Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Book report

Don't worry. When I slipped on the steep mossy driveway while taking out the garbage and fell flat on my back and skinned my palms and shouted out a filthy cuss word, I had luckily just taken two tylenol for the muscles that are still sore from coughing for the last six weeks (can you actually CRACK a rib from coughing when you are 37 years old, or does that just happen to really old women who already have osteoperosis?), so it hardly hurt at all.

Nah, you definately don't want to hear about what's going on with me.

Instead, let me tell you what I've been reading.
First, wunderkind Zadie Smith's big rip on academia, On Beauty, which I read alot ABOUT before reading. It's funny, like they said it would be, and I was definately rooting for some of the characters, and at first I was very captivated by her writing. She puts words together really well and, unlike some of the reviewers on Amazon for example, I forgave her for writing British English, instead of American English. Since most of the characters had at least one foot in each world, it sort of made sense to me. But in spite of the humor of it (one main character is a Rembrandt scholar who hates Rembrandt) it was ultimately so cynical and kind of sad that I gave up on it in the end. Maybe I've seen too much of the real thing to ever think that The Results of An Affair can actually be all that hilarious.

And Jeff and I have been trading back and forth - sometimes reading aloud and sometimes waiting til the other one's asleep and sneakily reading ahead - these books by George R R Martin. We've finished the first one, Game of Thrones, and are now about half way through the second, Clash of Kings. (Thanks to Songbird for the recommendation!) These are funny, too, although in a different way, and good characters, too, although in a very, very, very different way. But we are really enjoying them - the author is a screenwriter, too and you can tell, and I mean that as a complement. The books, truly, have pretty much everything in them - compelling relationships, unfathomable plotlines, fascinating religious/cultural/social stuff, humor, fighting, and great character (both male and female). These are books you can really get lost in. If you aren't too squeamish about violence or ten year old girls having to choose between starvation and eating live worms, and aren't daunted by a series that, in total, is certainly going to run at least five thousand pages, I totally recommend them.

Can you tell anything about yourself by looking at the author headshots of books you're reading? If you can, I cant help but see it as confirmation that I'll probably never be all sophisticated and gorgeous and super intellectual, but instead am pretty much certainly consigned to life of cheerful geekiness.

So reading. One little part of the last month, while I've been mostly blog-free. I haven't been reading anyone else's or hardly writing at all and I miss it. Hopefully, this will be a jump start. Thanks for prayers and good thoughts, by the way. Elijah is doing AWESOME. He just bounced right back from pneumonia. In fact, as I write this, it's 9:45 pm and he's lying in bed hollering for me to bring him a ham sandwich. Yes, things HAVE gotten a little out of hand here at the Brownells since we've all been sick. But a new era of discipline is starting today. I am not bringing him a ham sandwich in bed. I'm not.

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