Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Daily Thoughts

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Non-Reader
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

This was on Alabama Bookworm's blog. I found it kind of entertaining.

I have started reading The Knights of the Cornerstone by James P. Blaylock. It is a modern fantasy novel in the tradition of Neil Gaiman or John Crowley. It has a very nice otherworldly feeling of a novel full of hidden secrets.

I read through several copies of The New York Times Book Review this morning and selected a graphic novel, Swallow Me Whole, for purchase as well as several social science titles. Sometimes, the New York Times Book Review gets to be very plain. You get used to it after reading it every week for years on end. I also put the The lost art of walking : the history, science, philosophy, and literature of pedestrianism by Geoff Nicholson on hold for myself. I love walking. I am not a fast moving person. It is one of the reasons I like yoga as well. It is done in a slow relaxed manner.

Two more books came in for me to read, The Ghost In Love by Jonathan Carroll and The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia. A nice bit of fantasy and steampunk by two excellent authors.

I spent some more time weeding the social sciences section. I just finished weeding the military section in the social sciences. It needs to be updated. I put some Jane's military guides up for order on fighter planes, warships, and submarines. This should help a small amount. I am not too familiar with military books. I have to figure out where a good contemporary military bookstore is online so I can look at their stock. Strand Books and Powell's both have military sections, Amazon.com does not, nor does Barnes and Noble.

I finished reading Knights of the Cornerstone on the way home on the subway train. It is a nice novel, but not an exceptional novel. It kind of meanders along telling the story of Calvin Bryson whose relatives are part of a mystical cult related to the Templars called The Knights of the Cornerstone.

The cornerstone is a stone from the original temple mount in Jerusalem. They supposedly used it to found their community. The story begins with a mystical object, a holy veil. This veil is supposed to have special powers. There are other examples of holy relics throughout the story. Sometimes the characters don white shirts with red crosses. I don't find the mysticism to be particularly compelling as it is told in this story.

The adversary is not truly evil, he is in it for the money. He is mindlessly vicious. A force of nastiness. He views the relics as a source of cash and seeks the treasures which the communities holds. This is not particularly convincing. I think while the story is entertaining; it could have been much better.

The hero is a kind of every man, a cartoonist who has been pulled into the unfolding story. He is not particularly convincing as a hero. I wish he was a bit more heroic. I can't really recommend this story. It is neither here nor there. It is not bad, but not good either.

Another novel which I tried to read earlier was Andy Remic War Machine. After a while, I couldn't read anymore. One character drinks fourteen pints of guinness and continuous to fight in a bar fight. There is a gratuitous macho theme to this science fiction novel. It has a James Bond like quality where the fights and the jokes become preposterous in a tongue and cheek way.

This makes the story a little bit fun, but at the same time overblown. If you want slap stick wildness you might like this novel. It purports to be hard military science fiction, but when does a lady fight a poisonous fanged robot with a super sharp sword and win in hard science fiction. A little bit too silly for my tastes.


5 comments:

Alan said...

I got Dedicated Reader, too. I didn't think much of this quiz, though. On most of the questions, I would have selected "none of the above" if that had been a choice.

Book Calendar said...

It is something fun to play with. None of the above is the best answer for most politicians, questionnaires and ballots.

Siladitya said...

I read all those written in ur blog.
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Shea said...

will you recommend some good books for me to read, that are good, biographies, or artists? I have read quite a few, so that is why I ask for several. Thank you.

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