Dec. 22nd, 2013

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Finished reading Helene Hanff's "84, Charing Cross Road." It's a wonderfully charming epistolary novel (novelette?) composed of correspondence between a poor NY writer and the staff of an antique book store, spanning about twenty years. It's funny and uplifting and, well, like I said, charming, with little glimpses of lives on both sides of the pond starting in 1949, when Britain was still recovering from WWII and dealing with shortages and rationing.

Since I didn't want to acquire a paper book and there is no electronic book available, I borrowed an e-copy (actual scanned book) from the Open Library. It's an excellent and very convenient source for books, btw.
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Reading "Infinite Jest" today came across a mention of S. Johnson, name of Avril Incandenza's tragically late dog. Naturally didn't know who S. Johnson might have been named after, and everything is significant in Wallace's book, so had to look it up: Samuel Johnson, often referred to as Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer (according to Wiki).

Since I can only manage about 50 pages of "Infinite Jest" before my brain starts bubbling out of my ears, I've been simultaneously reading other less intense stuff and just started Bruce Alexander's "Blind Justice". Quote page 3: I was born in the year 1755 in the town of Lichfield, also the birthplace of the great lexicographer Samuel Johnson.

Well, now I know.


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