the bedford handbook by diana hacker
photographic atlas of entomology and guide to insect identification by james l. castner
i use to have a copy of the bedford handbook (required purchase for that single semester of freshman english i had to take in order to fullfill my engineering school english requirement), but since then it has mysteriously disappeared. i never really used it when i had it, but now that it's missing in action, i'm kind of curious as to what all the hype was about. it's nice to have some grammar/style reference handy though, besides the tidbits of writing knowledge i've stored up in my head. but to be quite honest, getting the bedford handbook was really just a collateral purchase. the main thing i was buying was the entomological guide. i've had my eyes on it for quite some time, and it's been on my amazon wishlist since the beginning of the year when it hadn't even been published yet. i was reluctant to purchase it because it was labeled as a special order and would take 4-6 weeks to arrive. just by chance i went to its info blurb on amazon and saw that there was one available in stock, and that it could be shipped out immediately, no need to wait. so i quickly added it to my shopping cart and minutes later i had made another online purchase.
elsewhere on the book front, i've got less than 40 more pages to go on the descent by jeff long, about the discovery of an actual doorway to hell and the exploration and destruction of the world below. i originally got it because it sounded like a good read, but now that i'm almost finished, i wouldn't really recommend it to anyone. parts of it is like a gory horror story, but then there are other parts where it delves into the realm of silly romance novels. i hope i can quickly finish the rest of it tonight and move on to my two other books, one about the mossad and one about colonial shanghai.
i don't understand how people can read straight fiction. that is, fiction without any gimmicks, fiction that's just about people, albeit sometimes quirky or dysfunctional, but people never the less. i find those books to be boring. i find the vast majority of the fiction that's out there, all those books you see on those best seller lists, to be quite dull. i totally do not understand what makes people read them, other than peer pressure or maybe a case of low self-esteem and the desire to present a smart image (hey look! i read!). it's not that i don't like reading, but reading is very sacred to me, not something to be squandered. it's such a time commitment, i guess i don't have any patience in reading anything that i am just not absolutely passionate about. if the story does grab my attention right away, i'm not going to give it the time of day. i am a very picky reader i suppose. i'm not picky about my movies, or the things i eat, or the clothes i wear, but when it comes to books, you'll never find me reading something i don't like. that's why it feels like a betrayal when i select a book to read and discover that it's not what i expected. the last book i read was choke by chuck palahniuk. not much of a story, kind of rambling, but the way he writes, it's like every sentence is a shot of adrenalin. that book i read more out of an admiration for his words and less about what he has to say. that book i would recommend to others, but not to everyone.
if you'll excuse me, i have some reading to do, i like to get it done before the sun comes up.