I'm currently reading "In a Sunburned Country" by Bill Bryson. Unlike in his other book, A Walk in the Woods, he's not really trying to achieve any sort of objective like walking the Appalachian Trail. Instead, he's just wandering around Australia to see Australia, so the book has a very leisurely pace to it, which I enjoy. And in what I guess is Bryson's style, he breaks up the main narrative every now and then with an interesting story about Australia, like how one time their Prime Minister just up and vanished. It's a very nice read!
I'm reading (actually, re-reading) Men at Work, the excellent baseball book by columnist George Will. It examines baseball by focusing on various aspects through one person at the aspect. It's from 1990, so it is Orel Hersheiser on pitching, Tony Larussa on managing, Tony Gwynn on hitting and Cal Ripkin on fielding. Well, well done.
The Summer Game (another re-read) is also being read at intervals. from the mid-60s and well done as well. Roger Angell is the author.
Originally posted by AWArulzI'm reading (actually, re-reading) Men at Work, the excellent baseball book by columnist George Will. It examines baseball by focusing on various aspects through one person at the aspect. It's from 1990, so it is Orel Hersheiser on pitching, Tony Larussa on managing, Tony Gwynn on hitting and Cal Ripkin on fielding. Well, well done.
I hope that at some point Will is allowed by LaRussa to comment on the managerial strategy that LaRussa claims would cost his team one-two games if it were revealed.
I'm reading the complete case study of Sherlock Holmes, reprinted from the original source. I get a chuckle at least once per page for the changes in language from then to now (i.e., Holmes apologizing for "knocking up" Watson at such an early hour of the day).
I just finished Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Very quick read for as long as it was but that may be cause it kept my interest so well. Next in the large stack that I haven't had time to read is Pagan Babies by Elmore Leonard.
The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.
I finally read Dan Brown's ANGELS & DEMONS. It wasn't a dumb as I thought it would be and it ALMOST makes me want to read that other book of his before the Movie comes out next year, but since the rest of the world has already read it, why should I.
Originally posted by CerebusI finally read Dan Brown's ANGELS & DEMONS. It wasn't a dumb as I thought it would be and it ALMOST makes me want to read that other book of his before the Movie comes out next year, but since the rest of the world has already read it, why should I.
That was the last book that I read as well. I thought that it was better than The Da Vinci Code, but I liked both of them. The ending in Angels and Demons was what pushed it over the top for me. TDVC fell completely flat at the end (but if you liked A&D you'd like that one as well).
Originally posted by TinManI just finished Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Very quick read for as long as it was but that may be cause it kept my interest so well. Next in the large stack that I haven't had time to read is Pagan Babies by Elmore Leonard.
A very good choice. I also really liked Leonard's "Freaky Deaky".
Last thing I read was Jason's Hitchcock-esque graphic novel "Why Are You Doing This?", which I found a little unsatisfying. I've also been reading a bunch of Alan Moore stuff my brother lent me, like Tom Strong and Top Ten, which I've been enjoying. (I was pretty sure I didn't like Alan Moore, based mostly on "V for Vendetta")
The last thing I read without pictures was Jimmy Webb's "Tunesmith," about songwriting. (Jimmy Webb wrote "MacArthur Park" and "Wichita Lineman.")
The last non-fiction, without-pictures book was the new Harry Potter, which took most of a day. (The last time I posted about Harry Potter in here, CRZ mocked me.)
Redcumo -- I really like Leonard, too. I'll have to put "Freaky Deaky" on the list.
Last 5 movies seen: Swing Time - Sin City - Battleship Potemkin - My Brilliant Career - Kansas City Bomber
I'm going to echo the comments about "Angels & Demons" by Dan Brown. Not a bad read, though some of the religious references went waaaay over my head. Also just finished "Deception Point" by the same author, which was excellent.
I'm almost done with Night Soldiers by Alan Furst. I highly recommend him to any history wonks out there, because he writes some of the best historical fiction out there. (I'm saying that as someone who was a history major in college and who normally hates historical fiction as "bad history" and "bad fiction"). His books are set in Europe from 1930-1945, and they usually feature spies without homelands, working not for honor but because they have been forced to or have fallen into the craft. It's a lot like le Carre, if he'd done historical fiction. All the main characters are fictional, but the details of events, objects, social conditions, living conditions, etc. are extremely accurate. And the writing's good.
I just finished Sammy's Hill by Kristin Gore, daughter of Al Gore and former Futurama staff writer. It's amusing, but pretty conventional. The line "Bridget Jones on Capitol Hill" isn't really fair, but it's close. There is definitely the old formula of "Bad Boy that the girl thinks the world of and Good Guy who the girl thinks is a jerk -- who will she end up with?" going on. But thankfully the book is completely free of "OMG I AM SO FAT!! I ATE ONE DANISH!!" and "OMG I'M ALONE ALONE ALONE!" and all that stuff from the Bridget Jones books. The main character is actually good at her job, has a friend who isn't neurotically insane, and seems like she's a healthy grown woman -- which is a nice change of pace from the genre. Also, for those afraid of the politics, there are only about 4 paragraphs of obvious shots at the Bush administration, and they're spread out over nearly 400 pages. The biggest jerk in the book is a sell-out Democrat, and probably the most embarassing treatment goes to a character obviously modeled on Hilary Clinton.
The other book I just finished was Spanking the Donkey by Matt Taibbi. You may have seen him on The Daily Show: he was the guy who said that he covered the Kerry Campaign while dressed in a gorilla suit. Taibbi's basic assumption is that presidential campaigns are a bread-and-circuses contest between nearly identical candidates, both beholden to corporatism and special interest groups. (His clear hero in the book is Kucinich.) Rather than lambasting republicans or screaming about solar power, the two groups Taibbi harps on are parroting journalists and democrats who offer no ideas. The book is kind of a cross between Tim Crouse's The Boys on the Bus and Thompson's Campaign Trail '72. The tone is closer to Crouse's stuff, but Taibbi's book isn't as good as either of the former works. The first half is pretty hilarious (and the "penis test" of campaign speech buzzwords is great), but after a while the reprints from old articles get tiresome. And the axe he's grinding isn't new. The humor carries the first half, but a lot of it drops off toward the end. It's in hardback now, so I'd recommend waiting to get it in paperback, if you're interested.
Most of my family live out of town, so I picked up gift cards for everyone. For my Mom, I put a gift basket together, including some German sauces I found at a local European deli that she can't find where she lives.