May 2, 2011

Booklove: now with arts and crafts

I think all the extra-strange dreams I've had in the last week are because of the book I've been reading. I have strange dreams all the time. Pretty much every time I dream. I've decided it's because there's just a lot going on in my head all the time, because I tend to free associate and skip from one thing to another to another, until I have to backtrack just to figure out how I got to the thought that's currently rattling around in there. But this last week, they've been even weirder than normal.

Last night I finished Patrick Somerville's short story collection, The Universe in Miniature in Miniature, and every single story in it was very odd, and very sad. There was so much sadness inherent in every story that it took me longer to read than I expected, just because I couldn't take it all at once. But they were very good. Especially the last one. While a lot of the stories did have some note of hope buried in there somewhere, the last one, entitled The Machine of Understanding Other People, was wonderful. Thank god they put it last, or I'd have been even sadder. And I loved Confused Aliens. It was very Douglas Adams.

Plus, the book cover (inside and out) had this fantastic design that included instructions for making the book into a mobile, with little planets you could cut out and tie on and then hang the whole thing from your ceiling. The best part was that the last step of the instructions said to call the publishers and demand a refund when you're done making a mobile, since these instructions will have thus rendered the book impossible to actually read. It's a good think I was three-quarters of the way through the book before I noticed those instructions. Other than all the sadness, which wasn't really so bad, since it was all written so well, I had no trouble reading it at all. Not that I'm the kind of person that would cut up one of my books, anyway.

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