by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Reading”

Rules That Should Never Be Broken

Posted 27 September 2008 in by Catriona

This post is brought to you by the difficulties of marking while Nick is holding a shouted video-cam conversation with my father a metre away: mind, I’m not blaming him for the shouting. It’s just distracting.

But if my obsessive reading and watching of television has taught me anything, it’s that some rules can be broken, and some are inviolable. These are the inviolable rules, as far as I know them.

1. Never go shopping with Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan.

2. Never mess with Veronica Mars.

3. If in doubt, nuke the planet from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

4. Never get involved in a land war in Asia.

5. Don’t go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

6. Always take a banana to a party.

7. Don’t wear a T-shirt reading “Clone” around Captain Jack.

8. There can only be one.*

9. Don’t forget your towel.

Have I missed anything important?

*(I have no idea why I’m currently obsessed with Highlander; I haven’t seen it in years, and I was never thrilled with the “rape as an object lesson” sub-plot. Yet I keep making jokes about it recently.)

Yet More Random Bookshelf Weirdness

Posted 25 September 2008 in by Catriona

Photographing the bookcases in the spare room brought these two books to my attention, again.

Firstly, the book I mentioned briefly in the last post: Dragonfall 5 and the Hijackers.

I think we all have the same question, here: why is that otter wearing a crown?

The blurb makes it a little clearer:

Tim and Sanchez and Old Elias dislike the planet of the Waterworld intensely; it’s cold and wet and dark, and the sea otters who live there are bossy. But the vintage spaceship, Dragonfall 5, has been hired by the sea otters to transport their Princess, and the family crew badly need the money. As if matters weren’t bad enough, just after the starship finally takes off, a strange noise comes from the hold and the Dragonfall family find themselves looking at a band of very large and unfriendly hijackers!

Oh no!

Actually, the only way this book could be cooler is if the large and unfriendly hijackers are also crown-wearing sea otters.

Then there’s this one:

In this case, the blurb doesn’t really help at all:

Moon serpents!” Astronaut Bud Barclay gasps into the microphone of his space suit. Tom Swift Jr.‘s investigation of the phenomenon reveals that the giant, writhing reptilian forms are caused by gas vapours. When Tom captures a sample of the gas in a metal flask for analysis, he shoots up from the moon’s surface into space! Through quick thinking the young scientist-inventor rescues himself and realizes that he has discovered a new powerful energy, which he calls Serpentilium.

At this time, a large railway network is in the market for an advance method of rail travel. A contract will go either to Swift Enterprises or to a rival firm, Cosmosprises—whichever designs the best super-speed train.

How Tom, using Serpentilium, develops his invention and defeats Cosmosprises’ evil attempts to win the prized contract makes exciting reading for all Tom Swift Jr, fans.

Well, it might have made exciting reading, if you hadn’t given away all the key plot points, blurb.

Mind, the back cover describes this as a “series of jet-paced Science Adventures featuring the amazing Tom Swift. Racy, exciting and futuristic—these stories are specially written for young science fiction fans.”

Racy? Really? Hmmm.

The fact that they’re “racy” does make me more inclined to read Tom Swift and His Megascope Space Prober, Tom Swift and His 3-D Telejector, and Tom Swift and The Captive Planetoid.

I imagine it’ll turn out to be much like the time I read the novelisation of the 1980 Flash Gordon film by Arthur Byron Cover and found out not only that Ming the Merciless was sleeping with his daughter, but also that Dale Arden had broken up with her boyfriend because she was tired of participating in the threesomes he insisted on.

I don’t remember that from the film.

Magical Mystery Bookshelf Tour Stage Eight: Last Stop in the Spare Room

Posted 25 September 2008 in by Catriona

I don’t know why I always feel compelled to apologise for these posts, but I shan’t this time. This ends the tour of the spare room, which means we’re on the home stretch (only the living room and the study to go! And, frankly, I’m not sure about the study.).

Plus, it will probably be another two months before I get around to another such post.

Besides, this should be a short stop, because these are mostly Nick’s books. (Warning: Robotech novelisations ahead!)

To be honest, there’s not much I can say about these first two shelves:

Because they’re almost entirely Nick’s Doctor Who New Adventures and Missing Adventures. I can’t honestly remember ever reading one of the New Adventures, though I do find the idea of the Bernice Summerfield novels (a former companion of the Doctor’s, who became the main protagonist of the series when Virgin Books lost the right to publish Doctor Who novels, after the BBC decided they wanted to publish them in-house) rather fascinating, since it’s one of the few instances of a companion being shown to have their own exciting, adventurous life after separating from the Doctor.

I did, however, read a few of the Missing Adventures: I gave up after three, if I recall correctly. (And gave up almost as quickly on Star Trek novelisations.)

I did read Christopher Bulis’s State of Change, with the sixth Doctor, Peri, and the Rani in an ancient Rome in which Cleopatra and Anthony had beaten Augustus at the Battle of Actium. Or something along those lines—I forget the details, now.

And I read Stephen Marley’s Managra (an anagram of anagram), with the fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane, but, sadly, I remember almost nothing of the plot—except that Sarah loses her memory at some point.

And I’m sure I read Paul Cornell’s Goth Opera, with the fifth Doctor and his standard companions, but it thoroughly confused me. It was a sequel to Blood Harvest, which I hadn’t read, and, though they do say you could read them independently, I’m not sure that’s the case. It did involve a vampire Nyssa, though.

And none of that is as geeky as this next shelf:

Robotech novelisations: yep, that’s geeky. (They’re not mine. Honestly.)

On the plus side, lying on its side in front of the Robotech books is one of Nick’s Dragonfall 5 books: he’s been picking these up occasionally for nostalgic reasons—apparently, he read them and loved them when he was younger.

And I probably shouldn’t be quite so snooty about Robotech since I once bought a book, also on these shelves, called Shakespearean Detectives. Apparently, it’s a sequel to a book called Shakespearean Whodunnits, which I don’t own. On the other hand, I do own one of Simon Hawke’s Shakespeare and Smythe mysteries, in which Shakespeare, oddly enough, solves mysteries in his spare time.

(I am a little embarrassed about Shakespearean Detectives, though.)

On the other hand, if anyone could tell me how I came to own a collection of Sven Birkerts’s reviews, I’d be grateful for the information. It’s not even as though it’s The Gutenberg Elegies (although I am a little sick of people suggesting that the Internet is responsible for the decline of reading, especially since the word “reading” is often so unnuanced in these debates. I mean, pornography aside, the Internet is largely a textual medium, not a visual one. But I don’t mean to start a rant here.)

At least this next shelf redeems things a little:

Look: there’s some Terry Eagleton, and Deny All Knowledge (a book of critical readings of The X-Files), and Nick’s copy of J. C. Herz’s Joystick Nation. So we’re not just a household filled to the rafters with Robotech novelisations—we do have some more serious books lying around.

The serious books just happen to be out-numbered by Robotech novelisations. And, really, doesn’t that make life more fun?

On that note, let’s play spot the Paul Cornell novel that was made into two of the better episodes from season three of Doctor Who!

A Glimpse Into My Thought Processes

Posted 24 September 2008 in by Catriona

I was listening to Tripod’s “Astronaut,” a song about the lack of a Japanese space programme, and heard these lyrics:

Because you can’t carry out a ninja style assassination dressed as an astronaut,
It’s the luminous fabric (Too visible.)
And they don’t let you (Ooo-ooo)
Use a samurai sword when you’re an astronaut,
You might puncture the suit.
You might depressurise, like a Gremlin in a microwave.

And then my thoughts ran roughly along these lines:

Hee!

No, wait.

What happens to Gremlins when you put them in microwaves? They explode, don’t they?

But they don’t explode because they depressurise, do they? It’s more of a . . . boiling effect.

Ew.

But, then, you do explode when you depressurise, yes? (Wait, wasn’t there a Mythbusters episode about that? No, that’s not important.)

So is that a sufficient similarity to make that an effective simile? After all, they both explode.

No, but they explicitly suggest that Gremlins in microwaves depressurise, and I’m fairly certain that’s not what happens.

You know, I really don’t think that’s the best simile.

No wonder my students think I’m overly pedantic.

Great song, though.

Magical Mystery Bookshelf Tour Stage Seven: Now We Reach The Point of True Chaos

Posted 24 September 2008 in by Catriona

This is still the spare room, but this bookcase is overloaded to within an inch of its life. Really, I need to stop complaining about this and do something. But it’s no longer a matter of not wanting to buy any new bookcases: now I’ve genuinely run out of walls to put them against.

I could move to a bigger house, I suppose, but that seems like going too far.

I’m not serious. Really. The situation’s not that bad—but I would love a room where I could have floor-to-ceiling bookcases. With glass doors, to keep the dust down. And maybe cupboards underneath, to store magazines and so forth.

A library, basically. One day, I shall have a room in my house that I can legitimately call the library. One day.

In the meantime, I have a bookcase that’s carrying three times the load of books that it should be:

Actually, this shelf’s not so bad. (Ooh, pretend that you can’t see that collection of Walt Disney’s Annette at the back there—I genuinely have no idea why I bought those. They’re funky, though. Could they qualify as retro decorating items, do you suppose? No, didn’t think so.)

But what annoys me every time I look at this shelf is that I don’t have room for a dedicated detective-fiction bookcase. I’d really like that, because I have a fair number of mysteries (some blended with other genres, some classic), and they’re scattered all over the house: Reginald Hill here, along with Val McDermid (only the Kate Brannigan stuff, which I rather enjoy but don’t actively seek out: I stay away from the Lindsay Gordon mysteries, because they’re a little nasty for me), P. D. James on a lower shelf (I went through a P. D. James phase about a year ago, but I stopped after a while because I realised that Adam Dalgliesh inspired almost homicidal feelings in me. Once I realised that I was shouting, “Why would you propose to her, you daft twat?! She’s leaving because you’ve never even made time to have dinner with her, and you’ve only met her half a dozen times!” at the book while reading, I understood that they weren’t great for my blood pressure), Agatha Christie in the hallway along with my classic Victorian detective fiction, and poor old Rex Stout (bless you, Rex! You were the greatest of them all!) and Dorothy L. Sayers in the living room.

And that’s not even including the various one-offs and minor authors scattered around the place, or the genre-bending detective fiction, such as Simon R. Green’s Hawk and Fisher books on the next shelf down, or Glen Cook’s Garrett, P. I. series and Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy stories, which are in the hallway.

Sigh. One day. When I have my library, which I’ve just decided will have a skylight. A lead-light skylight. And one of those ladders on wheels—although Nick will never use one of those. I might need to rethink this fantasy.

But I’ve just noticed that this second shelf also has my copies of Mary Grant Bruce’s Billabong books. I don’t have a full collection—in fact, I was horrified to find out how many of them there are after I’d bought half a dozen; it was like buying a fantasy novel and then realising the cover indicates “Book One of the Twenty-Seven Book Cycle of the Mist Queen,” and thinking “Dang.” But I’d never read them, and I felt that having grown up in Australia, I should have read them.

I still haven’t read them. Naturally. But I will one day.

I like the new covers for Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series, there in the middle of the shelf under Kim Wilkins’s The Resurrectionists—that’s another book I haven’t read. I did start it, and I’ve read (and loved) the Gina Champion Mysteries (over to the left on the same shelf) because she’s an excellent writer. That’s the problem; she’s too good at writing scary stories. I read the first fifty-odd pages and decided there was no way I could use this as bedtime reading. (Actually, the first Gina Champion book, Bloodlace, terrified me, and they’re written for teenagers.) But I do mean to read the trilogy written around European folklore and, in fact, have the second one, Giants of the Frost, somewhere on this shelf.

And, hey, Garth Nix! That’s the Keys to the Kingdom series (I have the Abhorsen trilogy, in the living room), but I haven’t—surprise, surprise—read them yet. But I have a reason this time! I mean, a good reason. I bought these ones secondhand, and they only had volumes two and three: Grim Tuesday and Drowned Wednesday. So until I bother to buy the first one, Mister Monday, there’s not much point reading these two. Actually, it would probably be counter-productive.

I love the look of those Trixie Beldens, though. I think that’s a complete set: a complete set of the 1970s’ versions, anyway. I had to pick them up piecemeal, but I think I’ve found them all. And those books in front of them are the Dana Girls Mysteries, by the same “author.” Although, now I look closely, that’s only my paperback Dana Girls books. I wonder where I put the half-a-dozen 1970s’ hardbacks that I have?

Oh, who knows where anything is in this completely anarchic cataloguing system?

I see that that’s where I’ve put my Kim Harrison books, though. I was rather enjoying the first one, because the world-building was quite fascinating: essentially, when a genetically modified virus devastates the human population, the vampires, werewolves, witches, and so forth have to come forward in order to help keep basic systems operating (and thus ensure their own survival). But then I became distracted in the middle of the second one, put it down, and then never picked it up again.

I do like the titles, though: they’re all based on Westerns (in fact, I think they’re all Clint Eastwood Westerns): titles such as A Fistful of Charms and For A Few Demons More. I was rather irritated when The Outlaw Demon Wails—best title ever!—was renamed Where Demons Dare in the U. K. People in the U. K. are still going to get a joke based on The Outlaw Josey Wales, surely? I did!

Okay, this post has become far more verbose than intended. But the point of the next two photographs is to show that each of these overloaded shelves:

Also has a whole set of books behind the ones visible at the front of the shelves:

Oh, and perhaps you’d be kind enough to ignore the fact that I own four Pollyanna books, not just the original? Even though the later ones are written by different authors? I don’t quite know why I own four Pollyanna books—especially since all I can think about these days is that scene in the first League of Extraordinary Gentlemen where she points out that even though she’s been ravished by a demon, she’s determined to remain optimistic.

Seriously, though, there has to be something going on behind those books. No-one is that cheerful all the time without some reason. Perhaps she has a secret Lithium habit. Or is bonking the gardener (television has taught me that that’s a traditional way of alleviating boredom for upper-class housewives. Television can’t be wrong!). Or she has a carefully hidden gambling addiction and is over-compensating for the fact that she’s sold all the plate.

There has to be something, though.

On the other hand, now I look at exactly which books are hidden behind the front rows, I’m starting to see the benefits of double-stacking the bookcase.

I don’t intend to get rid of my David Eddings books, because they were gateway fantasy for me. (I first read them with my best friend when we stayed at her father’s house in Sydney for a week. She’d been reading them there and was on book two or three, so I started with book one, and we read through them together, pointing out the bits we especially liked.

But I don’t re-read them: I find the politics—including gender politics and racial issues, especially the fact that the crueler, evil races of this world are apparently Asian, while everyone else is happily Caucasian—questionable.

(It reminds me of when they filmed Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea for the Sci-Fi Channel and cast Shaun Ashmore as Ged. Really, you only needed to have skimmed the books to realise they were some of the least white books around! Le Guin herself rants, and quite rightly, about it here, if you haven’t come across this debate before.)

And on the shallowest level possible, I’m happier having Steven Brust and Charles Stross evident in the living room and hallway and these ones tucked away at the back of a bottom shelf in the spare room.

Magical Mystery Bookshelf Tour Stage Six: Still In The Spare Room

Posted 24 September 2008 in by Catriona

I’ve been neglecting the Magical Mystery Bookshelf Tour recently: I don’t know why. Perhaps I’m worried about boring people.

Or perhaps it’s that we’re heading into the thoroughly chaotic bookshelves, which are going to confuse people and give them a poor opinion of my organisational skills. (For the record, I labour under a combination of fairly poor spacial-organisation skills—all those years of just shoving everything under my bed, I suppose—and a partner who won’t throw anything, and I mean anything, away.)

Or perhaps it’s as simple as the fact that I’ve been busy and sick, and trying to concentrate on formal publications rather than on taking photographs of my bookshelves.

But in the rundown to mid-semester break—one more class!—I think I can spare some time for photographing my lovely, lovely books.

(Also? I love my camera. These photographs are so much clearer than the earlier ones.)

I’m not showing what’s on the top of these bookcases, because it’s old stuffed toys: not many in total, but including my childhood toy, who now looks less like the beloved companion of a young child and more like the survivor of a horrific accident that included fire and traumatic amputation—he’s homemade, and while he once had little denim boots, they were made to cover his original red-felt boots, which wore away. Since his denim boots have worn away as well, he now has what look like mangled stumps on the ends of his legs, complete with dangling red strands of felt. Poor thing: I led him a hell of a life, I think. He came everywhere. And was frequently left behind, as well. I think he’s earned a nice, quiet retirement on top of a bookshelf in my spare room.

This bookshelf, though, has largely been made over to Nick’s books. Nick, being a science-fiction geek and artist, has an enormous collection of tall hardbacks—and I’m quite pleased about that, frankly, because modern bookshelves aren’t really constructed to take ordinary books. It seems to me that if you want bookshelves that will take standard paperbacks/those slightly larger paperbacks we get now/trade paperbacks, you actually have to make one yourself.

And if you do buy them, and deal with these absurdly large shelves, then the temptation is to cram more and more books on top of the existing books, to fill up the gaps—as you’ll see on a slightly lower shelf.

Actually, I probably didn’t need to mention that these are mostly Nick’s books: the fact that one of them is called The Cult of Mac probably gives it away. And, mind, he bought that book before he got his iPhone, which is the point at which he really drank the Kool-Aid. Before that, he spent so much time with his iMac that I used to called it his iMistress, but now—now it might actually be time for deprogramming.

(I kid, honey. Now, go with the nice man.)

But on these shelves you can really see the chaos that is my idea of organising bookshelves. I can see there my Beverly Cleary (Ramona! Ramona used to annoy me, somewhat—she was a brat—but they were books that showed clearly, and without the abject sentiment of, say, Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, how a family could have two working parents and yet struggle financially, often in quite minor ways, it seemed, that nevertheless added up to serious difficulties. I don’t remember that being prevalent in the other fiction that I read at the time.)

I can also see some Colin Watson (one of the Inspector Purbright mysteries, not a Lucy Teatime novel) and some E. Nesbit on the far left (so that’s where I put those! I was wondering), but behind those is an entire shelf of books that hasn’t seen the light of days in years, probably. No wonder I keep forgetting what I have and rebuying at book sales.

But it’s this last shelf that really, to me, encapsulates one of the problems with spending thirteen years in academia: we just generate so much paper.

The homogenous pile of paper on the left is all the course readers that Nick and I have required either as students ourselves or for the various courses that we’ve taught over the years. We can’t bring ourselves to throw them away, because there’s valuable material in there: photocopies of articles and books chapters, and even some primary texts, that we’d otherwise have to go and gather again if we ever need to re-consult them.

But the truth is that, without some sort of indexing project, we tend to forget what’s in there. And so we never do consult them. But we won’t throw them out, either. The same is true of the files on my desk and on the various bookshelves in the study and for the archive boxes full of the side effects of the research process that we both have stored under our desks.

Of course, the fact that I’m someone to whom reading is roughly analogous to breathing and who prefers to buy than to borrow books doesn’t help matters.

But I’d be remiss to leave this bookcase without pointing out that it is perhaps the geekiest case in the house.

Not only is this where we store RPG manuals (and, sadly, those White Wolf books are mine, though Nick’s the one who bought the Dungeons and Dragons set at an Alumni booksale, despite the fact that we don’t play that version of D&D):

But Nick’s Doctor Who books themselves take up half a shelf.

I’m not even going to go into the manga books. Really, how many books on how to draw robots (and alluring manga-style women) does one man need?

Interesting Wikipedia Fact

Posted 23 September 2008 in by Catriona

I’ve just been searching on Wikipedia, hoping to find a list of writers who died accidental deaths.

Okay, that sounds ghoulish, but . . . well, no. It’s ghoulish. But it was prompted by the fact that I found out—through a long series of links on other subjects, the rationale for which I’ve forgotten now—that Tennessee Williams choked to death on the lid of an eye-drop bottle.

(I also found out that Robert E. Howard shot himself, which I’d never heard. And that the poet Hart Crane threw himself off a cruise boat into the Gulf of Mexico after being beaten up by a male crew member to whom he’d made advances. Poor bastard.)

I had no idea that that was how Williams died.

Hence the ghoulish searching.

But Wikipedia, while normally good on esoteric lists, had no such list.

Interestingly, though, when you search for “list of accidental deaths of writers,” the fourth item that comes up is “List of The Dick Van Dyke Show Episodes.”

Now, some might say this is simply because the search engine is pulling up key terms such as “list of” and “writers.”

I prefer to think it’s because Wikipedia knows dead when it sees it.

Intending to Read

Posted 16 September 2008 in by Catriona

I’ve been marking, marking, marking—first fifty first-year assignments and now twenty second-year assignments—all while still shaking off a cold that’s given me a hacking cough and an interestingly husky voice. I suppose I could start a second career as a lounge singer, if I never manage to shake off this cold.

I’m really hanging out, at this stage, for the mid-semester break. I’m exhausted and I’m sure my students must be. But that’s still nearly a fortnight away.

So I haven’t had any energy for blogging the last couple of days—though I do feel guilty about that—and I haven’t had much time for reading, either.

I know things are in dire straits when I don’t have time for reading.

But I’ve been intending to read. So the house is littered with the various books that I’ve either rapidly skimmed through (because I’ve read them before, and they’re an easy way to escape) or that I’m intending to read, but haven’t managed to get to.

I’m not counting The Little, Brown Handbook over on the back of the other sofa, because I haven’t been reading that for pleasure.

But next to me I have a Georgette Heyer, because she’s light and easy, meaning I can dash through a chapter as a relaxing activity before sleep. No reading before sleep means a disrupted night, sadly.

And on the back of this sofa, I have five Diana Wynne Jones books: The Year of the Griffin (because I managed to get through the prequel, The Dark Lord of Derkholm, last week), Charmed Life, Mixed Magics, Howl’s Moving Castle (man, I love that book), and Conrad’s Fate.

I did manage to read Conrad’s Fate over the weekend—I’ve owned it for years—in between marking, and thought I’d read through the rest of the Chrestomanci books. Instead, they keep falling on my head when I’m watching television.

And the sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle, Castle in the Air, is on the washstand in the breakfast nook.

There are also two more of Diana Wynne Jones’s books on the bedhead: Black Maria, which I’ve only read once and want to re-read, and The Pinhoe Egg, her most recent one. I’m partway through that one, but it’s not proving very good bedtime reading, because I’m enjoying it too much. I keep wanting to read more, and I’m not getting the relaxation that bed reading should provide.

(I also have Jacqueline Rose’s The Haunting of Sylvia Plath on the bedhead: I read that as an undergraduate—in Honours year, I think, which would make it a decade ago—and I don’t think I was clever enough then to appreciate it. But I’m too tired at the moment to do justice to it. So it’s optimistically open about three pages into the introduction. I do mean, one day, to read all the main biographies back to back, because the difficulties of writing biographies of Plath fascinate me. But that’s a project for another time.)

Also on the bedhead is Garth Nix’s Sabriel. Now I have read that before and I loved it; I enjoyed it so much that, even though I own both the sequels, I couldn’t bring myself to read the second one, Lirael, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to put it down, and I was supposed to be completing my Masters. Or my Ph.D.—I forget which one, now. The same problem is coming up now: I really want to re-read Sabriel, but I know I can’t spare that much time and that, once again, I’ll have to ignore Lirael. Maybe I should designate those as my Christmas reading? After all, I made it all the way through Susannah Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell a couple of Christmases ago. Lirael shouldn’t be a challenge.

I also have a handful of books about late-Victorian detective fiction lying around, for a journal article that I was writing against the clock and ended up having to abandon when the the cold really took hold. I’ll write it up for another journal at some point, and make a better thing of it, but abandoning it did feel like failure.

So it’s not that I’m lacking the inclination to read. Or the means.

And I’m not lacking the inclination to blog. Or the means, I suppose.

For the first time in, I think, my life, I seem to be too tired to read properly.

It’s a tragedy.

I blame this horrible cold.

But I’m going to have to do something about this, before the entire basis for my sense of self—which is to say, “I read, therefore I am”—crumbles.

I suppose finishing The Pinhoe Egg would be a good start.

Humiliation, Round Four: The Results

Posted 8 September 2008 in by Catriona

And the slightly belated results for this round of Humiliation are in. Finally, I am the most humiliated!

Catriona, Dune: 4 points
Tim, Little Women: 3 points
Leigh, The Wind in the Willows: 3 points
Nick, The Eyre Affair: 3 points
Wendy, Vanity Fair: 2 points
Matt, Gulliver’s Travels: 2 points
John, The Grapes of Wrath: 1 point (hardly humiliated at all, really)

I would like to take this opportunity, though, to point out that everyone who has any interest in books at all should read The Eyre Affair, because it’s awesome.

Humiliation, Round Four: The Voting

Posted 6 September 2008 in by Catriona

Apologies for the lateness of this posting. But now I’ve helped slay the dragon, this seems like the logical next step.

The nominations for this round are as follows:

I have never read Frank Herbert’s Dune.
John has never read John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.
Tim has never read Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.
Wendy has never read William Thackeray’s Vanity Fair.
Leigh has never read Kenneth Graham’s The Wind in the Willows.
Nick has never read Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair.
Matt has never read Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.

Voting, as always in the comments thread below.

Humiliation, Round Four: The Nominations

Posted 4 September 2008 in by Catriona

I think, in the wake of Classic Books That Must Be Read!!!, that it’s time for another round of Humiliation.

Same rules as before: in the comments thread below, nominate a book that you haven’t read, but that you think everyone else has.

Nominations need to be in by 9 a.m. Saturday morning (6th of September).

Once all the nominations are in, I’ll open a separate thread for voting. As always, you’ll receive one point per person who has read your nominated book.

The winner in this good-natured game is the most humiliated!

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