Interesting fact: Most companies, if they promote you and give you a raise, also expect you to do more work.
Crazy, but true.
As a result, this place has been neglected for the past month as I’ve gotten settled into my new position and caught up (kinda) on all the fun new excitement that comes with managing an English training center. Luckily, I’m not working so hard that my reading has been affected. Here’s a few short thoughts on what I’ve read in September.
The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
Imagine The Catcher in the Rye if Holden Caulfield had a few additional screws loose and his own island where he could run amok. The plot of The Wasp Factory revolves around Frank, a lovable teenage sociopath. As he waits for the return of his brother (who has escaped from an insane asylum where he was put for killing a dog and making local children eat worms), Frank spends his time collecting his own bodily fluids, killing small animals, trying to break into his father’s study, and getting drunk with a dwarf. Good clean wholesome fun. Upon his brother’s return, s**t predictably hits the fan and we learn something shocking about Frank. Or kind of shocking, because the reader can see it a mile away. All in all, an enjoyable selection in the “spend some time in the mind of a lunatic” collection.
God, No! by Penn Jillette
If you’ve ever wanted to hear about a naked fat man vomiting all over a topless woman in zero gravity, this is probably the only book you’ll need to read this year. In between dozens of tasteless, but often hilarious, anecdotes, Penn pauses to say that God doesn’t exist. It was amusing enough, although the preaching got tiresome. At least it was short.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
In the early 1950’s, a poor black woman died of cervical cancer. Her cells, however, lived on in laboratories around the world enabling revolutionary new research in numerous scientific fields. These two parallel stories are brilliantly woven together by Ms. Skloot in a book which examines the ethical implications of medical research in the twentieth century. More importantly, it finally tells the story of a woman who, despite having been nearly forgotten, was one of the most important figures in the history of medical research.
Anyone else read any of these? Each one could have easily been an entire review in and of itself. But, I’m gearing up for a lengthy in-depth review of The Art of Fielding soon. So, stay tuned.