221B Baker Street

Welcome! Grab a drink and pull up a chair.

Thanks for dropping by my humble attempt at keeping a book journal online. On this site, you'll mainly find reviews of the books that I've read, though every now and again I do go off on book-related tangents. Fear not, however, that I will make some kind of personal revelation, as I have a separate, personal journal for anything non-book-related. Here, it's all books, all the time. The newest entries should come up right after this one, and for those who prefer, I'm working on a mirror-site over at WordPress so feel free to mosey over there, if that's your preference. It's still inchoate though, so don't be surprised if there are only a couple of reviews for now- they're coming!

Also, please visit my LibraryThing compatriots at their respective (and respectable) journals, by taking a spin on our webring. The link is below, and all kind of good reviews are at the end of that rainbow. Off to do more reading, and try to catch up with reviewing!

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221B Baker Street

A Late Start is Better than No Start At All: 2009

So, the law school cum wedding cum job hunt in a failing legal economy proved a bit of a roadblock to reading, much less reviewing, this year. As summer with all that it entails begins to crest the horizon, however, new life has begun to quicken in my bones, inspiring me to take up the pen once more. Finding a summer job didn't hurt either. So far this year I haven't been able to do a whole lot of reading but I have put a few books away, so I'll kick off my resurgence by posting reviews of them, then see where the year takes me.

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221B Baker Street

2008 Year's Over Summary

Well, 2008 has ended and I never managed a final posting even. But, grades are coming in for law school and I think I spent my time wisely. During this last week before classes start again, I'm hoping to do my end of the year summary and start my new plan for 2009. It will be far less ambitious, numerically, but I'm cool with that.

My goal for this year was 150. I underestimated how much time law school would require, or rather, how little desire I would have to read after finishing all of my casebook readings, but still made it to 100, which is not so bad. Plus the equivalent of War and Peace in casebooks (but less interesting).

Once again, my reviews will have to be rather brief, since I'm so behind, but I will try to post longer ones soon. That may actually happen since the journal is listed on my resume, ie potential summer employers might read it, and if I'm claiming it as a current thing, it probably should be. So. Hoping.

Oh, and these are horribly out of order- they've been sitting in a forlorn pile by my desk for months, waiting to be reviewed, and have been knocked over repeatedly.

Book 90: Emma by Jane Austen
A re-read, obviously. I've always been really fond of Austen but somehow Emma grated on me more this time. She's clearly supposed to be an obnoxious character, someone who means well in a self-satisfied and naive way, but screws things up; my desire to slap her during this reading, though, was intense. Hmm. Still, good times.

Book 91: The Sisters Grimm: Once Upon a Crime by Michael Buckley
I really like these books, still. They're just a fun series. In this adventure, the girls learn that all is not as it seems in their hometown: the Big Apple. As a sometime New Yorker myself, I loved Bockley's take on what else might be going on in the city. Not too fluffy but not too dark that I wouldn't feel comfortable recommending these to young readers.

Book 92: The Hours by Michael Cunningham
Eh. I've heard so much about this that I expected to either really like it or, more likely, despise it. Instead- eh. It was okay. I'm really not sure what the fuss is about. None of the women really drew my sympathy since none struck me as very three-dimensional and several aspects really struck me as thrown in for p.c.-goodness/shock/etc as opposed to narrative. But it wasn't awful. Just eh.

Book 93: The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
A lot of my high schoolers read this for class these days. That's why I picked this up from the free book bin. Wow. It's pretty adult for that age, but I wish I had read it then. The author's message about Vietnam, and serving in combat zones, and even the military in general, is profound- if you haven't been, you don't know. O'Brien's descriptions of Vietnam were gruesome, and touching, and made me want to talk with make family members about their time in the military. This book might seem juvenile to some adults because of the simplicity of the writing, and it certainly might seem somewhat dated, but I'm glad they're having kids read it for history, and I really enjoyed it, if enjoyed is the right word for a book like this. I just hope the teachers that assign this know how to handle it in class.

Book 94: Fluke by Christopher Moore
Oh Mr. Moore. Always fun when I want light reading. This was very bizarre, and I don't love his Pine Cove books like I loved the vampire books but they were a welcome break from studying. The premise of this book is insane and entertaining. Whale-boys. Sentient goo. Marine biologists. Amelia Earhart. Rastafarians from New Jersey. Sounds like fun, right?

Book 95: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Finally! I can finally check this book off. At least it was a heck of a lot better than Robinson Crusoe, which I confused it with for years as a child (also Thomas Hardy and the Hardy Boys but that is neither here nor there). It was fun. Reasonably fast-paced, geared for younger boys, etc. I did rather enjoy the planning bits and the fact that the boy's independent gallivanting may have helped the crew immensely but still got him chastised severely, as was appropriate. Oh, old books with old fashioned senses of discipline.

Book 96: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I love this book so so much. I know. But I do. I read it at least a couple of times every year, have about three copies, one from the 18th Century (I think?), as well as a DVD of the Shirley Temple movie. What is wrong with me? I don't know, but something about this story of a little girl who is alone in the world yet manages to stick to her principles just gets me every time. You go, Sarah! I will read you to my children frequently, when I eventually have children.

Book 97: The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove by Christopher Moore
Weirdness strikes again. I tried reading this and Fluke once before and didn't care for them but this time I enjoyed them at a moderate level. This one is actually even weirder than Fluke, I think. Primordial beasts. Telepathic lust-inducing mind control. Warrior Princesses. An Old Blues Player. Questionable motives. Crime novel meets soft core meets who the hell knows.

Book 98: Y: The Last Man, Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
These just keep on keeping on. Definitely one of the best new graphic novels I've seen in a while. Yorick continues his quest to find the cause for the plague, a way to bring back the man half of mankind, and his girlfriend Beth, yet more obstacles ever get in his path. Vaughan's hypotheses of what might happen in a society suddenly run by women alone continue to be interesting at the very least.

Book 99: Getting to Maybe by Richard Michael Fischl
This was really good but probably not of interest to any non-law students. It's just advice from professors on how to approach these exams, where we as students normally go wrong, and what the professor actually wants. I plan to pass this on to several of my friends, and would urge anyone with a relative starting law school to consider it as a gift. Thank you, Mr. Fischl, for helping me acheive my scholastic goals this semester.

Book 100: Y: The Last Man, Volume 3
I actually read volumes 3 and 4 right around New Year's and I forgotten which side of the celebration they were on so I decided to split the difference, thereby allowing me to squeak into that 100 slot. Woo hoo! 66% of my goal but still not bad. (I'll save the actual review of Y until I can summarize the next several at once)
221B Baker Street

Books 90 and 91 for 2008

Book 89: How to Be Good
, by Nick Hornby

I picked this up from a free book bin a while back and just got around to picking it up. A few pages in, I realized I had read it before but couldn't remember how it ended. Figured I must not have finished it. A few more pages in and I remembered that I had read it while staying at a friend's house- it's more her style than mine. Still couldn't remember the ending, so I figured I must have left her place before finishing it. I read on. On the last page, as I read the closing words, I realized with absolute certainty that I had in fact finished it before; I just hadn't like it very much.

I include that little anecdote because I do think it says something about the nature of this novel. Nothing good enough to really be memorable but nothing bad enough to make me stop reading it either time. It's like the Dominos pizza of the book world, sort of.

Katie, a middle-aged doctor, is appropriately liberal yet very aware of her social class. Married to a man she had grown to despise, with two children who she claims to love but seems to have little interest in. Her mantra in the book is "but I'm a good person" yet it quickly becomes evident to the reader that this is only true for a fairly loose interpretation of good. She's self-centered, whiny, and filled with self-pity. Her husband, on the other hand, goes from "the angriest man in Holloway" to an automatron that spouts trite suggestions regarding how to make the world a better place. His altruism is the same unthinking, superficial blather as her assertions that she is a good person, contrary to the evidence. Katie has long blamed the problems in her marriage on David's rages but now, confronted with an even more troubled household after his conversion, she's forced to reconsider some of her most cherished ideas.

As I'm writing this, I realize that, once again, it sounds rather like I hated the book. On the contrary, I liked it better this time than the first time, when I believe I found it fairly tepid. This time around, I did think that Hornby, via both Katie and her husband, had some interesting things to say about the way we view problems in the world, each other, daily life, and ourselves. A lot of critics seem to have loved this book, and it is filled with those sly self-mocking-yet-somehow-congratulatory comments about the educated classes that they seem to love. There's even a scene directly addressing that lust to have one's ego petted, obnoxious as it is. As an educated person, I too laugh at the clever witticisms but they leave me kind of dry in the end. Maybe I'm not upper middle-classy enough. Anyway, How to be Good is fine for a quick read and had some thought-provoking things to say about the ways in which people relate, but in the end, it'll go back to the free book bin for me.

Book 91: The Problem Child (The Sisters Grimm, Book 3), by Michael Buckley

Sabrina and Daphne are back, along with Puck, Granny, and all the rest of the Everafters. It looks like Sabrina may have bitten off more than she can chew when she finds herself face-to-face with the monster that kidnapped her parents, even if that monster isn't quite what evenyone expected . . . Added to that, there's an election in Ferryport, a mysterious man that claims to be a long-lost relative, and Sabrina's sneaking suspicion that she might have a crush on Puck. All in all, the elements on another adventure for the Sisters Grimm.

Addendum: There was a part at the end of this book that was extremely cheesy, extremely Deus Ex Machina-ey, and extremely painful to read. You'll know it when you read it. I mean seriously. I hate when authors do this. Mr. Buckley, please stop. You wrote an otherwise charming little book but that scene really made me throw up a little bit in my mouth, from the saccharine overdose. Anyway. I'm just saying. I'll still pick the next one up but I desperately hope that was not a sign of Things To Come. Shudder.
221B Baker Street

Books 88 and 89 for 2008

Book 88: The Unusual Suspects: Book 2 of The Sisters Grimm Series

This is the second installment of the children's series featuring the Sisters Grimm, descendants of Wilhelm and Jacob, Grimm's Fairy Tales fame. Released in 2007, this is available now: The Unusual Suspects (The Sisters Grimm, Book 2)

After their parents mysteriously go missing and the girls get bumped from foster home to foster home, they're taken in by the grandmother that they had been told was dead. In Fairyport Landing, the girls find out that the story of their family is far stranger than anyone would have guessed: the fairytales that the Grimm brothers documented were all real, and the stars of those stories have made Fairyport Landing their new home. They've been trapped there by a spell, cast by Baba Yaga at the behest of the Grimm Brothers, so not everyone looks too kindly on the family, especially since the spell will only be lifted when the last Grimm descendant leaves Fairyport. Nonetheless, the girls eagerly join in their grandmother's self-imposed duty of fairy tale denizen monitoring and detective work. Their zeal for the work only increases after they learn that their parents' disappearance is linked to the fairytale community.

The first book saw the girls settling in and beginning their adventures; this book continues in the same vein but with a new twist: the girls have been forced to start attending school again. They think school might be a refreshingly normal change of pace but no sooner do they start classes than it becomes clear that something is amiss at Fairyport Elementary; something that smacks of fairytales.

Will the girls find their parents? Will they figure out who's behind the strange goings on at their school? Will they manage to win a game of dodgeball? All these questions and more will be answered within the pages of The Unusual Suspects

Obviously, I rather enjoyed this book- just good, clean fun with a clever idea and entertaining characters. Definitely a good pick for the late elementary/junior high crowd, especially those who enjoy their fairytales. Good for a light and quick read for those grown-ups with the same fondness.

Book 89: Hot Mess, by Julie Kraut and Shallon Lester

This is a book that I was asked to review by the author. Released May, 2008, this is available now: Hot Mess: Summer in the City

Emma Freeman decides last minute to ditch her plans of lifeguarding with her boyfriend when that boyfriend rather abruptly becomes an ex-boyfriend. What better way to forget about your ex than to ditch the suburbs for Manhattan? Best friend in tow, she sets off for an internship, adventure, and maybe love in the big city. By the time the girls head back to school, they've found all of that and more: in total, a hot mess.

Initially, I did not care for this book at all. I've worked as a high school teacher and camp counselor for the last seven years and the girls reminded me of some of my less-beloved charges. They're incredibly naive and immature, and the first few chapters of the book seemed implausible and stilted. Once it got going, however, I found myself getting drawn into the story and seeing more positives in the girls. Yeah, they are immature but hey- they're 17 and 18. Weren't we all? Their adventures with crappy jobs, crazy bosses, and utter confusion in the face of Manhattan's chaos reminded me a bit of my own early days in the city (I moved from rural Northern CA to NYC for college at 17)- getting lost on the trains, trying desperately not to look like a tourist, attempting to control your hair in the wretched humidity that is New York in the summer. Oh, the memories. . . but I digress.

By the end of the book, I had actually grown rather fond of little Emma; the author did a nice job of developing her from an ignorant and oblivious high schooler to an ignorant and aware young woman, which I liked far better than an attempt to transform the character into a full-fledged grown-up. Ms. Kraut and Ms. Lester certainly did a nice job a capturing the 17 and 18 year old mentality, along with its hopes, dreams, fears, and surprising resiliency. True, the story is a bit (well, fairly) implausible in some ways but I could see a lot of my high school girls really loving it. I'd also like to add, for any teachers or parents out there, that this book did a nice job dealing with the drinking and fooling around that inevitably surround most high schoolers these days. These girls aren't too squeaky clean to be true but neither are they wanton sexpot addicts, the latter of which I see all too often. They reminded me of my normal good-girl students- they have a drink here and there and enjoy making out with the boys but are pretty innocent at heart. I would easily feel comfortable recommending this to my girls, and I'm pretty strict about that for obvious liability reasons. So if you know any mainstream high school girls that like light romantic adventure stories, this would be a good pick.
221B Baker Street

Books 86 and 87 for 2008

Whoo! Two more down this week, and only 6 more ARCs to go before I'm back to buying my own.

Book 86: My Father's Paradise, by Ariel Sabar

This is an ARC that I was kindly sent by the folks at Algonquin Books. It was released on Spetember 16th and is now available for purchase: My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq

Mr. Sabar, a child of '80s Los Angeles, grew up dismissing his immigrant father. Between an unwillingness to spend money on luxuries like eating out, a fashion sense still inspired by his Kurdish childhood, and an accent that never quite faded, Mr. Sabar's father simply seemed to come from a world so foreign to the author's as to be incomprehensible. Eventually, though, the author came to wonder what his father's story really was and, fortunately for us, to ask questions. From his inquiry came this book, a deeply personal yet widely accessible account of the author's family's move from a village in Kurdish Iraq to the emigrant camps of Israel to America.

The story of the Kurdish Jews is one that I knew nothing about but this book spoke to me nonetheless. The author intersperses stories about his family, beginning with his grandparents' childhoods, with modern-day information about his father, a renowned scholar of Aramaic. His deft storytelling style brings the stories of these people to life, along with his personal interest in them. As he describes his father leaping across the rooftops of Zakho, the village where the family lived in Iraq, the reader has a clear image of this young boy, so unfamiliar in some ways, yet so familiar in others- he may speak a language most of us think of as long dead, but he still fights with his friends over possession of a shiny trinket. It's clear, as the story of the author's father progressed through starts and stops, that the author himself has gained a profound respect for a man that suffered much and worked very hard to get to where he is today.

My Father's Paradise is an excellent book, for anyone, really. It's not just about the history of Kurdish Jews, or even of the author's family, but rather a exploration of family dynamics. How they change, how they change us, and how they continue to influence us long after they're gone. You may learn something about an oft-forgotten people, or about yourself.

Book 87: Nox Dormienda, by Kelli Stanley

This book was also an ARC, kindly sent by Ms. Stanley's publicist. This book was released on July 18 and is now available for purchase: Nox Dormienda: A Long Night for Sleeping (An Arcturus Mystery)

It's raining outside, of course; it always is in Londinium. Arcturus, medicus to the governor and sometimes detective, has a murder to solve and limited time to solve it in. There's a beautiful woman, a trusty assistant, a bully with a heart of gold, sneaky politicians, and plenty of villains, of course. All the elements you would expect of a hard-boiled detective story. The difference here is there's also a Mithraeum, a sprinkling of Latin phrases, some Druids, and talk of the Emperor. See, this isn't just any old noir- it's Roman Noir.

The idea of having a hard-boiled detective story set in London (aka "Londinium") 83 AD is a great one. All the fun of your usual noir, plus Roman intrigue. As far as the mystery goes, I'd say Ms. Stanley pulled it off nicely. She clearly knows her history (and her noir) and the story had plenty of nice twists and turns. Occasionally there were odd jumps that read, to me, like someone had edited out a scene but forgotten to fix the transition, though that may have been fixed in the final copy. My main gripe, though, is about the romance. This is the third historical fiction I've read in the least few months that would have been vastly superior had it not included the romance. Ladies, I know you really want to have a love interest in your story but please- if you decide to go for it, spend as much time developing that as you did you history. An unrealistic love affair can ruin the suspension of disbelief just as easily as a poorly researched historical scene can. I read in Ms. Stanley's bio that she loves Shakespeare and I can believe that- some of the relationships read like the comic love stories of Shakespears in that everyone seems to fall in love with exactly the right person by the end, for no apparent reason and with no explanation, and they do so seemingly instantaneously. I'm reasonably romantic but come on. It takes more than a pair of pretty eyes.

So, the romance was bad, and I really, sincerely hope Ms. Stanley will work on that because she has a whole series planned around this concept, and I for one think it has great potential. As of now, I'd check out the second installment for sure, then see how it develops. I wouldn't call this a great book (even without the romance) but it was a solidly good read and has the potential to be more. Excellent job with the innovation, Ms. Stanley, and I'll be keeping my eye out for the next book in the series. As for the rest of you, if you enjoy Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammet, and especially if you enjoy Roman history, or even if you don't know much about either but want a fun, original murder mystery, check this out- it's good, muddy fun.
221B Baker Street

So very behind! Books 83, 84, and 85 for 2008, with 86 coming soon, I hope

Yikes! I seem to have gotten a bit backlogged. I blame law school. And wedding planning. For those who have kindly left comments, thanks! I do read them all, and they make me happy- I just don't have time to reply. Again, I blame law school. But thank you. Okay. To business:

Book 83: Y, the Last Man: Unmanned, by Brian K. Vaughan (Author), and Pia Guerra (illustrator). Available on Amazon (of course) at a nice discount: Unmanned (Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1)

My fiancee picked this graphic novel up on the advice of some friends and I, in an attempt to avoid reading my legal casebooks, picked it up. An hour or so later I put it down, wondering if the comic book store was still open and, if so, if it would be silly for me to drive over to get the next volume.

Y, the Last Man starts with a simple premise: what would happen if all the men were to die? Suddenly and inexplicably? All, that is, except for one. One man, and one male monkey- the only creatures carrying a Y chromosome left alive, so far as anyone knows. Chaos ensues, naturally, but the authors have created some interesting variations on the usual theme. They also recognize that women are clearly every bit a multifaceted as men, so you get your crazy warrior ladies, glad to have seen the last of the men, along with the women who just want to hide in their beds crying, and pretty much every type in between.

This looks to be an interesting series; though I (sadly) resisted the urge to buy the next volume that night, I definitely plan to pick it up one of these days. The series consists of 10 volumes, all of which are currently available, so no need to sit and impatiently wait for the next volume either!

Book 84: Inkdeath, by Cornelia Funke. Available at Inkdeath (Inkheart)
The much-anticipated finale to Funke's excellent Inkheart trilogy. Darker than the first two, Inkdeath follows the story established in the previous books in a natural way, neither adding unnecassary melodrama nor avoiding unpleasantness when it arises. Truly, an excellent series. I don't think I can do it justice in the limited time I have right now but I will try to come back when I can. In the meantime, if you're a fan of young adult fantasy by authors such as Lloyd Alexander (The Black Cauldron (The Chronicles of Prydain)), Tamora Pierce (Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, Book 1)), and, of course, J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-6)), you should really check this series out. (As an aside, for you die-hard Harry Potter fans- the other two authors I mentioned write/wrote some of the best ya fantasy in existence, as far as I'm concerned, and if you haven't read them yet, you're missing out on some great stuff.)

Book 85: 100 Bullets: Dirty (Volume 12), by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso. Available at: 100 Bullets Vol. 12: Dirty (100 Bullets)

Oh, 100 Bullets. How far will you go? Not for the faint of heart, this series of graphic novels is a must for anyone into gangland violence, mysterious cabals, double or triple dealing. You can almost smell the cigar smoke and blood coming out of the pages. One more volume to go, and so many more people to kill off. Don't worry though- the body count mounts plenty on this one. Repeated: not for the faint of heart.
221B Baker Street

Book 82 for 2008: The Gone Away-World, by Nick Harkaway

Yes, I am alive, though it sometimes feels like I've been buried aline in legal texts. This week I did finally manage to finish a novel, however, and have now finally found time to write my review. It's a bit shorter than my usual, but hopefully it will make sense. I'm also really curious as to how others felt about this, so if anyone else read this, let me know.

This was an arc that was generously sent by Knopf Publishing. The Gone-Away World was released on September 2, 2008 and is currently available for sale through Amazon: The Gone-Away World

What would happen to the world if scientists dicovered a bomb that would make things just go away, and governments decided to use it? Harkaway's debut novel takes place in just such a world, combining elements of standard science fiction fare with Mad Max sensibilities, some political commentary, psychological musings, and, of course, ninjas. If you're thinking that sounds like an awful lot to take on in a debut novel, you would be correct. My one complaint about this book is that it takes on a bit too much and can sometimes feel disjointed and over-stuffed. The author had some really cool ideas that he seems to have thought through really thoroughly. This is a good thing, except that he then tried to cram all of those ideas and details into one novel. The Gone-Away World clocks in at a solid 500 pages, and it's not especially light reading. Surprising, since the back makes it sound like a humorous work. Although it has certainly has elements of humor, I didn't find it funny overall. That's not a critique though; I thought the basic premise of the book worked, bizarre though it sometimes was- I just didn't think it was funny.

Before this review looks like a pan, I should mention explicitly that I generally enjoyed the book. It's really weird. Seriously. Filled with craziness. Most of it made sense, within the context of the book, though occasionally the reverse was also true. I can't even really give more of a plot summary without either getting bogged down in the details or revealing spoilers. So, if you enjoy really convoluted post-apocalyptic semi-humorous novels, give it a shot. If you're expecting a light, silly read, however, this is probably not your best bet. I do look forward to Harkaway's future novels though, because I believe that he has a lot of potential that just needs some tightening up and focusing, so I'd call him one to watch for fans of zany alternative reality works.

221B Baker Street

BBAW and a Meme

It seems that the hole I crawled into this week hid me from an event called Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Seems kind of nifty, really. Plus, I was told that it included a giveaway of Sarah Vowell's new book, The Wordy Shipmateswhich I really want. Anyway, cruise on over to My Friend Amy's Blog to learn more.

In other news, it seems that I have been tagged. Since I would hate to be a discourteous platypus, I can only oblige. Ever wanted to know more about your verbose monotreme of a narrator? Now is your chance, by way of Ms. DevourerofBooks.

What is your favorite word?

Hmm. That seems a bit of a trick question for us wordy types. So many words to choose from, to few answers to give! Reading legeal textbooks is only going to make matters worse too, since they're filled with all kinds of craziness. Still, I do have at least one ever-beloved word: Ever since learning it while training for my job, I have always loved the word callipygian and teach it to my high school kids whenever possible. I love that there may be twentysomethings living in the South Bronx today that remember this word. Beautiful.

What is your least favorite word?

I have to agree with Ms. DevourerofBooks on this one- those words designed to degrade and demean the lady bits are just not okay. Same with the racial/sexual/gender slurs when said seriously. Just kind of makes my skin crawl. I feel like I'm copping out with that one (because it was already said), but it's the truth.

What turns you on (creatively, spiritually or emotionally)?

Getting a little bit fresh, are we? Well, as a freelance writer, I'm only too familiar with the horror felt upon the realization that a deadline is looming and no ideas are present. In those situations I usually read, stay up until the wee hours, chain smoke, and drink coffee (I never said I was a healthy platypus) until the adrenaline kicks in. Seems to work more often then not. Emotionally and/or spiritually is tougher, since that's not really the language I normally speak. I can say that I dearly love (and now dearly miss) sitting outside, in the middle of a giant city, at 3 AM and drinking in the stillness of life on hold. That was my prime reading time and prime me time, and I suspect I will miss it for years to come.

What turns you off (creatively, spiritually or emotionally)?

The widespread lack not only of wisdom or brilliance but also of basic education, thinking skills, and common sense. At some point, I don't even know who's to blame but I see evidence everywhere of our society going down the drain intellectually and it makes me sad.

What sound or noise do you love?

I love the sound of the cello. For a brief while I played (poorly) and I look forward to taking it up again eventually. I could happily just draw the bow across one string over and over and just enjoy the vibrations.

What sound or noise do you hate?

The sound of silverware scraping across a plate. My god, people! Stop trying to cut through your dishes! It kills me! This is one of the reasons I much prefer plasticware, actually.

What is your favorite curse word?

That would be hellfire. Adopted to skirt the issue of whether cursing was appropriate in class, it serves nicely in society at large.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Two words: travel writer. Oh man. If someone would pay me to travel and review stuff, I would think I had died and gone to heaven.

What profession would you not like to do?

Any kind of office job. Not sure how that's going to work with the legal career but I'll find a way. At the very least, NO cubicles, poorly fitting faux-suits, plastic undusted ferns, and overly-coiffed, overly-made up co-workers. Please.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Oh, it's okay- I was kidding about that whole "you have to believe in me" thing.

Now it is your turn!

I’m tagging:

Samchan from Fashionista Piranha

Kathleen from Kathleen's Book Reviews

Taisiia from If I Wanted Your Opinion, I'd Read Your Entrails

Zibilee from Raging Bibliomania