Lies About Books: Who Could That Be At This Hour?

Reporting live from the Plant Kingdom today, we have reached the end of January, which means it’s time to give a misleading review of something I’ve read in the past four-and-a-half weeks.

This month, I read Who Could That Be At This Hour? by a Mr. Lemony Snicket.

This semi-autobiographical non-fiction book tells the story of one hour in the life of an entirely different and equally real individual, whose name also happens to be Lemony Snicket. This Snicket, in this hour, is plagued by an inordinate amount of unexpected visitors. (The book is semi-autobiographical because Mr. Snicket the author is one of the visitors who approaches Mr. Snicket the protagonist.)

Who Could That Be At This Hour? is divided into sixty chapters of perfectly even word count, and each chapter corresponds to both a different (and sequential) minute of the hour, and a different visitor at Mr. Snicket’s door. But the identities of the visitors are not all revealed…

Chilling in its veracity, fraughtness, danger, and more, Who Could That Be At This Hour? is a must-read for readers of non-fiction. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys uninvited guests, unsolved mysteries, and secret organizations.


Disclaimer: this review is highly inaccurate, and does not betray any confidential information about any secret organizations affiliated with the book.


Lies About Books: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Is May almost over? Well, it may be. It just may be time for more desperate falsehoods about a book I’ve recently read.

In the past month, I had the pleasure of reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall details the curious history of Gilbert Markham, who becomes the eponymous tenant. Despite all the protestations against this peculiarity, Markham insists on renting out the corridor of Wildfell rather than a proper bedroom, setting up shop in the narrow first-floor passageway.

Wildfell being a major office building on its first few floors, Gilbert soon finds himself wrapped up on the intrigues of those who work within. Living as he does in the hallway that separates their office doors from the outside world, he gets in, so to speak, on the ground floor of these conflicts, and slowly becomes an integral part of them.

The question is, who will solve whose mystery first? Will Gilbert solve his friends’ dilemmas before they discover the dark truth behind why he has consigned himself to pitch his tent in Wildfell’s halls?

Gripping down to the last page, I highly recommend The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, particularly to fans of torrid romance, nested stories, and office intrigue.


Lies About Books: The Westing Game

Today is May first–the start of a new month, which of course means time for another totally unreliable book review! This past month, I re-read Ellen Raskin’s masterpiece The Westing Game.

The Westing Game follows a group of sixteen tightly-knit LARPers, who have been playing together, and with the same characters, for years. When an unfortunate freak accident befalls their usual Gamemaster, a stranger comes to take his place, a man known only as Westing.

The group is uncertain at first simply because Westing is an outsider, but slowly they begin to worry that there are even deeper problems at hand. Westing has new, different ideas about everything: the types of adventures he guides them through, the way they play their characters, even the sharpness of their foam weapons.

The sixteen LARPers begin to wonder if what happened to their usual GM was really an accident. As their first game with the new guy fast approaches, they find themselves in a race against time to decipher any clues they can find to how high the stakes have risen, and what Westing’s game is really all about.

Full of clues, danger, and foam swordfights, The Westing Game is exciting and very engaging. I would recommend it to any fans of live-action roleplay, chess, and books that are also puzzles.


Canadian Coins

Welcome back to another week of falsehoods, fabrications, and fictions, brought to you today by Factually Deficient and the letter F. Before I begin today, I would like to bring to my readers’ attention Plan B, a blog created by a colleague of mine for the purposes of giving people terrible advice. I can only hope that Plan B will answer any questions that Factually Deficient cannot.

And now, for our feature presentation, I give you a question asked on twitter by an individual going by the name Beetle:

Is it true that if you scratch the little maple leaf on a Canadian dollar it smells of maple syrup?

Canadian currency is a deep and complicated matter, the five-dimensional heart of the economy. This is not the place to speak of the moulds that vanished the night before the original one-dollar coins were to be minted, never to be seen again, causing the backup design to be used which in turn radically shaped the development of language and slang in Canada, because this is a place for lies, not facts.

I can, however, tell you that if that original design– an image of a canoe– had been used, the coins would have been so constructed that if you put one to your ear, you would have heard the sounds of the water as realistically as if you were standing in the mouth of James Bay.

I can tell you that the loon, the design they used instead, has been known in late autumn to make mournful honks as its flesh-and-blood brethren fly south for the winter.

I can tell you that the two-dollar coin, known as the toonie, is not, contrary to popular belief, so called because it is worth two loonies, but rather because the polar bears adorning it move and play with one another if you stare at it long enough, forming a primitive, numismatic cartoon.

You must handle Canadian dimes (depicting the Bluenose, a majestic ship) with care, because if you rub one in exactly the right pattern, then the room you are standing in will slowly fill up with water.

Nickels, worth five cents and depicting a beaver, will flash red in the presence of other beavers, and blue in the presence of an unowned dam (though they may be difficult to remove from the vicinity of the dam, exhibiting a magnetic-like tug).

There is, in fact, no maple leaf on the Canadian dollar but there are a pair on the penny, which has recently been withdrawn from circulation due to an alarming phenomenon wherein for every thousand pennies minted, a Canadian maple tree seemed to dry up overnight, no longer giving syrup– because all the syrup was now contained inside the coin.

I can only hope, my readers, that if you find in your possession any of these astounding coins, you will use them with responsibility and care.


Disclaimer: Not all of the facts in this post are true. Reader discretion is advised. The writer has never experienced drowning due to dimes first hand, and can neither confirm nor deny any alleged reasons for the discontinuation of the penny in Canada.