Tuesday, February 12, 2008


it's been quite a season here. cold, wet, and most of all, snowy. so extremely snowy, in fact, that the plows get stuck sometimes. and with nothing better to do (school doesn't count) i have been reading a lot. a whole lot. I have a stack of books on my DVD player that i fully intend to read soon-ish, and lately Bob has been making inroads into these books.
I shall sum these up and review.

1. The Shakespeare Code by Virginia Fellows

I do not know why i wasted 352 pages of good reading time on this. let me sum it up: Francis Bacon was superman. not only did he write many, many essays and whatnot, besides being way too busy in the state, but he also wrote all of Shakespeare. that guy must have had way too much time on his hands. he also wrote all of Spencer and The Bible. He got a visit from God when he was young and was the son of Queen Elizabeth The Virgin Queen. how did that work? Elizabeth, by the way, was a psychopathic nutcase who murdered her handmaidens left and right for small things. there's so much more drivvel to explain, such as the fact that Francis Bacon was also FDR, but i won't confuse you with the details. Ms. Fellows, i think, is just a bit too in awe of Bacon and thinks that because he was soooo wise he must have done every great thing ever done. what a guy.

2. Feed by M.T. Anderson
this is a great book. it is short, easy to read and amazingly smart. M.T. Anderson also wrote Whales on Stilts, the best children's book ever. he's probably Francis Bacon. The story centers on Titus, a young man living in "a world of tomorrow" in which we are all constantly plugged into the internet. not too far from the truth. it is a wonderful, bitter and cynical story of young love and airheadedness. big thumbs up.

3.Stardust by Neil Gaiman
once again Neil Gaiman pulls a great fantasy classic out of thin air. this is another very easy read, 14 point type and 1.5 spacing are needed to make it a 300 page book, and it's so engrossing that one finds oneself barricading the door and blowing back friends and relatives with a fire hose in order to gain more reading time. I don't think i will even go so far as to summarize it at all. that takes half the fun out of it. it is also a movie, which i have not seen.

4. The Hound of Heaven
Short poem, read it. one cannot sum up a poem. it's just not done.

5. The Red Badge of Courage by Steven Crane
a classic, only with blood. The writing in this book is amazing and Crane's insite into the human mind is extraordinary. if you have not read this book, well, add it to the list.

6. The Poe Shadow by Matthiew Pearl
i am torn between recommending this book and telling you to stay far, far away from it. It traces the "life" of Quentin Clark, a young lawyer in Baltimore who becomes obsessed with Edgar Allen Poe and his death, deciding to clear the poet's name of the mark of "drunkard" for the record.the book is not just a novel, however, it is also a thesis on the death of Poe and what Pearl thinks really happened, and I have to say he presents a very strong case. my complaint, however is that the middle 1/3 of the book, while necessary, is immensely boring. it does get better as it begins to draw to a close but was nearly unbearable for a while. i give it a light recommendation.

7. Deprivers by Steven-Eliot Altman
this is a fantastic book, one of the most creative pieces I've come across in a while, topped only on this list by Stardust. It is the tale of a future dystopian (aren't those great?) world in which humans begin to evolve a natural defense called SDS, Sensory Deprivation Syndrome, which, upon skin-to-skin contact, deprives someone of a sense (feeling, taste, sight, hearing, consciousness, sense of direction etc.), permanently or for a short time. it is an amazing adventure book, like a much faster paced 1984 with more guns and secret societies. for 16+ readers.

8. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

9. Lord Raven's Gambit by J.T. Howes
This is my final book as i am still reading it. so far it is rally good, if sometimes a little bit cliché. It's a high fantasy novel about...well, everything a high fantasy is supposed to be about. people killing each other off, magic, damsels, dragons, witches, poison, castles, all that good stuff. it sometimes resembles a fairytale, but in a more grown up way than C.S. Lewis or even Stardust. it's unlike anything I've read and i urge you, if you can find it, to read it, or at very least buy it, as the author could use some support.

so that's my list. if you don't like it I dare you to make a better one.