.

And the two that are still on the go: Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter by Tom Bissell. [You can read an excerpt here at the NY Times Online.] As I told James, it's nice to read anything about video games where the author (a) loves video games and plays them himself and (b) still possesses the ability to think critically about them. Most people tend to have one or the other of these characteristics but not both, as in, I love video games and they are the best and people who criticize them don't know anything; or I have never played video games but I know they're the worst, here's why. I was sad to see him dismiss my time-sink of choice, WoW, in a single sentence and he hasn't mentioned it again since, but then, I'm not very hardc0re and I know it. Anyway, it's worth a look.


Bringing It To The Table by Wendell Berry. Will I ever finish this book? Or will I carry it around in my bag forever until I eventually succumb to the guilt and DIE? Stay tuned!

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