What I've Been Reading (& What I Will Be Reading)

Okay, so I like to read. Here's what I've been reading lately:

Earlier this summer, thanks to BzzAgent, I received a free copy of Paul Reickoff's Chasing Ghosts. It's a first-hand account of the Iraq invasion from the p.o.v. of a foot-soldier and an interesting read for anybody interested in what's really going on "over there." I appreciate the fact that it's decidedly non-partisan, much like the the sobering documentary Why We Fight. As of right now, I'm more interested in some sort of discourse rather than the rhetoric-yelling that is becoming politics.

The Madison library had all five volumes of Cromartie High School, a manga (that's a Japanese comic book, for you non-nerds) that's been interesting me for a while because of its AMAZING covers. Seriously, look at these bad boys:

Too bad the book itself is just... not so good. It's a comedy manga, and I'm hoping that the humor just didn't translate because I didn't laugh once during the entire first volume I read. Still, those covers...

After that I read Everything Bad Is Good For You by Stephen Johnson. It's a look at the way that pop culture is evolving into a more complex and involving thing and how that complexity is making us, as a culture, smarter. I was a little disappointed that he totally (albeit deliberately) sidesteps the issue of content, but that's a whole other book, really. Similar in tone to Gerard Jones' Killing Monsters, which I also loved, it flies in the face of the alarmist "what about the kids?" critics who constantly criticize media at the expense of, in most instances, missing the point entirely. (Jones' Men Of Tomorrow is also a fascinating read - pick it up... NOW! What are you waiting for?!)

I also am in the middle of this one.

East of Eden is the only of Steinbeck's "big works," I've not read yet. Bryan got me this cool old hardcover as a gift years back and I haven't made time to crack it. I'm offseting it by reading shorter books now and then in-between sections of this - something I've never done, but have wanted to try. I'm too much the OCD person, eating every section of my plate in order, so I thought I'd rail against that compulsion for this book.

I just finished this book which, I must say, I recommend to everyone.

Blink by Malcolm Gladwwell. Or, as the subtitle says, "the power of thinking without thinking." It deals with snap judgements and how we make them, why we make them, when they work and when they fail. Seriously fascinating, I found myself saying, "whoa," at least once every time I picked it it. It's a short read and worth it. If you have a brain or are thinking of purchasing or leasing one, this is an invaluable resource for learning how to use it.

I'm in the middle of this charming little graphic novel:

Aaron Renier's Spiral Bound, a story of an elephant, a cat, a bird, a dog, a mouse and a monster. Look at that cover! How can you now want to read that? the spine also has this great little spiral with a pencil stuck in it with the title on it. Great package, and so far, afun, all-ages story that is that rarest of finds, a story that is cute without being cloying.

And next up, because I'm a total geek, I'll be hacking my way through this bad boy:

Volume 5 of Essential X-Men. I [big time heart] Marvel's Essentials collections. For under 20 United States dollars you can read tewnty-something issues of classic comics.

I also have Volume 5 of Fantastic Four waiting to be devoured, but that one will have to wait a while because sometime soon I'd like to read the World Is Flat, which I started, but didn't get very far on due to time constraints, and Team Of Rivals, which just sounds incredible. I'm also waiting to tackle the second book in Stephen King's Dark Tower saga, The Drawing of the Three. Ah, summer, why can't you last forever?

No comments: