Skip to main content

As a Worker, I Have the Right to Sit Around and Eat Salsa con Queso From the Jar Today

Hello! It's a Happy Labor Day (or Labour Day, as our friends to the north say) posting from Reading Rambo! Did you forget the blog was called that? Because to be honest, I do sometimes. But I guess I tend to think of my blogging compatriots by their blog titles, so maybe right now you're looking at me like you have no idea what I'm talking about.

Right then! In honor of today, I finished a book. Yes, a book. The Mysterious Benedict Society. And OH, what a journey it was. An awesome, awesome journey, with illustrations by Carson Ellis of Decemberists fame.

I possibly laughed. I know I cried, because I am an emotional mess today (turns out it wasn't allergies, but rather a pernicious cold, which I am still battling), and I pretty much all-around loved it.

Those who are my friends on Goodreads, don't hate on me for using the same review in both places. In this one, you get bonus stuff! (see above) So it all turns out well in the end.

So there's children's lit and there's children's lit, by which I mean there's somewhat enjoyable children's lit like The Hunger Games (haven't read, doesn't matter) and Spiderwick and others, and then there's a certain tongue-in-cheek, knowledgeable, kind to and understanding of children style that almost inevitably makes me tear up at some point in the book.

Most of A Series of Unfortunate Events has that tone (kind of fouled it up after book 9), and Mysterious Benedict Society has it.

Basically, it's a group of four parentless children brought together by a Mr Benedict, who needs them to investigate some mysterious happenings on an island. And it's amazing and wonderful if you're not one of the unfortunate adults who deems well-written children's lit to be below their reading standards. No, no, go read your shitty adult vampire book. I totally understand.

One of the things that can be great about children's lit is that the author can write extremely well but not have some agenda to "prove" himself, which is what can make adult books disgustingly pretentious. Trenton Lee Stewart uses relatively simple prose, but he's a great writer. I was invested in all the characters, and I fully plan on reading the other two in the series.

*wipes sweat off brow* Ah, reviewing! You take it out of me. And now I'm off to revel in eating leftover Thai food and possibly to watch Gilmore Girls which — quick digression — I'd never ever seen before today, but I had a dream last night that I told someone I'd never seen an episode of it and they pitched a fit (this has happened IRL on numerous occasions). So I downloaded the first episode and was HIGHLY PERTURBED to find that I really liked it. Damn you, you likable Gilmore women.

Have a splendid Labor Day all, and those of you overseas, you probably get way more vacation time than we do, so I'm not even going to BEGIN to feel sorry for you.


Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'.

You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters.

If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing:

We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilarious/awesome que…

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop (Odyssey Books, where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have.

INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy the Pleistocene era of megafauna and drinking Shirley Templ…

A synonym for 'Neanderthal' is 'boorish,' which just isn't very nice

So this article came out, which isn't really groundbreaking at all, but it happens to have been published the day after I watched part of the NOVA special "Becoming Human," so it's been on my brain anyway.

I was checking out a book a while ago called Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans, and it was all "Oh dude, our ancestors probably didn't even LOOK at Neanderthals. No way. 'Cause they would've been like, RIDICULOUSLY ugly."

This book was published in 2010. And what came out this year? DNA Shows Humans Found Non-Humans Irresistible

That's right. Your lady ancestor, at some point, sidled up to a Neanderthal gentleman and said "Hey. How's it goin'?

Because all non-Africans ('cause the Africans stayed put instead of traipsing around becoming the Don Juans of prehistoric Europe) have 1-4% Neanderthal DNA. So the above scenario DEFINITELY happened. Which is disheartening NOT because of my huge Neanderth…