Somehow I missed doing the month of August, and with September already done it’s time to catch up.?
Magical Thinking – Augusten Burroughs – Ah, the memoir. Given to me to read by a friend with strong recommendations, I went in with low expectations. In a lot of ways Augusten Burroughs (who’s previous Running with Scissors was made into a movie) is similar to David Sedaris. Both are quite funny gay men who have had some wonderfully silly experiences in their lives, some sad, some heartfelt and all told with a large dash of self-deprecating humor. Great fun to read, and I read it fast because of it, but in the end I just am realizing here, two months after reading it that I’m hard pressed to remember a single vignette out of the book. Reccomended? Yes, for a fun light read, but it’s flavor washes away too quickly.
Crooked Little Vein – Warren Ellis – Here’s a comic book and screenplay writer turned novelist, who brings his patented brand of finding some of the weirdest and creepy things you’ll find about humanity to a book. The story of a down on his luck PI who’s tasked with finding the “real” constitution of the United States, he runs into some quirky and shocking things along the way to the ending. It’s again a quick read, entertaining, but ultimately forgettable as well. It just felt a bit forced and tried to hit all the notes that would shock you, but unlike Palahniuk, you don’t get the same payoff at the end. Ultimately, I love the guys comic work, and will stick to reading him that way. Check out his Freak Angles which is a free online comic which he writes and is updated every Friday with a few more pages.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone – J. K. Rowling – Yes, it’s Harry Potter, and yes, I’m a few years late here. I’m going to read the entire series here on a Sony Reader device. I’ve never used one before this book and while I won’t give up my dead trees and ink for this anytime soon, I’ve found it to be a wonderful device to read a book on. But we’ll get to that some other day. Here today is Harry Potter and his first year at Hogwarts. I’ve seen some of the movies, and such, but never actually read these books somehow. They are truly a lot of fun, and I think when Ash get’s older and starts to read this will be on my list of recommended books for him. I can see how these sold well. Easy, quick, accessible, but you don’t get the feeling you are reading a children’s novel either. I was looking forward to the rest of these.
Bleak Seasons – Glenn Cook – Took this one with me to Man Camp to read for fluff on the plane and for those down moments when I needed a break. Glenn Cook’s continued stories of the Black Company, a mercenary company who’s exploits have changed the world and always find themselves in over their head. Good fun, and I’ll continue the series after I finish off the three books that came before this one (which is what happens when you pick out a book from Half Price books without bothering to see where it fits in the overall story first). Thankfully the three before this come all bound in an omnibus edition for easy reading later this year.
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets – J. K. Rowling – And onto year two at Hogwarts. I enjoyed this one more than the first. More details into life at the school and how they actually filled their time in between all these crazy classes, death threats, and more. Seriously, this school has issues! But of course Potter and the gang come out on top and survive for another day of classes and fun. Again this was read on the Sony Reader, which while it’s makes for easy reading, the joy of finishing a book is much less. You can’t see your progress as measured by a bookmark, or that thrill of realizing that you could finish the book tonight if you just stay up a little later and get through those last 20-30 pages. You miss out on some of the more physical parts of owning the book for sure. Especially the satisfaction of putting a completed book up on your bookshelf.
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