The Nanny Diaries
by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
I enjoyed this light, comic novel as a easy summer reading book. I have to admit being frustrated by the level to which “Nanny” — the young female protagonist — put up with the crap of the Manhattan family that hired her to take care of their son. Any reasonable person would have walked away from the employment situation, so it’s hard to suspend disbelief at some of the plot points. But it was a fun peek into a society I don’t have access to.
A better summary from Amazon: “The Nanny Diaries is an absolutely addictive peek into the utterly weird world of child rearing in the upper reaches of Manhattan’s social strata. Cowritten by two former nannies, Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, the novel follows the adventures of the aptly named Nan as she negotiates the Byzantine byways of working for Mrs. X, a Park Avenue mommy.”
The Watchmen (Absolute Edition)
by Alan Moore
Unfortunately, I don’t time to write a review that would do this book justice, because it deserves a couple pages of thoughful analysis and philosophical examination. It’s an extraordinary graphic novel, written in the 1980s that still resonates in today’s political and social sphere. The author — Alan Moore — also wrote the graphic novel V for Vendetta, which was recently made into a movie (although he disavows any association with the film version). The watchmen is the story of a couple of generations of masked crime fighters, set in real cold war America in the 1980s. Unlike the primary-colored superheroes that we’re all familiar with, these complext heroes explore the moral ambiguity of vigilantism and of society itself.
I bought this after reading an Entertainment Weekly review that quoted some of my favorite writers and television producers (Neil Gaiman, Joss Whedon, the producers of Lost) as saying it was an enormous influence on them, and the influences are clear. One of my favorite things about both Whedon’s stories and about Lost are the subtle plot details that pop out on second and third viewings — a technique that’s used to extraordinary effect in The Watchmen.
A Theory of Fun for Game Design
by Raph Koster
I need to re-read this book to write a good review of it, and to really grasp what I read. That isn’t the fault of the book at all; it was great. It’s entirely on me that I didn’t get a complete picture because my free time to read has been so scattered lately, and it’s difficult to put a book down and pick it back up and remember where I was. I’m going to go over this book again after I finish reading the book I’m currently enjoying, which is:
Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her
I’ll write up a full-scale review of this book when I’m done with it, because I’m thoroughly enjoying reading this great book about one of my childhood role models.