Question of the Day

What book are you reading right now? (If you’re not currently in the middle of anything, what was the last book you read?)

As ever, I’m in the middle of a bunch of books at once. I’m reading Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation, Terry Pratchett’s Equal Rites, Bob Woodward’s State of Denial, and Ian McEwan’s Atonement. Something for every mood, although I’m nearly done with Assassination Vacation, which means I’m all done with all Sarah Vowell and David Sedaris, so I need to get me David Rakoff’s Don’t Get Too Comfortable ASAP!

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120 Comments

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120 responses to “Question of the Day

  1. MR. Bill

    Tariq Ali’s “The Book of Saladin”, wonderful take on the Crusades from the Moslem viewpoint. Recommended.

  2. SAP

    HAH! Only one book? Amateurs. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Eric Boehlert, Lapdogs
    John Scalzi, The Last Colony
    Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughter-House Five
    Brian Wood, DMZ: Body of a Journalist
    Paul Chadwick, Concrete: Think Like a Mountain
    Harlan Ellison, Angry Candy

    And that’s just what I’m carrying on me right now.

  3. Laura

    “Geek Love.” Which I hear around these parts is quite good.
    I’m highly amused so far.

    Stick with “Atonement” if you can. It starts out really slow, but turns out to be very good. (In my opinion.)

  4. MR. Bill

    Ok then: Rupert Christiansen “Paris Babylon”, a wonderful, readable and excessively quotable book about the fall of France’s Second Empire, and the Paris Commune. A period of history I knew next to nothing about, splendidly brought to life. I’ve got an old hardcover, but I think it’s still in paper from Penguin/Putnam.

  5. Bitty

    Recently finished Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. So I’m behind on my reading. (shrugs) Soon I plan to see the movie again. Fascinating example of the unreliable narrator, unreliable not because he’s being deceptive, but because of his highly limited worldview.

    Nibbling at Description by Monica Wood, a book about writing, um, description. When she’s writing fiction rather than how-to, Wood is quite the writer herself. Find her short story “Disappearing” and read it. I insist. ๐Ÿ™‚ (It fits right in with the themes regarding women that Melissa and litbrit write about so eloquently.)

    What I read today, not a full book, is the short story “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” by Sherman Alexie. I need to read more Alexie.

  6. Chromosome Crawl

    HAH! Only one book? Amateurs. – SAP
    As ever, Iโ€™m in the middle of a bunch of books at once. – Liss

    I am SO glad that I am not the only one that does that! I pity my poor bedside table!
    Here’s what’s on it:

    Al Gore – Assault on Reason
    copies of about 5 issues worth of New Republic & Mother Jones’
    Quantitative PCR A to Z (can I get a “nerd”?)
    Emerging Infections #7
    Biography of Madame Blavatsky

    I hear that particular Harlan Ellison book is a good one. Need to clear space before I add more – that PCR book is a thick one!

  7. PortlyDyke

    Currently:

    Re-reading:
    DUNE, because of that Baghdad American Embassy Post
    A DISTANT MIRROR (Tuchman)
    LABYRINTHS (Borges)

    First-Timing:
    ACCESS VBA
    ABOUT TIME (Davies)

  8. I’m kind-of sort-of trying to work my way through Ian McDonald’s River of Gods, but the attempt has been rather lackluster since I’m heading into finals week and I also started playing Shadowbane :p

  9. My most recent first-read was David McCullough’s bio of John Adams.

    I am currently re-reading Vonnegut as the various books become available at the local library: today – Slapstick, which was the subject of my first-ever term paper, way back in HS.

    – Phydeaux Rhododendron-12 Speaks

  10. CMarie

    John Boswell – Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe.

  11. Aly

    New Moon, byStephenie Meyer. It isn’t a highly stimulating read, or very political or amazing, but it’s the sequel to my favorite book. I’m currently re-reading it for at least the twentieth time.

  12. SAP

    I had to reinforce my bedside table to deal with the additional books I just bought. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Susan

    Alex Tocqueville: A Life by Hugh Brogan

  14. Grendel72

    I just have to say I loved Assassination Vacation. Unfortunately I don’t have any current reading, the most recent book I read was Joe Bob Briggs Profoundly Erotic: Sexy Movies That Changed History.

  15. I’m in post BookExpo let down period (meaning I have to wait for the two boxes of books I shipped home to arrive), so tonight I’ll be starting Undead and Uneasy by MaryJanice Davidson. Some light funny reading for the evening.

  16. The Handmaid’s Tale. So I’m behind. I don’t read much while I’m teaching because so much time is taken up with student essays (which I should be reading now) and class prep. I’ll get to is seriously in a couple of weeks when the summer term is over.

    I just finished a good biography of Cicero, and I’ve been reading The Success and Failure of Picasso by John Berger and Claudia Emerson’s Late Wife, the Pulitzer winner in poetry last year. It’s a hell of a collection.

  17. evilchemistry

    The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass is what I’m reading now. Empire Falls by Richard Russo is that last one I think. No, I reread Cat’s Cradle and Slaughter House Five, well you know why.

    As for your nerd factor CC, last academic paper read was: Spectroscopic and Kinetic Studies of the Reaction of Bromopropansulfonate with Methyl-coenzyme M Reductase

  18. JW

    American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword by Seymour Martin Lipset, The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century by Michael Denning, and The Most American Thing in America: Circuit Chautauqua as Peformance by Charlotte Canning. Yay, disseration reading!

  19. Nik E Poo

    Robert S. Strichartz’s Differential Equations on Fractals

    Bob is a real card … and I understand it has a surprise ending!

  20. Time-Machine

    Re-reading
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – Rowling (I’m making an attempt to finish re-reading them all before #7)
    Great Expectations -Dickens
    Stranger in a Strange Land -Heinlein

    Reading
    Good Omens – Gaiman & Pratchett
    The Scarlet Pimpernel – Orczy (I’ve barely touched this one, but I can’t wait to get into it)

  21. JoshWatermanMN

    The Essential Incredible Hulk, volume one, with Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and others.

    I am such an underchiever.

    But it is almost 500 pages! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Rene ala Carte

    Paris, The Secret History by Andrew Hussey.

    Just picked up Justinian’s Flea, Plague, Empire and the Birth of Europe by William Rosen and Savage Kingdom The True Story of Jamestown, 1607 and the Settlement of America by Benjamin Wooley.

    My local library is great about getting new titles and since everything is on-line you can reserve book, renew them, etc. It is a great local library. Instead of paying Amazon or Barnes and Noble I just send a check about twice a year.

    Let’s hear it for good libraries.

    Oh, we listened to A Year in Provence in car on a weekend trip to Milwaukee. What a pleasure.

    Now, excuse me, I’ve got to get started on these books. They are due in 3 weeks.

  23. Jaclyn

    When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers: How to Meet Their Social and Emotional Needs by Jim Delisle and Judy Galbraith. It’s for a summer class.

    In the brief break between semesters, I read The Joy Luck Club, My Antonia, The Fourth Bear (Jasper Fforde), and A Dirty Job (Christopher Moore). Thoroughly enjoyed all of them.

    I tend to read one book at a time, but go through them quickly. Which also describes my pre-marriage dating life, now that I think about it.

  24. Bloix

    Ten Days in the Hills by Jane Smiley and Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekeran.

  25. I feel so inadequate! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m reading Protector of the Small: Squire, by Tamora Pierce. My obsessive-compulsive tendencies won’t let me read more than one book at a time.

  26. PortlyDyke

    “Robert S. Strichartzโ€™s Differential Equations on Fractals

    Bob is a real card โ€ฆ and I understand it has a surprise ending!”

    Nik E, I adore you!

    Incertus — what’s the Cicero biography? I’d be interested in that one.

  27. PortlyDyke

    Moira — not inadequate, IMO — more like “sane”. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Betsy

    I just finished Orlando, by Virginia Woolf, and my bf and I are reading Tristram Shandy together out loud. (Yes, we read books aloud together. We are ridiculous.)

  29. Fuck, Another book-reading post?

    Sorry, I’m not reading anything right now. I’m too busy watching the Republican presidential debate.

  30. Regina

    Tell Me How Long The Train’s Been Gone, James Baldwin

  31. PortlyDyke

    Oh, Betsy — My partner and read aloud together as much as we can! Our courting days were spent reading aloud all of our childhood favorites. I highly recommend it.

  32. isabelita

    Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar; a collection of Chekov’s short stories; a fabulous novel by Angela Carter called Nights at the Circus; A History of Love by Nicole Krauss, kind of light weight compared to the first two writers, but pretty good. Not sure what’s next…

  33. When I DO get back into a book reading mode, I’m going to start with Edith Wharton. Anything. Just hand it to me.

  34. Nik E Poo, you are a fucking geek! What are fractals? But more importantly, how can such a book have a “surprise ending.” Isn’t it all pre-determined?

  35. Oh no, not sane, not sane at all. But thank you! It’s a nice thought! XD

  36. Nik E Poo

    Nik E, I adore you!

    Now I’m blushing … can you tell?

    Nik E Poo, you are a fucking geek!

    Indubitably!

  37. If Minstrel Boy is out there drifting around, escaping Silas,
    I’d like to hear what you thunk of the Republican presidential debate, which by now is over, but because of the beauty and luxury of Fiona Apple and PVR, we are savoring for later. In all its inexquisitiveness.

  38. PortlyDyke

    Oh no, not sane, not sane at all. But thank you! Itโ€™s a nice thought! XD

    I meant it in the nicest possible way ๐Ÿ˜‰

  39. One definition of fractal is fractional dimension. One way to visualize the concept is to consider a flat sheet of paper as two dimensions. If you crumple the paper up and smooth it out again, it’s not perfectly flat any more. But it’s not exactly a three-dimensional object. So between two dimensions and three, you might have something like a 2.13-dimensional space.

    More popularly, a fractal is something like the famous Mandelbrot Set where you get a complicated shape from plotting out the functions over the parameter range. The shape has some very interesting properties, notably being irreducably complex — if you zoom in on any portion of the shape created by a Mandelbrot Set, that portion is equally as complex as the whole shape — new details appear as you zoom in.

    It’s been a while since I was in school being a math geek, but dynamic differential equations was a cool enough class that I remember some of the concepts, even if the details and methods are gone.

  40. Yes, it is exactly three dimensional.

    Fucking shit, I’ll go get my fractals from Joni.

  41. Fiction – “High Country,” #12 of 13 in Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon mystery thrillers.

    Non-fiction – Al Gore’s “The Assault on Reason.”

  42. Moira, I do appreciate greatly your contribution here tonight.
    But take the following into consideration:

    1. I was fucked up when I asked the question.

    2. I didn’t know what the fuck was going on when I asked the question.\

    3.I was struck by some kind of lightning.

    4. Suddenly, I was waiting for a car on the hill.

    5. And then I leapt.

  43. Pot is a nail in the coffin of Jesus.

    You do all know that, don’t you?

  44. txrad: “Watch this!”

    konagod: “I ain’t watching you play.”

  45. <smallvoice> It was just a way to visualize a mathematical concept that we don’t have much physical-world experience with… </smallvoice>

    But yes, a sheet of paper is a three-dimensional object in three-dimensional space. I didn’t have an ideally two-dimensional surface handy. :p

  46. I’m carrying around On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Ian Fleming). My at-the-table-with-coffee book is Fun Home (Alison Bechdel). I’m also working on reading and correcting a deposition.

  47. I just finished “The Age of Innocence” By Edith Wharton. One of my Favs. Then I read “The Nasty Bits” by Anthony Bourdain.
    Then I picked up a guide on playing blackjack for my Vegas trip next week. Then I read a graphic novel, then a few comic books while re reading Al Gores Book for the second time.

    I have a problem. I read wayyyyyy too muchhhh. I also have a two hour commute daily.

  48. Did ya’ll hear that tin can?

    A negro clapped it.

    NOW, did you hear it?

  49. “The Age of Innocence.”

    Fuck. It’s like the Annie Hall of Wharton.

  50. konagod, perhaps you might consider not commenting under the influence? Just a thought.

  51. Hey, Shayera, I was all over Book Expo (posted about it here. My feet are still recovering.

    And I meant to say I’m re-reading On Her Majesty’s…etc.

  52. a nirvana smoke break for EVERYONE!

  53. Moira,

    Fuck you.

    That’s a definite.

  54. Rottweiler

    Last month, I had the supreme privilege of attending a lecture by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. He spoke on “The Meaning of Compassion in Everyday Life” at Houston’s Rice University. Just to be in the same room, breathing the same air was an honor. I need to work on becoming a more giving person, and, in that pursuit, I am determined to read his every book this summer. My first : “The Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Wisdom”.

  55. I second that emotion.

  56. Rottweiler,
    Every breath I take from henceforth forward shall be in remembrance of you.

  57. One down, about three to go. Who wants to be next on my pissout list?

  58. Nirvana didn’t play for nothing. I assure you.

  59. I don’t like for my ketchup bottle to sound like it’s making a fart sound. Particularly when it isn’t [sentient]?

  60. I want to point my finger at my own kid, and I don’t even have one!, and say, you’ve got to get a grip. You’ve got to get angry.

    I just don’t understand the pacifism. But I dod understand the blues that fuels it.
    I just ate the shroom.

    Fuck me running.

    Can I wake up tomorrow and get to work on time? All part of the game plan, but….

    Weigh them.

    Metaphysically.

  61. flute counts for somethin’

    yeah, like an uwanted serpent?

  62. Today I read “In the Penal Colony” by Kafka.

    Yesterday it was “The Mysterious Portrait” and “The Overcoat” by Gogol. Mmm, gothic!

    I’m attempting to understand Borges.

    There is a stack of editoral pages from the Times on my ironing board waiting to be read.

    Same with a bunch of New Yorkers and Harpers.

    I’ve been flipping through Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Sean Carroll, which is about developmental evolution and was a gift from Chemist.

    I heart reading!

  63. Right now, I’m not reading anything ATM.

  64. Jack

    Inkspell by Funke and The Assault on Reason by Gore.
    Always need a fiction and a nonfiction simultaneously.

  65. Ooh, also: I like boys and wine.

  66. I suggest you all go to bed. Immediately.

    The universe IS expanding, and it will be expanding for BILLION of years. So we’ve got to have fun while we can, eh?

  67. Tart. you are attempting to fuck with my brain, now stop it/..
    I incist.

  68. Why would I fuck with you?

    I PROTEST MY OWN INNOCENCE.

  69. oh just fyi you fat bitchez, the louder jazz is, the more you enjoy it.

    I’m just sayin’.

  70. I MEAN I AM INNOCENT…PROTEST WAS THE WRONG WORD…I HAD TOO MUCH WINE

  71. Kim

    “I Am A Strange Loop” by Douglas Hofstadter

  72. I’m currently reading Stephen King’s “The Stand.” During my walks to work, I have the unabridged recording of Sue Grafton’s “‘B’ is for ‘Burglar.'”

    Then I get to move on to Chuck Palahniuk’s new book.

  73. If I didn’t already de-ball the chain, the how much more can I sacrifice for you tonight.

    And am I willing to do it? Right now I’m thinking not.

    kona’s predictions are usually correct if not anatomically.

  74. get fucked up tart.

    it’s officially a free for all.

  75. hump day starts… now.

  76. Nik E Poo

    Itโ€™s been a while since I was in school being a math geek, but dynamic differential equations was a cool enough class …

    Math is totally sexy. Back in my college days … I’d get drunk and praddle on about how the partial non-linear differential equation resulted in trivial sets when plugged in as the seed equation to a recursive algorithm (ala Mandelbrot). I was all horny about the possibility of an inverse proportionality between bounding and complexity in the fractal space vs. 3D. One of these days … somebody is gonna come up with a transform for it … and then … solve the energy states for the entire periodic table in like 5 minutes.

    If math is like sex, Mandelbrot is a money shot.

  77. Bow down before what you serve,
    you’re going to get what you deserve.

    Nine Inch Nails get 100% credit.

    No you can’t take it.

  78. Do I buy your trinkets?

  79. the seed equation to a recursive algorithm

    that’s the shit I LIVE for.

  80. Where did everyfuckingbody go?

  81. Minutes can count for hours you know.

  82. The bugs are callin’ me.

    As well as the seafood which insists on sticking its fake prawn in my mouth.

    It IS a toothpick! I saw him carry it away.

  83. Peter VE

    I’m reading Alan Furst’s “The Foreign Correspondent”, and, for respite, I’ve been working my way through a Bible (Oxford Annotated NSRV with Apocrypha).

    Furst is the literary equivalent of “Casablanca”.

    I’m glad you mentioned Sarah Vowell. As soon as I finish Furst, I’ll pick her up at the Library. Tariq Ali looks interesting. I read John Julius Norwich’s history of Byzantium a few months back, and the signal event in the fall of the Byzantine Empire was the sack and occupation of Constantinople by the 4th Crusade.

  84. Go away and do not leave a trace.

  85. Misty

    I recently finished John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things.

    It’s an easy read and fairly predictable BUT it’s also entertaining and a bit dark and twisted.

  86. Grandjester

    Dune: The Butlerian Jihad, Herbert & Anderson – Lunch, Car, Crapper Book

    The Last Kingdom, Bernard Cromwell – Den Book (Hardcover needs a comfy chair)

  87. Vernon Vinge: Rainbows End

  88. You don’t even have to scream.

    All you have to do is breathe.

  89. Fran

    I’m sllooowly making my way through ‘Everything Is Illuminated’ by Jonathan Safron Foer, just finished ‘Dark at the Roots’ by Sarah Thyre, almost finished with ‘Thieves of Baghdad’ by Matthew Bogdanos, and am getting ready to start ‘Chagall:Burning Lights’ by Bella and Marc Chagall: “A unique double portrait of the warm world of Russian jewry in a text by Bella Chagall and thirty-six drawings by Marc Chagall.”

  90. RachelPhilPa

    Currently reading:
    Nature’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, And Sexuality In Nature And People by Joan Roughgarden. Ms. Roughgarden is an evolutionary biologist, and a trans woman; this book illustrates just how widespread gender and sexual variance is through nature, and uses that to argue for acceptance of such variance in humans.

    Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism And The Scapegoating Of Femininity by Julia Serano.

    Just got done reading:

    Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti. I enjoyed reading the book, and at the same time feel that it’s got some significant shortcomings.

    We Don’t Need Another Wave, edited by Melody Berger

    The latest edition of Off Our Backs and the first issue of the brand-new feminist magazine Make/Shift.

    I don’t do fiction – fiction and me are like fire and oil.

  91. ananke

    me too on Al Gore – The Assault on Reason

    plus,
    CS Lewis – the Silver Chair
    Robert Thurman – Inner Revolution
    Paul William Roberts – Empire of the Soul

  92. As for your nerd factor CC, last academic paper read was: Spectroscopic and Kinetic Studies of the Reaction of Bromopropansulfonate with Methyl-coenzyme M Reductase

    I just finished reading one called Estimating the Secondary Organic Aerosol Contribution to PM2.5 Using the EC Tracer Method and one called Hydroxydicarboxylic Acids: Markers for Secondary Organic Aerosol from the Photooxidation of alpha-Pinene

    Books: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (first time, not very good), Collected Stories of Franz Kafka (first time, good), and Cat’s Cradle (umpteenth time, very good)

  93. Lemmesee…

    _Introduction to the Practice of Statistics_, Moore and McCabe.
    _Step On A Crack_, James Patterson
    _Democracy for the Few_, Michael Parenti (a bit old)
    _Bag of Bones_, Stephen King
    …and I have a _Faceted Access Subject Thesaurus Manual_ I’m supposed to go through.

  94. Right now, I’m reading Nicholas Sparks’ memoir, Three Weeks With My Brother. It’s wonderful. Next after that will be a new history of Auschwtz by Laurence Rees. (I like to alternate the charming and light with the scholarly and horrifying ๐Ÿ™‚ ). Others on the A list: The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced By War; and The Opposite of Fate, a memoir by Amy Tan.

  95. Michael Chabon’s new novel, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.

    It’s Oy-tastic!

  96. The Assault on Reason (Al Gore)
    Mother Night, (Kurt Vonnegut)
    Shalimar the Clown, (Salman Rushdie)

  97. NVMojo

    I’m reading “Big Trouble” by J. Anthony Lukas.

    A friend at work recommended it to me. He said, “You thinks these political leaders and corporations are corrupt now? Read this.”

    It’s set in the late 1800 to early 1900s and covers the true assassination of an Idaho Governor.

    Lukas is a Pulitzer Prize winning writer.

  98. Michael Miles

    Melissa,
    I have read all of Sarah Vowell’s books including Assassination Vacation, which was excellent, but I have to tell you that if you ever get a chance to listen to the audio version which was narrated by Sarah herself, don’t miss the opportunity. It is outstanding. I don’t believe anyone could reproduce her inflexion, she is hilarious.

    I’m currently reading “The Assault on Reason” and “You on a Diet”

    michael

  99. Nik, I always liked getting drunk and lecturing other drunks (especially frat boys) on how infinity comes in different sizes using the common number sets.

    “Okay, so you know how to get to infinity. Start with one and start counting from there. One, two, three, four, infinity, right? Big as anything gets, right? But then there’s the set of natural numbers. It’s got one, two, three, all the way through infinity. But it’s also got zero. So it’s one bigger.” You have to say this with the right amount of crazed intensity to get the proper effect. With luck, they’re looking terrified right about now. The important thing is to keep talking so they can’t make excuses to leave. Back them into a corner if you have to. (This is so much fun as a hyperrant. ^_^ Boo, I can only use three hyperlinks! Sob sob.)

    “But there’s negative numbers too! Minus one, minus two, minus infinity, the integers. You know integers. This one’s about twice as big as the first set. But how can anything be bigger than infinity? Infinity comes in sizes. But next up are the rational numbers, all the numbers that can be expressed as one integer divided by another integer, you know, rational as in ratio. You’d think these numbers can’t be counted, because when you’re talking about the rationals, what’s the next number up from one? One point zero zero zero zero zero zero… oops. We’re gonna need an infinite number of zeros before we can put that one on the end, but there is the rational number just greater than one. No, I’m totally serious here!

    “So not only that, there are an infinite number of rational numbers between any two rational numbers. That’s infinitely larger than the first infinity that we started with! And we’re not even done yet. Oh, no. Up ’til now we’ve been talking about countable numbers. They can be counted.

    “But the rational numbers leaves out all the numbers that can’t be expressed as the ration of two integers, irrational numbers like the square root of two and e or ฯ€. Add those in and we’ve got the real numbers, and they’re infinitely bigger again than the infinity of the rational numbers. No, don’t go away, you don’t need more beer yet, we’ve got the complex numbers to talk about next!”

    Giggling ensues. I’m so easily amused. XD

  100. Mike M.

    Im primarily reading Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevski, but I occasionally read a short story by Edgar Allen Poe if I need a break.

  101. Kathy A

    I just finished The Time Traveler’s Wife–sooo good, and a wonderful Chicago book!! Funny thing was that I started reading it on Memorial Day as my dad and I left my aunt and uncle’s house in Athens, OH, and in the first few pages of the book, the time traveler is explaining his life, and includes an example of being at his job at the Newberry Library, and then all of the sudden finding himself on the floor of a Motel 6 in Athens, OH. That sucked me in to begin with, and then I just fell in love with the characters and their issues.

    A few days ago, I started re-reading the Harry Potter books in preparation for both the next film and the final book.

  102. “Under the Banner of Heaven”. I know, I’m way behind. It’s fascinating – a bit long in the tooth, but fascinating. Before I knew anything else about the murder of Brenda Lafferty and her infant daughter Erica, I just knew it had something to do w/her being “uppity.” Sure’nuff – Brenda wouldn’t go along w/the pro-misogyny pro-polygamy plan in the Lafferty home. Krakauer does a good job at combining the murder of the Laffertys with a history of Mormonism, mini-bios of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and a brief history of the interior West.

  103. White Gold by Giles Hilton. Non-fiction and it’s about one of the baddest motherfuckers that ever walked this earth. Bin Laden is a benign Sunday school teacher alongside the cat in this book. Just as a side note, if you do read it remember that Cervantes spent 5 years as one of his slaves.

  104. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon.

  105. I’m with Liss on this one … middle of a number of them; Peter F. Hamilton’s The Reality Dysfunction (I also have the sequel sitting on my nightstand), Al Gore’s The Assault on Reason, and Carl Sagan’s Billions and Billions (I also started Garth Nix’s Sabriel but I just couldn’t get into it).

  106. bernarda

    I am re-reading “The Consolations of Philosophy” by Alain de Botton.

    I like police stories, so I am also reading Boris Akunine and He Jialong. As you might guess, one is Russian and the other is Chinese.

    In small sections, I am reading Mexican Paco Taibo II’s biography of Ernesto Guevara. Taibo is better known for his detective stories and I recommend “4 Hands”. I could recommend many others by any of the above authors.

  107. ben

    I just finished Delillo’s new one, Falling Man. Mind blowing. But now I’m kind of short on reading material. I’ll have to swing by the book store on the way home.

  108. Melissa McEwan

    Fuck you.

    Thatโ€™s a definite.

    Hey, Kona–Cool it with that. Be konastic, but don’t be rude.

  109. anangryoldbroad

    I’m always late to these things,sigh.

    Just finished Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal,Vegetable,Miracle. Loved it,it fit nicely with Hope’s Edge,by Frances Moore’Lappe which I’d read right before it(again.Oh,and Democracy’s Edge is good too).

    Now I’m reading The Good Good Pig by Sy Montgomery which is going to make me cry, I know it.

    I also am just beginning Gore’s Assault on Reason,and after that it’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

    I read The Wild Trees by Richard Preston last month,I recommend it. My hubby even liked it. So much that we’re visiting the redwoods in N.CA in September.

    Endgame,volumes one and two by Derrick Jensen is also sitting in my giant nightstand pile o’ books,he’s my fave author.

  110. Reba

    The Summer Knight by Jim Butcher. I love summer because it’s the only time I get to do fluff reading. Fantasy, mystery, historic fiction — anything that doesn’t involve “theory” or require “analysis” or involve the word “equation”.

    And yet, I’m still reading my Journal of Popular Culture because that sort of academic writing is intriguing, even during my time off.

  111. Constant Comment

    Recently finished “Thunderstruck” by Erik Larsen (author of “Devil in the White City”) and am now almost done with Gore’s “Assault on Reason.”

    Shakes: we should do this question on a regular basis. I’m always looking for book recommendations. In fact, “Assassination Vacation” is one I’ve been meaning to read for a while now…

  112. usually I’m in the middle of a bunch, but I was on a Rushdie kick and had to hone down to two, a fiction and non fiction.

    the last three months:
    The Namesake
    Midnight’s Children
    Changing Direction: Directing actors for film
    The Fall of Baghdad
    Satanic Verses
    Choke
    The Dante Club

  113. Caveat Emptor: David Rakoff is nowhere near in the league of David Sedaris or Sarah Vowell. It’s hugely disappointing.

  114. I am currently doing a bunch of reading for a class I am going to teach next year on Feminine Images of the Divine in the West. I want to intermix some “fun” stuff in between all the research and theological texts. My fun stuff reading today is Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Firebrand. It would be nice to find a “fun” stuff book focusing on either Celtic or Norse goddesses (and I don’t want to assign The Mists of Avalon, either).

  115. I heart libraries, boys (well yeah, but in this context I should say men) and wine too.
    I’m trying to go slowly and savor the latest from my favorite sci fi author Robert J Sawyer: “Rollback”.
    Just finished “under the banner of heaven” and “the white cascade.” I’m trying to get through “windshield wilderness” (snore)

    I’m still chewing on “Omnivore’s Dilemma,” even though I read it months ago. Great read.

    Ooh, Kingsolver’s got a new one yay!! I must be off to the library catalog to place a hold…

    Wild Trees by Preston – yes, another one to get I loved his New Yorker piece. I grew up in the Redwoods. Hyperion was probably about 25 miles from my house.

  116. shit, I am 91st in the library queue for “Animal Vegetable Miracle”

    Well, they’ve got 10 copies so it shouldn’t take too long. I can wait my turn. I’m not real big on buying books, except field guides and atlases.

    I like getting that surprise email from the library that my book or movie is ready.

  117. beatgrl

    This was yesterday’s question so no one is going to read this, huh?

    I totally forgot I just finished “no one belongs here more than you” by Miranda July. Unusual. Erotic and borderline creepy.

  118. Nik E Poo

    Moira … we totally need to chill out in Amsterdamnit for a long weekend. Herb really takes the bite out of … when people overhear me talking … and get that look on their face … a mixture of surprise, disappointment and revulsion … when they realize what a gigantic nerd I am.

  119. Nik: Yeah I want Cheesy Poofs!

    *cough* Um. Yeah, getting baked and geeking all the way the fuck out sounds like a very fine idea.

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