Fluffy Review: Lost in a Good Book

I finished the second of Jasper Fforde’s books in the Thursday Next series, Lost in a Good Book, last night. While not as much fun as the first book, The Eyre Affair, this book still held me captive for several hours until I’d finished the story. This book isn’t quite as strong as the first because we already know so much about how the world in which Next lives. The brain-wrapping that was required in the first novel has already been done.

That said, there are many strong points to Lost in a Good Book. Next’s mentor, Miss Havisham, displays a side of her personality that I never saw in her primary book of residence. Who knew she was such a crazy driver? Who knew she read smarmy romance novels for fun and pleasure? Who knew that the Queen from Alice in Wonderland was her nemesis? Pickwick, Next’s pet dodo, also provides an amusing side-story (at least for this pet-owner). Her quirky and upbeat personality obviously helps Next deal with the eradication of her husband partway through the book.

I’m on to the next book in the series now, The Well of Lost Plots. I’m hoping that I enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed the first two books thus far. If you call me a Thursday Next groupie and a Jasper Fforde fan, you wouldn’t be wrong.

Christmas reading list

Sometimes I forget to read books. Shocking, I know, given that I’m a librarian and all. But books sometimes fall by the wayside, in the wake of my knitting or dog-walking or magazine-perusing. That’s why I very much enjoy Christmas break every year. It gives me a chance to find some books and sit with them for several hours, uninterrupted, losing myself in other worlds and other people’s lives. It’s wonderful. This break was no different. I read 4 books in 2 weeks, and it felt great.

  1. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. I love love love loved this book! Thursday Next is a fabulous character, the references to books and events just oblique enough that I had to stretch to get them, and the writing compelling. I just requested 2 more of his books by ILL, and am checking out the other one we own today.
  2. Bee Season by Myra Goldberg. This book was very good, but pretty disturbing in the psychological sense. I almost cheered on the last page.
  3. Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters. My favorite type of book – gritty realism, soaring and crashing personal fortunes, and great plot with strong characters. For those of you looking for strong lesbian/trans fiction that doesn’t get sidetracked by weird mush, this is the book for you.
  4. The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living by Martin Clark. It’s taken me a bit longer to get into this book (I just started it last night) and will have to withhold judgement until I’ve read more.

What are YOU reading right now? Leave me comments!

Geekery and Bookishness

Lately I’ve gotten sucked into a few web sites relating to reading and books.

Today, I caught my first-ever Bookcrossing book! It was called Sharks, and I caught it at the REI store in Conshohocken, PA. I’m highly amused by this, and now need to think of someplace really cool to release it. Ideas, anyone?

The other site I’m getting into is called Bibliophil. Basically, it’s a place to keep track of all the books you own, that you’ve read, or that you want to read. If you go in there, be sure to add me as a buddy. I am, not surprisingly, librarygrrrl. You can see my library here. Obviously, that’s not all the books I’ve ever read, but those are some of the books that first come to mind when I do a project like this. I’m debating the merits of a web-based system of shared organization like this with a local system, dependent on software (like Endnote) that is much more powerful and accurate, but also lacks a lot of the community aspects and “added information” aspects that Bibliophil has (like the buddy system and the importing of book jacket images into the list.) I do like the fact that I can export the Bibliophil file to Excel.

Does anyone use a similar web-based tool for organizing your library? I’ve tried Biblioexpress before, but was never able to get it to save notes or images within my citation libraries. That was supremely annoying. I never reinstalled it, although that may have been the best solution. Bibliographix seems interesting, too.

Maggie is skeptical of all the programs, and isn’t sure which one will work best. Tell her (and me!) which free stuff YOU like best and why, okay now?

Maggie is skeptical

Now it’s bedtime for this librarygrrrl and her little dog. We both hope that you sleep very well.