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I suggest a nonfiction titled "What Ever It Takes, God" by John Oarc. A memoir with vivid details of the authors journey to overcome adultery, pornography addiction and child molestation. An inpirational book on forgiveness
(historical) fiction: The Physician, by Noah Gordon. A page-turning novel about what it took to become a physician during the Middle Ages. The plot is quite funny.
non-fiction: Man's Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl. This is one of the most influential books I've ever read. I read it three times before returning it to the library and then bought myself a copy.
Non-fiction: I must second 1491. This book has captured my imagination like no other and has enlightened my understanding of the history and landscape of the Americas.
Fiction: Behold the Man by Michael Moorcock--existentialist loser travels back in time and takes on the role of Jesus.
Non-fiction: The Men Who Stare At Goats by Jon Ronson--how a few alternative visionaries influenced military psychologica operations--and not for the better. Weird, funny and ultimately, disturbing.
CITRON'S SONATA BY ARTHUR BLOOM"Harry's sonata is tinged with existential angst as he moved inexorably to his death in this heart-wrenching novel of a man's searcdh for himself in a world in which he has difficulty fitting"
Non-fiction: I just finished Hitchens' "God is Not Great" but much preferred Dawkins' "The God Delusion."
Fiction: Almost anything by Jose Saramago. Try "Blindness." It's amazing.
Recently read "Red Mutiny" by Neal Bascomb. An action packed non-fiction thriller about the mutiny aboard the battleship Potemkin leading up to the Russian revolution with fantastic character development, this book is a great read.
currently reading doris kearns goodwin-Team of Rivals. Good read. Incredibly well made. a supberb paean to the genius of abraham lincoln.
Citron's Sonata by Arthur Bloom. A first novel. "...a man's search for himself ina world in which he has difficulty fitting." Athena press. www.athenapress.com
I recommeend (highly) the following two books for summer (vacation) ... and fall reading: (1) Joseph Roth's novel, THE RADETZKY MARCH (Michael Hoffmann, translation; Granta ed.) - a saga of the von Trotta (military) family from the Battle of Solferino (in Italy, 1859), when one of the von Trotta's saves the life of the young Emperor, through the start of World War I, and richly depicting the dissolution - leading to the demise - of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; AND (2) George Konrad's detailed memoir of life in Hungary during the Second World War and the post-War Communist period in Hungary, entitled A GUEST IN MY OWN COUNTRY - A HUNGARIAN LIFE (recently published in English).
Non-fiction: "The universe testifies" - Avigdor MillerFiction:"The origin of the species" -Charles Darwin
Fiction - "The World According to Garp" - one of John Irving's older books but definitely one of his best.
If Brian is taking a break from the daily grind, maybe he shouldn't read at all, but just drink and watch Wheel of Fortune. Or at least go on a news fast. Perhaps something spiritually edifying, something that enables him to get off the merry-go-round and look at it, something that pertains to his eternal destiny. And no, I'm not suggesting he read any of the Harry Potter books.
Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weiner: 700 pages of knowledge that every American (and any other) citizen should acquire. About the working of the Company.
Just finished "Acts of Faith" by Philip Caputo. Though long, it is a well-written consideration of African woes and the various responses to them by Africans and outsiders. Mulitple points of view about what good people should do in response while still a stirring story.
Re-reading "All the Kings Men" Robert Penn Warren. Truly a wonderful political yarn.
Bill Bryson's memoir "The Thunderbolt Kid" is a MUST if you want to laugh out loud. His picture of his 1950's childhood really hits home!
Now, back to preparation for my 8th graders...Have a good trip. We can pray that the major world news will be some great good happening...
i would first like to support the other readers who have mentioned the great author haruki murakami.
my recommendations are:non-fiction: the blind watchmaker by richard dawkins. explains evolution to non scientists without dumbing it down; also has the bonus of being utterly riveting. warning: an addictive author.
fiction: the fortress of solitude by jonathan lethem. i'm probably the last one to read this but it would be a crime to not mention it, especially in these parts ...
I recommend two threes, both in paperback. Three Julias is an engrossing story. It centers on a gay man from Scotland living in the Village in NyC during the AIDS epidemic. Julia Glass spins a riveting three layered tale of his family, friends and beloved animals. The non-fiction book is "Three Cups of Tea", by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. This is an inspiring and timely story of a former mountain-climber who makes it his life's work to build schools for girls in the mountains of Pakistan before and after 9/11.
ooh Brian I'm gonna miss you. Plumbing won't be the same! Enjoy your vacation :-) I am currently reading "The Varieties of Scientfic Experience" by Carl Sagan. Good vacation reading? probably not. Just finished the Myst books, they were great!!!
Fiction: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Non-fiction: Joyful Path of Good Fortune by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
"The Radicalism of the American Revolution" by Gordon Wood - great, heavy reading for those light summer days
For the first time I finally finished "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston. I get it. If you haven't yet read this classic, do yourself a favor.
fiction: The Dream Life of Sukhanov, by Olga Grushin A story of betrayal, a virtuoso performance with a fine sense of of the ridiculous, a true masterpiece.
non-fiction: The Devil in the White City: murder, magic, and madness at the fair that changed America by Erik Larson.
Brian, How are we going to manage your two week absence? ENJOY YOUR VACATION, YOU DESERVE IT.
I heard this guy on CSPAN. He was very compelling.
Non-fiction: "A Three Dog Life", a sad and lovely chronicle by Abigail Thomas recounting her life before and after her husband suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Fiction: "The Dogs of Babel" by Carolyn Parkhurst. Kind of a mystery. Could not put it down. It made me miss subway stops I was so engrossed.
Fiction: Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan
Perfect for vacation! "The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding." Camus
Non Fiction: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
Makes you REALLY think about what you eat - EVERY DAY!
Nonfiction: "The White Rock" an amateur explorer's rich and personal account of his journey along the Inca Trail in the early 80's. Fascinating stuff!
Fiction: Finished "Beyond the Great Indoors" by Ingvar Ambjornsen about a week ago. Wonderfully charming / had me laughing too. This is a story of life's daily ups and downs, told from the point of view of a man who is finally living in the City (Olso) after several years in a state mental institution.
This summer I've been enjoying:
"up in the old hotel" by Joesph Mitchell
Non-Fiction, Gotham, every New Yorker should take the time to read it, or at least more New Yorkers should. or If that’s just too big for your knapsack, "Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold" by Tom Shachtman, it's cool.
Fiction, The Hobbit
Kim Stanley Robinson's Antarctica or Years of Rice and Salt. The former is an excellent treatise and story about ecology, global warming, and socio-political dynamics. The second is the most compelling alternative history about the rise of the Chinese and Arab worlds that I have ever read.
Both novels have starling and provocative events but also have some of the most beautiful prose written on seemingly dry and academic material.
Non-fiction: "Self and World, An Explanation of Aesthetic Realism" by Eli Siegel. Definition Press, New York, 1981. This book has informed and strengthened me for many years. Relevant today, it throws new light on economics, aesthetics, imagination, self-conflict,love and other important topics
Fiction= Against the Day
Pynchon. Now more than ever.
Non-fiction: "Self and World, An Explanation of Aesthetic Realism" by Eli Siegel, Definition Press, New York, 1981. This book has informed and strengthened me for many years. Relevant today, it can throw new light on economics, aesthetics, imagination, self-conflict,love and other important subjects.
I'm going with the classics here -- if you're a lit novice or expert but has not had the chance to read these, or if you already had read them then just simply re-read them -- then read these:Catcher in the Rye -- JD salingerCatch 22 -- Joseph Heller
Non-Fiction -- In Cold Blood -- Truman Capote
Non fiction - The Secret Life of Lobsters by Trevor CorsonA natural history of lobsters alternationg with the lives (and politics ) of lobstermen.
Fiction - The Blind Assissin by Margaret Atwood
Recently reread this and it's just as good. A science fiction love story and a real world storoy of betrayal of all sorts execeelnt!
Also previous suggestions of the Time travelers Wife and the Phillip Pullman His Dark Materials are great.
fiction - id have to agree that the moviegoer is wonderful. im currently "loving" the history of love by n. krauss.
non-fiction - i was really enjoying fathers and sons about the waugh family until it felt slightly anti-semitic. Instead, I'd highly recommend Rethinking the Urban Agenda: Reinvigorating the Liberal Tradition in New York City and Urban America, edited by John Mollenkopf [but you may have read this one...]
enjoy your break!
Oh, and also highly recommend anything by Haruki Murakami - THE WIND UP BIRD CHRONICLE, SPUTNICK SWEETHEART - ANYTHING!
Just read THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy...read it in one day and re-read it the next day - powerful...
Also, one of the best non-fiction books I've ever read 1776 by David McCullough - one of the best historical writers there is - an amazing account of the year 1776 and its great because many of the battles take place here in NYC and its amazing to imagine when Brooklyn was just farmland!
I am currently reading, "No One Belongs Here More Than You" by Miranda July.Next on the list "Then We Came to the End" by Joshua Ferris.And before the end of the month, I want to start, "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Kaled Hosseini
For fiction, one couldn't do better than the newly published "Complete Stories" by David Malouf, a lyrical and visceral window on (mostly) Australia past and present. First rate.
In non-fiction, I'm reading the surprisingly readable "Jonathan Edwards: A Life" by John Marsden, great biography of one of the most influential citizens of pre-revolutionary America.
Non-fiction: "The Bottom Billion" by Paul Collier; he provides an incredibly well-rounded and objective analysis of why the poorest countries are staying poor. Thorough and well-written, plus the NYTimes gave it a great review.
I would suggest Limbo by Bernard Wolfe. Its billed as more satisfying than 1984 and Brave New World, I personally think that claim is not too far off.
for non-fiction, I would suggest the Kebra Negast. It is the Holy Book of one of the oldest empires, the Ethiopian. This will also update you to the upcoming Ethiopian Millennium which will be celebrated on Sept. 12th (usually the 11th) of 2007.
The House in Paris - Elizabeth Bowen
I would like to recommend reading a new release entitled "Finders Keepers" by Michael Dennis McDermott. The book is published by DraumrPublishing.com
I it a wonderful suspense/mystery fiction novel revolving around the finding of some found "unknown" Van Gogh paintings. The story covers the finding of the paintings, a plot to steal the paintings, the murder of the young woman who discovered the paintings and the investigation into all of this. It is an excellent read. Highly recommended.
'Arguing About Slavery: The Great Battle in the United States Congress' by William Lee Miller is a great book. For fiction either the first or last Harry Potter book. Have a good vacation.
Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson.
I'm really enjoying it; and I'm learning about cognitive dissonance and self-justification. Some folks really need to learn how to own up.
Fiction: SEND ME by Patrick Ryan
Non-fiction: NICKEL AND DIMED by Barbara Ehrenreich
I recommend one book that fits both categories: great fiction and great non-fiction. It is Mitch Silver's first novel: "In Secret Service" by Simon & Schuster (Touchstone). It weaves together Ian Flemming, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Adolf Hitler, Rudolf Hess, the Royal Family, Princess Di and Churchill -- World War II secrets with modern day intrigue. Witty, involving, fast-paced. A gret one book to take along wherever you go.
FICTION: "The Couloir" by Richard ManichelloTotally enjoyable and unique perspective from a new, literary voice that should be heard. Love, loss, memory packaged in poetry. Hemingway-esque.
NON FICTION: "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert Insightful and thought provoking and simultaneously entertaining. Didn't know non-fiction could be this much "fun!"
As for fiction, I would like to recommend "Arthur and George" by Julian Barnes.
Also, for non-fiction I would like to suggest "From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice" by Allen Buchanon, Dan W. Brock, Norman Daniels and Daniel Wikler.
an apocalyptic trilogy:waiting for the barbarians (j.m. coetzee)the road (cormac mccarthy)in the country of last things (paul auster)plus:the other america (michael harrington)what is the what (dave eggers)1982, janine (alasdair gray)
Read The Landscape Diaries: Garden of Obsession. It sounds like a garden book, but it is oh so much more! A page-turner with beautiful pictures. Both funny and touching, a quick and easy read that you'll be happy to leave on your coffee table for guests
Also, I agree with Andy's choice in choosing Flannery O'Connor's "Complete Stories" collection. I am currently reading it and it contains some vigorous and achingly gorgeous writing, mixed with some odd characters. Enjoy your vacation!
I recommend my recent book Negative You-Messages. See angerecolephd.com. It can help people avoid escalating arguments that may build resentments in their personal relationships.
Fiction: The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho. Wonderfully simple book on a very complex idea.
Non-Fiction: The Prize. This classic book is still my all-time favorite. If you've never read it, you'll love this history of oil told in stories of real people's lives.
non - fiction
Jewish Wisdom on the Afterlife - by dovber pinson (a brownstown brooklyn resident)a interesting look into the subject
and by the same writer
inner rhythms - the kabbalh of musicthe mystical workings of music
toward the infinite - the way of kabbalistic meditationa short easy "how to" on the topic
"Awakening Through Love" by John Makransky -- for a Western take on using Tibetan Buddhist practices to "cultivate our capacities for empathy and compassion," as Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence, Social Intelligence) put it... and why those qualities are so relevant and important.
Makranksy is a lama, Boston College professor, guiding meditation teacher at Dzogchen Center retreats, and close student/colleague of Lama Surya Das.
Shame of the nationJonathan Kozol
Public schools and NYC
Fiction:English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee - a very funny story about a mopey young civil servant, often described as "an Indian Catcher in the Rye."
Non-fiction:Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford - such an interesting woman & such a pleasure read. I picked it up after reading the Observer review, which is better than any summary I can give:http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,1962435,00.html
"The Magus" - John Fowles, I've worked for companies that do the sort of thing this guy is involved in - kind of like "The Game" by David Fincher. Completely compelling and on and on. Classic.
"How to Talk Dirty and Influence People" by Lenny Bruce. Quickest read ever of an interesting life - obviously smart and funny.
White Teeth- Zadie Smithand What is the What- Dave Eggers
both fiction sorry! I'm behind on my non-fiction...
non-fiction: "The Confessions", Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Rousseau's meandering recollection of his youth is perfect for a summer read. Love (and disappointment) seems a little bit more sweet when it comes from Rousseau.
fiction: "Anna Karenina", Tolstoy.
A gorgeous classic; assigned reading by my wife before our wedding - finished just in time, and great that I did. Kitty and Levin's love story is one for all time.
In the non-fiction category -- Simon Winchester. Anything by this prolific and engaging writer is worth reading. "The Professor and the Madman" about creating the Oxford English Dictionary. Krakatoa -- about the volcanic explosion. The Map that Changed the World -- about the man who created the field of geology. And his newest about the San Francisco earthquake.
Fiction: I'm working my way through Trollope -- take me out of the present. And his understanding of human nature is exquisite.
"Death and the Penguin" by Andrey Kurkov. One of the most entertaining fiction books that I've read lately, works great for anybody going in, or planning a vacation. "Mao: The Unknown Story" by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday for non-fiction. The title is self explanatory...
Fiction: The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor.
Probably the greatest American writer. Ever. And such a beautiful understanding of some of the most enigmatic aspects of the American character.
Nonfiction: Einstein, Ideas and Opinions
The guy was also a sociological genius. He saw pretty much everything we're dealing with now a century ago, and his opinions are as valuable as relativity.
Finally read the Kite Runner, which was terrific.
For non-fiction, The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan is a mindblower.
Non-fiction: The American Plauge by Molly Caldwell.
it a great book about what Yellow Fever did to the south, specifically Tennessee.
Fiction: Portrait of an Unknown Woman (A Novel) Vanora Bennett. about an adopted daughter in the Thomas More while they are being painted by Holbein
and an old favorite nonfiction:A Singular Journey (Edward Albee) :by Mel Gussow... the best biography of a great NewYorker and an interesting time.
"End of Faith" by Sam Harris
Religion as source of many of our ills.
Fiction : 'Gates of Fire'(if you liked 300 you'll love this, an account of the Spartan battle at Thermopylae)
Non-Fiction : 'A Historical Biography of Alexander ther Great' Peter Greene
I completely agree with the previous caller about "The Time Travelers Wife," it's great!
My suggestions would be:
The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon - Fiction
Inside the Kingdom by Carmen Bin Laden - Non-fiction
Fiction: Lorrie Moore's "Birds of America." Perhaps one of the strongest writers in contemporary fiction, Moore explores men and women perched in difficult--and rightfully so--and odd situations. What gets me is her miraculous wit! Standout stories: "People Like That Are The Only People Here: Canonical Babbling in Peed Onk."
Non-Fiction: Toure's "Never Drank The Kool-Aid: Essays." Former Rolling Stones intern and Village Voice writer collects his essays and interviews with Hip-Hop musicians and all things black culture. Simply think of Toure as the black version of Hunter S. Thompson.
Highly recommended: "Season of Migration to the North," a short novel by one of Africa's greatest unknown writer. A fantastical, somewhat a little spooky, novel about the return of a native to his Arabian land.
God is Not Great Christopher Hitchens
Non-Fiction: Paul Rogat Loeb "The impossible will take a little while" be inspired by real stories about HOPE and action. Not politically. Embracing all religions.
The best new fiction by far this year is SKUNK, A LOVE STORY- by Justin Courter. A wonderful first novel! Fun, fast, heart warming, and inovative. A really bizzare tale of addiction and love, even touching on political and enviromental issues. Enjoy!!!!
For fiction I recommend Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham. His usual impeccable writing in three short novellas linked by similar characters, each in a different genre and time -- historical novel (past), police procedural (present) and science fiction (future). Fascinating, enjoyable and thought-provoking.
Nonfiction: Movie Love in the Fifties by James Harvey. A completely accessible history of movies in the fifties, largely film noir, full of synopses, backstage stories and photos. Like going to the movies in an armchair, with lots of interesting commentary on what these movies say about the industry and society of the time.
an interesting book I picked up in the VERY distressed rack (dollar store)
Goldie Hawn's autobiography "lotus grows in the mud" very spiritual and good read....
Bread and Roses by Bruce Watson...non-fictionAmazing story of the Lawrence, Massachusetts strike in 1912. Would make a great movie!
I recommend "On Chesil Beach" by Ian McEwan, and A LONG WAY GONE, by Ishmael Beah
Fiction: Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
Non-Fiction: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Two great books, I am reading them both now!
Fiction: Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Non-fiction: Guns, Germs and Steel. Diamond.
Non-Fiction: Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer. A history of mormonism and its uniqueness as an American religion.
Fiction: Sputnkik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami. Loneliness, love and the conflict between following ones dreams and the pressures of assimilating into society.
Fiction: Vikram Chandra's _Sacred Games_ a literary novel masquerading as a thriller which is a panoramic view of modern India
Nonfiction_ Steven Johnson's _The Ghost Map_ about the cholera epidemic in London, but also touches on the scientific method, crowdsourcing, politics... very relevant to current issues and trendy science/math.
Non-Fiction: Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weiner, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter for the NY Times. He details the disastrous history of the CIA, and it reads like a tragic, infuriating farce.
Fiction: Absurdistan by Gary Shteingart. Superb post-soviet satire!
Nonfiction: The Power Broker (Caro)
Fiction: The Human Stain (Roth)
Fiction: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. First book of "His Dark Materials" trilogy -- read it before the movie comes out in December! Fantasy for people who HATE fantasy. Spirituality for the non-spiritual!
Nonfiction: Morgan: American Financier by Jean Strouse. Published in 1999 & won Bancroft Prize. Amazing biography & history of American finance & politics & museums.
Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham. I read it recently while I was having a rough time and it was the best and most complete distraction. Beautiful!
Non-fiction: I just started Jonathan Alter's "The Defining Moment" --a biography of FDR. I know I love the FDR monument in Washington DC, so I want to know more about the man. I'm in chapter 2 and it's very engaging reading!!
Also non-fiction: "The Big Year" is fun reading about birders and their crazy yearlong competition to see the most birds in North America.
Fiction: I recommend "Daughter of Fortune" by Isabelle Allende, for an interesting fictional story about Chileans coming to San Francisco during the Gold Rush. Very fun! Allende's "Zorro" was also a lot of fun, and I adore "Eva Luna"!!
I have to echo other people's suggestions, and I very strongly recommend the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman.
Atonement by Ian McEwan, sooo good, very surprising.
Non-Fiction: The Third Chimpanzee, by Jared Diamond!! Fascinating and very easy and intriguing book.
Non-fiction: Radical Possiblities by Jean Anyon
Fiction: Harry Potter 7, of course!
"A Prayer for Owen Meany" John Irving
The Rise of American Democracy by Sean Wilentz.
If you think politics are polarized now, try reading this. It's a riveting read - all 800 pages.
maybe brian is the cause of so many of our troubles. connect the dots where does he REALLY go on vaction??
I recommend:Animal, Vegetable, and Miracle by Barbara KingsolverBalzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai SiJie
Fiction: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
Nonfiction: The Tree: A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live, and Why They Matter by Colin Tudge
The Children's Hospital by Chris Adrian is a great book put out by McSweeny's books. An extra bonus is its beautiful design.
I just wanted to put in another vote for the trilogy: "His Dark Materials"
Ishmael Beah's A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier... a non-fiction account of a boy in Sierra Leone.
For non-fiction, I highly recommend "No God But God" by Reza Aslan. Frankly, I think it should be required reading for all Americans and would go a long way to help us understand our friends and our enemies who are often painted with the same brush of "Muslim."
Non-fiction: Radical Possibilities by Jean Anyon
Fiction: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!!! (J.K. Rowling)
George Orwell's Non-Fiction: Homage to Catalonia and Down and Out in Paris and London.
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (yes, there are two fs. it is not a typo)
Garbage Land by Elizabeth Royte
Fiction: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime by Mark Haddon. A few years old, but excellent!! Winner of the Whitbread Prize in 2003.
"A Thousand Splendid Suns" is just about the best book I have ever read. As good, or better, that "The Kite Runner". Insight into Afganistan, well really paced, and incredibly real characters.
Right now I am reading Paul Theroux - My Other Life, I think it is a great book, Theroux's writing is full of witty observations and comical situations. This book so far has had Theroux living in a lepor colony in Africa, and now he is talking about living in london as a writer.
Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
I am currently reading the non-fiction autobiography titled "Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Alli.
Fiction: "The Company" by Robert Littell - pretty good yarn (superior to the miniseries), covers the big Cold War historical moments nicely. He can be a bit ham-fisted as a writer, though.
Non-Fiction: "Gettysburg" by Stephen Sears, best one volume treatment of the battle
"A Savage War of Peace" by Alistair Horne - still trying to understand the Iraq mess, and hey, the President read it, right?
For fiction, I'd recommend IMPERIUM by Robert Harris, about Cicero's Rome, towards the fall of the republic and the rise of the empire, based on the writing's of Cicero's literate slave. Interesting implications for today's political climate ... history DOES repeat. On a lighter note, Rowling's Harry Potter series makes a good read ... I re-read 5 and 6, and am on my 3rd read of 7 ... rather good, is a wonderful distraction (as good as Star Trek, and I am a life-long fan!).
For non-fiction, try Bart Ehrman's MISQUOTING JESUS ... a sort of evangelical recovery book ... very interesting how what is _said_ to be in "the book" is not really there. Ehrman has a lot of very readable books about the essentially twisted world of "christian" religiosity. Jesus was an observant Jew, after all. I find Christians really forget that, or actually don't know it. Am looking for a similar book about Islam.
Have a GREAT vacation!!!
Fiction - "Plain Heathen Mischief" by Martin Clark. An enjoyable read, paced lightly while exploring various aspects of faith. Not just religious faith, but faith in self and others.
Non-Fiction - "Democracy in America" by Alexis de TorcquevilleApplicable to our times more than might be thought. Amazing insights into America in it's infancy that can now be contrasted to our present state of affairs.
I recommend Forever, by Pete Hamill. It is a 'mostly' fiction, published a few years ago. The story starts with the main character, an Irish man, growing up in Ireland who's travels to America in the 17th century to avenge his fathers murder and is granted immortality by a slave who's life he saved. Through his journey Pet Hamill paints an extremely vivid picture of NYC in the 17th century and describes its evolution into its modern day megalopolis. A true work of historical fiction, for anyone who loves NYC.
"out" by natsuo kirino
and "freakonomics" i forget who wrote it
Fiction: "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien; "Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami
Non-fiction: "Istanbul" by Orhan Pamuk
Forget all this new Oprah bookclub type fiction!
Read any B. Traven novel; they are all great.
Non-fiction: god is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens.
Although his political affiliations are regrettable these days, when Hitchens turns his fire to modern religious thinking, he is as trenchant as ever.
As per my e-mail:
"Animal, Vegetable and Miracle," by Barbara Kingsolver, for an account of how one family tried to survive for a year on local foods.
(If you haven't already read "The Omnivore's Dilemma," by Michael Pollan -- who's been a guest on your show -- read that one first for a fascinating history of the development of the post-WWII American food industry.)
"The Metaphysical Club," by Louis Menard, is one of the best intellecual histories that I've ever read -- deals with Holmes, Peirce, James and the development of American pragmatism.
Fiction: What can I say? You're on vacation; anything by Trollope.
Listen to your show every day! I just finished Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and it was very well written.
Nonfiction for a Traveler: "The Art of Travel" by Alain de Botton - really makes you think about the whole experience of travel: why we do it, what we think we will get from it, how we can make it more meaningful
Fiction: The Russian Debutante's Handbook by Gary Shteyngart - not at all what the title would make you think it is, a quick read but very well written
1491 - Fascinating and eye-opening history of new research into pre-Columbian civilizations in the Americas
Fiction: Michael Chabon's "The Yiddish Policemen's Union"
Non-Fiction: Bruce Bawer's "Stealing Jesus"
One is fun - the other is scary!!!
Space is the place by John F. Szwed. A biography of Sun Ra.
Invading the sacred An Analysis of Hinduism Studies in America
Fiction: "Then We Came to the End," a recent novel by Joshua Ferris. It's an extremely well-crafted comic novel about people in an advertising office, which touches on the depth and the tragic elements within the lives of a group of people at work.
Non-fiction: "Dry Manhattan," an account of New York City during Prohibition, by Michael A. Lerner. Engrossing and full of wonderful detail.
Maybe it doesn't sound like summer reading, but my summer project is to re-read all of Shakespeare, and it has been a real hoot. For nonfiction, I recommend Antonio Damasio's "Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow and the Feeling Brain".
fiction:i also agree with amy, His Dark Materials...amazing trilogy. it combines quantum physics, other dimensions, and a very human story.
non fiction:Bury Me Standing...a must read on the history and current situation and persecution of the Gypsy population worldwide.
Fiction: A Thousand Splendid Suns
Non Fiction: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
Fiction: To Kill a Mocking Bird. It warms the most distressed heart. More importantly, it's a good story.
Non-fiction: Me Talk Pretty One Day. It makes you laugh out loud.
You've probably read both already. But they are worth re-reading.
I'm currently reading and loving a novel by Ian McEwan, Atonement. I believe there's a movie adapted from this to be out soon.
Just finished the latest Harry Potter book and started "The Shadow of the Silk Road" by Colin Thubron.
The Newby is a wonderful book!
I've just read a beautifully observed and very moving novel set in Belfast in 1979, THIS HUMAN SEASON by Louise Dean. She imagines terrorists, prison guards, and those who love them, largely avoiding caricature.
The Places in Between by Rory Stewart. An acct of the author's walk across Afghanistan just a few months after the fall of the Taliban. Companion volume: Eric Newby: A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush
I just finished Mary Modern, a novel by Camille DeAngelis. It's a beautifully written updated version of Frankenstein, touching on themes of love, politics, and infertility. I immediately wanted to start reading it again.
Non-Fiction:Antonia Juhasz, "The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time"
Fiction:Witold Gombrowicz, "Ferdydurke"
Although I also second His Dark Materials. They are truly beautiful to read.
"God is Not Great" by Christopher Hitchens
Non-Fiction: Critical Condition by Donald Barlett and James Steele published in 2004. How Health Care in America Became Big Business and Bad Medicine.
I just finished "Divided Minds" by Wagner and Spiro, a beautiful and very sad memoir of twins, one with schizophrenia.
Also just finished "The Namesake;" loved it; so well written.
the young adult fantasy trilogy , His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman. The first book is The Golden Compass.
Fiction: "The Moviegoer" by Walker PercyNew Orleans, ennui and a little convertible. One of my all-time favorites.
Non-Fiction: " Following the Bloom: Across America with the Migratory Beekeepers"by Douglas Whynott Entirely engrossing from cover to cover.
"Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali for an insider's look at the status of women in Muslim society, politics and a whole range of other issues. A great read.
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