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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Sunday, April 30, 2006
 
Stuff I've Read Since January
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling - Good stuff, but I always feel like a need a break after the voluminous Harry Potter books. Goblet of Fire still my favorite.

Millionaire Republican, by Wayne Allyn Root - Some lightweight entertainment to cleanse the mental palate after Potter. The author is a loudmouthed conservative with an interesting personal story. Turns out he lives by my parents.

Nightfall, by Isaac Asimov - I read this at Bean's recommendation. The premise is brilliant: what happens on a populated, multi-sun planet when the lights go out.

The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, by A.J. Jacobs - More fluff. Godby lent this book during an impromptu trivia contest. The author, an East-coast magazine editor (liberal undercurrents aplenty), describes his journey through the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica.

I Am Charlotte Simmons, by Tom Wolfe - Just as voluminous as a Harry Potter book, but I was sorry to finish it. Tom Wolfe is a great author. His characters (caricatures?) and settings are captivating. I hear that W was a big fan of this book. I just finished it a couple days ago. Now I've got to find something new.
Comments:
A former UCLA grad student, how could I resist the lure of Kerckhoff coffeehouse? :-)

Discovered you via AL's blog, as Dr. Bean might have suspected. A neat blog you've got here--both the serious and the funny!

Cheers!

DbRhK
 
Welcome, DbRhK! Glad you like it.
 
I love Tom Wolfe -- have read every single one of his damn books, except for IACS, which remains dusty and unread in my den. Trepidation abounds as it is rather long, and rather raunchy.

I often agree with your literary tasts, Oven, what'd you like about it?

Legal Eagle
 
Tom Wolfe is all about interesting characters and settings, and that is what I liked about I Am Charlotte Simmons.

Charlotte is a poor-but-honest Goody Two-Shoes from Sparta (Hicksville), North Carolina who, because of her academic prowess, gets a full-ride scholarship to Dupont University (Duke/Yale). She plays the foil to a snobby rich roommate, a snobby frat boy, a dumb jock, and an intellectual dweeb who writes for the school paper.

The backdrop and events, from the mundane to the outlandish, actually reminded me of UCLA. TW routinely goes over the top, but he manages to make it all seem familiar and plausible.

I've only read four of Wolfe's books: The Right Stuff, Bonfire, A Man in Full, and Charlotte Simmons, but I know I'd like his older stuff. He's got a winning formula that resonates with me.

I'd like to get back into the Flashman series. I read the first two and stopped when I couldn't find the third anywhere.
 
Oven,

Ok, thanks for the Wolfe review.

I love the Flashman -- funniest sumbitch on planet earth, I'll send you some of the books, if you want.

Legal Eagle
 
Thanks, but save your postage. I'd like to get a personal copy of the books that I can keep. I've got Flash for Freedom on my Christmas list.
 
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