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25. “The Magicians,” Lev Grossman

August 23, 2011 1 comment

Think “Chronicals of Narnia” with cynicism and self-hatred instead of Christianity.

Page count: 402
Page total: 7,618

2. “The Diving-bell and the Butterfly,” Jean-Dominic Bauby

November 12, 2009 1 comment

It was good!

This is the memoir of Jean-Dominic Bauby, the editor of the French fashion magazine Elle. It recounts his experiences with Locked-In Syndrome, which he experienced following a stroke. It is written in a series of short chapter’s. Bauby’s writing is lyrical. Each of the chapters feels almost like a stand-alone story– a function of Bauby memorizing each chapter in the early mornings before his transcriber came. She then would say the letters of the French alphabet in descending order of frequency and he would blink when she hit the appropriate letter. An entire book written this way! According to Wikipedia, the book took about 200,000 blinks to write and an average word took approximately two minutes.

Page count: 144
Page total: 218

40. “Winter in the Heart,” David Poyer

June 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Last week I stayed with my aunt, who has fantastic built-in bookshelves in her spare bedroom. Sadly, she has books like this on them.

Anyway, an “old man” (that’s all we get– no age) who lives in a hole in the ground in the back woods in Pennsylvania develops a bad rash and lung infection. He passes out while being visited by a local boy, a teenager with polio, a limp, and terrible parents. The two discover, with the help of a local doctor, that Halvorsen’s affliction is the result of an illegal dumping project and join forces with an electrolysis technician who was recently fired because of her wealthy, callous, (married) boyfriend’s actions.

So. I don’t know what I was thinking– but the cover compared Poyer to Faulker, people! I’m not made of stone. Just gullible.

Since reading this book, however, I have become obsessed with making fire without matches or a lighter. I tend to get this urge in the summer, so my friend and I have made some attempts. By the end of the summer, I should be able to light shit on fire with my mind.

Page count: 402
Page total: 18,862

34. “The Old Man and the Sea,” Ernest Hemingway

May 19, 2009 1 comment

Well. That about broke my heart. I can’t believe my father recommended this to my (extremely empathetic) younger sister.

Page count: 127
Page total: 16,572

9. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

December 26, 2008 3 comments

This stupid book a) totally rips off “Lord of the Rings”, and b) makes me strongly consider weeping once or twice every time I read it. I usually don’t, but I’ll think for a moment “you could cry here if you wished”.

Hermione in a quote:

And all around these neatly lettered words, scribbles had been added by other witches and wizards who had come to see the place where the Boy Who Lived has escaped. Some had merely signed their names in Everlasting Ink; others had carved their initials into the wood, still others had left messages. The most recent of these, shining brightly over sixteen years’ worth of magical graffiti, all said similar things.

Good luck, Harry, wherever you are.
If you are reading this, Harry, we’re all behind you!
Long live Harry Potter.

“They shouldn’t have written on the sign!” said Hermione, indignant.

The whole bit in the train station with Dumbledore really annoys the piss out of me. It is cheating and also stupid. And, I’m afraid to admit this, but I don’t get the baby. What is the deal? Most of the last hundred or so pages annoy me. I just want the battle. And for Percy to stop being a prat. And for Ron and Hermione to make out all ready. OH WAIT:

“We’ve forgotten someone. […] The house-elves, they’ll all be down in the kitchen, won’t they?”
“You mean we ought to get them fighting?” asked Harry.
“No,” said Ron seriously, “I mean we should tell them to get out. We don’t want any more Dobbies [sic], do we? We can’t order them to die for us–”
There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione’s arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away they fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet.
“Is this the moment?” asked Harry weakly, and when nothing happened except that Ron and Hermione gripped each other with still more firmly and swayed on the spot, he raised his voice. “OI! There’s a war going on here!”
“I know, mate,” sad Ron, who looked as though he had recently been hit on the back of the head with a Bludger, “so it’s now or never, isn’t it?”

And then they forget all about the house-elves and leave them to die.

Page count: 752 Total: 4555