Monday, November 20, 2006

What Would JT Read?

Isn't fully accurate. This is about what I've read recently that may, or may not, be of interest.

"A Long Walk Down" by Nick Hornby -- For a book about 4 people who want to kill themselves, this is pretty hilarious. There are twists and turns, and Hornby avoids the easy, sappy ending, but a great read. It's uplifting, but don't let that stop you from reading. Plus, short chapters = quick read!

"1491" by Charles C. Mann -- Do you have to put quotes around a title that's just a number? A great, quick read about the Americas before Chris "Are You Sure This Isn't India" Columbus and the other psychotics showed up. From how the continents were originally populated (hint: it wasn't an Ice Bridge) to the Amazon as the world's largest garden to a FIFTH of the world's humans dying, it's a fascinating read. And surprisingly balanced, neither placing Indians (Native American is misleading, since ALL our ancestors immigrated there at one point) on a pedestal nor painting them as bloody savages.

"The Coming Plague" by Laurie Garrett -- A hypochondriac's nightmare. Non-fic about diseases in the 20th century, from Ebola to Lassa to AIDS and more. The moral of the story is don't live near mice or rats -- the filthy bastards are tiny reservoirs of disease (kind of like children that go to daycare). The AIDS chapters were especially interesting, as I had hazy memories of the panic at the time.

"It's Superman" by Tom De Haven -- Superman's story, set in the 30's, is very good. If you liked Kavalier and Clay, you'll like this. It's less about Superman (near the bottom of the superhero barrel for me) and more about the times.

That's probably it for a month or so, since I just started "Quicksilver" by Neal Stephenson, and while it's very good, it's 900 pages and not fast reading. So, go, read his "Snow Crash" while you wait for my report.

1 comment:

Casey said...

man i started reading quicksilver but couldn't make it through a hundred pages before i tapped out.

snowcrash, however, was brilliant in its execution.