Book List – April 2011

Oh yeah, I still have this blog, don’t I? I guess I might as well post about April’s books:

Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race, by Jon Stewart et al, © 2010. Finished April 9.

A mostly comprehensive summary of human civilization, for the benefit of any aliens who happen across our planet after our inevitable demise. Sadly, I’m not sure they’ll have the context necessary to catch most of the humor. Hopefully they will, because then they’ll understand an awful lot more about us. Also, here’s how you can be sure I’m a nerd: on page 223, I readily noticed both that the chess board is improperly set up (the black king and queen are swapped), and that the box art for Metroid II: Return of Samus is improperly paired with a screenshot of the original Metroid, in the section awkwardly explaining to the alien reader about how many of our video games were about us killing them.

The Sign of the Four, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, © 1890. (Audiobook) Finished April 18.

The second Sherlock Holmes novel, and works better as a single cohesive story than its predecessor. In this one you get to see Holmes actually working, instead of somehow figuring out the whole thing right away but not telling anyone else until the last chapter or two.

Through the Looking-Glass, by Lewis Carroll, © 1871. (Audiobook) Finished April 18.

The sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, though if your only exposure to the Alice stories is through the various adaptations of them, you might not realize that this is a separate story, since pretty much every adaptation takes things from Looking-Glass Land and throws them into Wonderland. I’m looking at you, Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson, by Mark Twain, © 1894. (Audiobook) Finished April 30.

A slave woman tries to secure a better future for her infant son by secretly swapping him with her master’s infant son. As one might infer from the title, things don’t go quite so well as expected. Today the Chekhov’s Gun established early on is painfully obvious, though given the time the book was written and the time the story takes place, perhaps it wasn’t originally so. Definitely my favorite Twain story thus far.

The Winter of Their Dissed Content

Or, why The Daily Show has been in reruns for the past two weeks:

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