Monday, February 23, 2009


So, $everance. Absolutely hysterical.

Seriously, I was reading it on the subway and I kept laughing out loud. The people around me no doubt thought I was insane. The author, Richard Kaempfer, really nailed the whole black humor he was going for in his novel, about a radio air jockey who just wants to be fired already, but of course the office manager won't fire him because then the company would have to pay him eighteen months' pay as severance. Zagorski, the disk jockey, actually goes so far as to send the most ridiculous e-mail ever to everyone in the company, including the CEO, thinking that of course the guy will fire him for all of these stupid suggestions...but instead the CEO thinks Zagorski is brilliant; the CEO implements one of the off-the-cuff idea and it makes the company millions! Instead of getting fired, Zagorski ends up getting promoted and eventually realizes that nothing he does is going to get him fired...unless he comes up with something that loses the company money. And that's when the fun really starts.

It's totally poking fun at Wall Street, the five media companies that run the media, and politics, while also pointing out that (hello!) there are only five companies (men) who control almost everything we read, watch, and listen too and maybe someone should pay attention to that? I honestly think that this book is going to be given out as a gift this year; I can't think of anyone who wouldn't get a kick out of reading it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Adding one more thing to the to-do list

Or make that two more things, since I need to review Bone Crossed *and* $everance.

La la la...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Catch-up Post

Will be written later.

Haven't read anything in weeks.  Need to write about Korean texts, free book from Harper Collins, Bleak House (which hasn't been read in months), new internship(s), and things I want to read.

Note to self: post!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis has been one of my must finish books for years now.  I always get about halfway through before I inevitably put the book down because it's too dry/too serious/not what I really want to read.  This time though, I managed to push through those feelings, in part because I finally get dry, British humor.  (Thank you, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet, for Good Omens.)

The Screwtape Letters are just that, a series of letters from Screwtape, a senior demon, to his nephew, Wormwood, on how best to corrupt Wormwood's charge.  It's a very short book, only 172 and that's including three prefaces and an epilogue.  Again, it comes across as a very dry book, but the humor is there, although so very British that it's easy to see why I missed it at ages seventeen, twenty, and twenty-three.  Screwtape is full of wisdom and knowledge on how best to tempt humans to their side, and how to fix things when Wormwood screws up and his charge leans more toward the "Enemy's" side.  I enjoyed reading this book, not just because I'm looking to expand my reading list or because I want to read more Christian literature, but because it was an interesting and thought-provoking read for me.

Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen was another novel that I'd wanted to read for a few years but had never gotten around to starting.  Half of me is sorry I waited so long, while the other half is just happy that I read it, because damn.  This book was not what I expected, but so much better.

Fran Benedetto has just left her abusive, cop husband after years of being abused; she's grabbed their son and has fled via the underground railroad that's been set up for battered women and children.  Ending up in Florida, Liz (as Fran is now called) does her best to get on with her life, but it's hard, so hard, because she knows that Bobby is never going to let them go.  She's always waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the phone to ring, for Bobby to be at the door.  

It's a gripping, compelling, time-stopping read and I was always mad when I reached my stop because I had to get up and stop reading!  Fran/Liz's voice is great, always jumping back and forth from the here and now to the then, as she remembers things from her past, or stops herself from thinking about them.  There are twists in the novel that I didn't see coming (although I think that with a second read I would) and the ending is not what you expect.  It's not a happy novel, but it's a gripping one, and I highly recommend it.