Twits

I have heard the statistic that 42% of college graduates don’t read after college. I am skeptical. If it’s true, it’s sad and an indictment of college. To me college is all about like the University of Chicago motto: “Let Knowledge Grow From More to More and Thus Let Human Life Be Enriched.”

I think Kurt Vonnegut would say someone who doesn’t read is a twit. And I tend to agree. I also frankly find it sad.

Why the title, because my favorite book I finished this week is Roald Dahl’s fun children’s story “The Twits”. I read a ton of Dahl last year and loved it. “The Twits” is short, silly and wonderful. Basically it’s about 2 horrible people in a couple who keep being meaner and meaner to each other and get uglier and uglier. Great illustrations, short and fun. ***1/2 (4 GR) (Walker PL)

And I do think there are twits that find the highlight of their life is to be mean to people. If you know these kinds of people give them a wide berth.

Illustrated Basho Haiku Poems by Basho: Enjoyable, the impressionist art didn’t really fit the pieces. Also I think I have seen sparer versions of Basho’s work. *** (3 GR)

North of Boston by Robert Frost: Good, but not really my style of poetry. *** (3 GR)

The other book I finished this week was also short, Daniel Clowes’ “Ghost World”. This is an ok graphic novel, and I was frankly disappointed. It’s one of the rare examples of movies I found richer and better than the book, which includes “The Graduate.” I found the 2 main characters mean and petty, and the characters from Scarlett Johansson and Thora Birch are richer than the characters in the book. **1/2 (2 GR)

Books bought:

Tonight at Bull Moose:
poemcrazy: freeing your life with words by Susan G. Wooldridge: Excited about this one, seems to be about how poems come into our life, and a lot about my recent journey. Love the opening quote:
“…Poetry arrived
in search of me, I don’t know, I don’t know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don’t know how or when…” – Pablo Neruda. Haven’t started this one yet, but excited to. Steal for 3 bucks.

It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life by Lance Armstrong w/ Sally Jenkins: Is Armstrong’s record possibly tarnished by doping, sadly yes, but definitely one of my heroes. Curious how this reads, a why not for 50 cents.

Waterchild: From a Pregnant Year by Judith Bolinger (poems) and Jane English (pictures): Short poetry book with pictures, looks interesting. Another why not for 50 cents.

From River Run Books (Portsmouth, NH):

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot: World Book Day book that I have been interested in for a while about the donor of cells that have been used by the millions and billions for medical research. (Free)

Other People We Married by Emma Straub: One Lanna bought, we both follow @emmastraub on Twitter, enjoyed the first story.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz: Pulitizer Prize winning author from Rutgers. Been curious about this one for a while, part of World Book Day so free.

Wildlife by Richard Ford: “Independence Day” is one of my favorite books. Haven’t been able to get into his other books as much, including “The Sportswriter”, but for two bucks willing to try again.

Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology by Neil Postman: Been going through “Amusing Ourselves to Death” in pieces on my Kindle for a while, really interested in media criticism still.

Books checked out:

Ghost World

The influencing machine : Brooke Gladstone on the media: Seems interesting so far, have only browsed on this graphic novel so far. (Camden PL/Minerva)

The Twits

My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl: My HS friend Oliver Kimball recommended this and “The Irregulars”. Seems like fun so far, since it’s about Sudanese fly, it’s VERY different that Dahl’s children’s books. I think this wouldn’t be the same story in the age of Viagra. ***1/2 (4 GR) pg 39 of 245

Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan by Robin Wood: Recommendation of another friend. Might be more academic for my taste. Curious to read the essay on Scorsese. From St. Joseph’s College, via Trinity College (VT) that no longer exists.

The Witches by Roald Dahl: This just looks fun, thought would be good to back to Dahl.

The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington by Jennet Conant: Definitely an intriguing title. A Warren PL book I got at Walker. I miss Walker Library, Westbrook, ME was once lucky enough to have 2 nice libraries in a town of less than 20,000. (16,638 – Jul 2009 … Source: U.S. Census Bureau)

Also reading:

Is There No Place on Earth For Me by Susan Sheehan: Seems like this one may be lost in a sea of books. On page 10.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger: Up to page 175, great, great stuff, expect to finish this for next week.

Didn’t read any of Jimmy Corrigan or Duncan the Wonder Dog this week, but expect to finish at least Duncan this weekend.

Kindle:

The Greenhouse by Audur Ava Olafsdottir: Read this again at work today, lovely writing. Great find for a buck on Kindle. ***1/2 (4 GR) 51%

Dragged into Darkness by Simon Wood: Was lurking on my Kindle, haven’t finished a Simon Wood book since I devoured “The Fall Guy”. Seems like fun so far. 6%

The Naked Pint: An Unadulterated Guide to Craft Beer by Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune: Read about half of this a while ago, good stuff, makes me want to finally brew my own beer. It is liquid beer after all. Nice readable book if you want to know more about the world of beer. *** (3 GR) 74%

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: Finding this harder to get into than I thought I would, got about 20% in months ago and decided to start over. 14%

The Holy Bible: NIV: Been reading the Bible in bits and pieces a lot in the last 18 months. Feel like it’s something I missed in growing up Unitarian.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne: Hated this book in HS, thought I would try again, 3% in, yep still hate it, wordy and boring, not a fan of Victorian literature.

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham: Seems interesting, browsed through some chapters.

Choke on Your Lies by Anthony Neil Smith — Freebie on Kindle of a fun, rich crime fiction author. His stuff is intense, this might be the first one I finish. 4%

The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey: Curious where this is going, only 2% in, big start.

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey: Beautiful so far, a lot about the emptiness of the huge places in this world, this is set in Arches National Monument before it was a national park. 5%

The Beginner’s Bible: Timeless Children’s Stories by Various Authors: Nice children’s version of Bible stories, very retro style pictures that remind me of happy 80s cartoons. 22% *** (3 GR)

The Gold of the Sunbeams by Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay: Beautiful work from an autistic child who can’t talk but writes beautifully. 21%

Read a little bit of a couple of other books too including “Born to Run”; “Beethoven’s Shadow” and “The Secret Piano” but at over 1200 words, that’ enough for now. And I think I didn’t read that much this week. Interesting how the mind works.

  • http://twitter.com/wispofacloud Jessica C. Williams

    I agree with you re: Ghost World. I saw the movie before the graphic novel, and then I was disappointed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rurugby Edmund Charles Davis-Quinn

    Ghost World book seems remarkably thin after a very rich movie. Didn’t feel that way about other graphic novel movies like: Watchmen, V for Vendetta, A History of Violence, American Splendor …

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