December 14th, 2010

Relax!  Grab a Book!

Book 23

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  1. Millar, Mark and J.G. Jones and Paul Mounts — Wanted (192 pages)
  2. Hoban, Russell — Riddley Walker (240 pages)
  3. Perkins, E.J. — American English English American (47 pages)

Page count: 5869.

The Mad Fisher gave me her Christmas gift on Saturday, so I quickly read through it. It's a "dictionary" of American and English terms. She thought it would be cute, since we've had our fair share of discussions about differences between American and British English. (As I often say, the most challenging thing about moving to England has been the language difference.) It was a great idea.

Unfortunately, this book is complete rubbish. It really requires another dictionary to translate a Welsh person's "understanding" of Americanisms to American English. I've not heard of probably a third of the "American" expressions the author used, and my English is wholly American. Some of the translations were simply ridiculous. Trust me, Mrs. Perkins, Americans have heard of "breasts"; we don't tend to go around calling them "bazooms"! And "dollar" is not a British term that needs to be translated to "buck"!

I am half tempted to put together my own list. I could probably produce a product a million times for accurate and interesting in a half-day's brainstorm than the author compiled in this book.

Relax!  Grab a Book!

Book 24

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  1. Millar, Mark and J.G. Jones and Paul Mounts — Wanted (192 pages)
  2. Hoban, Russell — Riddley Walker (240 pages)
  3. Perkins, E.J. — American English English American (47 pages)
  4. Stevenson, Robert Louis — A Child's Garden of Verses (109 pages)

Page count: 5978.

This will probably be the last book I complete this year, unless I finish some of the other poetry books I am reading. At the moment I have 8 unfinished books I've started. I am trying to finish at least two of the remaining, maybe even as many as four, but I will not be able to finish all of them and may finish none of them. This will lead to a few asterisks in next year's reckoning.

I picked up A Child's Garden of Verses because I enjoyed the poetry by Robert Louis Stevenson used in a song cycle I sing, Ralph Vaughan Williams's Songs of Travel. Despite a strong start, I soon wearied of these poems, though. They are not very good, just simple rhymes with really questionable meter and not much depth. They are meant to be evocative of childhood, and quite a few of them are, but too many seem repetitive, trite, or clichéd.