Sorry for the long post in advance, it’s been a long time since I’ve read a book about museums and antiquities and I forgot how much I love them and how much they make me think!
This book has been on my to-be-read shelf since July of 2011 and I can’t believe I waited this long to read it! I will never forget my first Anthropology class in undergrad and the professor going off on a tangent about the looting of the museums after the fall of Saddam Hussein. It pretty much guaranteed I would be an Anthropology major. (I later switched to cultural anthropology and focused on gender in the media, but still the people were awesome!) The intrigue, the drama, the affairs and the crimes, it could be a spy novel if it were fiction and not fact! This book will count as a bonus book for my 2013 Mount TBR Reading Challenge.
What’s important to note is that this book is not academic, Waxman wrote the book for a general audience and in this she succeeds. There are very few things that would go above someone’s head who doesn’t have a degree or a heavy interest in Ancient History, Anthropology, Archaeology or Art History. She, or her editors, appear to have been very aware of this and kept to the journalistic research intent of the book.
However, this also work against her and ultimately I felt the entire purpose of writing the book got lost. Someone on Goodreads tagged the book as ‘ending goes south’ and that’s an apt description. Waxman keeps building the crescendo and it gets to a point where you just want her to tell you what happens. And then she reminds you that all of this is still happening and things are still changing rapidly totally dampens the bang that could’ve ended the book.
One of my friends put it best, ‘So apparently Cujo is just a bad lifetime movie with a rabid dog’ and although he was referring to the movie, it pretty much sums up the book as well. I just was not impressed and couldn’t get into the novel. The major plus side was that it felt like a short novel.
If you haven’t figured it out yet I didn’t enjoy this book. I am glad I can now say I’ve read a Stephen King novel but overall it was lack-luster and disappointing. I didn’t choose to read this novel on my own, it was the selection for our April Books into Movies library book group. So my disparaging review is totally legit. I did have major issues with the formatting of this book. I read this book through Overdrive from my local library and somewhere during the conversion process a lot of mistakes were processed. It was really distracting and felt more like a galley than an actual published book.
I had a lot of problems with the book especially after it started out with such a good sense of terror and what was to come. I definitely freaked out within the first ten pages, but that feeling slowly disappeared and never returned, a lot of this had to do with King’s writing. It felt like he was writing down to his readers, almost dumbing things down for them and this bothered me. (I will provide a caveat that I read this in the middle of reading Middlemarch which is incredibly well written.)
I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who checked in with me after what happened on Monday. I’ve not met any of you in person, but the number of you that reached out to me to make sure me and my friends were okay was truly heart warming. I apologize if I didn’t get to respond to everyone individually, but hopefully you saw my message saying I was okay.
I was with friends about 2-3 miles from the finish line around the 24 mile marker and well away from Copley Square. It took a long time to get home that evening, but that was okay; I was safe and everyone I knew was safe. And as much as I love to complain about the MBTA and hate to admit anything great about them, I have to say their response immediately afterward and ability to get things back up and running mostly that evening and 99% the next day was incredible.
The city is slowly getting back to normal, but there are daily reminders, good and bad, that the Boston is dealing with the aftermath. Every morning I go through Copley station and the station is still closed and it’s an eerie reminder of what happened with all of the lights dimmed. There is still a large area cordoned off around the scene, including the historic Boston Public Library. But the worst is how empty the city feels; it is school vacation week, so many families are out of the city, but the lack of people on the T and walking the streets is eerie.
And just like that March is over. If possible it went by even faster than February. Part of this comes from how ridiculously busy I was this month, but I think part of it came from the fact that spring looks like it might’ve finally arrived in Boston (but I’m not holding my breath just yet.) From realizing that I’ve been at my job for almost 6 months, to starting CrossFit (I’ll write more about this later) and having a social life for the first time in ages, I’ve been crazy busy.
Outside of reading and books, things have been great if hectic, I realized a couple of days ago that on April 15th I will have been at my job for six months and that’s just crazy! I’m still loving it and can’t wait to see what happens over the next six months. My desk is to the right, because no post is complete without pictures. It pretty much will look like that for the next two weeks (if not longer) because I’m right in the middle of a busy period as I’m running phone-a-thon, but I love it because I work with students and they’re hilarious. And things are only going to get busier as we have a lot of events between now and mid-June and my sister graduates from her MA program in May so that just adds to my business.
This month flew by! I can’t believe how fast the month went and that it’s already March! The coolest thing this month was experiencing my very first BLIZZARD! If you want to see an awesome post with the dogs I live with click here. We’ve gotten a lot of snow off and on this month, but still not as much as the winter of 2010/11. To the right is a lovely picture I took Sunday night (Feb 24). Most of the snow is now gone after two solid days of rain.
On a random note I’ve made a couple of changes to my blog. I’ve added a few different ways of looking at the books I’ve read in the past. It’s no longer just by year, but you can now see by author and by series. I hope they are helpful to you, the readers, but mostly they’re there for me (assuming I remember to keep them updated).
In addition I realized when an author contacted me yesterday that I’ve had some pretty cool things happen since I started this blog so I created a sort of YAY ME! page which you can see here. I’ve called it ‘They Like Me, They Really Like Me!’ from that infamous Sally Field’s Oscar acceptance speech. I’m sure there are things missing, like my first ARC, and I hope there are more to come, but I thought it was kind of neat looking back. It’s amazing how social media has leveled the playing field between authors and readers.