August 21st, 2008

Woozy

Book It!

Bill O'Reilly's Culture Warrior isn't the only book I've finished recently. Here are a few others that I thought deserved comment:

The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart - This was a recommendation from rockinlibrarian, and I liked it. It's sort of a spy story set in a school that's a front for an evil genius trying to conquer the world. Kind of clichéd when I put it that way, I guess, but it incorporates some interesting new ideas and characters. I found it to be an enjoyable read, with some interesting puzzles and word games. Oh, and the illustrator was Carson Ellis, girlfriend of Colin Meloy of the Decemberists. All things are truly connected, aren't they?

The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint Exupéry - I thought I should read this, since I keep seeing it show up in surveys and such. I found it sort of melancholy, I guess, although parts of it were funny, and it was all philosophical.

Rootabaga Stories, by Carl Sandburg - I'd actually read the first volume of these late last year. The one I read recently was the second volume (apparently sometimes called Rootabaga Pigeons, but the library's copy didn't have that title). Some of these stories are also kind of melancholy, like the one about the two skyscrapers who had a train as a child (don't ask me how the genetics worked), and it ended up being wrecked. Mostly, though, they're just bizarre, and incorporate a lot of repetition and weird wordplay (but more along the lines of alliteration and such than puns). Like the Oz books, these are considered American fairy tales. While L. Frank Baum had Dorothy leave Kansas for a bizarre fantasy land, though, the Rootabaga Country seems more like a bizarre fantasy land that's actually IN Kansas, with a very rural American feel to it despite its weirdness.

So, I've now started on Inkheart, and am still reading Sylvie and Bruno on and off. While there are some great lines and ideas in the latter, I find it kind of hard to follow, and hence not so great for extended reading. And it's really two novels anyway, since there's also Sylvie and Bruno Concluded. I'm still on the first one, though.

Oh, and speaking of children's literature, I almost forgot to mention that today is the birthday of Ozma, Royal Ruler of the Land of Oz. Happy birthday, Ozma, and many more! Not that the "many more" part is difficult for an immortal!
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