Saturday, March 19, 2011

52in52 #3 and 4 - System of the World and Papa Married a Mormon

System of the World by Neal Stephenson really shouldn't count for 52in52, as I started it before the start of this year. Well before the start of this year. Possibly even before the start of the previous year. In fact, I have the previous book in the cycle listed as a 2008 book, so it may well have been started in 2008.

I started the first book of the cycle in late 2003.

I was at about 75% of the way through System in early October, and posted a poll on FB asking whether I'd finish the book or the baby first. The results were unanimously in favor of the baby. Thank goodness they were right.

What a slog. I can't believe I read the whole thing, as Ramona Quimby said.

That said... I have this strange urge to start it all over again, on the theory that the whole thing will make a bit more sense now that I have a better idea of the bigger picture. It wasn't unenjoyable, just long and dense, with a little too much digression.

But first I need to learn more about that period of history, in order to better distinguish history from wild confabulation. Probably next year, when we reach that point in Story of the World. Just to keep things on-topic for this blog. And I'm not sure if I find it disturbing or satisfying that I'm starting to rely on SOTW for all the stuff I apparently never actually learned and/or retained my first time through grade school.

I actually finished Papa Married A Mormon a few weeks ago, breaking my long streak of not being able to finish a book, but didn't get around to writing anything about it. I checked it out from the library, and as I approached the due date, found that I couldn't renew it because someone else had reserved it. This is a book that had been checked out twice, including my checkout, since 2003. Go figure. At least it encouraged me to take the time to finish it!

This was a fun book - a biography/autobiography written by John D. Fitzgerald, author of The Great Brain series. It's much in the same vein as that series, but written for an adult audience. Anyone who loved The Great Brain should enjoy this book, which provides a bit more background on the family, which is more-or-less based on Fitzgerald's own.

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