|Books I've Read in
2005 (most recent first)
& Demons, Dan Brown
- I've finally succumbed to the approved by the
masses Dan Brown, and found the book to be spellbinding. I haven't read the
sequel, yet, as I was told by several people to catch this book first. It's a
strange tale of mystery, science, murder, the Vatican and romance - quite good!
I am looking forward to reading the next book, as soon as time allows. So many
books, so little time!
Sandman: Endless Nights, Neil Gaiman
- A series of illustrated stories about each of the
Endless: Death, Desire, Destruction, Delirium, Despair, Destruction and Dream.
The stories are loosely related and as always well told and beutifully related.
I miss the Sandman series, so I do enjoy getting a collection like this to dive
into every now and again.
Quest, Robin Hobb
- Third, and likely last, book in the Farseer line,
the story was compelling and fast paced. Fitz is brought back to life in this
book to avenge the death of his grandfather and to search out his uncle who
should rightfully be on the thrown. Seeing that most people believe he is dead,
this is a challenging path. Hobb is a great story teller, though it looks like
I will have to search out other stories from this author as the story of Fitz
appears to be at an end.
Widening Gyre, Robert B. Parker
- Another deliciously decadant Spenser novel from
Parker. This time around, Spenser is hired as protection for a Senate candidate
and gets roped into the wives problems with sexual indiscretions, drugs and
videotape. Spenser is his usual rough on the edges, gentle giant self, saving
the day, as usual. Always a fun read, I keep finding myself back in the Spenser
novels, and fortunately my friend keeps lending me more & more to
Assassin, Robin Hobb
- After reading the heavy Random Family (see below),
I went for the lighter fantasy novel. Hobb's story of Fitz and the rest of the
Farseer royal family really takes off in this book. It goes beyond simple court
intrigues and builds to a dramatic climax where the fate of the kingdom seems
will only be despair. The story was fascinating and I had a really hard time
putting the book down (as my traveling companions at the time I was reading
this complained of often).
Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
- This was such an incredible book, so amazingly
detailed that I could not believe it was nonfiction when I first started
reading this. The book was recommended by David Sedaris at a speaking
engagement I saw him at last year - I shouldn't have waited so long to read the
book. LeBlanc's story is based on things she either witnessed firsthand or that
she was told about by actual participants in the events. Never before have I
had so much insight into actual ghetto life - the highs, the lows and the
outright desperation. She follows four people throughout the book, Boy George -
at one point a very successful drug dealer in the Bronx, his girlfriend
Jessica, her brother Ceasar, and Ceasar's first steady girlfriend, CoCo. It's
an inside look into how these girls become welfare mothers, and how getting a
job really isn't an option. It was occassionally difficult reading - CoCo would
be presented with a fork in her path, and to me the choices were obvious: one
would lead to happiness and the other to despair. To CoCo, the choices weren't
obvious - LeBlanc shows you this. I could almost see the world through CoCo's
eyes. The neglect of so many children is described in this book - all part of
every day life in the ghetto. The book is powerful and painful. I've
recommended this to all of my friends that haven't already read it.
- Chainfire, Terry Goodkind
- The ninth book in the Sword of Truth series starts
out almost identically to the last 3 - a regurgitation of the entire story line
and an "in your face" synopsis of the Objectivist philosophy. Getting beyond
the first 100 pages, suddenly the plot actually picks up and Goodkind gets back
to his marvelous story telling. Suddenly, Kahlan has disappeared and nobody but
Richard can remember that she even existed. There is a war going on (still),
but Richard is distracted as he starts on a quest to find Kahlan. Overall a
great book, but I really hope his next book doesn't harp so much on why
altruism is evil, and goes back to subtly explaining the virtues of rational
A memoir, Augusten Burroughs
- This sequel to
with Scissors: A Memoir is *much* less twisted, but does explain "what
happens to a child who is raised by his mother's crazy psychiatrist and moves
in with a pedophile at age 13?" Augusten describes how with barely an
elementary school education, he talks himself into an incredibly well paid job
in advertising. Always fond of imbibing, his drinking spirals out of control
and he is forced into rehab by his employer. That's not enough to wake him up,
though, and the heart wrenching saga continues as he pulls himself away from
the few people he can love and trust. Another great story from Burroughs - I'm
looking forward to reading more.
of Sleep, William C. Dement
- Wow!!! Another book that has absolutely changed my
life. Professor Dement from Stanford University is a pioneer of sleep medicine
(he discovered REM sleep and first observed and described the other four stages
of sleep). I heard him speak in February at Stanford and had to read this book.
He covers common sleep disorders, particularly apnea, in great depth. I learned
so much about how much sleep I need and how I don't need to keep going through
life tired. Dement confirms my long held suspicion that there is such a thing
as sleep debt - that is, the more nights in a row you go without sleep, things
will get worse and worse. And he tells you how to catch up. Since reading this,
I've learned that I just need more sleep than most people, and I'm no longer
going through my days completely exhausted, I'm thinking more clearly and I
just feel healthier. The most frightening thing I learned in this text is how
most primary care physicians have little to no training on sleep or sleep
disorders, which is why so many of these go undiagnosed. This is an eye opening
book - I'm going to get a copy for my doctor!
Goat, Robert B. Parker
- This has got to be my favorite Spenser novel yet!
Spenser's relationship with Susan is finally starting to progress, and the
characters are really starting to develop.
- Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
- Wow, what an incredible story teller Mr. Eugenides
is. This book takes you into the life of a hermaphrodite Calliope (aka Cal),
all the while weaving an intricate history of a family tree without enough
branches. This novel was captivating
Land, Robert B. Parker
- Yet another Spenser novel. Not as good as the
others I've read so far, but I still had a hard time putting the book
Apprentice, Robin Hobb
- My friend, Brent, gave me this book a long time ago
and I finally read it. Great fantasy novel - the story was interesting. A young
boy, a bastard son of the crown prince, is abandoned at a castle by his mother.
With a dubious claim to the thrown, people are constantly trying to assinate
our protagonist - all the while he is learning to become an assasin for the
king. I've already gone out and bought the sequels. :-)
|Books I've Read in
2004(most recent last)
They Hear You When You Cry?, Fauziya Kassindja
- A frightening inside look of a woman trying to
escape castration in her native country who gets caught up in a nightmare when
she comes to the United States seeking asylum. Since she was running away from
her new "husband" (she was one of 3 wives, married against her will by her
uncle), she did not have a valid passport. She winds up in jail for attempting
to immigrate illegally. A very intense story of one woman's survival.
Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers
- A story of a near "Real World" participant who
becomes the father figure for his much younger brother when he's in his early
twenties. Incredible and amazing that it's a true story. The title is perfectly
with Scissors: A Memoir, Augusten Burroughs
- Twisted. That this is some guy's actual life is
unbelievable. The "psychiatrist" who was taking care of Augusten has to be the
craziest man I've ever heard about.
Hundred Secret Senses, Amy Tan
Don't Ask: Negotioation and the Gender Divide, Linda Babcock
- AMAZING book - everybody needs to read this book!
This will change the way you look at the workplace, management techniques,
shopping for major purchases, and the amount of money you'll make in your
lifetime and so much more! The book is incredibly well researched, easy to
read, and it will change your life (not in the crazy cultish way, but in a good
Summers, Henry Rollins
- Great inside look into an "aging alternative rock
icon's" tour and the plight of the West Memphis
3. Henry Rollins is a truly amazing
presence - if he's doing a speaking engagement anywhere near you, I highly
recommend you check him out. He is poignant, funny, brilliant and truly in
touch with real life.
Game, Orson Scott Card
- Amazing book, I can't believe I waited this long to
read this classic.
Science and Practice, Robert B. Cialdini
- If you read this book, please don't use it for
evil. This goes wonderfully with Women Don't Ask.
Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom
- An endearing story, hard to put down.
Manuscript, Robert B.
- Stillwatch, Mary Higgins
- Valediction, Robert B.
and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the
Right, Al Franken
Catskill Eagle, Robert B. Parker
- My friend Phil has gotten me hooked on these
"Spenser for Hire"
novels, and has lent me a very huge stack of them...
and the Jaws of Life, Jincy Willett
- the collection of short stories was not as funny as
the quote on the cover from David Sedaris would lead you to believe, but
definitely perfectly sad. "Under the Bed" and "Jaws of Life" really stuck with
Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, David Sedaris
- This book, on the other hand, did have me laughing
and Crakee, Margaret Atwood
- Um, wow. This was a really amazing, prophetic book.
Surprisingly different than her other novels that I've read. I just cannot stop
thinking about this story. Amazing.
the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer
- A story of a violent murder of a young woman and
her infant daughter by her Mormon fundamentalist brothers-in-law. Very
interesting, particularly the history of the Mormon faith. A lot of the book
was just shocking - how two men could be so incredibly twisted in their views
of God as to believe He requested them to murder their sister-in-law and
Save the Child, Robert B. Parker
- Another Spenser for Hire novel. I love the way
Parker describes everything in such great detail that you can actually see it.
This is particularly entertaining as this book was written in 1974, and he
doesn't spare us any of the grueling details of just what people were wearing
for the Dead, Orson Scott Card
- Now I am totally hooked on this series.
- I also finished reading the