Friday, March 04, 2005

Cheaper by the Dozen

Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. & Ernestine Gilbreth Carey is one of the books I chose to buy myself as a Christmas present from Liz. It would make a good book to read aloud in a group. It's a collection of funny stories of living in a family of twelve with an efficiency-expert for a father. Through the stories you come to know the family, and to hurt with them at certain points, even though the majority of the book is humor. This book tempts me to write about my own family, in the hopes that I, too, would produce something which could help people to understand my family. But what do you do with the bad parts, the parts family members wouldn't want written (let alone published!) about themselves? Changing the names wouldn't be enough, for those who know us. Perhaps I'll stick to semi-fictional stories; then it's more difficult to ascertain who inspired each character.

While I'm at it, I'm going to "not-review" a couple more of my Christmas books now. Any links will take you to the titles' book reviews (the real kind!) on Sonderbooks, my sister's site; none of them will be to amazon. If you want to buy them I'm sure you'll manage. In fact, if you want links to amazon you can find them on Sonderbooks, and I think Sondy gets a small commission for any you buy through her links.

First there's The Light Princess, by George MacDonald. I didn't write about it right after I read it, like the other ones, so if I had anything particularly insightful to say, I think I've forgotten it. It was a good book though. I think it only took me a couple hours to read, it's quite short. But good. Um... I liked the fact that the princess having no gravity meant that she was both physically weightless and emotionally "light" (I can't think of a word at the moment which means precisely the opposite of "grave" emotionally).

Then there's The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy. Not an amazing book, but fun. I'm curious about the other Pimpernel books, perhaps someday I'll read a couple of them. The first one might be especially enjoyable if you didn't know who the Scarlet Pimpernel is. I don't think it's very hard to guess, but still, it's probably better to read it before watching the movie, unlike what I did.

The Hollow Kingdom and Close Kin, the first two books in a trilogy by Clare B. Dunkle, made delightful reading. I had read the first one before, actually quite recently, but not the second. The second one had a character in it (Sable) very similar to a character I want to write. It worked quite well, and it's a concept I can still use without anyone accusing me of plagiarism, so I'm going to.

That's all the Christmas books I've read so far other than Sailing to Sarantium, which I'm going to not-review together with its sequel, Lord of Emperors, so there won't be any more posts like this for a bit.

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