Tag Archives: Books

Reading meme

Andy, the Information Tyrannosaur, tagged me with the following meme. So any embarrassment I might incur is his fault!

This is a list of the top 106 books most often marked unread by LibraryThing users. The rules: bold the ones youíve read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didnít finish.

  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
  • Anna Karenina
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Catch-22
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Wuthering Heights
  • The Silmarillion
  • Life of Pi : a novel     View more →

Life changing books

Lifehacker asks the question, What books have changed your life?

Life-changing books are not just your favorite books… but books that altered your behavior, changed your mind, redirected the course of your life. Books as levers.

An interesting question worthy of pondering. Here are mine.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams’ wonderful novel (and subsequent sequels) became popular during my college years, when reading for me turned into a chore. It was hard to read just for fun — it was something I HAD to do to get good grades. The Hitchhiker’s Guide changed all that. It was the first book that made me laugh out loud. In addition to the humor, Adams includes many poignant life philosophies as well.

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The Animal Dialogues by Craig Childs

book cover

My favorite reads are those that let me escape. Whether I am bored in a waiting room, worried about something, or just trying to clear my head so I can sleep, books that can transport my mind to another place are worth their weight in gold. The Animal Dialogues: Uncommon Encounters in the Wild by Craig Childs is a wonderful example of such a book.

In The Animal Dialogues, the author vividly describes various encounters he has had with wildlife. The book is set up so each species has its own chapter: Bear, Coyote, Rainbow Trout, etc. Within each chapter are a few stories about different encounters with that species. And “stories” is an appropriate word to use here. The author’s vivid descriptions of these encounters read like a novel. Here’s an example from the chapter “Bear”:

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Thoughts on Harry Potter

Two years ago when I got to the end of “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince,” the sixth book in the popular series, I was most annoyed. It was the first book in the series that didn’t stand out as a complete story on its own. It ended sadly and abruptly and left me hungry for the rest of the story. I couldn’t believe I had to wait for the next book to find out what happens.

I thanked ArmlessBear for not giving any spoilers away, and I won’t here either. But I just finished reading the final book in the saga, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and I was not disappointed.

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The Time Traveler’s Wife

I’ve always been a little fascinated with the concept of time travel. So when I saw the book The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, I just had to pick it up. I was glad I did. The author had me hooked right from the beginning of the story. It’s about a man named Henry, who is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder, and his wife Clare. The disorder causes Henry to periodically be misplaced in time, drawn to people and moments that have emotional importance to him. Clare first met Henry when she was six and Henry was thirty-six. Henry first met Clare when he was twenty-eight and she was twenty. Confused? I was too at times, but it actually makes the story that much more interesting.

Henry’s disappearances (and subsequent shifts to other times) are unpredictable. At times they can also be humorous and distressing, making the book funny, sad, romantic and even a little suspenseful. The way the author created that emotional combination made The Time Traveler’s Wife one of the best books I’ve read in a while.

Sherman Alexie

Last night I went to hear the author Sherman Alexie speak. He’s of Native American descent and has written several books of contemporary native fiction, short stories and poetry. He also wrote the screenplay for the movie Smoke Signals.

What a great speaker! He was funny, poignant and very thought provoking. I really enjoyed his take on American culture, current events and just life in general. I also liked his philosophy that a great deal of the world’s problems can be traced to the fact that people think their way is the only way, what they believe is right and people who believe otherwise are wrong. Wars, religious conflicts, political conflicts, discrimination and so forth can all be traced to the fact that somebody thinks they are right. Near the end of his talk, Sherman (I can call him that, he autographed a book for me!) asked the audience to think about one thing in the next 24 hours. “You might be wrong.”

Sign Talker

It’s great to have something to get your mind off the events of the day. Right now my diversion of choice is the book Sign-Talker by James Alexander Thom. It’s a fictional account of George Drouillard, a Native American / French-Canadian man, and his adventures while he was the guide for the Lewis and Clark expedition. Definitely a recommended read for fans of historical fiction.