||Toni Bentley, The Surrender
100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed
||Disappointing—less than pornography, but not much of anything else, either.
||Legs McNeil & Jennifer R. Osborne,
The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry
||Fascinating, but left me wondering what's going on now, if that's a meaningful question.
||Rebutting an argument that no one has made for a long time. More's the pity.
||Phyllis Davenport, Rex Barks
||Skimmed, not read—I figure that I can always use it as a reference in the future.
||Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms
||Amusing, engrossing, and the usual.
||Legs McNeil & Gillian McCain,
Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk
||A mostly fascinating overview of an era I lived through but barely experienced. The narrative didn't hold together as well as in The Other Hollywood, but getting any narrative at all out of all the interviews was still impressive.
||Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!
||The problem with reading them like this is that I'll run out very quickly.
||Terry Pratchett, Mort
The Professor and the Madman
||In the end, a frustrating read. This is the story of Dr. William Minor, a paranoid schizophrenic who was one of the most prolific contributors to the Oxford English Dictionary despite his imprisonment in an asylum for the criminally insane. The OED is one of my favorite references, and this should be a fascinating story of an immense work of scholarship and how a madman came to take such an integral part.
But it isn't. The author's style lets us down. He needlessly and casually fills the book with his personal opinions about things that don't matter to the story. He cannot maintain pacing or focus long enough to build interest, although you can see him try. Things just don't connect.
I'm being harsher than I mean to be. The book was interesting, and it was a short enough read that the burden was light. I just wish that the author had been as good as writing the story down as he had been at digging it up.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
||I enjoyed this very much. The story was well-built and fascinating and the characters were well-defined. Clarke has imagined a rich history to her world that touches ingeniously on ours. The dry wit added life throughout.
I have a few quibbles. On the whole, I felt, the final quarter of the book was weaker than the rest. The story drags slightly once Strange gets to Venice. Some of what Strange does seems inexplicable. The ending was less satisfying that I might have hoped and had a taste of deus ex machina to it.
But, all in all, wonderful.
Feet of Clay
||Sometimes I think it'd be hot to have a girlfriend who was a (largely vegetarian) werewolf.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
||And how long do I have to wait for the last one? Fuck.
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (vol. 1)
||Astonishing. Not exactly what I expected, but certainly much more than I expected in most ways.
||David D. Burns,
Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
||It sets out an approach for treating my depression that makes sense and makes me feel hopeful, but there are so many exercises and techniques that I'm overwhelmed. There's a companion workbook that I have ordered, and I look forward to trying to apply the techniques.