Saturday, April 30, 2011

Don Quixote

While I'm glad I've read this, classic as it is, it was a bit of an endurance test.

The first half in particular was very repetitive, with overlong sentences, although definitely luxuriant prose. Perhaps because my own writing consists largely of technical stuff these days, where short simple sentences are the aim, I see wordiness as a weakness?

The second half was largely written to attack another writer who had stolen the characters to write a nominal sequel, making for an interesting (although not too deeply hidden) subtext. The close felt quite rushed after so much preceding material, but I was relieved to be at the end anyway.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Some overdue book "reviews" from recent readings:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and of Huckleberry Finn
Enjoyed reading both of these again. The first, written in the third person was funnier and easier to read, but the latter, written as first person, gave a deeper and more interesting view of the time in which it was written, and the growth of a young boy, making his own choices even when they conflict with societal norms.

An indirect follow up to this was reading The Fabulous Riverboat, part of the Riverworld series, where a reincarnated Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) is the main protagonist.

Bram Stoker's Dracula
Dracula had more humour in it than I expected, and the format of only using journal entries and letters was successful in keeping the story moving apace, as well as bringing multiple viewpoints to bear on the mystery (although obviously it's hard to see the outcome as a surprise given the flood of vampire lore in popular culture!).

God Emperor of Dune
The fourth in the Dune series, this was an easier read than the preceding Children of Dune, as it was more plot-driven, and somewhat less conceptual since it could build on the previous book's hard establishing work. It may also have been easier because of the volume of recent reading, certainly making me feel more confidence in my ability to concentrate for extended periods and get absorbed into the flow of a book. Looking forward to the next one!

Monday, April 04, 2011

So far

The first 5-and-a-bit days of my hols have been good. I haven't magically discovered energy again, but I have done a few drawings, am about to finish off my 4th book and even dared venture into the horror of clothes shopping. It took a visit to 7 different shops (waaaay beyond my usual solo shopping tolerance) to finally find a store with any 3/4 pants at all, and thankfully Best & Less saved the day for me, fulfilling all my clothing needs, and letting me forget about shops again until sometime in May when my food next runs out :)

What? You can't believe I haven't watched any DVDs? Well, I'm successfully sticking to my don't-buy-any-more-DVDs-since-I-already-have-several-shows-on-preorder-and-heaps-to-rewatch commitment to myself, meaning that I'm now re-enjoying Lost, Seinfeld and Mythbusters when I've got nothing left to give to more active pursuits. Kicking out all my current tenants, and my plan to take 2012 off work means practise at saving money is actually useful!