I have a bad habit of keeping books around thinking that I will add them to this blog “soon,” but instead keeping cluttery piles for far too long. Now it’s happening with ebooks I’ve borrowed from the Free Library of Philadelphia–they clutter up Adobe Digital Editions, my Nook, and my hard drive (all 3 need to be deleted separately, argh). Got to weed these without doing them justice…
- A Widow’s Story – Joyce Carol Oates, 2011: One of the most depressing books I’ve ever read (far more so than Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking).
- Click: The Magic of Instant Connections – Ori & Rom Brafman, 2010. Hilary catnip, despite the business-y angle.
- Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible – David Plotz, 2009. More catnip, and one of the best books I’ve read this year. Fascinating, funny, and thought-provoking. I thought I had read the whole Old Testament, but there are tons of things I didn’t remember.
- My Jesus Year – Benyamin Cohen, 2008. Ought to have been catnip, but I couldn’t even finish it. The writing wasn’t great, but the sloppiness and shallowness of thought and observation were the real culprits. Sorry, Benyamin!
- My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales – ed. Kate Bernheimer, 2010. Again, should have loved it but hated it. My mother-in-law warned me and she was completely right. I can’t say I disliked every one of these stories, but they mostly tossed the good qualities of fairy tales and added the worst of contemporary fiction tropes. Yuck. Reminded me in that way of The Magicians.
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard – Chip & Dan Heath, 2010. This one I’m adding to my “definitely buy” list. Their previous book, Made to Stick, was brilliant, and this one even topped it. Highly recommended for all humans. A+
- The Book of Animal Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know Is Wrong – John Mitchinson & John Lloyd, 2008. More fun but potentially dubious research from the QI folks. I wish I’d had the time to follow up all of my “really?” reactions and see which were unfounded. I’d like to re-read it someday since my memory is so short.
- Unlimited: How to Build an Exceptional Life – Jillian Michaels, 2011. I expected this to be average self-help (yet another catnip category), but it was actually well above average. Not without flaws, but very worth reading and integrating–did the former, hardly ever do the latter, alas…