Archive for the 'books' Category

QotD: Books From My Childhood

December 11, 2006

What books did you love as a child?
Submitted by hearts.

Some of my favorite books growing up were the ‘Clue’ mysteries, based on the popular board game. There were 18 in total, each containing ten self-contained stories. These stories featured a wide variety of mysteries, ranging from who stole the last piece of cake to who killed Mr. Boddy. It should be of no surprise to anyone that I wasn’t very good at solving these mysteries. I mostly read them for their (seemingly) sophisticated humor, and because I was obsessed with the board game.


Poor Mr.Boddy. Although he was only a corpse in the board game, here he was a real-life, interesting character. These stories helped to flesh out the world of ‘Clue,’ and made you care about Mr. Boddy before he was ‘killed’ off in the final chapter of each book. Don’t worry, though, in the next installment he would miraculously reappear, ready to invite back the guests who had just attempted to kill him. Part of me always felt sorry for the guy; although none of my houseguests had attempted to push me down the stairs (that I know of) I knew what it was like to have rude houseguests.

I remember begging my Mom to take me to local book stores, searching desperately for the missing books in my collection. Before the days of the internet or Barnes & Noble, finding certain books became quite an undertaking. Of the collection I think I only ended up with a dozen before I lost interest in the series as a whole. Elementary school students are incredibly fickle, and by the time I had given up on Clue I was into fantasy novels by way of Tolkien, Lewis, and Baum.

Word Games

September 22, 2006

I’ve been obsessed with word games lately.

Crossworld: One Man's Journey into America's Crossword Obsession

That’s not to say there was ever a time in my life where I wasn’t interested in word games, but over the Summer things have gotten much, much worse. It was during July’s family reunion cruise when I picked up a copy of Marc Romano’s ‘Crossworld,’ a quirky and interesting read about the history and current state of America’s crossword puzzle scene.

Yes, America has a crossword puzzle scene and yes, I read a book about it.

Anyway, crosswords are generally too difficult and time-consuming for me, so my games of choice are USA Today’s Quick Cross and Up & Down Words. I usually play these at work, where the slow autumn shifts give me an exorbitant amount of time to fill between waiting on tables. What I enjoy most about them is that they are short, sweet, and trivia based, which is a speciality fo mine.

Every so often the references are incredibly dated, and I have to ask around for help. On more than one occasion I’ve asked my tables for help with a certain word clue, and the guests seem more amused by this than anything else.

Surprisingly, my love of the USA Today puzzles has spread onto my co-workers. Each day the complimentary newspapers the Macaroni Grill receives are torn to pieces, with every server taking a copy of the puzzles section for themselves.

I have a feeling this is going to get me into trouble down the line with my managers, but as far as I can tell they’re just upset that they aren’t smart enough to solve the puzzles themselves.

Try them for yourselves online!

USA TODAY Quick Cross

USA TODAY Up & Down Words