March 20, 2017

Two Quick Graphic Novel Looks 3.20.2017


I had never read anything by Butler before. I was recommended the Parable of the Sower at one point several years back, bought it and after reading a couple of pages I put it down for something else.
Saying that, I’m not sure how accurate this adaptation is, and I give credit to Duffy and Jennings but this is her book in a way but they just walked in.
What this is is a very powerful book about the evils of slavery. Now, you don’t have to dig very deep to know that slavery was an evil institution, but something about the sci-fi / magical realism aspect of the time travelling protagonists makes the juxtaposition stronger because they are not of the world and thus have not accepted it as part of the unchangeable reality.  

Brief History of Everyday Objects

This would have been perfect a decade ago.
It was fun to read and not too deep.
It would have been perfect as a bathroom book. I loved those things, short attention span theatre for the time you just need something in front of you. I think 2008 and the release of the iPhone must have killed that. It would have been horrible going all-in on bathroom books in 2007. The Uncle John’s stock must have tanked.
But alas, it is 2017, so I read it straight through, which might not have been the best way. The stories are brief, and pass quickly from the mind as you move onto the next one.

February 22, 2017

On Manson's "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck"

Basically, this is like a Buddhism or stoicism repackages for today.

It is not bad. I took it up because I thought my self needed some help, but horrors, not self-help.

But it is not going to change my life. Makes you think. A bit. You too will die. And nothing matters.

But I already knew THAT. Convince the physiological process that drives my anxiety that, and we have a winner. Close, but so far away.

The Mundane as an Inspiration: Neil Gaiman's "The View From the Cheap Seats"

I listened to this on audio, and I still don’t think you get as deep an experience ‘reading’ an audiobook as you do interacting with a dead tree book. You can’t argue with it or find a pen to underline the passages you like or highlight where you went wrong.

But on the plus side, you do get to hear Neil’s sweet, mellifluous voice (or you think that because you’re an American and all British people sound musical and smart, even low-class chavs. True story, when I was a kid I my dad was in the army and there were a lot of different nationalities around, and on the bus I befriended a kid a couple grades younger than me because I was intrigued by his accent.)

Here’s the other plus side. These bits are from real life, and listening to them made me want to read more. I already went and bought books from a couple of authors he wrote about. I reread Good Omens when I was listening to this, and I bought the whole of the Long Earth Series (Pretty much the last of the Pratchett I haven’t read. In a way, I was saving it up.) I also finally bough Delaney, but haven’t started Dahlgren.

Then the other plus plus side. It makes you want to write more. I’m here writing this because reading about the everyday of authors you like makes the process more real and more accessible. I forget who he was quoting, but in one of the essays, Neil was talking about a prolific author and being asked how you do it, and the answer was pretty much 200 horrible words a day. I eschew quotes there because my memory is imprecise.

So, if you’re a reader or a writer or want to be a reader or someone who writes or someone who has once written, this is your book.