Friday, January 25, 2008

Books That Make You Dumb

OK, I don't like the title of Books That Make You Dumb so much, but that's because I feel that the study also goes to show which books make you smart.

OK, pretensions and condescensions aside, Virgil has compiled a very nice chart, backed by very nice statistical analysis (OK, it wasn't that complicated, but it must have taken a lot of work).... as I was saying, a very nice chart correlating favorite books with people's intelligence, or at least their scholastic aptitude.

He took the top 10 favorite books (as listed on facebook) of 1300 or so universities. He then used the average SAT scores of undergraduates at said universities to give each of the most popular books it's own average SAT score. Actually, he gives us a range, but you get the idea.

He uses this data to present us with three excellent charts - all with the same information; only the grouping is changed.

Two of the charts group books by genre, and here is the only place I quibble with Mr. Virgil (OK, Virgil is his first name, but I like to say it this way). A Tree Grows In Brooklyn is Children's Lit? What particularly makes Brave New World Sci-Fi, but A Clockwork Orange Dystopian? And Wuthering Heights is a classic, but Pride and Prejudice is Chick Lit? Really?

Anyhow, you know of my inability to praise without poking, but really, I love the study, and you should all definitely check it out.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Zombie Love

Maintaining the morbid theme developed in my last entry, I present to you some good ol' zombie lovin' by Isaac Marion

I find it difficult to admit that I liked reading a touching story about zombies, but I did. I'm not really sure why the author chose the subject, but he made it work - and I do mean made it work. It almost feels as though the topic was a creative writing prompt, and Marion just ran with it.

Perhaps I will continue this theme by reviewing Thirteen Bullets in my next post - or maybe I'll review The Prestige. We shall see.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Cthulhu and Gaiman, sitting in a tree

Arr apostraphe ell why eee aych.... yeah...

So Neil Gaiman has posted some Lovecraftian fiction here.

Or, at least, I wanted to call it "lovecraftian" at first. Unfortunately, the more I think about it, the less I am able to differentiate between what Gaiman has done and fanfiction. Perhaps that's why it is posted on his blog?

So tell me - is this truly fanfic, or is my head unable to catch something that my gut does? Perhaps it is merely that I generally dislike the fanfic I come across and tend to think of it as intellectually lazy that I fail to acknowledge the potential for genuinely innovative, clever, and appealing fiction within the... genre?

Go read the story and tell me what you think.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Hey everyone - I'm currently in training for my job (for the fourth time.... either this is a teeensy bit redundant or I've been working for two years without being properly trained. *sigh*).

Anyway, It might be a week before I post again. Things are pretty hectic (12 hour days, plus an excrement-load of stuff to get done before training ends).