Wednesday with Words: The Element of Surprise

Lemony Snicket has a style all his own. I’ve already heard another witty author, Terry Pratchett, in fact, use the phrase ‘the element of surprise’ in a literal way, but I think I like Mr. Snicket’s take a little bit more:

If you are ever forced to take a chemistry class, you will probably see, at the front of the classroom, a large chart divided into squares, with different numbers and letters in each of them. This chart is called the table of the elements, and scientists like to say that it contains all the substances that make up our world. Like everyone else, scientists are wrong from time to time, and it is easy to see that they are wrong about the table of the elements. Because although this table contains a great many elements, from the element oxygen, which is found in the air, to the element aluminum, which is found in cans of soda, the table of the elements does not contain one of the most powerful elements that make up or world, and that is the element of surprise.

Lemony Snicket

The Ersatz Elevator

On my reading list this week:

The End by Lemony Snicket: The problem with the Series of Unfortunate Events books is that they’re just too short. I read two of them in one day, at one point, but I am beginning to slow down a bit as I reach The End, if only because I’ve read so much Lemony Snicket in so little time that I feel I’ve got ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ coming out of my eyes, as well as entering into them. (There, you see? I’m beginning to write like Lemony Snicket as well!)

The Strangers by Jacqueline West: The Books of Elsewhere and A Series of Unfortunate Events are the two major things I want to finish up before school starts. I’m actually surprised to find that both of these series are much better written and ask much more thought provoking questions than I initially expected. Although the protagonist of The Books of Elsewhere can be a bit stubborn and, honestly, rather thickheaded at times, I’m glad to see that she’s learning at least a few important lessons as the series goes on.

(I’m also reading other stuff, I promise, but its stuff that I’ve already listed on here for previous Wednesday with Words posts, so I won’t list it again. You can check out the Goodreads widget on the right side of the screen for a more complete list of what I’m working on, if you wish.)

Wednesday with Words is hosted by ladydusk.

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