Wednesday, February 25, 2009

February Book Report

Another month nears its end, but although I've been doing some reading, I haven't been nearly as active with books as I was last month. The major part of it is because that I was off for the first week of January, giving me a ton of leisure time. Another part of it is that I simply haven't been reading books that are what you'd call page-turners.

I re-read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. It was only a year ago or so that I read it the first time, but now that I've read his The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker I thought that perhaps there were references in The God Delusion that I'd be better equipped to fully understand - and I was right.

The other book I'm currently working my way through is - still - Mao: The Unknown Story. As I bitched about last time I wrote about books, this book is, well, "dense" for lack of a better word. Perhaps there isn't a better word. Perhaps "dense" was defined specifically to deal with this kind of book, or perhaps even exactly THIS book. It's interesting, in a general sense, but it's not something I find myself so caught up in that I can't put down.

... which is quite different from the book I just finished in two days, Speaker For The Dead by Orson Scott Card, the second book in his Sci-Fi series about Ender Wiggin. He has a knack for writing books that I can't put down and on a whim I ended up borrowing six of his books from a friend, all neatly stacked on my bedside table. One of them now finished, as of 1 o'clock this morning. I'm going to try to read a few chapters about Mao before picking up the next Ender book.

Also, Lori and I have just froliced in the Swedish phenomenon of "bokrea," the annual book sale that is an outdated but oh-so-popular tradition. At the end of February each year, all book stores go on sale and publishers do their best to empty their storages of last year's books. At least, in theory that's what the sale is for. In practise, the publishers order large stocks of the books they decide to put on sale so they have something to sell, which kind of defeats the original purpose of the tradition but still makes it an exciting time of year for a book-reading fanatic like myself.

So we've ordered books. Ironically, none of the books we ordered were on sale so one might wonder why we waited for the bokrea to place the order but... Eh, it's the principle of the thing, y'know?

Here are the books we ordered - let's see how long they'll last me. Let's also see if you can find a theme to this year's purchases:

In Odd We Trust - Dean Koontz
Forevever Odd - Dean Koontz
Odd Hours - Dean Koontz
Brother Odd - Dean Koontz

The Ancestor's Tale - Richard Dawkins
A Devil's Chaplain - Richard Dawkins
The Extended Phenotype - Richard Dawkins

Science Friction - Michael Shermer

Letter to a Christian Nation - Sam Harris

Breaking the Spell - Dan Dennett

Pi - Alfred Posamentier and Ingar Lehmann

Darwin's Watch - Terry Pratchett, I. Cohen and T. Stewart
Nation - Terry Pratchett

Outliers - Malcom Gladwell

Moral Disorder - Margaret Atwood

Darwin's Sacred Cause - Adrian Desmond and James Moore

Unknown Quantity - John Derbyshire

The Big Book of Nursery Rhymes - n/a

... and

The Tales of Beedle the Bard - J.K. Rowling


Yeah, we have a thing for evolution and atheism going in our reading right now. Also, we both liked Dean Koontz' book "Odd Thomas" and wanted to read more of the series, and we have a kid on the way so we got a book of nursery rhymes. To recap: Atheism, horror and nursery rhymes. Somewhere in America, a church is organizing a rally to take our soon-to-be-born baby away from its unfit parents.

It's gonna be a gooooood year.

1 comment:

The Spore said...

Very nice book recommendations there. I like Dawkins, Pratchett (mostly the discworld series), Rowling (haven't read beetle the bard yet), Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas series is great.. but again haven't read the latest one oh check out the Door to December if you haven't yet. I'd add some Carl Sagan to the list (Demon Haunted World is one of my favorites).

Anyway just started a poker blog as I embark on my latest bankroll experiment. Check it out if you'd like:

I'll be stopping back by here regularly! Nice blog!