Tag Archives: reading


I just finished reading Mockingjay, the third book of the Hunger Games trilogy. These are, without much competition, the best books I’ve read this year.

They’ve been on my reading list for a long time, but I started them after S started reading them in school, and enjoyed them so much that she bought the trilogy and read ahead of where they were in class. S hasn’t been much of an avid reader in recent years, so any book that gets her this fired up about reading was worth checking out.

It’s hard to say much about them without giving away important plot elements. The storytelling is gripping. It’s all told first-person, stream of consciousness, and there’s never a moment’s rest.

I’m looking forward to reading more of Collins’ books, although S hasn’t expressed much interest in any of her other works.

These books round out a year of reading that, although not as copious as my sister’s 66, by about half, was still quite a lot for me, in comparison to recent years, when everything else seemed more important than spending a moment reading. I also noticed that I left off several of the Discworld books that I’ve been reading with my Beloved, so it’s probably 3 or 4 short.

Next on the reading list is “The Catcher In The Rye”, which I’m not particularly looking forward to, but will find a way to finish anyways. A few years ago, I came across a list of 438 books that all educated people should read. And while this list, like every other one of its kind, is pretty arbitrary, I’m going to try to make my way through it over the next ten years or so

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Through a rather odd series of events, someone thought that we’d like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

I can’t honestly say I enjoyed Jane Austen’s original. It was one of those books that I read because it’s a classic, and everyone should read it. Much like War and Peace, and Anna Karenina, both of which I slogged through, and finished, although it was mostly work.

Well, I think that I may have discovered a way to enjoy Jane Austen, although I seriously question whether it would make any sense to anyone who hadn’t read the original. I *might* even consider reading some of the others.

The books were clearly written by taking a copy of the original, and going through it replacing various boring sections with zombie attacks and discussions of the Bennet sisters’ skills with the oriental arts of killing. While there are indeed many hundreds of boring parts, there are also lengthy parts that are left almost untouched, with the occasional mention of trips to China, training with zen masters, and Japanese food.

In all, very odd.

It was very hard to get into, but once I caught the cadence, it was a quick read, and mostly enjoyable if you can put aside the fact that it’s exceedingly silly.

Recommended. A little. If you like that sort of thing.

Listening is cheating?

Listening is cheating?

As I mentioned on a mailing list recently:

I grew up with people reading books to me. My parents read the Narnia books to me, as I sat near a fireplace. Mr. Bruce read The Hobbit to me, as I sat in a warm afternoon classroom with the doors wide open and the African sky beckoning us to come out and play. And more recently, I have read many books to my kids as they wind down before bed.

To claim that any of these are “cheating” implies a couple things. One is, that everyone is trying to work towards some particular goal, which is ludicrous. The other is that these experiences, which significantly formed my life, my love of literature, and my own writing, are somehow impure and less than valid, which is insulting.

When folks make remarks like this, it just makes me sad for them, because it means that nobody read to them when they were kids.

Right now, I’m listening to “The Life Of Pi” on my way to and from work. It works a lot better in an Indian voice than it would if I was reading it myself.