Saturday, July 2, 2011

Reading Roundup, 2 July 2011

Favorite Bookish Links
  • I love punctuation. It's so useful. I'm a particular fan of what I've always known as the serial comma. You know, the comma that comes after the penultimate item in a series. I've noticed, over the years, that its use has seemed to be in decline, but I didn't know that it was officially endangered until I saw this article on Galley Cat. (I also didn't know that it is also called the Oxford comma). How relieved, then, was I to read the next day that the Oxford University Press does indeed allow "thoughtful use" of the comma in question. I read quite a few articles and their comments, some bemoaning, some celebrating the loss of this marvelous punctuation mark, but my favorite was Alexandra Petri's blog post at the Washington Post. In addition to being quite hilarious, her post quoted a wonderful example (by an author who has no particular commitment to the Oxford comma) of an instance of meaning transformed by an unplaced comma: "I'd like to thank my parents, Ayn Rand and God."
I did not write a single review this week. I did, however, just finish Dan Simmons's wonderful--and quite fat--new novel Flashback, and a review is percolating.


Some look good and, well, some don't. Most are new, one's not (but I just found out what it's about).

My reading roundup is lame this week. Why not help me fill it out by linking up your best review or other book-related post of the week? Or, perhaps, a link to someone else's book-related article.


karen! said...

I so love the Oxford comma. It makes me horribly said that it's going out, but I will continue to use it regardless.

Rebecca Glenn said...

Yes! It just makes sense. When I'm reading a writer who doesn't use that Oxford comma, my mind makes weird clumps of the last two items in the series...and don't you just love that, "my parents, Ayn Rand and God?"


EnriqueFreeque said...

I assume The Quincunx by Palliser to be the "not new" you rounded up this week, eh? Not much of a roundup, you say? Listen, if the only book you'd rounded up all week was, in fact, The Quincunx, you'd of had yourself a grand week, from my perspective. Years since I read it, but oh so intriguing. Bit of a puzzle. Must pay close attention to the details in order to unlock all five keys to the mystery.

I'll be back in a sec and link a fairly recent review, full of great ideas for summer reads, suggestions courtesy of Anthony Burgess ...

EnriqueFreeque said...

um ... never mind about the Burgess ... seems I forgot I already linked it last month! I'll go find something else ...

Rebecca Glenn said...

Yes, The Quincunx is the not new book. I haven't acquired it yet, mind you, but read of it, I can't remember exactly, but somewhere, and was intrigued. I'd always eyed it on the shelf when working in the fiction section, but never approached it.

Thanks for the Bingham review. See my comment over at the forum.

I'm going to link the Burgess again right here, because it sounds so wonderful and because we all need interesting, quirky reading lists from quirky, brilliant thinkers.

aloi said...

i just discovered your blog and am a new follower!

i love the oxford comma. it really helps. i hate long long sentences where you need to figure things out.