I really have been reading, I promise. It’s just been really scattered, because I’m busy with work, and I’m busy with knitting, and there were two hours of new mind-boggling LOST on ABC’s website to try to understand last night. (Um, can I just say I still don’t get it? Why do I keep watching? I don’t know that either.)
So what have I read? Boring work stuff. Well, interesting to me, but probably boring to the rest of you…
Don’t Make Me Think, by Steve Krug. An excellent (if somewhat self-promoting) assessment of some of the most basic things a consumer/user has a right to expect from a software interface. It focuses on web usability, but I think it’s pertinent to most situations. I enjoyed it because he would say something and I would think “Well duh! Of course that’s what they’re expecting. Why did I not immediately see that?”
so that’s how!, by Anchilla and Songvilay. This one was less helpful. It was supposed to be all sorts of tips and tricks about Microsoft Office 2007, but really I only put 7 post-its to mark really clever/helpful things. The rest of the book? After 6 months of experience with the software, you won’t need it. Unless you’re really inept. Which I don’t think any of you are.
So, what you’re really interested in…my fiction reading…
I am having a hard time. Truly. I can’t keep interested in Saving Fish From Drowning, by Amy Tan. I am halfway through, but I fail to care about ANY of the characters, even the dead narrator. And when I have to scribble a note about who’s who to keep the 12 main characters straight…that’s like the kiss of death.
Instead, I have turned to a childhood favorite, and launched into a swift and delightful reread of Patricia C. Wrede’s Dragon series – Dealing with Dragons, Searching for Dragons, Calling on Dragons and Talking to Dragons. I’m through the first two. They are short, sweet, and not overly burdened with thinky themes. (Yes. I have an M.A. and I just used “thinky” as if it was a viable adjective. Welcome to me.) I would strongly suggest them to readers of light fantasy. Don’t expect to have your world changed, or even to be completely sucked in, but you will laugh. They’re worth the couple of hours it takes to read each book.
But Coral, surely you’re not sticking to a strict one book at a time policy! No, of course not. I’m actually working through the first of my initial New Year’s books. The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami. I don’t really know what to say about this book. By the one standard, it’s pervasive and somewhat overdramatic s.x content is both creepy and unnecessary. (Also, I hate books that have a high cheating on your spouse element. They make my soul hurt. Of all the things you could do to someone, that seems to me to be the most searingly horrible.) On the other hand, Murukami is undoubtedly a genius. The fact that I can read 100 pages about someone sitting in the bottom of a well by himself in the dark shows a stunning capability to make the most mundane, actionless situations into page-turning drama. I think this is by far one of the best written books I have ever read, but I’m not really sure I would recommend it to anyone, unless you’re generally into books that read like an arty movie. *crinkly face, trying to decide* Yeah. I guess I might change my mind in the last 100 pages here, but…probably not. I’ll keep you posted.
And, to illustrate my complete inability to control this habit, let’s call this the year of the tally.
Books read finished so far in 2009: 4
Books I am in the middle of: 3
Books on my nightstand/overflow pile: 15
Amount owed in library fines: $4.50