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Posts Tagged ‘350-399 pages’

30. “The Know-it-all,” AJ Jacobs

October 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Subtitle is: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
Page count: 371
Page total: 9,876

8. “Misery,” Stephen King

January 14, 2011 4 comments

Big time author Paul Sheldon celebrates finishing a new book– the first since he killed off the character, Misery CHastaine, who made him famous, but whom be grew to hate– with a bottle of champagne behind the wheel of his car in a blizzard. When his car spins out of control, he is pulled from the wreckage by Annie Wilkes, his number one fan. Annie nurses Paul carefully back to health, treating him as best she can with his badly mangled legs. Soon, though, Paul realizes that she is a dangerously ill woman and as her mental health slips, he finds himself more and more under her power. The two are locked into a battle of minds and wills Paul cannot afford to lose.

I meant to go to sleep more than an hour and a half ago. But I still had that much time left in this audio book and I could. not. stop. I legitmately let out a small, dry sob of terror somewhere near the end of the book. Okay, twice. Maybe three times. And there was one moment where I was so dizzy with fright I thought I might faint. I sunk my entire day into this book and don’t regret it.

If you listen to this audiobook, which I highly recommend, definitely listen to the version read by Lindsay Crouse, which is really well done and gives Kathy Bates a run for her money.

Page count: 352

Page total: 2,217

4. “Blindness,” José Saramago

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

José Saragamo’s Blindness begins at an amber light. In a traffic-congested road in an unnamed city in an unnamed country, an unnamed man sits in his car, staring at a traffic light that goes from amber to red– and then suddenly to white. The man, who never so much as wore glasses in his life, has gone suddenly and inexplicably blind. It’s not a normal blindness, that of darkness or lack of light, but a ghostly white blindness unlike any anyone has seen before. It spreads, slowly at first: from the first blind man to the man who offers to help him home only to steal his car, to the first blind man’s wife, to a police officer who finds the thief screaming, to a taxi driver who transports the first blind man and his wife to the ophthalmologist’s office, to the patients of the ophthalmologist, to the ophthalmologist– but not to his wife. As one by one, everyone connected to this white blindness becomes blind themselves, the governance of the city decides that they must quarantine the blind and infected in an old mental hospital guarded by the army until the cause of their malady can be determined. Quickly, the situation begins to spiral out of control as the internees rapidly lose not only their sight but their humanity.

I just wrote a paper about how this book sucks, so I kind of don’t feel like doing it again, but here’s my thesis paragraph:

I shall examine how this novel constructs blindness metaphorically, exploring the links Saramago draws between physical and moral blindness, sight and humanity. I shall then explore the problems with employing disabilities as metaphors, and how this common trend speaks to the ways in which disability haunts our culture. In doing so, I hope to tease out the ableism upon which stories such as these are predicated, in the belief that doing so is the necessary first step to expelling these traits.

Add to that some Foucault/Heterotopia and you have a surprisingly-decent paper.

Page count: 352
Page total: 1,341

67. “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” JK Rowling

October 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Whenever I feel like I am supposed to be reading but don’t have anything in particular I wish to read, I read Harry Potter.

Page count: 352
Total pages: 19,369

61. “First the Dead,” Tim Downs

August 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Forensic entymologist Nick Polchek is one of the first responders of the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT), who help in cases of mass fatalities. The day before Hurricane Katrina hits, Nick and DMORTs from around the country are dispatched to Louisiana to await the empending disaster. Their orders are clear, if unusual: first, save the living. Then return for the dead. But Nick isn’t great with the living, and when he comes across bodies showing signs of foul play, he violates the orders of his team leader, of over-involved DEA agents and, oh yeah, the psychologist keeping tabs on him.

This is in a similar vein to the previous Tim Downs book I read. I found it slightly more enjoyable, even if Nick himself is sort of insufferable with his constant slick stand-offishness.

Page count: 368
Page total: 16,857

60. “Plaguemaker,” Tim Downs

August 24, 2010 Leave a comment

FBI agent Donovan must work with a mysterious British informant to stop a bioterrorism event of unprecedented scale from occurring during the New York City Fourth of July fireworks.

This isn’t the sort of book I usually read. I was sort of embarrassed whenever a co-worker asked what I was reading– and they did it a lot more than usual with this book. And then they wanted to talk about it. And I just wanted to read my book, not speak to them, and not feel like I had to defend the fact that I was reading fluff.

As far as fluff goes, this was pretty decent. There’s a fair mix of science, and the Christian elements (which earned it a full page of reviews from sites like FaithfulReader.com) were important to the plot but not too preachy. I’m reading another Tim Downs book now.

I’d say it’s a B-/C+. Better than average, but not my usual taste. If you like this sort of book– thriller with a “ripped from the headlines” premise, you’ll likely rate it higher.

Page count: 391
Page total: 16,489

57. “Who Fears Death,” Nnedi Okorafor

August 11, 2010 Leave a comment

In a post-apocalyptic Africa where oceans are a thing of the past, technology has given way to powerful juju, and racial wars rule, Onyesonwu is a young and powerful sorceress charged with ending the war between the Okeke and Nuru.

I definitely want to re-read this. The first third or so was slow going for me but after Onyesonwu begins training in earnest, the book became urgent and fast-paced.

(Despite the dire tags, this book isn’t really depressing. It’s dark, to be sure, and if any of those things are a major trigger for you, skip it, but Okorafor manages to weave a book where rape, racism, and genocide are central and important but not soul-crushing.)

Page count: 387
Page total: 15,617