July 26, 2008

More Questions, More Answers

I hope I finish this Weekly Geek up soon, because eventually I'm going to run out of titles.

Heather commented that
I’d love to read a review of Colbert’s book.

The one she's referring to is Stephen Colbert's I Am America (And So Can You). It was ... amusing. I didn't once laugh out loud, although others around me did when they read it. The book is basically just Stephen Colbert on paper instead of on TV. I do like the show, but the book elicited less of a "wow this is so funny" reaction and more of a "okay, this is vaguely funny" one.

It's alright. I'd give it a three. I don't think I can review it much more thoroughly than that because the copy I read lives 12 hours away.

bkclubcare had another question:
Why did you choose the What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew? Was it Austen-love or just interest in the time period? What kind of non-fiction is your preference?

I actually read this for a research paper back in the winter term. It was a Victorian Fiction course and our prof had us choose a "Victorian theme" to research throughout the year. I chose reading & books, so my first essay was about how literacy is used as a mark of gentility and a means of reform in Wuthering Heights. My second paper looked at reading trends throughout the nineteenth century, as evidenced in Wuthering Heights and ... something else. Tess of the D'Urbervilles? Adam Bede? I actually just had to go look it up; it was Lady Audley's Secret, which, for the record, is a pretty excellent book. But I read WJAAaCDK primarily for its notes on fiction and readership in the nineteenth century.

After I finished the paper, though, I did flick through most of the rest. It was exceedingly interesting. It's subdivided into thematic chapters: The Home, Church, Education, Sex, etc., and while all of those topics certainly have entire bookshelves dedicated to them, I thought that WJAAaCDK (aside: best acronym ever? End of aside) gave each subject a very good introductory treatment. I'd recommend it.

As for which kind of non-fiction is my favourite, I've been on a neuroscience kick for a while now. I'm not a scientist, and so I don't read huge technical tomes, but I greatly enjoy things written by Oliver Sacks (Musicophilia, The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, etc) and others like him.

Tiny Librarian asks,
I’ve never read any of Clancy’s Rabbit books. Have you read the whole series? Do you recommend them? Is it one where you need to start at the very beginning or could I start with one of the more recent ones?

I've read them piecemeal, and so I'll say that it's safe to read them out of order. In fact, their chronological and publication orders differ anyway, because Clancy went back and wrote books into earlier parts of the series -- so take that as a license to read them in any old order you please. I'd more or less recommend them. Sometimes it seems as if Clancy's always trying to put about three too many storylines into his books, but I've found them enjoyable overall.

Joanne asked,
And is the book What Would Dewey Do? referring to the Dewey Decimal System? Or a person named Dewey?

And then rantsandreads asked,
#62 Unshelved, by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum.
I see this book sitting around in the breakroom at my library (I am a Part-time librarian). What did you like about this book, and this author in particular? I see you’ve read multiple titles by the same authors. Are these books aimed more towards librarians, or to the general public?

Dudes. You are missing so much.

Okay, so Unshelved is a webcomic set in the Mallville Library. Go read it online. In fact, read it from the beginning. It's so good. The drawing at the beginning is a bit crude, but it gets better over time, as do the jokes. There's a librarian named Dewey (he of What Would Dewey Do?), a page who works in a beaver costume, a naked lawyer, and... oh, I can't explain it. Just go add it to your rss feed. Or check out one of the collections from your library. They're great.

(I also have to thank my cousin the sometimes-librarian for first introducing me to the series).

Joanne also asked,
Do you think that Fall On Your Knees presents a realistic portrayal of smalltown Nova Scotia?

I don't know! I've never been to Nova Scotia, smalltown or not. But I see that you hail from NS -- would you like to answer your own question for us?

That's all, kiddos! Well, that's not all, actually, but that's all for this post. A lot of you have asked about the same few books, so look for reviews of those popping up over the next while.

3 comments:

The Sunday Salon: Still sipping three cups of tea « Just A (Reading) Fool said...

[...] Unshelved: The Library Comic Strip shared by Christine at She Reads Books [...]

unfinishedperson said...

I meant to get over and not just give you a trackback...because I wanted to say I also enjoy Oliver Sacks, even though I'm not into technical tomes either. I look forward to checking out Unshelved here soon...I'm already soooo far behind in my week. But thanks for the link.

heather (errantdreams) said...

Oh, well. Too bad about the Colbert book. I'll have to glance through the pages sometime and see if it tickles my funny-bone more than it did yours.