Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Bookulator

Inspired by CyberPetra and T-Bird (and Dinah, as always), I thought I'd better update my reading list. Or, read (as in 'red' not 'reed') list. I have just finished reading the ninth book this year. But first, the eighth book:

Star Trek Terok Nor: Day of the Vipers by James Swallow.

What a fantastic read! I very nearly didn't bother with this book, depite absolutely loving Deep Space Nine. You see, I didn't think I'd like all the Cardassian-occupation-of-Bajor stuff that happened before Starfleet got involved, and only bought it because I was at a loose end (not Piggy's). However, James Swallow has really come up trumps with this book. There's so much detail and thought given to the subject - The beginnings of The Occupation and the characters involved - that I found myself hooked almost immediately. I must admit, that when watching DS9, I hadn't given much thought to how the Cardassians came to annex the Bajor system in the first place. I just thought it was a full-on invasion. However, the reality is much more insidious and scheming, in keeping with the Cardassian ethos.
I'm currently reading the second book in the trilogy, Night of the Wolves, set about half way through the 50 year occupation of Bajor, which describes the efforts of the Bajoran Resistance. I'll let you know how that goes, soon. But for now, a big double-jointed thumbs up to Day of the Vipers!

And now for something completely different. The ninth book is Bill Watterson's Calvin & Hobbes: Scientific Progress goes "Boink".

I just fancied a quick break from reading Night of the Wolves and settled on this collection of Calvin & Hobbes comic strips from 11th September 1989 to 7th July 1990.
Calvin & Hobbes is the best cartoon EVAH! I just love everything about it; Calvin and Hobbes themselves, complete with Calvin's alter egos Spaceman Spiff: Interplanetary Explorer Extraordinaire, and Stupendous Man: Friend of Freedom, Opponent of Oppression and Lover of Liberty; Calvin's long suffering mother who doubles as Stupendous Man's arch-nemesis Mom-Lady; His sarcastic dad whose explanations of the theory of relativity and black & white photographs are genius, despite totally screwing Calvin up; Calvin's other nemesis the no-nonsense baby sitter, Rosalyn, aka the fiendish Baby Sitter Girl; His neighbour and subject of torment Susie Derkins and their love/hate relationship. Just everything! If you haven't seen any of these comic strips, I suggest you get reading. I can't recommend them enough. Plus, Hobbes is so cute and patient (mostly) - The best friend anyone could ever have!


  1. Very interesting.

    I've always fancied readin Calvin and Hobbes but never got around to it when I had the chance.

    Well not entirely true, our Spanish teacher made us read some for class (in Spanish obviously). There wasn't a whole lot of laughing. Strange that.

    Oh by the way, I'm looking for suggestions to which Terry Patchett book to buy. I am at wits end on that. I just finished another book today and it's that or the Rupert Everett biography. I'm not feeling very Rupert Everett'ish these days.

  2. YAY first (and second too)!

  3. I adore Calvin and Hobbes. We had a lot of their books growing up, and I was so sad when the strip ended. I love Susie, and Hobbes, of course. Oooh, I want to read some Calvin and Hobbes books now!

  4. CyberPetra: Get around to it! Reading Calvin & Hobbes, that is.

    As for TP books. I'd go for either Mort, Wyrd Sisters or Witches Abroad as good introductory reads.

    Dinah: I really wish Bill Watterson would draw some more strips - I miss them so much.

  5. "a big double-jointed thumbs up"...

    I am no longer able to think of you without picturing your outrageously bendable phalanxes.

  6. A few years ago I got the complete Calvin and Hobbes boxset, and I absolutely loved it. Have you read the strips with the transmorgification device where Calvin turns into a tiny tiger?

    Oh, and I know Jim Swallow. He used to write for the Fact Files and would pop into the office now and then. Lovely chap.

  7. I have a little boy in my class that is *exactly* like Calvin. He makes me want to reproduce.

  8. That sounds a bit wrong, doesn't it? He makes me want to have a cheeky little boy all of my own.

    Now where's that turkey baster at?

  9. I LOVE "Calvin and Hobbes", I miss that comic strip so much. I have a few of those books plus some books from the comic "For Better of For Worse".

  10. Cheeky cunt. I so do not have a loose end.

    That'd be MJ you're meaning.

    I forgive your slip of the keyboard.

  11. C&H - marvellous stuff. And very philosophical in places.

    There's one particular strip about knowledge vs ignorance and learning from experience that absolutely hits the nail on the head.

    Oh, and his snow sculptures!

    And the conversations between mom and dad about parenthood. Great stuff.

  12. Tim: Awww... Calvin-Tiger is sooo cute! I really want the box set but can't really justify buying it because I have every single book (except for the rare teaching-aide book). If I see it cheap somewhere, then I'll definitely have it.

    If you ever see Mr Swallow again, tell him his writing rocks! Although, I expect you'll be having dinner with him soon, along with Nicole and Connor... * huff *

    T-Bird: Heh heh! Your first comment had me imagining the Evolution style reproducing - splitting in half, or coughing up a loogie-clone.

    Tara: I've never seen any For Better Or For Worse, I'll have to keep an eye out.

    Piggy: Oops! Yes, my mistake - These giant fingers quite often 'accidently' type things that they shouldn't.

    Qenny: I *love* the mom & dad conversations. Especially the Thoreau quote one "simplify, simplify" when they both give Calvin funny looks as he walks by.

    Actually, I really like Calvin's impression of his dad when he wears his glasses "Calvin. Go do something you hate. It builds character." And then, once Calvin's left the room, his mom falls about laughing much to the disappointment of his dad.

  13. *starts browsing on amazon*

  14. Watch out, IDV, these days For Better or for Worse just angers up the blood. I still read it, but just because I'm addicted to it and just can't quit it.

  15. I was toweling off at a pool party recently, when I heard a woman yell out, "Terek Nor! Get over here!" and a little boy ran over to said woman.

    My friend asked about the confused expression on my face and I told her, "Who the hell names their kid after Deep Space 9?"

    My friend replied, "His name is Derek Norm." And that's when I realized I had water in my ears.

  16. Sorry, I am still back at the tall, dark handsome Texan towelling himself off.

    And... done.

  17. Still - who names their kid Derek Norm? Unless Norm is the last name. Heh. "Who are those people?" "Oh, they're the Norms."

  18. CyberPetra: Actually, pretty much any of Terry Pratchett's books are amazing reads. If you're after pure sci-fi rather than fantasy, I'd go for Strata or The Dark Side of the Sun.

    Dinah1: Duly noted.

    Eros: I, like T-Bird, didn't really take in the rest of your comment. You really shouldn't start comments like that - It's very distracting!

    * imagines it again and again *

    T-Bird: Come on, let's go back for another go!

    Dinah2: Heh heh!

  19. It would've been even better if he'd been called Norman Norm.