Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Literary Conquests

Sadly, fall break is over. It's been a great four days, during which I've read three books. In the spirit of the third book on my list, I'm going to post a short review of each one.

1. Secrets of the Tomb by Alexandra Robbins
I bought this book a couple months ago and just now got around to it. I'd read some other books by this author that were really interesting (Overachievers especially), and decided to give this one, an expose on the Skull and Bones secret society at Yale, a try. I knew virtually nothing about this subject before I read this, and it was really fascinating. A few of the parts got a little long, especially the chapter called "The Network"... there are only so many lists of governmental appointments and names you've never heard of that you can read before it starts to feel repetitive. It's good, though. Kind of made me wish I went to Yale. Ha.

2. Copenhagen by Michael Frayn
Wow. I don't think I've ever read anything like this before. Samford's doing the play next semester, and the one thing I know for sure after reading it is that I REALLY want to be in it. Problem? Only three parts... and only one of them's female. Anyways, I think I'm going to do some research about the stuff in it and then try to tackle it again. It's about the scientists Heisenberg (a German) and Bohr (a Dane) and their work and friendship during the first half of the twentieth century. The script explores the mysterious visit that Heisenberg paid to Bohr in Copenhagen in 1941 when Denmark was occupied by Germany. It's great, especially because I always love the rare occasion when theatre intersects with science. Read it, but only if you have time to read it again, because if you're anything like me you will probably be confused the first time.

3. The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
I. Love. Nick Hornby. I think he is my alter-ego. Or perhaps my long-lost soulmate. Either way, whenever I read something of his, I can't help wondering if he stole those thoughts from my own brain. He's witty, fresh, and real, something that you don't find too often in literature. This book is actually a collection of essays, from his monthly column in the literary magazine The Believer. In each one, he lists the books he bought that month, the books he actually read that month (sometimes the lists have no correlation), and gives a review of the completed books, as well as any number of excuses for why the lists don't match up. If you need something quick and funny to read and you don't feel like digging into a novel, I definitely recommend this one.

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