Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bookish Things (Including Book Reviews)

My writing is in a strange spot recently, so how about I talk about reading books instead of writing them?

I picked up Brandon Sanderson’s book, Mistborn: The Final Empire, from the library yesterday.  I’ve decided this will be the final test of whether or not I like epic fantasy – the book is over 500 pages long, and it’s the first of a trilogy.  So far, I’ve only finished the prologue.  It is interesting so far.  The style doesn’t pull me in immediately – methinks I’ve been spoiled by the Douglas Adams and Oscar Wilde I’ve been reading recently, as both of them have distinct styles (and in the case of Adams, his quirky, unpredictable style was the main reason I kept reading – more on him below).  Ah, well.  We’ll see how it goes.  I suspect it will end up in the large stack of books I started out of curiosity and never finished, but I’ll give it an honest go.  At any rate, I will write a review of however much of it I do read.

I have decided: I want to read The Hunger Games.  After so many years of resisting bestsellers and YA (and particularly best-selling YA), I’ve decided to yield to both of them.  Since there are over 250 requests on the copies at the library, I have decided to ask for it for my upcoming birthday.  (Which is soon.  Far too soon.)  It is rare for me to buy a book without having read it first, so I am both excited and a little apprehensive.  Apprehensive?  Yes.  I seem to have terrible luck with books that I just pick off the shelves.  Oh well.  Anything that is an adventure is bound to have some element of danger, and if reading books is the former (which is certainly is), then I can’t expect to always be successful in avoiding the latter.  And some things are worth the risk.

And now for brief reviews of a couple of books I finished reading recently:

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

If you have anything remotely resembling a quirky streak, this book is for you.  Douglas Adams uses randomness, implications, digressions, and the surprisingly logical absurd to take the reader on a wild ride and leave him giggling and spouting quotes from the book.  This book was so much fun.  I enjoyed every minute of it, and I highly recommend it. 

-But Be Forewarned:  There is much cussing of the British variety, along with one or two occurrences of the s-word.  References to drinking.  The cost of losing a drinking game is described as being “obscenely biological.”  References made to Christian themes and beliefs that aren’t at all reverent (of course).  A consistent theme is the insignificance of humanity. 

Modern Art and the Death of a Culture

Even though this book was written nearly forty years ago, H. R. Rookmaaker’s words still have relevance and power.  Coming at art with a Biblical worldview, he dissects Modern art and exposes it as the product of an anti-Christian ideology nearly 500 years in the making.  After laying out the history of Western art and thought, he offers an insightful solution for what to do to confront this godless tide of destruction.

-Personal Note-  A lot of my material for my research paper on Modern art came from this book.  After a while I had to stop and remind myself that for a research paper I did have to take from other sources.  If it were possible, I would have quoted the entire thing.

-But Be Forewarned:  Since Modern art is frequently grotesque and obscene by nature, Rookmaaker must occasionally touch on topics that are inappropriate for children.  But he does so tactfully, and I did not find the references offensive at all.

1 comment:

  1. So much fun!!! You should read The Hunger Games. It is a good book. Some of the material is...interesting...but the author has a way of pulling you into the story and making you identify with the characters.

    Speaking of your birthday, I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE GOING TO BE 17!!!!! There's just no way. And it's less than a month away! I'm still debating on what I'm going to send you, but I'll send you something for sure (hopefully on time this year!). Holidays such as your birthday make me miss you so much more!!!

    Praying we can be together soon,