I Love Cereal

I don't usually write much about the books I'm currently reading on this blog, since I do actual reviews on Amazon. Nonetheless, I'm been feeling the urge to subject the blog world to my thoughts on what I've just read, but in a hopefully non-boring not too "reviewy" way.

Enter January. Enter breakfast cereals. This month I will compare the three books I read to members of my favorite food group in 100ish words or less. If you want an actual synopsis or review check out Amazon.

Book 1: Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
Pages: 533 (this took me forever, since I tackled it during the holidays)
Cereal: Lucky Charms
Why: The cereal's catch phrase "magically delicious" and marshmallow/brown crunchy bits hy
brid make it a perfect match for Midnight's Children. Rushdie's political and social commentary on India's process of independence is intermixed with a healthy serving of magical realism, which focuses on the narrator's ability to telepathically communicate with others born within the same hour of India's rebirth. The marshmallows represent the first two parts of the very long novel, while the crunchy bits are the last one-hundred pages, which while I still liked, I didn't love as much as the beginning which chronicles Saleem Sinai's youth.

This is not a quick read, and it's very dense on many levels. I'm a sucker for magical realism, though, and I welcome a novel that incorporates some history and politics. I enjoyed it, but it is not for everyone.

Book 2: On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
Pages: 203
Cereal: Honey Nut Cheerios (with an unexpected, random toy)

Why: It's really hard to describe this book adequately without giving too much away. McEwan's prose is reminiscent of Honey Nut Cheerios (HNC) in the sense that both are simple, packed with nutrients, and always hit the spot. McEwan and HNC leave you satisfied, but never bored (as opposed to the regular Cheerios). This text describes two young, virginal, British newlyweds who are about to consummate their marriage , yet unfortunately each have some serious sexual issues to contend to (hence the "random toy"). Graphic without being vulgar, just as HNC is sweet without being cavity-inducing.

Book 3: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Pages: 870
Cereal: Cocoa Puffs
Why: God, this one just seems to self-explanatory. First of all, I adore Cocoa Puffs, so it's definitely not an insult. Yes, Cocoa Puffs are sugary, chocolaty, and are represented by a bird- very hard to tak
e the seriously, just like the wizards and spells of the Harry Potter books. Yet underneath it all, there's some substance. Cocoa Puffs have over 20% of your daily values in zinc, iron, vitamins B6 and B12, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin- basically, they're one big multi-vitamin. This Potter book, just like the others, are well-written young adult novels, have good messages, and are good clean fun.

Consumption rates are also quite similar. I can eat a box of Cocoa Puffs in 3 days, just like I can read
a Potter book in three days. And, as much as I love both, they're only used a occasional treats.

I Do Miss Winter, but...

I know I've done my fairshare of "I miss winter" whining (hey, a girl needs to get some use out of her sweaters), but today's morning was perfect outside- reading weather. I enjoyed over an hour of whatever Harry Potter book I'm on in the 68ish degree weather until some jackasses hopped the pool fence and started blasting music. I've always been a big fan of reading out doors, which is unfortunately not always feasible when living in an apartment. We have a great patio area, but, given my aversion to 90.5% of all people and the noises they make, I generally just stay inside. Oh well, at least I got in an hour!


Reading a great book is a lot like eating a satisfying meal- you never want to stop and once you do, you're so full that you couldn't possibly think of starting the next feast... at least for a few hours.

I'm the same way after finishing a book, which I just did. Of course part of me wants to bust out my Amazon review and dive into the next novel waiting in the very long line of books collecting dust, but I know to wait at least a little while. It's similar to breaking up with someone; you have to pause for at least a short period of time (depending on the boy, or book) and let things digest. What did you learn? What did you love? What reminded you of your own life? How does this compare to other stories? What questions might you still have?

Part of my mandatory grace-period is in part out of respect for the author. It's homage to the blood, sweat, and tears someone put into creating something that I've spent hours hopefully benefiting from.

How long does it last? Sometimes four or five hours, sometimes a day or two. Not actively reading something feels a bit lonely after too long, starvation of the literary kind.

Kanye Hearts Borders

First of all, I am completely joking with the title of this post, at least about the "hearts" part- this just allows me to go on a quick rant. When the hell did the word "heart" become a verb? It's a shape, a symbol, an organ, folks! Crap. Shit. Geez. Okay, done.

Anyway, when my husband and I were on vacation last month we quickly tired of Hawaii's radio stations after forgetting CDs and iPod auxiliary cables for the rental car (lots of Christian rock, surprisingly). Finding ourselves at a Best Buy we decided to hit up their very limited music section, and, after hearing rave reviews of Kanye West's new album, my music-loving husband decided to give it a try, and I didn't object. Turns out, many of the songs are great to run to, so it's been on heavy rotation lately (nonetheless, I still wholeheartedly believe that Kanye West is still a massive douchebag).

What does this have to do with books? Well, in my favorite song on the album, All of the Lights, Kanye sings, "public visitation/we met at Borders/told her she take me back/I'd be more supportive." What? Kanye is singing about Borders? As in the place with the books? Granted it's obviously one of those arranged, "you can't beat the crap out of me in public" kind of situations, but still, Borders? I wonder if Kanye got suckered into the Rewards program like I did. After a little research it turns out that while Kanye may be an arrogant prick, he's actually somewhat smart (for a gangsta) and has done some time... in college.

So, yeah, that's pretty much it. Kanye mentions Borders in his songs and I get excited.

Image Credit: http://www.gossiboocrew.com/kanye-west/2009/09/14/kanye-west-is-an-arrogant-drunk-ss-douche-bag/

You're such a bitch :)

Obligatory Disclaimer: I know that smileys aren't exactly found in books (not the ones I read, anyway), but they are made up of punctuation, which can be found in books, so, by proxy, I can write about them in my book blog.

Oh, the smiley. The winking smiley. The smiley smiley. The sad smiley. The open-mouthed smiley (insert crude joke here). I'm definitely guilty of smiley usage, and am grudgingly ashamed. I know that they're ridiculous- seriously, I'm trying to convey a message with colons and ellipses? Really? I used to put smileys on the homework I corrected as a fourth grade teacher, and the intellectual side of me acknowledges the fact that they really are pretty damn elementary.

On the other hand, they have some pretty practical, time-saving uses. You can be as sarcastic or mean as hell, but if you put a smiley at the end the person may think you're just joking or at least being lighthearted (and sometimes I actually am).

You're such a bitch :)
Subtext: God, you're actually a massive a bitch but I know you'll go crazy if I just say it- the smiley will seem jokey.

Wow, your kids have more toys than Toys R Us ;)
Subtext: Your kids are really spoiled. Super great job on that. Have fun buying them a Lexus at age 16.

I really wish I could have hung out with you last night :(
Subtext: You can be really annoying and I much prefer to sit alone staring at the wall picking fuzzballs off my sweater than seeing you.

They're also great for ending a text session with something. It can be awkward when you've been texting someone for awhile and it's time to move on. Saying bye is so strange when texting, for some reason. On the other hand, an appropriately timed :) can be a nice ending.

Smileys are also great for instances when you have no idea what to say. Something sad? :( Something happy? :)

So, just to recap, smileys are a fantastic way to avoid substantial communication, allowing us to further society's technologically-rooted emotional detachment with mere punctuation.


I found the site The Book Cover Archive today- pretty damn cool. They take pride in an "appreciation and categorization of book design." You press "randomize" at the top (over and over and over again) to see their awesome collection.