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Feb 10 2011

6-10 75 Book Challenge Austen, the Bible, and Steven Russell

To finish 75 books in a year, I need to be reading a book an a half a week.  It’s currently week six, and I’ve finished 10, so I’m slightly faster than pace, but not much.

6. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

This is actually the first book I read this year.  For free, on my Kindle!  I’d never actually read any Austen before because I find the concept of reading Romance Novels embarrassing.  Unless they are Twilight and I’m reading them to have ammunition to mock the fans.  But I really like Jane Austen movies and the period and the stories, so I’ve decided to try not to be too embarrassed by it.  Anyway, I enjoyed this and am amazed at how contemporary and snarky it is.  Hard to believe it was written by someone so long ago. A

7. Emma – Jane Austen

This is my favorite Austen story because I find it really funny.  Pride and Prejudice is relatively serious and there are some genuine perils and Sense and Sensibility I have issues with, but Emma is just a bunch of idiots being ridiculous and a bored smart girl being snakry and kind of awful.  I really identify with Emma, which is probably weird because she’s really quite unlikeable.  But there it is.  A+ 

8. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

I don’t dislike this story, but I hate all the characters in it.  Marianne is gag-inducingly over-emotional, Elinor is boring, Lucy is irritating, Colonel Brandon is shallow and insipid, Willoughby is a complete douche, and Edward is self-effacing and masochistic to the point that you simply don’t believe he is real.  B-

9. Biblical Nonsense: A Review of the Bible for Doubting Christians – Jason Long

I was surprised by this book, I didn’t have high expectations, and I thought it was very thorough without being dull.  Contradictions, evil actions on the part of the deity and translation errors are all covered.  While far less confrontational than Dawkins or Hitchens, I have a hard time seeing this as actually aimed at Doubting Christians.  My research of glancing at Amazon reviews doesn’t reveal any Christian who have actually read the book before protesting, though, so I can’t say for sure.  The book highlights two questions I’ve never gotten satisfactory answers to: How do people actually believe that the Bible is true and How do they think that the god presented isn’t evil?  A-

10. I Love You, Phillip Morris – Steve McVicker

I saw this movie last weekend and it was BRILLIANT.  I loved it.  I have a fondness for slightly ridiculous dark comedies that other people are indifferent at best to (see Death to Smoochy) and I love conmen and capers, and this story offers both.  It’s definitely competing with The King’s Speech for my favorite movie of the year.  It is delightful.  Sorry, this is the book review.  I got the book from the library on Monday, passed it to my mother on Tuesday because I’d finished it and couldn’t wait to force someone else to read it too.  I liked the movie slightly more than the book, but I cannot recommend either of them highly enough.  It’s essentially a true gay love story between a conman and the boy who he met in prison.  The cons he pulls are unbelievably awesome and he is currently serving 144 years in Texas for white collar crimes, which seems a bit excessive to me.  But he did escape prison something like 14 times, so…  <3 so bad you guys.  A

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