Tag Archives: books

What I’ve been reading

One of the nicest things of being done writing is that I have more time for reading.

Last night, I finished “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince“, which, despite many people’s promises that I’d hate it, I thoroughly enjoyed. In a series like this, each book is not a separate entity, but is another layer on the ongoing story, so it’s hard to say how this compares to the other books. I think it fits, explains a lot more (although most of it unsurprising if you’ve been paying attention) and further demonstrates that the author had this all figured out ahead of time. I’m now looking forward to the next one more than I’ve anticipated any of the others so far.

I recently finished “Eragon“, which is a dragon rider book by Christopher Paolini. It was fantastic. It’s made more amazing by the fact that the guy was only 15 when he wrote it. It’s a ripping good story, wonderfully deep characters, and he, too, appears to have the whole story figured out, even though it promises to be three huge tomes by the time it’s done.

And last night I started “Eldest” which is the next in the Eragon series.

I recently finished listening to “The Man Who Was Thursday” by G.K. Chesterton. It was ok, but rather disappointing, considering who recommended it to me. I thought it would be more profound.

And I’m about to start listening to “Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”, from Librivox. This will be the first full-length work I’ve listened to from Librivox. I haven’t been very impressed with the quality of their shorter works, but mostly that’s because every chapter of the stuff I listened to was recorded by a different voice. That is sort of jarring when you’re getting to know new characters. This one all is by one voice, and so I have higher hopes. We’ll see.

And apart from that, I don’t think I’ve added anything to the list of stuff I’m reading. Hopefully before I get dragged into another writing project, I can actually finish some of the things that have been on that list for a very very long time.

A Christmas Carol, reading

Tomorrow, for the second time, I’ll be doing a complete and unabridged reading of A Christmas Carol for a small group of listeners. This time, though, it will be recorded, and videotaped. I’m not sure exactly what I’ll do with the videotape. We’ll see how the quality turns out. Anyways, I think I’m all ready for it. Or, at least, as ready as I’m going to get.

I’m not sure if I’ll do this again, or not. I think it’s a great tradition, but I’m starting to want to do another book. In particular, I think I’d really like to do a reading of “Dandelion Wine” this summer. Perhaps out in the back yard, some time in early July. I’ll have to do a sample read-through, and see how long it is.

Umberto Eco

I just got done reading (listening to) “The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, by Umberto Eco.


I enjoyed “The Island of the Day Before”, and “Baudolino” was fairly interesting. I even kind of enjoyed “The Name of the Rose”. But “Faucult’s Pendulum” was incoherent babbling, and “The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana” can be called nothing other than the ravings of a madman. How people can call it good writing is beyond me. But, I valiantly soldiered on through it, and finished it. The last chapter, in particular, is very trying. The first half of the book is Eco showing off all the great stuff he has ever read. The second half is more of that, but with a little bit of an interesting war-time story mixed in. But this eventually becomes less and less coherent until it is simply an increasingly insane dream sequence.

In case you wondered, I don’t recommend this.

A Christmas Carol

So, I finally finished it. Thanks for your patience. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, and it’s very cool to have finally done it.

Yes, there are other recordings of this book. And I certainly don’t think think this is the best one. However, I have my own interpretation of things, and it’s nice to be able to communicate that.

I’d be glad to make audio CDs for folks that want them. I just need to cover my costs. And I suppose I wouldn’t mind making a $ or 2 from it. Anyways, it is 4 CDs. If you’re around here, give me 4 CDs, or $5, and I’ll get you the disks. If you’re not around here, send me $10, and I’ll send you CDs. Send me $20, and I might even contrive to print spiffy labels for the CDs.

Or, if you want to download the MP3s and make your own CDs, you can, of course, do that. The audio is explicitly placed into the public domain, or under the HJTI license, if you prefer. Bend, spindle, and mutillate. Nothing would make me happier than to think that my recordings were being redistributed. Or even being given as gifts.

A Christmas Carol, “we used to be actors” edition

Last night I watched A Carol Christmas, which is the “we used to be actors” version of A Christmas Carol, starring William Shatner. Ok, so he wasn’t actually listed as the star, but he has the distinction of being the one person in the movie who could actually act. The listed star was Tori Spelling, and I have to assume that her acting career was based on her being kinda cute when she was younger. Her delivery of lines was wooden and “i-am-reading-from-the-teleprompter” delivered.

Oh, yeah, and Gary Coleman was the Ghost of Christmas Past.

I’m still waiting for someone to do a movie titled “Carol, the Ancient Yule-tide Troll (fa la la la la la la la la)”