Book Nerding it Up

March 12, 2015 at 8:53 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

To know me is to know I love to read. Hell, even my name gives that away. I’m also really nosy inquisitive and I often try to slyly check out what other people are reading whenever I can. The train is a really good place for me to do this and I have to say that the Kindle doesn’t exactly stop my curiosity. There have been many times that I’ve glanced at the electronic page the person next to me is reading and realized that I can tell what book it is from just a few lines – that’s how much of a book nerd I am.

Bringing strangers together since 2015.

So one day this week I was sitting on the el during my commute home, absorbed in my own book, when I noticed a woman near me kept laughing out loud while she read from her Kindle. That alone got me wondering what she was reading because there have only been a handful of books that have ever caused me to actually laugh out loud and only one that had me chuckling as much as she was. I thought to myself, “Self, I wonder if she’s reading the funniest book I myself have ever read” or something like that and so I covertly looked at her screen. The few words I saw caused me to be almost positive my guess was correct but I had to know for sure so I asked her what she was reading that had her laughing so much. Lo and behold, I was right!

The book in question is one I believe I’ve blogged about before. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore is hands down the funniest book I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading and she was enjoying it just as much as I had. We talked about it for a bit and she recommended a few other books to me before we each went back to our respective literary worlds. I thought about maybe asking her to start a Brown Line Book Club but figured that would be pushing my luck – the last thing I need is someone with a heavy electronic device worrying about stranger danger and hitting me upside the head. I mean, that could damage my vision and if I couldn’t read, what would happen? Well, I’d probably learn braille or turn to audiobooks but it just wouldn’t be the same. And I’d have to stop being a peeping Tom with other people’s books, which obviously sounds awful to me. But if I’m going to be honest, this isn’t the first time I’ve struck up a conversation with a stranger over a book, or had a stranger start a literary conversation with me. Just a few weeks ago I realized the guy in front of me and I were both reading different Harry Potter books so we shared a nice smile over that. And like ten years ago I got into an argument with a guy on a bus in NYC about a character from Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, so there’s that.

Maybe I should try to keep my nose in my book instead of other people’s business? Nope, not as long as I have the gift of sight!


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November 21, 2013 at 12:12 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

I may not have read the book club book but I have spent the last few weeks reading Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal.  This was written by Christopher Moore and was recommended to me by a friend.  I usually enjoy her suggestions so I grabbed it from the library and dove right in!

If you’ve ever wondered how Jesus fed all those people on a few loaves of bread and some fish, this is the book for you.

Anyone who has really studied the Bible knows that there is a huge gap in the timeline in regards to the life of Jesus.  Essentially, something like 30 years go by without being accounted for.  This book takes a humorous approach to those missing years and tells what happened during that time from the point of view of the guy who grew up being best friends with Jesus.  Obviously it’s all entirely fiction (and some would say the same of the Bible, but that’s a different topic altogether) and the story is told in good fun, without taking itself too seriously.  The narrator starts off the book being brought back from the dead 2000 years after he died by an angel so he could write this new gospel, since all of the other ones missed those years entirely.  According to Biff, he and Jesus left home around age 13 to hang out and learn from the three Magi who came to Jesus when he was born.  They spent time doing everything from learning ancient Buddhist secrets in the far East to hanging out with half a dozen Chinese concubines while being fed dates and figs.  Well, Jesus never did that but Biff was all about it.  See, one of the best parts about the book is just how different the two friends are.  Jesus is well…Jesus, and while he gets into some trouble and has the same temptations that all kids do, he’s genuinely a good guy who wants to make the world a better place.  Duh, he’s Jesus.  Biff is a little more vulgar and can enjoy those temptations without worry.  He sleeps around, talks about masturbation, beats people up with the kung-fu skills he learned in the East and has no problem telling Jesus about all the stuff he’s missing out on.  Mary Magdalene is there too (affectionately known as Maggie) and the little love/friend triangle the three have going on throughout the book is pretty entertaining.  We also get to meet all of the Apostles and the personalities that Moore gives them were colorful and inventive.  Many famous scenes from the Bible are also elaborated up, such as the whole walking-on-water incident, the time that Jesus washed everyone’s feet and the night that Jesus turned the water into wine.  Of course, the book ends as we all know it does but there are still some twists and turns that I appreciated.  And yes, I may have shed a tear before I closed the book for good.

Now, I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school.  I understand how a depiction of Jesus getting drunk and spewing over the side of a camel could piss off some religious types.  I can see how some would find this book blasphemous or insulting.  Personally, however, I found it really entertaining and a fun read.  It’s not something that’s going to be for everyone but what would be the fun in that?  It gave me a new perspective and honestly made me want to re-read some biblical passages so I’d say I got a lot out of it.  If you think it sounds funny rather than damning, pick it up and give it a read!

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