Monday, May 26, 2014

Allegiant, by Veronica Roth

Thanks a lot for making me cry, Veronica Roth. Although I didn't necessarily approve of where the story went (A whole world of possibilities was waiting outside the fence at the end of "Insurgent" and it ended up being this??? Or was that a brilliant commentary on the all-too-ordinary cruelty of humanity? Hmmm, reevaluating ...) you did manage to keep me emotionally invested in Tris and Four and the rest of the Divergent. Even with its faults and shortcomings, I liked "Allegiant." Maybe the movie plot will be different enough (different-good, that is) that I can say I loved "Allegiant."

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman

Borrowed the audio version through my local library. Although this is a reread, having read the physical hardback book in June 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was like a brand new story because Neil Gaiman was reading it to me. I got a much better sense of the characters and their tones when the author is reading them as he intended them to be read.

I follow Neil Gaiman and his wife, Amanda Palmer, on assorted social media platforms, and I remember Neil's tweets when he was writing this book, and Amanda's blog posts when he was sharing this book with her, and I feel like I'm all wrapped up in the symbolism of this book and their relationship and I shouldn't be because I am a stranger to them both. Neil has said this is his most personal book, and Amanda tells a story about how she and Neil were discussing the book one day and she asked him about a particular plot point and he said, "Don't you get it?" (or something to that effect) and then she did. I want to get it, too.

Well, part of me does.

Another part of me just wants to enjoy or not enjoy the story for what it is to me and forget about what it is to them. I love Stardust and Neverwhere and The Graveyard Book, but I don't need to know what was going on in Neil Gaiman's life when he was writing them to love them. I think I may need to scrub my mind and reread this for the third time as if it were the first.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Catch #236!

Another book from my mini-release spree through Oakland last month has checked in. I left J.D. Robb's "Immortal In Death" with the immortal Robert Burns outside of Phipps Conservatory before 2 p.m. New member bahall6 says: "Picked up the book where Journal Entry 2 left it at 3 or 4pm and brought it home to zip 13760!"

Saturday, May 10, 2014

How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming, by Mike Brown

I was one of those people who mourned the passing of Pluto when it was demoted to "dwarf planet" status in 2006 (has it been that long already?), but I never really took the time to understand how and why that happened (I was busy, OK?).

Now I know it's all Mike Brown's fault.

And I'm OK with it.

This was a very interesting book: part memoir, part history, part science (but not scary, hard-to-understand science), part intrigue. Who knew the search for planets could be so enthralling? Mike Brown is a very good storyteller and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about *everything* that was going on in his life, even when it had nothing to do with finding planets. If I ever get the chance to meet him at a cocktail party, I will feel like he's an old friend.