Despite a seemingly accelerating programming agenda, my reading has not slowed as of late. I recently finished two books, each by one of my entertainment favorites:
The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde - It is no secret that I love love love Jasper Fforde. In fact, I love his writing so much that I happily special ordered the most recent book in the Last Dragonslayer series from the UK. The novel, meant for a juvenile audience, did by no means disappoint. The story picks up where the first book left off. Foundling Jennifer Strange is still acting manager of Kazam, a house of magic-for-hire, although things haven't drastically improved for the motley assortment of sorcerers despite the recent Big Magic. Jennifer and her assistant Tiger Prawns must seek to protect their establishment, use their sorcerers' powers for good, and prevent an all-too-gullible royal household and public from letting themselves be overtaken by the conniving, malevolent, and flat-out mean competition. Throw in a few particularly disgruntled sorceresses and the threat of Quarkbeast-induced localized singularities and you've got a thrilling good story. (Don't understand a word of that description? That's because you haven't read it yet. Jasper Fforde is so funny and fanciful, and it all makes sense in the end.)
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) is the recent memoir by that hilarious customer service rep lady on The Office, Mindy Kaling. Kaling tells the tales of how she got to be the normal, average woman who lives the crazy cool Hollywood comedy life that she leads today. There were so many times in this book when I laughed out loud--Kaling really has a talent for finding the complete humor in situations that are universal in growing up, pursuing your dreams, and dealing with the day-to-day nuttiness that is life. I love how over-dramatic she is--and that she fully realizes she is being over dramatic! This book is worth reading, if for no other reason, for its sensational one-liners peppered throughout the text. Geez, that funny lady is perceptive!