Life update

Reading: Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen. For the past year or so, I’ve been part of a book group. We are far from hoity-toity in our selections: in the summer, anyone interested in leading a discussion proposes one or more books, then we vote on what we feel like reading. We meet only every other months during the school year, so the reading load isn’t heavy volume-wise. I am enjoying the opportunity to sit around and talk books with grownups every once in a while, and I also appreciate being prodded to read things that have long been on my to-read list (e.g., The Omnivore’s Dilemma) and introduced to things that would not have caught my eye otherwise–such as Water for Elephants.

This was an entertaining read–not particularly deep, with a fairly compelling narrative that kept me turning the pages to find out what happened next. On a scale from 1 to 100, I would have given it a rating of 85 . . . except . . . near the end of the book, the author does something that I think constitutes unfair treatment of the reader, and for that the rating gets bumped down to 65. I don’t want to spoil it, but I will say this: it’s a tomato surprise.

Watching: The Mighty Boosh. Oh my dog, this show is hilarious. (And, like most BBC series, is doesn’t go on forever and actually ends while it’s still strong. When, oh when, will American television ever learn this lesson?*) The first season is awesome, and the second season not quite as good, but in the third (and final) season the brilliance returns.

Here is one of my favorite moments (this one’s from the first season):


“Charlie was racked with guilt. He’d killed fifty Inuits–no one needs that.”

Getting into the holiday spirit: With one of my favorite Christmas songs ever, “Fairytale of New York,” by the Pogues. Because really, if such lyrics as “Happy Christmas your arse / I pray God it’s our last” don’t put you in the holiday mood, nothing will.**

*I am very much one of those people in the “Heroes should have ended after the first season” camp.

**Well,  Barenaked for the Holidays, by the Barenaked Ladies, would probably succeed. It’s a truly awesome holiday album. If you don’t own it yet, you should.

7 Responses to “Life update”

  1. Amyon 03 Dec 2009 at 10:42 am

    Count me in with the “Heroes should have died at season 1” camp too. Also: the South Park Christmas cd. Profane, gross, and funny.

  2. Chrison 03 Dec 2009 at 10:52 am

    Hmm. I have that book in my very large TBR pile…

  3. Marshaon 03 Dec 2009 at 12:20 pm

    @Amy: I am not a big fan of South Park (not because of prudishness, but because I just don’t think it’s funny or clever much of the time). But when a description contains the words “profane,” “gross,” and “funny” all together–well, I’ll just have to check that out. (Although this will have to be out of earshot of my four-year-old, I’m sure!)
    @Chris: Is it at the top of the pile? Near the bottom? Smushed somewhere in the middle? It’s a very fast you read–you will zip right through it.

  4. One Tall Robon 04 Dec 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Are we familiar with the Greg Lake (of Emerson, Lake and Palmer) Christmas classic, “I Believe in Father Christmas,” with the wonderful lines,

    “They said there’ll be peace on Earth
    Hallelujah Noel, be it Heaven or Hell
    The Christmas you get you deserve.”

    AND it riffs on Prokofiev’s “Troika,” too.

    Good stuff, Maynard.

  5. MACon 04 Dec 2009 at 1:38 pm

    We saw a promo for “Heroes” the other day. Dave said, “Is that still on?”

  6. Mary Louon 09 Dec 2009 at 12:14 pm

    I LOVE Fairy Tale of NY — last Christmas I was feeling down and played the video over and over. Somehow, it was the perfect thing, being an Irish American who grow up right outside NYC.

  7. Marshaon 09 Dec 2009 at 10:14 pm

    @Rob: Why no, I am not familiar with that one. Will it be on the mix CD you make for me?
    @MAC: Stunningly, yes.
    @Mary Lou: Sounds like the perfect setting for that song!