Book Log – Lady Susan

Lady Susan by Jane Austen

This short novel is told almost entirely in letters to and from the various characters. It’s an amusing read about a conniving woman trying to attach herself to a respectable family in spite of the reputation that precedes her.

The disappointment is that Austen uses the letter convention all the way until the end, when she just sort of gives up and tells us how it all pans out. I have no idea why that couldn’t have been done in a letter. Possibly Jane just got tired, or was late for afternoon tea.

Book Log – The Best American Comics 2007

The Best American Comics 2007 Edited by Chris Ware, Series Edited by Anne Elizabeth Moore.

Eh. There were a few gems in this collection, but one of them was excerpts from Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, which I’d already read.

Forgive me, Chicago, but I just can’t get into Lynda Barry’s Ernie Pook’s Comeek. I tried to like it when I read it in The Reader. I saw a documentary on her and liked Ms. Barry as a person. But the comic makes my head ache to look at.

I guess I’m not cool enough to be an alterna-comic aficionado.

All of which will not stop me from trying to get a hold of 2006 and 2008, because the thing with these series is you can’t judge them by one year.

Book Log – Persuasion

Persuasion by Jane Austen

I read this a while back, but noticed that I didn’t blog about it.

I can’t for the life of me remember much about it, except that it had a character named Wentworth. And someone was persuading someone else.

Okay, a brief skimming reminds me that this is the tale of Anne Elliot, and this crazy friend who was after her brother, and trying to push her brother on Anne. I remember they were kind of amusing.

That’s all I got.

Book Log – Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

It was only during this book, the fourth Jane Austen I’ve read this year, that steakums happened to mention that she liked Austen as well. Honestly, couples never talk anymore.

Mansfield Park is odd in that the reservedness of the time period grates a bit. I mean, going on and on of the evils of putting on a play in one’s house, with our protagonists, Edward and Fanny (of all names), as the main detractors of amateur theatricals? Really, how am I to relate to that?

It’s not like the idle rich have anything else to do.

Really, you side with the protagonists merely because everyone else is so much less worthwhile.

Emma and Clueless are next up on our Netflix cue. If time allowed, we’d do a double feature night.

Book Log – Citizen Vince

Citizen Vince by Jess Walter

I’m not clear on how this came to be on my Wish List… it made a lot of pick lists in 2005, I think.

I thought it was a fun novel, easily read and engaging. Set in 1979, it humorously chronicles the adventures of a man in the witness protection program who is trying to make sense of the presidential election as this will be his first time voting. In the meantime, his past is catching up to him. Kind of a toned down My Blue Heaven without the fish-out-of-water theme.

It just occurred to me… this book must have come from Nick Hornby’s Stuff I’ve Been Reading column from The Believer… Hornby has a quote on the back of the jacket.

Going to The Believer online, this book was published in 2005. Try the November 2005 issue… Hornby lists Over Tumbled Graves by the same author under Books Read. Flip back a couple months and bingo, Citizen Vince under Books Read, Tumbled Graves under Books Bought.

So, Hornby liked it well enough to pick up Over Tumbled Graves immediately. I’ll have to see what he said about it.

All of which reminds me I haven’t read Hornby’s A Long Way Down. Which is currently available from Done and done.

ETA: Here’s what Hornby said about Graves

“I read and loved Jess Walter’s Citizen Vince recently, so I wanted to check out one of his earlier books. Unlike Citizen Vince, Over Tumbled Graves belongs firmly within the crime genre, although it’s not formulaic– it actually plays cleverly with the serial-killer formula. I enjoyed it a lot, but on the evidence of the recent book, Walter is a writer who is heading for territory that gives him more freedom than genre fiction allows.”