Emigration [Open Thread]

This completes my backlog of books to review, so now I need to read some more. Fortunately, there are a number of intriguing suggestions left from the summer reading thread…
Cory Doctorow: Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town: I read Cory Doctorow pretty regularly on Boing Boing, but I hadn’t tried his fiction before. This one looked appealingly surreal, with a protagonist whose parents are a mountain and a washing machine, so I picked it up. The plot is straightforward: Alan is trying to fit into society despite his bizarre origins, but is being stalked by his murderous, undead brother. This provides the motivation for a study of weirdness and dealing with outsider status that forms the larger theme of the book. (I have much more to say on this topic but I intend to put it in a separate post.) There are also a couple of subplots, one of them being a charming love story, and the other being an unnecessary geek-out involving free wi-fi in Toronto, during which the characters frequently seem to be talking in Cory Doctorow’s Boing Boing voice. The main story was very entertaining, however, and led to some further thoughts which I’ll hopefully get around to posting. I’ll also mention that the book is available for free download in a variety of formats at Cory Doctorow’s website. (I bought a physical copy, because like Alan I enjoy having actual books on my shelf.) Rating: 3.5/5
Camera Obscura: Let’s Get Out Of This Country: This CD makes me want to dance. It’s not remotely dance rock in the sense of, say, Ladytron—in fact it’s indie pop from Glasgow, and that other Glasgow band Belle & Sebastian is a much more apt comparison—but I could definitely practice some of my recently-learned ballroom steps to a few of these songs. The cleverly-named “Tears for Affairs” is suitable for cha-cha, and “The False Contender” is a waltz. The album as a whole has a fun, light feel; although there are no truly spectacular tracks that beg to be put on repeat, it’s a nice CD to play all the way through, and you’ll be left with a calm feeling afterwards. Rating: 3.5/5

6 thoughts on “Emigration [Open Thread]

  1. Mason

    I like reading physical copies of books too.
    Also, one of the things to which I’m really looking forward when I finally leave my itinerant lifestyle is getting all my books from my parents’ place and proudly displaying them on a bookshelf in my own place.

  2. Zifnab

    Ditto on physical copies of books. I have an extremely hard time reading anything of book length via an electronic screen. It doesn’t feel as comfortable, personal or accessible as a physical copy. Plus there are many distractions when reading via computer or so on. Those get completely zoned out when I read physical books.

  3. Josh

    I think that Rupert Giles would point out that reading off of a computer screen is worse because computers don’t have that “book” smell.

  4. Jolene

    I’ve read a lot of short stories online, but I’d rather have books in print. There’s something soothing about going to a bookstore and leafing through possible buys.
    To take advantage of the open thread:
    I don’t know how much this one has been circulated on the web, but I just saw a link to it yesterday. And it’s coming to the U.S. in 2007.

  5. Josh

    Speaking of taking advantage of an open thread…
    Damn! I forgot to include the GREATEST MUSIC VIDEO OF ALL TIME in my list way back when, and I don’t think anyone checks up on that post anymore.
    So now I present to you the music video I saw while drinking in Japan:
    Ken Ishii vs. FLR – Space Invaders 2003

  6. Arcane Gazebo

    I’ve been able to read long documents on-screen, but in some ways having a physical book is more convenient.
    Jolene: I saw chessboxing at some blog, but now I can’t remember which. The strategic considerations are interesting, though.

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