Saturday, December 26, 2009

Knife of Dreams

This was the last book written by Robert Jordan before his untimely death, and the 11th book in the aforementioned Wheel of Time series. I consumed several intervening books but did not mention them here, as I am pretty certain most of my readers aren't too into them. But this book is too excellent to be ignored.

The main accomplishment of this book is that Perrin's awful four-book quest to secure his wife's freedom was successful. Now we can hopefully get some worthwhile stories about him. Also excellent are Mat's adventures and ongoing courtship of Tuon. Mat has been my favorite character of the series since book 3, and he is especially awesome in the one.

Now I really want to move on to the latest book, but I am currently engrossed in the exceedingly lengthy Anna Karenina, which will take quite some time to wrap up. So you may not get another post for a little while....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Maze Runner

I had sort of forgotten about this book by James Dashner, which is unfortunate because it is excellent. The conflict here involves 50-odd teenage boys who have been placed with no memories in the middle of an unsolvable maze. And it turns out that the walls move every night, so they can't ever be sure exactly what the state of the maze is. Oh, and there are ravenous beasts who roam around at night and try to eat kids.

The maze is really an elaborate scheme to test the mettle of these folks. When the maze ups the ante after two years of no success, though, the kids do likewise and force a solution to the maze. The Maze Runner is an excellent book, filled with quality action and suspense. The only downside was that I had thought it was a standalone novel, but when I reached the last 15 pages with no real resolution in sight, I figured out that no real resolution is even planned for several more books!

There was one other downside: It may be a sign of good writing that effectively mimics how kids in stressful situations would actually act, but the constant flux of the narrator's emotions sort of got on my nerves. I felt the same way with Harry Potter, too. This probably is unreasonable of me.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Call It Courage

I have been lax in my posting, so you are just now hearing about this Newberry-award winning novella by Armstrong Sperry. The bildungsroman is about Mafatu, a boy who is terrified of the sea among an island people who worship courage. Obviously, Mafatu does not thrive in this society.

In a moment of foolhardy courage, Mafatu sails alone into the sea and is almost killed in a storm before finally landing on a solitary island. Here, he has to fight for his survival and livelihood against sharks and octopi before returning home with enough courage to be elected mayor of the island.

This book is spectacular, and at less than 100 pages, one could churn it out in an evening. Definitely read this if you like adventure on the high seas or if you want to learn how to whittle a knife out of some spare whale bones.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I have fallen behind a bit in posting, but this book by Robert Newton Peck definitely merits a post. The book is a collection of short stories about Rob Peck's adventurous youth with his best friend, Soup (a person, not a meal). I recollect reading several books in this series in my youth, and they are all pretty similarly adventurous.

A couple of examples: Soup convinces Rob to roll down the town hill in barrel that lacks structural integrity, which disintigrates just after crashing into a chicken coop. Rob ties his aunt to a tree just before a thunderstorm, and suffers some painful repercussions as a result. Rob and Soup fling apples from the end of sticks, and Soup breaks a window at the local Baptist church, but Rob unluckily takes the blame.

Andy read this book first and introduced it to me when he taught me to fling apples on a stick. He really enjoyed that activity and, since we had four apple trees in the front yard, it was a pretty easy hobby to pursue. Andy also rigged up a (more sturdy) barrel for us to roll around in down in the basement. I can still feel the thrill of tumbling head over heels in the barrel after letting out a wild "Tally-ho!" I don't think I every tied anybody to a tree, though...although Peter would have been a prime candidate.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Mutiny on the Bounty

This adventure on the high seas (what is a high sea, anyway?) by Nordhoff and Hall recounts the true story of the mutiny on the Bounty. The book follows the experiences of Byam, a lowly midshipman: how he joins the boat, gets stuck with the mutineers, and eventually is falsely arrested as a mutineer. Oh, he also lives for four or five years in Tahiti.

I really like old school adventure stories (Treasure Island is among my top 3 favorite books), so I had pretty high hopes for this one. However, this book started out a little slow; I was all set to grant the book two and a half stars and move on, but then mutiny actually happened (almost a third of the way into the novel) and I really became engrossed. I don't think this is just because "Duh! A mutiny must be exciting..." because the mutiny itself is pretty brief. Perhaps Byam just really stood out as a compelling character during that one chapter, and I suddenly cared a lot about his future welfare. Watching Byam meet his Tahitian native wife and their subsequent courtship, and then following Byam as he is torn away from her to be clapped in irons for about two years, was quite moving.

Learning about the details of life at sea is always interesting because it sounds so bloody miserable that I can't believe anyone would want to become a sailor. Perhaps it is like joining the army today, but the mortality rate must have been way higher then, and the living conditions had to be worse. The sailors ate nothing but salted beef and yams for about two years. And then, when their main ship sank and they were castoff in small launches, they all had to survive on about six ounces of water and a bit of bread each day for two weeks. Yikes. Also, it took over a year and a half to sail from Tahiti back to England!

I ended up consuming Mutiny on the Bounty in a rather roundabout way. I always like going to the library to browse for about an hour, and come away with 13 books, only one of which I will actually consume. But being stymied on Library Day, I had to pick something from our personal library. This is probably a good thing because I have now decided to consume a bunch of books from our personal library before going back to the public library, since I am so proud of our collection. You'll hear more about those soon!

Monday, November 02, 2009


Books I have not finished lately:

Eldest: The sequel to Eragon is, I think, pretty highly regarded in the fantasy realm, at least by not-fantasy-obsessed people I know. But this book just annoyed me for some reason I can't quite pin down. It took forever for any action actually to develop, but that's not the only problem. I think that the conversations all got on my nerves too much. The characters would engage in what I suppose was meant to be witty banter, but it did not appeal to me.

God Created the Integers: This book, by Stephen Hawking, looked really interesting based on the cover's inside flap. Hawking, the famous physicist and perhaps longest-surviving person with ALS, presented a brief biography of a groundbreaking mathematician, and then explained each mathlete's work. The main problem for me was that the book was quite technical, and I was in search of something lighter. It is probably a good book, and perhaps I will pick it up again later.

The Highwayman: R. A. Salvatore wrote the books about Drizzt Do'Urden, a spectacularly skilled sword-fighting dark elf. The Drizzt books have been consistently excellent and action-packed, so I had high hopes for this one, although it takes place with different characters in a different world. Unfortunately, it also started out too slowly for me really to get into it.

I think the reason that I quit two of these books because they started slowly is that I don't spend as much time reading as I used to or would like. Since I go through books more slowly, there is much more time for me to lose interest before getting hooked, so a book has to start out quite well. I wonder if this is mostly because of my commuting hours, or if this will be a new equilibrium state for me. Since I have become so interested in so many blogs and internet reading, have books permanently become my second-favorite source for entertainment? I don't really think so, but I will say that I haven't brought a book on my overnight stays in KC in about 3 months, while I use my laptop for a couple of hours on each of these trips. Hrm.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Peter Pan

In case you are not riveted by my endorsements of the WoT, perhaps you will find this classic fantasy story more interesting. J. M. Barrie created Peter Pan back in 1902, and it took me 107 years finally to get around to reading it. It's a quite exciting adventure story, with pirates and mermaids and flying and swashbuckling and wild animals. Peter is an occasionally obnoxious kid, but overall he is pretty awesome. Plus, his supporting cast of the Lost Boys adds a lot of comic delight.

This book goes by quite quickly, so if you want a fun adventure in a hurry, this book is just the ticket. I haven't read anything else by Barrie, but I would imagine that it's worthwhile as well.

Plus, I've got a little actuarial treat for you. So Peter is ostensibly supposed to live forever, which seems a little farfetched. Lest you doubt it is possible, consider the following:

In 2005, American kids aged 5-14 had a death rate of 16.3 per 100,000. Here's one way to think about how incredibly low that is:Suppose a kid could keep that childhood mortality rate forever. What would be his expected lifespan? Answer: 6,135 years!

All he has to do is avoid being skewered by a cutlass.

The Dragon Reborn

So I finished this third book in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, and it was spectacular. This is the book where Matt begins his 8-book streak of luck and becomes awesome in general. I fully recommend it.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

History of Tom Jones, A Foundling

I read this book by Henry Fielding several months ago, but it merits a spot on this humble blog. It chronicles the adventures of Tom Jones, an infant orphan who is adopted by the local rich guy. As he becomes an adult, he is both part of the upper class (because of his adopted father) and an outsider (because of his shady origins). Tom falls in love with the neighboring local rich guy's daughter, but his being an orphan prevents any easy wedding for them.

Tom eventually gets thrown out of the house, and has various adventures while trying to stay alive and fed. His lady love, Sophia, tries to find him but can't, then he tries to find her but can't, then they all find each other 400 pages later in London. The book was pretty good and quite funny, and even though it dragged in a few parts, I recommend it.

I enjoy reading classics such as this, although it is often difficult to evaluate them properly since I do not know all of the historical context. For example, I read in a review that this book had one of the three best novel plots of all time, but I don't think it's plot was as good as, e.g., The Life of Pi or The Master of Ballantrae. It is basically just a romantic intrigue that could be written by any number of writers these days. But then when I consider that it made "a crucial contribution to the development of the novel as a unified narrative structure held together by a coherent authorial vision," the book becomes much more impressive. It would be handy to have a class or Cliffs Notes to help give me some perspective, both in terms of the book's impact on writing as well as the roots of its biting social commentary.

There are a couple more interesting things to note about this book. 1) The women frequently amused me because of how quickly they forgave the fellas. At one point, Sophia finds out that Tom has been getting overly intimate with the area's most prominent lady of the evening, and is justifiably angry. After about 1.3 minutes of soothing and apologizing, though, she is ready to put it all in the past. 2) The presence of the aforementioned scarlet woman, and frequent depiction of sex and alcohol abuse, evidently caused quite an uproar when this book came out. According to Barnes and Noble, people thought that this book was so evil and inappropriate that it caused earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Road to Serfdom

This book by F. A. Hayek is quite a diverting read, if one gets carried away by abstract political and economic reasoning. Hayek, who is one of the most influential "free-market" economists and political thinkers of the last century, wrote this book during WWII when fascism and socialism seemed like the Next Big Thing(s). Hayek first exposes weaknesses in these systems and why they nevertheless gain prominence, and then lays out a more favorable system. That is to say, the entire book is about why libertarianism is pretty neat and other stuff is not quite as stellar.

Although my gushing previous paragraph makes the book sound rather dry, it was rife with great insights, many of them especially apposite in today's political climate. I marked about a dozen quotations to share with you (because I know that is what you were hoping for!), but I mistakenly returned the book already. So, I will paraphrase a bit: "don't be a socialist."

While I thought the book was excellent, I would not recommend it to anybody who is not seriously examining their political and economic stances. It is a little difficult to keep momentum while reading it, and if one did not have powerful motivations to do so, it would perhaps be difficult to finish.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Wikipedia is practically the coolest thing ever, and I stumbled across this page while perusing the site earlier. It was quite diverting trying to figure out all of the ambiguous sentences, and to see what sort of constructs people can, well, construct with language. Even foreign languages can make crazy sentences, such as "Fit fit fits fit ski?", which means "Which foot fits which ski?" (in Glasgow patter, a Scottish dialect).

Coming across sites such as these, and noticing how enjoyable I find them, really makes me regret some of the courses I took in college. I was just lamenting this evening that I majored in accounting, when clearly a linguistics major would have been much more interesting to me.

A List of Subjects I Wish I Had Studied Further:
1) Linguistics/English
2) Economics
3) Physics and chemistry
4) Computer science
5) Philosophy
6) Latin

However, all is not lost: I am still able to satisfy most of my intellectual curiousities relatively easily (thanks, internet!). My daily blog reading addresses four of those items. Computer science and Latin are not terribly prevalent in my daily life, but I hope to remedy that. I want to switch my computer from Windows to a Linux operating system, which will require substantial computer programming learning. Also, Abbie has kindly offered to tutor me in Latin after I finish my exams. So, despite my foolish college days, my intellectual pursuits are still incredibly rich.

I read an article recently that speculated that the polymath is disappearing from society these days, and I think that that is true. There is just so much information to learn about a single subject in order to be considered an expert that it seems nigh impossible. When calculus and medicine were first being developed, it was probably the work of a week or two to learn everything there was to know about them! Now, I have been reading about applying statistical methods to risk evaluation for several years, and I am still an actuarial neophyte. However, because information is so easily disseminated these days, I am able at least to be informed in many, many areas. One hundred years ago, I would have had to spend all my hours cooped up in a library to achieve that. Although, since libraries are my favorite places, perhaps that would not be so bad...

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I hope you all enjoyed National Punctuation Day! It would be a much more diverting world if more people celebrated this holiday. Perhaps I should write to Claire McCaskill to see if she can get us another day off of work for it...

This homage to the semicolon is especially enjoyable:

“Sometimes you get a glimpse of a semicolon coming, a few lines farther on, and it is like climbing a steep path through woods and seeing a wooden bench just at a bend in the road ahead, a place where you can expect to sit for a moment, catching your breath.”
Lewis Thomas, “Notes on Punctuation,”
The Medusa and the Snail 1979

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Great Hunt

This is the second book in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. The twelfth book in the series is coming out in a month or two, so I am refreshing my mem with my fourth or fifth re-read of this series. Now, I have read quite a bit of fantasy in my time, and I must say that this is my favorite overall fantasy series.

I can only think of three fantasy series off the top of my head that have been excellent over the course of more than five books (Death Gate Cycle, Harry Potter, and this), and The Wheel of Time is definitely my favorite. The character development, long-term story arc intricacy, world-building, action scenes, all are excellent.

One of Jordan's most impressive skills is his ability to hint at the future, sometimes seven or eight books in advance. There is a lot of prophecy in this series, and some prophecies that cropped up in this book still haven't been completely fulfilled as of book 11. Sometimes I wonder, though, how much of it was actually planned, and how much of it was Jordan just spouting off stuff in these early books, and then sort of molding future books to fit these foreshadowings. Either way, he does it so well that I am impressed.

Indeed, the lack of foreshadowing is one thing that really annoyed me about the Harry Potter books. True, Rowling had stuff about Voldemort and Harry sharing blood, etc., that lasted the course of the series. An example of poor foreshadowing (although "foreshadow" is not really the word I want here. Perhaps "world-building" is better? Or maybe just "foresight on Rowling's part") is that the last book, The Deathly Hallows, focuses on some spectacularly powerful objects that are never once alluded to throughout the rest of the series, even though Harry owns one of them.

Back to the subject at hand. Since there are nine more books for me to consume, some of my readers may become bored with the incessant fantasy. To reward them for their diligent reading, however, I will start a new feature wherein I discuss a non-fantasy book that I have consumed in the last year or two. So, look forward to that, dedicated readers!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare

This novel by G. K. Chesterton was excellent. I decided to read it because somebody notable said that it is the "most thrilling book" he ever read. I don't think it was the most thrilling ever, but "delightfully adventurous" would not be inappropriate.

The book is about Syme, a new detective in Scotland Yard, who inadvertently becomes entangled in an international group of anarchists. His discoveries and attempts to foil the anarchists comprise the story. The point of the book, as it seems to me, is that we've got to undergo rough times to test our convictions before we can be sure of them or have any sort of moral authority. (Another reader of this book states that the message is that God lets bad things happen because they remind us of the importance of good things, which I can also see.) There are many twists throughout, but by about a third of the way through, I was able to predict most future twists. However, this didn't really detract from the story.

One thing that I realized while reading this is that, regardless of any ambitions I might have, I will never be a spectacular novelist because I can't create dialogue nearly as well as this guy. Dialogue seems like it must be about the hardest part of writing a book, and this one was full of diverting turns of phrase.

As I read the beginning of the book, I had all these ideas for a post analyzing the book's use of anarchy, and about how I dislike the lines about government and order being the source of all our prosperity, but they aren't really relevant after finishing the book. The "anarchy" merely symbolizes sin and evil, and it doesn't really make sense anymore to bash Chesterton's political views over this book, or even the misguided idea that the police force knows best and must be powerful enough to save us from ourselves.

One final note: the book closes on a fancy-dress ball, which is also something that appears in the Jeeves books on occasion. These sound like pretty fun times, so whither the fancy-dressing? We should have more of them (perhaps a theme for one's annual summer party...?)!

Monday, September 07, 2009


This classic by Carlo Collodi was not actually all that good. It's been quite some time since I saw the Disney movie of the same name, but my impression was that the titular character just unluckily got into scrapes mostly through fate. Therefore, I was unprepared for the unceasing foolishness of Pinocchio in this book. He essentially makes the same mistake (acting for instant gratification) about 20 times in a row. I think this book could have been cut in half and been just as good.

Interestingly, this book initially was only half its current length. It ended with Pinocchio being hanged to death because he crossed a band of robber-assassins. This was evidently too macabre for that age's youth, and instead of just having Pinocchio gnaw through the rope and learn his lesson upon escaping, Collodi wrote 20 more chapters to lighten the mood.

Another thing I found surprising is that, despite what Disney says, the talking cricket only speaks about three paragraphs and is only in two scenes. In fact, the clever Pinocchio becomes irate shortly after meeting the cricket and crushes him with a mallet.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


This book by Christopher Paolini was published when he was only 19. It is the first in a fantasy series, and it was pretty entertaining. This book did not have the shortcomings from which Shadowmarch suffered. It was rife with action and adventure, and its final battle was pretty well done. I definitely intend to consume the rest of the series at some point.

The book starts off with Eragon, a simple country boy (some might say a cock-eyed optimist) who gets mixed up in the high-stakes game of world diplomacy and international intrigue when he finds a dragon egg. When the dragon hatches and Eragon becomes one of the fabled dragon riders, he gains all sorts of new abilities, such as augmented strength and the ability to use magic. Of course, the powers that be do not want him running around loose with a dragon, so conflict soon erupts.

A few (very minor) things about this book really irked me. 1) Frequently during swordfights, sparks erupt when the duelists clash. In reality (even fantasy generally follows our world's physics), this would not happen too often. First of all, the swords are not generally made with flint in them, and secondly, since they are so smooth and finely polished, sparks are even less likely. I'm not saying sparks will never appear, but for it to happen during every heated conflict is a bit much. 2) Eragon is trained in swordfighting by Brom, who has been a warrior for decades. By the midpoint of the novel, though, Eragon is able to disarm Brom. Even if he did nothing but study swordplay for several months, there is no way this could happen. 3) Hopefully this won't be too much of a spoiler, but Eragon gets a scar on his back at some point in the book during a skirmish in which several people die, and he complains about being "disfigured". Lame.


Since this blog is essentially about books now, this is not too much of a digression. However, this made me a little sad:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


This book by Tad Williams is the first in an epic fantasy series. It purports to have many things about fantasy that I love, such as medieval weaponry, magic, intrigue, and adventure. However, I felt like this book did not deliver as promised. In 500 pages of reading, I was probably only reallyinterested in 75 of them. This is disappointing to me because Williams has pretty good cover art, and also because I have been planning on reading another trilogy by him for quite some time. Perhaps his other writings are more exciting.

Because of my lackluster feelings for this book, I stopped consuming it two nights ago, when I was about 500 pages into the total 750 pages. This seems to be kind of a waste, because I felt like I might stop early after as few as 200 pages. Therefore, in order to combat this inefficient allocation of my free time, I hereby resolve to end consumption of any literature if I am not engrossed after consuming one third of its length.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves

Here is another delightful installment by P. G. Wodehouse. This novel has Bertie endeavoring to keep one of his chums affianced. If his friend breaks off the marriage, Bertie is worried that he will be forced to step in and become engaged to the lady in question. Jeeves eventually solves the problem pretty handily.

It seems to me that most of the Bertie/Jeeves stories are pretty similar and involve Bertie trying to avoid becoming engaged, and Jeeves coming to the rescue at the end, to the delight of all interested parties. However, they are just so hilarious that it makes no difference that they are similar. I found myself laughing out loud on several occasions while consuming this book.

Readers of this blog may be interested to note that Jeeves was mistakenly referenced in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The narrator remarks that the pharoah's butler was "the Jeeves of his time", but Jeeves was not in fact a butler. He was a valet, a gentleman's personal gentleman, whereas a butler is merely the head of a number of servants.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

not a book

This article about health insurance in America is spectacular. Although it is quite long, I definitely recommend reading it if you have a spare 20 minutes. The author's recommendations are on the last page, if you really want to skip ahead.

A teaser (I'm not sure how to do block quotes in Blogger....):

"Let's say you're a 22-year-old single employee at my company today, starting out at a $30,000 annual salary. Let's assume you'll get married in six years, support two children for 20 years, retire at 65, and die at 80. Now let's make a crazy assumption: insurance premiums, Medicare taxes and premiums, and out-of-pocket costs will grow no faster than your earnings-say, 3 percent a year. By the end of your working days, your annual salary will be up to $107,000. And over your lifetime, you and your employer together will have paid $1.77 million for your family's health care. $1.77 million! And that's only after assuming the taming of costs! In recent years, health-care costs have actually grown 2 to 3 percent faster than the economy. If that continues, your 22-year-old self is looking at an additional $2 million or so in expenses over your lifetime-roughly $4 million in total."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Blade Runner

This book is also called Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Philip Dick, and a movie called Blade Runner was based on the book. It is set around 2020 after a nuclear war, and androids are prevalent and convincingly human. In fact, the main character's job is to track down androids masquerading as humans and kill them, ostensibly because they are a danger to society.

The book deals with the issue of what constitutes humanity, and was actually quite good. The bounty hunter had to go after these androids that look and act just like humans, except for the fact that they don't feel empathy. It really made me muse on artificial intelligence and how humanity will cope with it when it arrives. If humans are able to program a sort of empathy into machines, how will they be any different than humans? Would machines that actually feel emotions ever be able to get into heaven?

In thinking about it more, I'm not really sure what would distinguish humans from Really Good Robots. In Blade Runner, androids are discovered because they lack empathy. However, isn't it possible for a human not to be empathic? I have it in my mind that autistic people sometimes do not exhibit a ton of empathy. Are they sub-human? What do you think would be the line of separation between humans and robotic replicas?

I usually don't consume science fiction, even though it is often very similar to my chosen genre of fantasy; I'm not really sure why that is. Perhaps I just really like books that use medieval weaponry and therefore focus on physical prowess, which science fiction often does not feature. However, I can't imagine I would like a book about modern knife-fighters very much. For whatever reason, I consistently like science fiction less than fantasy. Even this book, which was pretty good, started dragging toward the end, and I couldn't wait for it to finish so I could start something else.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

One, Two, Buckle my Shoe

I just finished this mystery by Agatha Christie yesterday. It revolves around a dentist's death that is made to look like a suicide, but Hercule Poirot suspects something is up. The plot thickens when a fabulously wealthy, powerful, and force-for-good-and-stability-in-England-and-therefore-all-civilization banker becomes a target.

One thing that bothers me about many of Christie's novels that I have consumed (which, admittedly, is not a huge number) is that the stakes are so high. In this, the potential death of a banker could lead to a worldwide communist regime; in The Big Four, an international gang threatens to overthrow all governments; etc. I suppose that these high stakes may make things more dramatic, but I can't help looking at all of these premises as a little absurd. I would prefer more quotidian mysteries, such as a simple murder, theft, or parking infringement.

As far as Christie's mysteries go, I think this one is somewhere in the middle. Two pluses: this is the first Poirot mystery I have read that was not narrated by Captain Hastings, which I think works out well; also, Inspector Japp seems much less bumbling in this book, which adds some credibility to his character. Overall, this book was diverting, but I don't think I would consume it again.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Thank You, Jeeves

This is another hilarious Jeeves installment by P. G. Wodehouse. I discovered him only a few months ago, and he is already one of my favorite authors. As my younger brother will agree, Wodehouse can turn a phrase in the most comical of manners.

As usual in the Jeeves books, Bertie Wooster gets himself into an imbroglio, this time regarding an unwanted fiancee, a drunken valet, and a bit of un-PC black shoe polish. Also as usual, Jeeves buttles above and beyond and saves the day.

I believe that "jolly" is the mot juste for this book.

Fancy meeting you here

I am now feeling refreshed after my three-year hiatus, and am perhaps ready to reenter the world of blogging!

Actually, I have lately been thinking I should make a record of the books I read, for reference in future years. So this blog will be an experiment in that. I plan on giving a short entry after every book I finish, stating my thoughts on the book for all you readers in need of literary suggestions.

One caveat: by "read", I really mean "consume." Abbie is skeptical that listening to books counts as reading, but I think it basically does for most books. And since my listening time is much more abundant than my actual reading time, I'm counting the listening. If you are a purist, you can just skip most of my posts!