Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Man Without a Country (Kurt Vonnegut)

I heart Kurt Vonnegut. Seriously heart him.

This book is a treatise / memoir / farewell / final / love / letter to his audience / hysterical political rant.

Unfortunately, we listened to it on audio book... PB is not as familiar with his work and didn't know about the illustrations. It was a great diversion on our last trip home though.

He also made some really good points - mostly about how destructive men have been to the earth in a relatively short period of time. I defintiely need to get a copy of the book.

Plus you know, any Bush-hater is a friend of mine.

Confession: Originally the slashes in the second sentence were the word But I thought that word, especially combined with "Bush-hater" might lead to massive amounts of disappointment if people landed here by way of a search of some kind.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Anthem (Ayn Rand)

So it's sad that I didn't even hear about Ayn Rand until I got to college, and I didn't read any of her books until well after graduate school.

This book reminded me a lot of 1984 - something about the narrator's voice seems very similar to me. And there are obvious parallels in the storylines.

I didn't like this book quite as much. I think the philosophy of man and human nature as an end worth celebrating in an of itself interesting, but the end of the book left me with a nasty taste in my mouth when it came to the narrator. He seemed to full of himself and too literally trying to cast himself as God and the creator. Or something.

The version I read had a really cool feature - it contained an earlier manuscript of the book marked up with edits in Ayn's own hand. It was really cool to get a glimpse of her editing process.

Glad I read it and I'm really looking forward to the Fountainhead. Whenever I get around to reading it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Two Books Removed from My List

So I am actually axing two books - Size 12 is Not Fat and Size 14 is not Fat either. They are chic lit books trying to pose as mysteries. And while I like chic lit and I like mysteries I don't like the intersection of the two....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Undomestic Goddess (Sophie Kinsella)

Another nice chick lit book. This is from the author of the Shopaholic series. Here, our lead character is a high powered attorney in London who is living a hectic, stress-packed life and makes a mistake that costs a client 50 million pounds. In the resulting panic she flees the city, ends up somewhere in the English Countryside and accidentally accepts a job as housekeeper, despite the fact that she doesn't know how to cook or clean.

Just like me :-) Well except for the 50 million pound loss. So far.

Anyway, a large portion of the book is devoted to her living in the country, taking lessons on cooking and cleaning and falling in love with the gardener. For a time, she forgets about her job at the top lawfirm in the city but one day the niece of her employer's come to visit, bringing a brochure of Carter-Spinks along with her. This inspires Samantha to google herself, and much to her dismay, she discovers she is the laughingstock of the legal world, even causing the phrase "pulling a Samantha" to be coined.

But did she really pull a Samantha? More research reveals a sketchy family connection between the lawyer who supposedly was defending her at the lawfirm and one of the businesses that might have profited from Samantha's mistake. At some point she realizes maybe she didn't make the mistake, and uncovers serious misdoings by her former mentor.

In the end she clears her name, declines a partnership offer, accepts a partnership offer, declines it again and accepts it again. This is the part of the book where I got put off. I get that it's confusing and she's flighty, but it seemed like the author really went overboard at the end, perhaps because she didn't know how to wrap it up and didn't want to end with the cliche' getting married and having a baby.

I also wish she would have explored Samantha's relationship with her crazy, career-obsessed mother a bit more. The Geiger's (Samantha's employers) are extremely well-written and LOL funny.

Overall, a good read.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Bitter is the New Black (Jen Lancaster)

I loved this book. I actually hadn't read her blog before I read about this on some website and apparently she already has another book out and one on the way. I had the second one (Bright Lights, Big Ass) on reserve at the library but I didn't pick it up before it got returned. Yes, I am that delinquent borrower :-(

Anyway, the level of snark in this book is hysterical and I heart it. I can't wait to check out her other two books.