Saturday, September 25, 2010

Rewind Review #3 - Oh, How I Love This Book

You know how you are just now watching/reading/hearing that thing that everyone was talking about 1/2/10/15/20 years ago?  Or maybe you're revisiting something you LOVED and want desperately to talk about it to someone who cares?  Well, this is my forum to discuss that thing.  Join in, make suggestions, read my genius thoughts about that old school thing.  [Not to be confused with Old School, the movie, or being old school.  Although either of those may come up in the future.]


I have a hard time, sometimes, falling asleep and staying asleep.  When I get those annoying bouts of insomnia, I try and relax myself into sleep by watching a dvd or reading.  Among my usual go to books [books that I love, but that I've read a thousand times, so I won't be kept up because I need to know what comes next] is Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About by Mil Millington.

This is Mil. He is awesome.
 So, this started as a website, and then became a book, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE both.


No. Really.  Love.

The book came out in 2003, and I can't remember, but I think I read the book first, before I found the website.  And I was delirious.  It is so cleverly written and so funny and so, OH MY GOD, it's not just our relationship that's like this, that it I could not stop laughing and reading to the husband.  And when I found the website? I spent many a hour that should have been spent on productive work-type stuff reading such gems that Mil and his girlfriend Margret have argued about like:
  • The way one should cut a Kiwi fruit in half [lengthwise or down the middle]
  • Their phone number
  • The best way to hang up washing
  • The way to eat two-fingered Kit-Kats. Mil: like I'd eat any other chocolate bars of that size, i.e., without feeling the need to snap them into two individual fingers first. Margret accused me of doing this, 'deliberately to annoy her'.
What joy! What delight in finding another couple that fights, like we do, about small things that become OH MY FUCKING GOD, why are you folding the towels in HALF AGAIN? DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND? It's IN HALF, and then IN THIRDS. God.  What is wrong with you? Were you raised by wolves?

The wrong way. God. This makes me want to punch kittens.

The right way. And, I swear, that's what the photo caption said.
So.  Back to the book.  The book is about Pel and his girlfriend Ursula and marginally about their two children and how Pel, who works at a university librarian in northern England, becomes embroiled in really outrageous shenanigans that are not his fault and sometimes seem utterly fantastic but at the same time seem, sure, why not? Absolutely true.

Plus, there is the character of Terry Steven Russell - TSR - who looks like the devil and is always in a rush and has never, in his life, heard the final beeps on the microwave.

True story: I set a bag of popcorn on fire in our microwave. FIRE.
The writing is great fun.  There are some set pieces which also manage to move the plot along, but make you feel as if you've just plopped into the novel [like Thursday Next!] and are right there, listening in on conversations.  

This is Thursday Next, from Jasper Fford's excellent series of books. Don't believe me? Ask Megan at Best of Fates.

The characters are fantastic - and Mil does a brilliant job in creating indelible figures with just a few sentences [see TSR above, for example].  And the interplay between Pel and Margret is reminiscent of the website, but isn't tied to it.  So, good.

The plot zips along and makes you want to read faster and also not want the story to end.  Plus, there are enough twists and turns to make it fun on a re-read. Or re-re-re-read.

So.  I'd obviously highly recommend this book.  HIGHLY.  I think everyone should read it.  And also the website.  Because really, what else are you going to do all day?


  1. Oh my. I cannot let you in my bathroom. You will not approve of my wrongly folded towels, and then you will punch my cats. This can't end well.

  2. Alone - Yes, I think it's best if I just stayed out of your bathroom. I don't want your cats to suffer needlessly. Or, you could refold your towels. It's best for everyone!

  3. thanks for the reco - will check out.

    my boyfriend and i argue over if we are or aren't arguing.

    and i have OCD, but it ends with folding towels in thirds. but now that i know this is the proper way, i might have to start folding my towels this way. great.

  4. Simone - Oh, yeah. The "I'm not yelling. This is my voice." is a classic between me and the husband. I think, also, that you'll be surprised at what a positive difference folding towels in thirds will make in your life.


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