The Eyre Affair

by Jasper Fforde

In case you’re wondering, no, I did not pick this book simply because the author’s name is Jasper. (Although, if I had chosen on the basis of his name, having a last name that starts with “Ff” didn’t hurt. How cool is that?)

The Eyre Affair is a quirky combination of literary references, time travel, politics, and detective work. If these things seem incongruous to you, read the book. Fforde (heh heh) does a fantastic job of blending everything together. I admit, some of the time travel stuff escaped me, but I have a tendency to skim long paragraphs describing the intricate hows and whys of time-space continuums, so it’s really my fault. Besides, it would be hard to make time travel more confusing than in Tanglewreck (dumb).

The main character and heroine of the book is, no kidding, named Thursday Next. Apparently Fforde (heh heh) has written several novels in which she is the main character; when I finish another 50 or so of the books on my list, I may read another Thursday Next novel. But only maybe.


Torture as a Moral Act

This year, the girl I tutor is a high school senior, and her English class is focusing a lot on contemporary literature and persuasive writing. Recently she was assigned a rhetorical analysis paper on an essay of her choice (from the book they’re using in class); she chose a piece titled “The Case for Torture” by Michael Levin.

You can read the essay here.

I’ll leave my thoughts in the comments after you’re kind enough to tell me your opinion, both on the topic itself (is torture justifiable?) and the author’s rhetorical skills (does he convince his readers?).

P.S. Are you surprised to learn that I do actually think about things besides the Romgi, the Bwun, and Mother’s Cookies?