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I Am America (And So Can You)

200px-I_Am_America_(And_So_Can_You!) A few months back I finished reading Stephen Colbert's I Am America (And So Can You).  From Wikipedia (link):

I Am America (And So Can You!) is described as being a "pure extension" of The Colbert Report, delving into the views of Colbert's "well-intentioned, poorly informed high status idiot" character on what he considers to be the most pressing issues facing America. The book draws some influence from the literary endeavors of the character's pundit models, such as Bill O'Reilly's The O'Reilly Factor (2000) and Sean Hannity's Deliver Us From Evil (2004), which Colbert says he forced himself to read as a reference.

I love The Colbert Report, so I enjoyed the book too.  I didn't like the red margin notes because it was too stressful to stay on the look-out for them and make sure I read them in context.  I took the book with me on my trip to Germany last January (though I ended up not reading any of it on that trip) and remember noticing someone else (probably an American) reading it in the (Amsterdam?) airport.  As I got up to board the plane, I showed him that I had my copy with me, and we shared a moment of solidarity.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone the book


We recently listened to the first Harry Potter book (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) as a family after picking up the book on tape set at Goodwill.  I think Elliot and I were the only ones to make it through the whole thing.  Finn fell asleep as we were listening to last chapter while lying in bed, and Lisa missed a few different parts due to being distracted by other activities.  Elliot really enjoyed it.


I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company: A Novel of Lewis and Clark



I recently finished reading "I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company: A Novel of Lewis and Clark" by Brian Hall.  From the Publisher's Weekly review:

Narrated in multiple distinct voices, this retelling of the story of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's legendary expedition is less a historical blow-by-blow than an engaging character study of the two men. Hall focuses on a few significant episodes in the journey-such as the hunting accident that wounds Lewis and causes him to sink into his famous depression-as seen through the eyes of Lewis, Sacagawea, Clark and Toussaint Charbonneau, Sacagawea's French fur trader husband. The result is a memorable portrait of the expedition leaders.

I started reading it a couple years ago.  It was slow going as I read it it little chunks.  I don't think that was the best way to read this book.  I had a hard time keeping track of who was narrating (Lewis or Clark) and the Sacagawea sections were also difficult to follow (intentionally, intending to represent her native American perspective).

As I finally neared the end, I managed to "lose" the book about a year ago while on vacation in Tennessee.  It was one of those rare occasions when I was sitting in the the back of the van, and I stuck the book in a seat-back pouch.  Fast forward a year, I'm finally in the back of the van again and find the book and finally finished it off.

I think I would have liked the first-person, faux-diary format better if it had stuck with one narrator.  I'm glad to have learned a bit about Lewis and Clark but figure it would have been more enjoyable in bigger chunks.


Journey to the Center of the Earth

I read Journey to the Center of the Earth and then saw the movie after I read it.  The movie and the book were different in a couple ways.  One was in the movie there was a dinosaur and in the the book there wasn't.  In the book they were trying to go to the center of the earth but in the movie they accidentally did.  In the book the mountain guide was a man and in the movie it was a woman. 

My favorite part of the movie was when the dinosaur chased them because it was cool.  The dinosaur was huge and the people were trying to get away.  One of the funny parts was when the boy woke up and there was a dead piranha right next to him with its mouth open and the sharp teeth showing.  He was really really surprised and scared at first but then he realized it was dead.  When we saw the movie it was in 3D.  We had special glasses and when stuff was coming forward it looked like it was coming right at you.  It looked like it was right in front of your face. 

My favorite part of the book was when these two big monsters in the ocean fought.  The funniest part of the book was: nothing!

Captain Underpants

As a reward for good behavior I recently bought the boys a couple Captain Underpants books.  I'm not sure their mother completely approved, but I thought they seemed like the kind of books little boys would like as a reward.  I was not wrong.

The books are cute and irreverent.  I was especially interested to see how each of the books illustrates the boys' creativity with an example of them changing a sign to say something funny.  Here is one:




Here is another example:




It wasn't until I was a senior in high school that I was introduced to this mode of creative fun.  Late at night you find a sign with movable letters and rearrange it to say something else.  Later as a freshman at Lipscomb, I passed such a sign that an apartment complex was using to advertise 1200 square foot apartments.  I wrote down the words on the sign and later, while at the bowling alley, some friends and I (Jayson, Trey, and Joel?) brainstormed a funny/irreverent rearrangement.  It was probably several weeks later before we got around to executing our plan.  One Saturday night, David W. was the driver, and Jayson and I did the rearranging.  The following afternoon, we returned to the scene of the crime for a photo shoot with Lori playing photographer.  Here are the pictures:



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