I must be joking… (a filler post)

Alternate title: book lists and more challenges (just because)

Yesterday I received a Bookring book – the first in the Hunger Games trilogy. I’ve never been enticed by its premise, but after all the hype, and the movie, when I saw a chance to get all three books from Bookcrossing I decided to give them a go. We’ll see. But between that (3 Brings make for some time constraint) and my perusal of my own 2012 challenges page (which I need to work on, really!) I felt the urge to write down a list of books I want to get to before my next reading stats update (i.e. before the end of June). I usually don’t: I prefer to choose my books one by one, so this is new for me, and I wonder how it will go. And here, in no particular order, is the list:

  • The Hunger Games (plus the other two books in the series, provided they arrive here in time)
  • The Lord of the Flies
  • Gates of Fire
  • A Feast for Crows
  • Jellicoe Road
  • The Sacred Night
  • Blessed Are the Cheesemakers
  • The Rock
  • Prose Edda
  • Gilgamesh

(I think I’ll never make it. And I’ll never stick to the list anyway. So. Ahem.)

And now for the “must be joking” part: you guessed it, I’m signing up for more challenges!

The Classic Double Challenge is hosted by Melissa at One Librarian Book Reviews. I just love the idea: read one classic, and one book related to it. Like, read Jane Eyre, and The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Or, read Little Women, and March by Geraldine Brooks. You get the idea.

I haven’t picked out titles yet, but I’m keeping this easy at the lower level: just 2 books (one can always add more later, right?)

The Summer Challenge, hosted at a Semi-Charmed Kind of Life, I am doing just for fun — because a light summer challenge is always good, and because the categories fit well my own plans!

  • a book chosen for the U.S. 2012 World Book Night If I can get a copy… there’s more than one that I’d love to read
  • a book you were supposed to read in school, but either bailed on or Cliff-Noted The Prose Edda. I wasn’t supposed to read the whole of it, but it was part of the curriculum
  • a memoir or narrative nonfiction book
  • read a book in one calendar day. (Must be at least 150 pages long.) Blessed are the Cheesemakers. I know I can make it. I just need to be traveling.
  • a book that you’ve always wanted to read but haven’t gotten around to yet
  • a pair of books that have antonyms in the titles
  • a book that is set in a place you’ve never been but want to visit The Sacred Night (that’s Morocco) or Jellicoe Road (for Australia)
  • a book written the year you were born that was later made into a movie. Read the book and watch the movie; compare.
  • Go into a bookstore or library. Pick any bookshelf. Read the third book from the left on the fourth shelf from the top. (If it’s not at least 200 pages, pick the next book to the right.)
  • a book about which you’ve heard bad things A Feast for Crows. I’ve heard plenty of bad things. From myself, mostly.
  • a trilogy (or any three consecutive books in a series) The Hunger Games trilogy. That was easy 🙂

Book: Mostly Harmless

Cover

The book: Mostly Harmless, by Douglas Adams

The edition: Pan Books paperback, 230 pages with foreword by Dirk Maggs, plus materials from the Douglas Adams archives

The story: the 5th and (very) final chapter of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy “trilogy”, wherein Arthur Dent has to deal with multiple Universes, sandwiches, Elvis Priesley, and his own daughter, about whom he didn’t know anything about. (And this is as much as I can write without spoiling this book or the previous ones.)

My experience with the book & my thoughts: since the first Guide book, things get more absurd and more complicated with each book. Still very enjoyable, extremely funny, and genial.

The part with spoilers: I don’t think I get how the Grebulons contributed to the Vogons destroying Earth. It has to do with swiveling turrets, but I just don’t get it.

What I liked: language, absurd and enjoyable fantasy.

What I didn’t like: the ending, and the way things get too complicated and only rely on absurd to glue them together.

Language & writing: I just love the inventiveness of it!

In the author’s own words: accidentally, this book explains very well why New York doesn’t appeal to me as a touristic destination (although it seems to fascinate almost anyone else):

Tricia loved New York because loving New York was a good career move. It was a good retail move, a good cuisine move, not a good taxi move or a great quality of pavement move, but definitely a career move that ranked amongst the highest and the best. Tricia was a TV anchor person, and New York was where most of the world’s TV was anchored.

Also, I love how Adams turns ideas around his little finger:

If you are reading this on planet earth, then:
a) Good luck to you. There is an awful lot of stuff you don’t know anything about. […]
b) Don’t imagine you know what a computer terminal is.
A computer terminal is not some clunky old television with a typewriter in front of it. It is an interface where the mind and body can connect with the Universe and move bits of it about.

But most of all I love the way he can turn words around his little finger. Like this:

[After a very complicated explanation] “Yes?”
“Y… e… e… s. Ish.”

And this:

There were about three other customers in the place, sitting at tables, nursing beers. About three. Some people would say there were exactly three, but it wasn’t that kind of place, not the kind of place that you felt like being specific in.

And this:

He wasn’t his job to worry about that, though. It was his job to do his job, which was to do his job.

Links to better understand this book:

Random thought: I recently realized that students in Coimbra use their capes in much the same way a hitchhiker should use a towel… for just about anything!

Read this if: if you have read and enjoyed the previous four.

Counts as: Global Reading Challenge – the 7th Continent

“if you are reading this on planet earth, then good luck to you