So that about covers it, I think.
New North America cover for Hyrule Historia, that upcoming Legend of Zelda book that features 274 pages collecting the series’ history and artwork. This is the same book that blew everyone’s minds with the Zelda timeline.
I am looking forward to this book — I made my preorder a while ago and the anticipation is killing me. Good thing I put in for two-day shipping so I can get it on release day! And at this price (though Amazon has a preorder price guarantee anyway), it would be really hard to resist.
Have a think back on all the books you’ve ever read. Does one of them make you cringe? My answer is yes, but with the caveat that my decision to read it isn’t the cringeworthy part — the cringeworthy part is the author’s decision to write it.
That book is pictured above, and it’s Michael Crichton’s State of Fear, which has something to do with global warming and shit. See, I don’t remember anymore what this book is really about. Part of me thinks that’s because the book is actually about nothing, regardless of Crichton’s attempts at proving the contrary. And part of me knows that’s because the book has been sitting, half-finished, page 260 still marked with the front dust jacket flap, on my shelf for the last seven years.
It’s hard to write a decent summation of a book you half-read seven years ago and hated, so I shan’t try, but I’m pretty sure it had to do with an inability to suspend disbelief. No matter how batshit insane the time-travel “science” and mechanics seemed in Timeline, they were just this side of batshit insane. I could buy the mechanics working within the confines of the science that Crichton constructed for the book, much like I could buy the dinosaur recreation science-ish in Jurassic Park. I could not buy it in State of Fear. Also, the characters are all unlikable shitheads at best, and boring at worst.
I cringe because the book is objectively terrible, and just two books ago, Crichton had written my very favorite of them all (the aforementioned Timeline, which is at least partly responsible for my longtime love of theoretical physics). I cringe because just one book ago, Crichton had written a book I haaaaaaaaaated, but actually finished, and didn’t think he could possibly do worse than, in the weird nanorobotic thriller Prey, and it turns out I was wrong. And I cringe because the combined effects of those one and a half books means I haven’t read any of his last three books, and that makes me sad.
Authors we love can disappoint once in a while. It’s human nature. When they fall on their face that spectacularly, though, you just can’t help being embarrassed for them.
"He scraped various titbits off the plates into a brown paper bag, to be given eventually to a mangy little white dog, with pink patches on its back, that visited him sometimes in the afternoon — there was no reason a human’s misfortune should interfere with a canine’s pleasure."
Vladimir Nabokov, Pnin
I need to get a list of the books I have yet to read together. My shelf is overflowing with ones I picked up from the Borders going out of business sale and I feel like I just KEEP BUYING MORE.
I was in Barnes & Noble today and DIDN’T BUY ANYTHING. Go me! Of course, I bought two books yesterday. Fail! I’m trying super hard not to buy so many books because I have the Kindle, but there are certain authors and certain specialist subjects that I’m going to continue to collect.
If you’re not on Goodreads, you should look into that. It’s by far the best thing I’ve tried for organizing my books and seeing what I’ve read and have to read. Adding the books itself is kind of a pain, but also kind of fun, if you have an afternoon to kill.
Also, I’ve wanted to read more about the intellectual and cultural center that was pre-Ferdinand & Isabella Span since hearing my professor speak about it re: Don Quixote. Stealing The Ornament of the World to add to my own to-read list
Enjoy it! Unfortunately I don’t have any suggestions for that period of Spanish history; the Reston book I mentioned, Dogs of God, only provides brief background pre-Ysabel and Fernando, and ditto Imperial Spain. Dogs of God is really tremendous, though, I do highly recommend that, regardless.
I shall have to do some more poking, as Moorish Spain and the Reconquista are areas I need to read more about, since, you know, I like reading about them.
I only read five books in 2011 (for shame!). Since I am no longer in school and therefore have oodles of free time, I’ve decided to make my 2012 goal be to read every single book that was still on my to-read list as of 11:59pm ET on December 31, 2011. That’s about 40 books, and here’s some highlights from the list, with some comments.