Tag Archives: reading


Hi BUTTBOMBS, how are ya? Personally I’m doing HORRIBLY, but let’s not talk about that. Instead, let’s talk about books!


Anyway, if you take a look at the little buttons at the top of my blog, you’ll notice that the “200 Books” one no longer says “200 Books” but rather “250 Books.” That’s because I’ve added an additional 50 “classics” to the list.


KONDLE, that’s why.

I feel like I have such better access to books with the Kindle than I ever did when having to rely on a library (except for maybe the U of I library, that thing was dope), so I figured why not expand the list a bit?

Plus I know I’ll get a lot more reading done now that I’ve got both Kondle AND the treadmill to get me through days when the weather outside is not conducive to walking/running.


Re-KINDLING my love of reading

This Kindle is one of the best things I’ve bought in years, guys. I love it. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it so much, especially since I’ve always been wary of e-readers and figured that I would prefer a physical book to an e-reader, but now that I have one, I am not ashamed to say that I am an e-reader convert.

There’s something very cool about having immediate access to almost any book you’d want. Obviously you can get that through libraries as well, but with the Kindle:

a) I can find books that I’ve had trouble finding in libraries, or at least at libraries that aren’t the UI library. You’d be surprised how hard it is to find copies of some of the books on my list.

b) COVID, so I don’t think I’d want to go into a library right now regardless.

c) I am notorious for checking out a library book and then keeping it for like a decade. Not ideal for anyone involved.

d) The Kindle is small and light, which would make it easy to carry around once, you know, it’s safe to freaking travel again. Some of the books on my list are like 600+ pages, which make the physical books a bit more difficult to cart around.

e) Going back to the original reason why I bought the Kindle, I don’t have to worry about balancing a book on my treadmill’s little shelf while I walk. The Kindle fits there perfectly and I can increase the font size to whatever size I need to comfortably read while walking.

The Kindle has made me super enthusiastic about reading again. I don’t know if it’s because I feel like I have access to any book on my list now (not just the limited subset that I can find in the U of C library) or what, but hot damn I just want to read.

That’s a good feeling. I’ve missed that.


So I got distracted by the redwoods yesterday and forgot to mention that my Kindle came! Check it out:

(Yes, that’s Jazzy in the background of that second pic, haha)

It’s a lot smaller than I thought it would be, but it’s super light and, now that I think about it, it’s about the size of a typical paperback. You can adjust the font size and everything, too, so if I want to read it while I use the treadmill, it should be fine if I make the font big enough.

Supa cool!

Edit: his name is “Kondle” now. He’s my son.

Summer Reading List

Okay, so I know we’re still in March, but there are a few non-fic books I want to read this summer* and thus decided to make a list of them now.


Leibniz: An Intellectual Biography by Maria Rosa Antognazza
The only reason I haven’t read this beautiful bio of my main man more than once is because it deserves my full attention—something I haven’t been able to give it since last July. But it will definitely be read again!

Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter
My mom bought me a copy of this book a loooong time ago, but I’ve never gotten past the first 15 or so pages. It seems quite interesting, I just haven’t been able to get into it yet.

Mathematics From the Birth of Numbers by Jan Gullberg
Another book I’ve had for a long time. Not so much a “reading” book as a “here’s everything about math ever” book—I think I finally have a strong enough math background to make sense of a lot of the components of this book.

A History of Mathematics by Carl B. Boyer
If you don’t know why I want to read this, you don’t know me.


*I say “this summer” because it’s a lot easier for me to concentrate on awesome books when I’m not freaking out about school.

Bookin’ It

So as you may have read, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to revamp my 200 Books list and start over with it, this time writing a review after each book.

So that’s what I did today!

(Side note: the UI Library is kept at a toasty -23 degrees when the students are gone. Holy freaking crap, I had all my winter walking gear on and I was STILL freezing.)

New list is posted in the 200 Books tab. The almighty random number generator told me that the first book I shall be reading is The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. This was on my old list, but it was one that I never got to because it was always checked out from wherever I was trying to get it. But it was miraculously on the shelves this afternoon, so I picked it up.

I can’t guarantee any sort of time frame for when these reviews will be posted, especially since this semester looks like it’ll be crazy busy. But I’ll try to do them at a reasonable pace!


Aren’t librarians “bookies”?



So it’s been like six decades since I’ve read for pleasure*, which really blows ’cause I love to read for pleasure. My 200 Books list has idled unedited for far too long.

I actually found this really cool list that was a concatenation of 13 different “Top 100 Books” lists. As I was reading it over, there were quite a few books that I think should also be on my “200” list.

So here’s the plan:
I think I’m going to re-vamp my list, then start it all over again. Which I think would be a good thing. I seriously doubt I got a whole lot out of War and Peace when I read it as a 13-year-old. And this time I’ll give a review of each book upon completion.

Yay reading!

*The Calculus Wars doesn’t count. That wasn’t for pleasure. That was for stalking studying. Yeah. It was an…assignment. I had to read it. I totally didn’t go through it and creepily highlight a bunch of key stuff about Leibniz. That’d be wrong. I just read it for an assignment. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Dune: Paul vs. Jamis as Interpreted by 12-Year-Olds

Good lord. So I was in the “advanced reading” group in seventh grade English, which meant we had to read Dune. Our final project had to involve some sort of interpretation of the book. Seeing as how I had a video camera and making video reenactments of everything we possibly could was the easiest way out of anything, we chose to do just that. Unfortunately, we decided to film on a day when it was about 30 degrees outside and there was snow everywhere. Just…just read it. The script was written by Brendan.


Take One
(I film during all of this)

Me: The setting is outside the desert cave on the planet Arrakis, otherwise know—(breaks down into laughter)


Take Two
Me: The setting is outside the very white sanded dune desert cave on the planet Arrakis, otherwise known as Dune. Lady Jessica and her son Paul, the new Atreides duke, are wandering aimlessly through the desert when they come across Fremen land.
Kyle: Who goes there?
Brendan: It is I—
Mitchell (stands up from the playground): Woopsie, haha, I messed up.
Kyle: Alright, cut.


Take Three
Me: The setting is outside the very white sanded desert cave on the planet Arrakis, otherwise known as Dune. The Lady Jessica and her son Paul, the new Atreides duke, are wandering aimlessly through the desert when they come across Fremen land.
Mitchell: Whaaaaa!!! (jumps off playground and collapses laughing)
Kyle: Who goes there? This is Fremen Land, and you are TRESPASSING!!!
Brendan: I am the duke of the Atreides family, and this is Lady Jessica.
Kyle (walks up to Kristin and kisses her hand): Hello!
[minor fight scene]
Kyle: Should I take ‘em hostage?
Mitchell (hesitantly, he’s getting freaked out by Kyle): No, they are friends…
Brendan: We are friends!
Mitchell (off camera): Cut the scene…cut the darn—
Me (off camera): Fight Scene!
Kyle: I can’t believe I was bested by this child! I will do one-on-one duel with you! Let’s take him to the cave…I’m gonna kick his butt!
Brendan: I don’t want to kill you, though!
Kyle: (maniacal laughter)
Brendan: FINE!
Kyle: I will kill you!
Kristin: Are you sure?
Brendan: I’m not sure, but I will then, if it’s…mandatory.
Kyle: I will kill you. I’m going to KILL YOU!
Brendan: Well then BRING IT ON!
Kyle: Kill you!
Brendan: BRING IT ON!! (taunts with stick)
Me (off camera): This is the real Fight Scene!
Kyle: Let’s fight!
[lots of fighting, running, and slipping on the snow while fighting with sticks]
[manly grunting]
Kyle: Paul, of the Atreides, I will KILL YOU!! I WILL KIILL YOU!!
Brendan: You are my friend…(runs up behind him, brandishing a stick)…CHARGE!!!!
[random shot of Mitchell writhing on the floor because he has to pee so bad]
Kyle: The blind man is killing me!
Brendan: I don’t want to kill him! I don’t want to do it, but I will! (stabs him)
[Kyle screams a lot]
Kyle: Oh…the water…water of my body…(unintelligible)
Mitchell (off screen): Cut the darn scene!
Kyle: The rest of the scene might be a little too bloody for the rest of you…down there…so I’ll have to turn it off…you know…so five-year-old children don’t get a sense of the PG-13 idea.
Brendan (off screen): Scene 2:  The Ceremony. Setting in the cave. Now the Fremen are holding a ceremony for the dead Jamis…(unintelligible rambling)…his family will SAY A THING OR TWO ABOUT HIM…(unintelligible rambling)…PAUL IS REQUIRED to participate…there is the dead Jamis, sitting in the pale chamber wall!


Brendan (on screen, sounding freakishly like a Gospel preacher): I was a friend of Jamis…Jamis taught me…OH, Jamis was a FREEEEEEEEEEEEEMEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!…OH JAMIS JAMIS…Jamis taught me…OH JAMIS TAUGHT ME…Jamis taught me that when you kill somebody…when you kill somebody you pay for it…and now I’ve learned that…and I’m sorry! I’m SO SORRY! AAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH!!!


(Kyle tapes all of this)
Brendan: We are done with the last scene, and now we’re going on to the Drunken Duncan scene.
Kristin: What is all that noise?
Me: I killed over 300 men for my Duke!
Brendan (grabbing onto my sleeve): He escorted a lady…a lady Duke’s daughter…home.
Kristin: Get Dr. Yueh.
Brendan (while struggling to hold on to me): He’s drunk on spice beer! He’s drunk on spice beer!
Me: Too much spice beer?!
Brendan: Shut up! You woke the Lady Jessica!
Me: Who cares?
Me: I won’t take orders from a Harkonnen spy!
[Kristin throws water in my face]
Me: FREAK! You Harkonnen spy!
Kristin: What do you mean?
Me: You are a spy! You are a spy from the Harkonnen…House.
Kristin: Did Hawat come up with this?
[Kristin throws the rest of the water in my face]


Brendan: Time for bloopers! (strips)
Brendan: This is the Duncan Idaho Scene that we cut. We will now act it out for you. The scene that we cut WE DIDN’T REALLY CUT!!!!!
Mitchell (off screen): Hey dude!
Brendan (off screen): How are we gonna act it out?
Me (off screen): No, we can use the script, Brendan, we can just hand it back and forth.
Brendan: “I want my bloody sheath!”
Me: Okay, here, gimme it. Who’s…
Kyle: Ready? And…
Me: I want my bloody sheath you scallywag! Ever heard of Tutankhamun the 4th or 88th? I forget. Crap. I want my mamma!
Kristin: What’s this? I was attacked in the middle of the night! I must go to sleep! But what about Paul? And my Leto, my dear Leto!
Me: Who are thee who dare enter my company, you witch?
Kristin: It’s me, Jessica, lover of thy duke, Leto!
Me: Oh no! Not you witch, shoot!
Kristin: Are you insulting my name, poor old drunk Idaho?
Me (while slowly collapsing to the floor): No! Must…not…no! Being much, no! Leto, Paul, not Paul! Idea! Hawat! Not me! Never…was…never met!
Brendan: He escorted a lady…a lady FRIEND! He’s a very nice fellow, that lady!
Me: I know what you’re talking about, women, AH! Me like escorting women! The woman I escorted home tonight was a bad LADY! Had to kill five Charizards to get her home! Then she drunk me up and tried to ‘ill me! And come here to watch duke…duke Leto’s Jessica…the suspected TRAITOR!!
Kristin: What do you mean, you old mutt? I’m going to whip—(starts laughing uncontrollably)
Me: You’re going to whip my behind with a mallet? You’re going to get Mapes to go get some spice beer? What’s the matter with you, woman?!
Brendan: Here’s some spice coffee! Here’s what he’s been drunk on!
Me: I don’t have a part…(laughter) I don’t have  apart till the all wet part!
Brendan: This is Mapes. “Yes my lady.” This is Jessica.
Kristin: Guards, get me some water. Someone get Yueh.
Brendan (bearing snow): Your water! Yes, Lady Jessica! On the double, ma’am!
[Kristin puts the snow on my head]
Me: I’m all wet! Why’d you get me all wet? I like to be dry!
Brendan: Jessica then says: “if you want to be dry, go outside and dry up! Maybe some more ladies will show up, getting drunk again will not hurt you!” Yueh (pronouncing it “you”): “You called my Lady? My Lady Jessica? My Lady?” “Yes, You—”
Me: It’s “YOO-uh!”
“Yes Yoo-UHHH! Give this intoxicated insult-hurling Idaho some medicine to calm him down!” YUAAAH: “Yes my lady. On the double my fair Lady Jessica Mistress Lady.” Idaho: “Not the spice coffee, that’s powerful stuff! It’s just plain old addictive! Go away Yueh, HOME!!” Jessica: “You, give me some of that stinkin’ coffee. I’m wanting you to drink this drinkin’ drunken stuff, drunken Duncan!” Idaho: “I don’t like taking orders from traders, especially such a bad one as her.” (points to me)
Me: Me?
Brendan: “I mean her (points to Kristin). I musn’t daren’t daren’t…I musn’t daren’t drink it! Go away you witch!”  “Watching you has been hard enough, you slippery old slime ball, you! Wait…no. Yes. You. Wait…”
Me (seeing he’s completely confused himself): Jessica. Jessica.
Brendan: JESSICA!! “How could you betray me! You! You! Betray me! Leto too, and he must have known…” (getting way too emotional)
Me: It’s okay…
Mitchell (off screen): JUST READ IT!!
Brendan: “Oh no! Oh. No! It’s not me. I would never hurt my Leto. My darling Leto. My darling duke Leto. My darling duke duke duke Leto.” Idaho: “He is not your Leto. You are his Jessica! He OWNS YOU!”
[hands the script to me, then realizes the mistake, and tries to give it to Kristin]
Brendan: No, Jessica reads it.
Me (desperate): But I wanna read it!
Mitchell (laughing): No, no Jessica reads it.
Brendan: Slowly! Slowly!
Kristin: It must have been Hawat’s idea! He’s always hated me because I am a Bene Gesserit! He is a failure! A sleazy, cowardly, mocking, blabbering, repetitive, annoying, son-of-a-dog person! You must have known about this, Yueh. I thought I could trust you!
Mitchell (with camera turned on him): It wasn’t me! I’m not even in this scene!
Kristin: Ever heard of Judas, the loser who cheated Jesus because he was afraid of a more earthly power? You are all like him, all of you!”


Fun times. Brendan REALLY reminds me of Lanky. And “I’m wanting you to drink this drinkin’ drunken stuff, drunken Duncan” is the best sentence ever written.


Since I’m finally finished with all my writing and project stuff for school,  I could finally start reading for pleasure again this weekend. I just finished All Quiet on the Western Front—the 56th read book on my “College Recommended Books” list.

I’m so well read.

Makes you wonder why a certain someone won the “most likely to read every book in the library” award thingy in the yearbook and not me. It’s kinda strange, considering this person:
a) is someone I’ve never seen in the library…ever (and I’m always in there),
b) is one of those people who pronounces “library” as “lie-berry”, and
c) is incapable of operating a Xerox machine (see “Incompetent people suck” blog).

Eh. Oh well. I have light-up shoes.