Category Archives: pirates

surely you must be mythtaken

The Ant King and Other Storiesby Benjamin Rosenbaum 2008 (228 pgs)

Wonderful magical stories ranging from the title story featuring a modern day Orpheus and Eurydice wandering through ant tunnels that are possibly hidden in a video game, to the strangest Austen story you’ve ever seen set in a cottage on a precancerous mole, a manor carved into a rotten molar, and the perilous journey in between. My favorite was Start the Clock, where a gang of 9 year olds (who’ve been 9 for 25 years after a virus freezes everyone at the age they were) shop for real estate in Pirateland. But every one of the stories was fun.


what shall we do with a drunken sailor?

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists  by Gideon Defoe 2006 (176 pgs)

A re-read of the hilarious third adventure of The Pirate Captain and his stalwart crew- including The Pirate With the Scarf, The Albino Pirate, and The Pirate With the Nut Allergy. Hijinks ensue as they try to rescue Karl Marx (he of the alarming hairyness) from the mysterious statuesque blonde women who seem determined to blame the Communists for drowning kittens and bad weather, among other things.

bits and pieces

Partial reads:

The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down  by Colin Woodward (383 pgs/read 150) 2007

What I love about this book, is that it doesn’t veer into hyperbole or romantic notions about pirates.  Life among the sailors of the day was nothing like the glamorous or romantic ideals we have, it was bleak and brutal and often short.  Woodward sticks to the facts, drawing from historical documents and using direct quotes only rather than made-up dialogue.  Truly informative, well laid out, and constantly interesting.  The included documents (maps, ship silhouettes and relative sizes,  values of everything from a galley to a barrel of ships biscuits to an adult slave) are informative and intriguing.

Why I stopped: came up due before I had a chance to finish.  Ordered it a second time but I’d lost the urgency.

Magic for Beginners  by Kelly Link (272 pgs/read 100ish) 2005

Quirky, captivating short stories.  In one story, a family find their new home becoming haunted piece by piece.  First a clock, then a pair of pants, then a bathroom.  In another story, two young men man an all-night convience store near a chasm full of zombies.  Link can make the most bizarre occurrances seem natural.

Stopped?: Fun, but I kept never getting back to it.

Inventing Beauty: A History of the Innovations That Have Made Us Beautiful  by Teresa Riordan (307 pgs/read 150ish) 2004

A lot more interesting than you’d think & fun to skim.  The illustrations (everything from the first patent of a mascara applicator to bustles through the ages) are fascinating. 

Stopped?: waaaay overdue, every time I pick it up to return I get hooked again.  Dangerous!  I’ve got to get rid of it.

Mirabilis  by Susann Cokal (389 pgs/read 30) 2001

Bizarre story of the village outcast who begins performing miracles. 

Stopped?: somewhat interesting, but not enough to make me invest in it.

The Rough Guide to Blogging  by Jonathan Yang (200pg/read 100ish) 2006

Fairly helpful.  Walks you through blogs from step one.  Well laid out; I’d recommend it to anyone interested in blogs.

Stopped?: read everything applicable.