Cookie Jar #6

A long time ago (read: when the Romgi was in Korea – the first time), I really, really wanted cookies. But I didn’t have any. I also didn’t have a cookie jar, which would have been cool because then I could have bought cookies and put them in the jar for double awesomeness.

Instead I decided to make a list of things that I was glad for, or that made me happy like cookies would have. Ideally I would’ve written each thing on a separate scrap of paper and put it into a jar, but I just made a list in my handy red notebook.

Then it evolved into jotting down a couple things I wanted at that immediate moment – mocha almond fudge ice cream, for example, or tickets to a particular concert.

So here are some things that I excessively like and would buy, given the resources. And yes, I know some of them are ridiculous.


A Wizard of Earthsea

by Ursula LeGuin

This appears on most lists of “Fantasy Novels You Have to Read Sometime,” which meant it was another book for the train ride. Short, quick, and it had a map in the front.

Strangely disappointing, though.

I thought the story would be more intricate and the world much more interesting, since I’d heard it compared to a cross between Middle-Earth and Narnia. Not even close. And there were several long-ish passages of the main character analyzing himself, or being lost in his own thoughts, which usually spanned a page or two of excessively long paragraphs. I hate (for the most part) long paragraphs in fiction, and I hate (for the most part) having to read a lot of the main character’s inner thoughts and reflections (Crime & Punishment is an exception).

At the beginning, the book seemed to have a lot of potential. I was enjoying it. Then I somehow lost my interest and kept reading only because…what else was I going to do on the train? Take another LSAT practice test?

In all fairness, though, I will probably give LeGuin’s other Earthsea novels a try. (Her books being so much shorter, I’m willing to do for her what I refuse to do for Robert Jordan.)


The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place

by E.L. Konigsburg

You’re probably familiar with author Konigsburg from her Newbery award-winning book From the Mixed-Up Filed of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, which is an excellent book about a brother and sister who live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a while. I’ve had The Outcasts of… on my reading list for a while, and decided it might be nice to read on the train.

And it was nice, although very short (which, for a children’s book, isn’t necessarily a bad thing). I loved that it referenced “Bartleby the Scrivener,” a great short story by Herman Melville (loads better than Moby Dick – you really should read the story). The characters were interesting, but you know what? I felt like it would have made a much better movie than book. Isn’t that odd? Usually you read a good book and think, Wow, wouldn’t that be a fun movie, but here I almost felt like someone had written a book after hearing someone describe a movie. Hm.

It wasn’t as good as From the Mixed-Up…, understandably, but it definitely wasn’t bad. It at least helped take up some time on the train. I had to listen to really loud music on the Zune while I read because I was sitting right by a girl who seemed to have a combination of whooping cough, pneumonia, and emphysema (is that even possible?). Yup.