Books I’ve Read Recently

  • Next by Michael Crichton 3 out of 10 stars (3/10)
    Too many characters with too little detail. Crichton seems to be getting worse, writing about topics that are interesting but a story with no substance. He creates short, interesting scenarios and dilemmas to raise issues related to the topic of his book (genetics in this case), but the story and characters are just fluff and a waste of time. The best part is the Author’s Note in the end, where he summarizes his views. Maybe he should write some short-stories instead.
  • night book cover by elie wieselNight by Elie Wiesel 9 out of 10 stars (9/10)
    A haunting auto-biographical tale of living being a Jew during the Nazi years of World War II, where the author is sent to prison camps as a child with his family. The writing is beautiful. I want to read other works by this author now.
  • The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester 7 out of 10 stars (7/10)
    Published in 1952, winning the Hugo award in ’53, this novel is considered a classic. It’s about telepaths that commit murder and help solve them. It’s detective-type story isn’t compelling; it’s the atmosphere the author creates that’s fascinating. A memorable book, but it drags in places.Wikipedia has an entry about it.
  • A Crack In The Edge Of The World by Simon Winchester 7 out of 10 stars (7/10)
    Interesting tale of the rise and fall (via an earthquake in 1906) of San Fransisco and its surrounding area. You’ll learn how the American Pacific coast was settled and how San Fransisco came to be. Interesting for history buffs, which I’m not.
  • Blaze by Stephen King 6 out of 10 stars (6/10)
    King wrote this in the early 70s, which it feels like, too, if you’ve read his earlier works. Predictable yet intense ending, but it isn’t horror. It’s about a guy (Blaze) who kidnaps a baby and how he (i.e. Blaze) came to be who he is. Some memorable scenes, like the blueberry picking chapter, but nothing classic here.

New English Words

Oxford English DictionaryThe OED (Oxford English Dictionary) has added some new words to their famous publication, including:

  • bada-bing, int.
  • beer pong, n.
  • Disneyfication, n.
  • Emily’s List, n.
  • GIF, n.
  • treeware, n.

The OED is known for their inclusion of quotes that illustrate a word’s meaning:

For each word in the OED, the various groupings of senses are dealt with in chronological order according to the quotation evidence, i.e. the senses with the earliest quotations appear first, and the senses which have developed more recently appear further down the entry.

I wonder what they used for bada-bing.

By the way, if you have any interest in the English language, grammar, or writing, I highly recommend Simon Winchester’s books “The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary” and “The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary”.

Anyone wanna buy me The Oxford English Dictionary? Only $999 Canadian! That’s, what, 50 bucks American. Free shipping!