13 Dec 2016


Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson

It has come to my attention that there is such a thing—and I will retroactively apply this to several persons I have come across—as an English geek.

Unlike my experience at university where I encountered math geeks and computer geeks and also engineers (geekness included by definition), nobody in the entire Arts faculty lacked social skills or failed to wear make up, or got really... I don't know... excited about books.

But I wasn't paying attention. It is through authors like Pynchon that I realize that there were undergraduates sitting in those English lectures ... geeking out. Checking dictionnaires. Writing dictionaries. Intertextualizing. Geeking out on how stories work. How... I don't know... the alazon turns out to be the hero in Pride and Prejudice (I'm just making that up). How language changes. How Spenser sounds medieval and funny because he was making fun of funny-sounding medieval writers. Learning to speak Middle-English.

I'm stupid. Now that I think of it, I met them. I guess the English-geekness was just so overshadowed by the profundity of math-geekness that it was difficult for those poor English geeks to sprout. There were obviously linguistics geeks. And secular exegetical geeks. But there were really literary-structure geeks. It's through reading Pynchon that I realized there must be a whole world of people out there looking for this kind of writing that just thrashes around all these theories and models of English literature. And that's why I like reading Pynchon.

But... the awesome thing that I've just realized with Stephenson is that you can be an English geek and a math geek at the same time.


12 Nov 2016

The Magician's Nephew

The Magician's Nephew, C. S. Lewis

I'm finally reading Narnia.

I wish it was longer.

26 Jul 2016


Wonder, R. J. Palacio

The feeling of not wanting to read this book is like the feeling of not wanting to talk to August, its hero.

Overcome that.

The Black Count

The Black Count, Tom Reiss

Well, who woulda thunk it.

16 May 2016

The Dispossessed

The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Le Guin

Le Guin is best when she's boring.

30 Apr 2016

An Innocent Client

An Innocent Client, Scott Pratt

Overuse of the words "belligerent" and "pantsuit." But well-told and readable.


Purity, Jonathan Franzen

Purity belongs to that class of story based entirely on its protagonist learning who his or her parents are. It tells us many awful stories in skilled mind-twisting order, with a high-impact revelation of parenthood. It is rich and fat, and bold.

There is something else though. There is more than dash of insanity in several characters, and their motivations are hard to follow. But the text is so tight that I'm convinced that difficulty is just me not putting in enough effort. It's so tight that I'm willing to forgive it anything.

31 Mar 2016

La rivière à l'envers

La rivière à l'envers (two volumes), Jean-Claude Mourlevat

Cute and imaginative. Poetic and perfect. I wish it was longer.

Lady Chatterley's Lover

Lady Chatterley's Lover, D. H. Lawrence

Oh yeah, porn! Phalluses and... women's parts. Fucking. Coming off together. And philosophy and class struggle.

If MarxPorn is your fantasy, then this book is for you.

25 Jan 2016

Pattern Recognition

Pattern Recognition, William Gibson

Glad I read it, would again. I just feel it could have had a more meaningful resolution. It wasn't very tense.

10 Jan 2016

The Peripheral

The Peripheral, William Gibson

Good Gibson. And Gibson's good.