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March 20, 2021 10:32 AM

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Great Glass Elevator

Yes, I'm still dealing with sleeping issues. It's not nearly as bad as before, but it lasted long enough that I read all of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator during my sleepless hours at night.

I kind of love that the first book starts off like this:

These two very old people are the father and mother of Mr. Bucket. Their names are Grandpa Joe and Grandma Josephine.

And these two very old people are the father and mother of Mrs. Bucket. Their names are Grandpa George and Grandma Georgina.

Love the fact that Dahl just calls them "very old people" and the fact that their names are "Joe and Josephine" and "George and Georgina". Little things like this amuse me when I'm reading.

I remembered the story pretty well since it's so popular that two movies were created from it. The book is actually a lot simpler than the movie, which I appreciated. In the original movie, there's a scene where we think the final golden ticket has been found, but it was actually a fake. There's also a scene where Charlie and Grandpa Joe sneak into another room and drink this fizzy drink that they weren't supposed to. It was kind of weird, because Willy Wonka clearly noticed them "breaking the rules" but it was like "eh, whatever, you still win." I thought it was a weird addition to the movie.

But I'm talking about the book. Charlie is 100% wholesome in the book. The book is simple and silly which is my favorite kind of book.

Now Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator is something that I think I had only read once or twice in my life, so there was a lot I didn't remember. But I have to say, this is even more ridiculous than the Chocolate Factory. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I can see why this sequel isn't as popular. There's a kind of racist section of the book. There's some more adult humor in it. Maybe it gets a little too political at times. There are really two separate stories that just get hastily strung together in the end.

But hey, in my bouts of insomnia I was laughing at all the insanity in the book, especially during The Nurse's Song. (Google it if you're curious.)

I really enjoy Roald Dahl's writing style. I think it influenced my own when I was in middle and high school. Maybe if I read more of his stuff I'll be inspired enough to figure out how to end a story I wrote many, many years ago.

January 31, 2021 5:47 PM


About a month ago, I said I was going to read all the Roald Dahl books. And since writing that post, I haven't read any more of his books. The problem is that I don't own any of them, so I have to take them out from the library, and with Covid, they only do curbside pickup. I have to request the book first, and the first few books I requested have taken a really long time to be available.

So, I decided I would read a book that I already own. At the moment, I only own four reading books, and one of them isn't even in English. I hadn't read The World of Pooh in such a long time, and it's my favorite book ever, so I figured I was due for a re-read.

One of the things that I don't think I appreciated before are the poems. Pooh is always turning his thoughts and adventures into songs and poems.

It's a very funny thought that, if Bears were Bees,

They'd build their nests at the bottom of trees.

And that being so (if the Bees were Bears),

We shouldn't have to climb up all these stairs.

There is so much in these two books that makes me smile and laugh. I love the writing style and the nonsensical logic. Every character is just so damn snarky and mean to each other without meaning to be. Well, except for Eeyore. I think he means it. It's all lighthearted, so no one takes anyone else too seriously.

"Thank you, Piglet," said Pooh. "What you have just said will be a Great Help to us, and because of it I could call this place Poohanpiglet Corner if Pooh Corner didn't sound better, which it does, being smaller and more like a corner. Come along."

But besides the silliness, there are also really touching moments in each story. And sometimes those are a little silly as well.

"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.

_ {" `,.-~--. ,"\ _.-~~~-._ `; ` ,; ,-' `~. : :____,'_________________`._ ,'. .,; /\ .,.' `. ; },~ ' { / / \ \ (\, -' `. ,: : : : ; : : ; ,'~~'. \ : . .\ /. ` ., __,./ Y _ : `-.; ; ; { } :' ; Y~-~'; .~: ; `.,.-' y~-'_. `~-~" /////// J) "~' ////// /////// ,, /// ////////////////// //////// Piglet is actually much smaller than that, but, you know, limitations of ascii art.

Winnie-the-Pooh always gets a solid 6 out of 5 stars from me.

December 30, 2020 11:34 AM

Roald Dahl

As a kid, my favorite author was Roald Dahl. I was just really into his weird, kinda gruesome sense of humor. I had mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to read more, and I decided that [re-]reading all of his books would be on my lifetime TODO list.

I'm also trying to read them in the same order he wrote them. The first book he wrote is called The Gremlins. Apparently he wrote this in partnership with Disney to make a movie, but the movie never actually got made. It was alright. It certainly read like a Disney movie.

The next book I read is a collection of short stories in Someone Like You. I don't think I'm really a huge fan of short stories. Some were kind of interesting, some kind of dragged.

Overall, not that exciting yet. I'll start getting into his bigger hits next.

December 6, 2020 7:25 PM


I've been trying to read more lately. Like, read things on paper, not on the internet. I wanted something to do during my weekend breakfasts that didn't involve staring at a screen, since I don't think it's good for me to look at a screen so early in the day if I don't have to.

I've been keeping a list of "books to read" and Educated by Tara Westover was on the top of it. I don't really remember when I added that book to my list, but I have a feeling I saw it at a hipster book store and it looked interesting. Plus it was on the New York Times Bestseller list and had pretty high reviews on Goodreads.

/\ ## /##\ Can you tell this is a pencil? `#*` ...No? Neither can I. / \ . o . / ,^~. \ |`' `'| | | | |

Educated is a memoir, and I like reading memoirs. It's like reading about a celebrity in a magazine, but it's in the form of a chapter book, so you feel like you're doing something productive.

This book wasn't quite what I expected. I thought I would learn more about her education, but it was really about her family issues. It's actually kind of disturbing, especially because it's a true story. But overall, this was a gripping tale. Very enjoyable read.