January, 2006: Books

Wednesday February 01, 2006 @ 12:53 AM (UTC)

Inspired by my bibliophilic friend Miss Thursday, I have decided to keep track of the books I finish for the first time each month. Hopefully, this will inspire me to actually finish books, instead of beginning a thousand in a whirl of words and never finishing them.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Discovered: On the guest bedroom nightstand of a family friend
About it: Genre-stuffed as a mystery, this is more of a book about Africa and about creating identity, profession and lifestyle for yourself, which happens to be about a private detective. The main character is a very wise lady founding a detective agency in Botswana.
If it were food: A soothing cup of tea (probably rooibos)

True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
Discovered: Shadowing the teacher of a Historical Fiction elective at OES
About it: A historical novel in the form of the rough and rustic memoir of real 19th century Australian outlaw Ned Kelly. Sometimes bleak, sometimes funny; the story of the first and second generation of poor Irish settlers in Australia.
If it were food: Mutton stew made from rustled sheep.
Quote: “They arrived in broken cart & drays they was of that type THE BENALLA ENSIGN named the most frightful class of people they couldnt afford to leave their cows & pigs but they done so because we was them and they was us and we had showed the world what convict blood could do. We proved there were no taint we was of true bone blood and beauty born.”

Microserfs by Douglas Coupland
Discovered: Lent by wonko
About it: I’m not sure it’s fair for Coupland to pick so many squirming thoughts, impressions and experiences directly from my brain and pin them to his pages, especially as he is writing about a different generation of geeks from mine. This book is a rambling, musing journal written by a codemonkey tired of the grind at Microsoft in the early 90’s. I guess if I had to say what it is about, I’d say it’s about technology, isolation, the creation of self and family, intellectual and cultural evolution, and change. So, basically, everything.
If it were a food: A Nerd Rope, except the licorice rope is actually something terribly good for you camouflaged with rainbow Nerd candies.
Quote: “I stared at an entire screen full of these words and they dissolved and lost meaning, the way words do when you repeat them over and over — the way anything loses meaning when context is removed — the way we can quickly enter the world of the immaterial using the simplest of devices, like multiplication.”


Curse my overconfidence! I considered that, but did not look it up to be sure. Duly corrected. I thank you for your diligence.

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