I wish I could figure out how to explain how I feel about this book. Alas, I fear it defies explanation. Reading Letters is a very personal experience...moreI wish I could figure out how to explain how I feel about this book. Alas, I fear it defies explanation. Reading Letters is a very personal experience. I won't say it's a spiritual one--that, of course, is the sort of nonsense up with which Hitchens would not have put. However, it is a singular experience, unique to the individual, I think, and either you feel it or you don't. But I hope that everyone comes away with something, at least, some new perspective on the world, some insight into themselves, and if nothing else, I hope everyone, when they're done, will remember this:
Everybody can do something...the role of dissident is not, and should not be, a claim of membership in a communion of saints.(less)
Apparently, Queen Margot was originally published serially in several newspapers and magazines of the day, and I imagine that it was basically the 19t...moreApparently, Queen Margot was originally published serially in several newspapers and magazines of the day, and I imagine that it was basically the 19th century French equivalent of a soap opera. It certainly reads like one. But guess how many fucks I give? None! Not a single fuck.
Don't get me wrong--I'm really not the kind of girl who enjoys that sort of thing. Space operas, yes. Soap operas and generally similar things? Not so much. But come on, how can I not love this book? Courtly intrigues! Dastardly plots! Clandestine love affairs! Poisonings and assassinations and duels, oh my! Queen Margot is a fast-paced, high-spirited, romping adventure revolving around the 16th century French court.
Let's not kid ourselves, though. Obviously dear Alexandre took liberties with history and blurred the line between fact and fiction. But again, the number of fucks I give is holding steady at zero. After all, I didn't snatch this book off the shelf at the library because I thought it would be a comprehensive and historically accurate account of the life and times of Marguerite de Valois. If that was what I wanted, I'm sure there's no shortage of texts available to me. But no, I chose this book because it combines so many of my favorite things: history, batshit royals, intrigue, daring heroics, and swashbuckling adventure. (Oh, and a pretty epic bromance, but I didn't know that until later. Bonus!*) I figured it would keep me entertained during the long hours at the hideously boring and uneventful job I was working at the time, and I was not disappointed.
So, here's the thing: if you like historical fiction, you'll probably like this book. And if you like The Three Musketeers and other similar type stories, then you'll probably especially like this book. Just don't go into it expecting it to be anything other than what it is. Queen Margot is a fun, ridiculous, over-the-top adventure story that doesn't take itself too seriously, and if you can appreciate it as such, then you will, I hope, enjoy reading it as much as I did.
*Your mileage may vary. As another reviewer points out, there is a pretty squicktastic moment toward the end.(less)
Green Eggs and Ham is one of the best children's books ever. Possibly I am biased, because it was my favorite for a lot of years and I made my mother...moreGreen Eggs and Ham is one of the best children's books ever. Possibly I am biased, because it was my favorite for a lot of years and I made my mother read it to me over and over and over and over and over, ad nauseam, for which she has probably never forgiven me, considering I could read on my own by the time I was 3. But, at any rate, I still maintain that anyone between the ages of zygote and dead should be able to enjoy this wonderful classic work of children's literature, and if they can't, then that person is clearly not a person but has in fact been replaced by an alien doppleganger incapable of joy and wonder.
The Gashlycrumb Tinies is a work of utterly fantastic macabre hilarity. It's one of those books yo...more"N is for Neville who died of ennui."
The Gashlycrumb Tinies is a work of utterly fantastic macabre hilarity. It's one of those books you cackle maniacally over while flipping through it after a run-in at the local Mega-Mart with some snot-nosed brat screeching and howling because Mommy wouldn't let him get that ridiculously expensive new toy or some treat with 20,000 grams of sugar.
And it never loses that special ghastly charm. Quick, simple, and simply hilarious, it's enjoyable no matter how many times you revisit it. Because really, even if you're someone who generally adores children, I dare you not to snicker darkly over such abecedarian dactylic delights as: B is for Basil assaulted by bears; and T is for Titus who flew into bits.
I dare you.
Go. Read. Laugh. You won't be sorry. (And if you are, then I implore you, please, venture out and find yourself one of those elusive yet magical things known commonly as a Sense of Freaking Humor.)(less)