I’ve totally slacked off on keeping track of what books I’ve been reading, and a couple weeks ago (2/24/09), I decided to jump-start myself by taking a photo of a stack of finished books. The books are ordered by size, not by when I finished reading them. Below are the titles and some brief comments.
A War of Gifts by Orson Scott Card – Short novel written in the Ender’s Game universe. I love all of the Ender books, and this was no exception.
Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes? by Jena Pincott – “The Science behind Sex, Love, and Attraction.” Adult topics, but rather fascinating stuff about what current research shows about what attracts people to each other. I found myself sharing bits of trivia in several different conversations after reading this book. For example: If you take a group of same-gender people and combine their faces to make a composite, people will generally think that composite is more attractive than each individual from the group. I also thought that there were some interesting things you could take away from this book if you were single and trying to pursue someone.
Families Where Grace is In Place by Jeff VanVonderen – Christian book about spousal and family dynamics. If you are trying to “improve” your spouse or children and feel responsible for their growth and behavior, you might not have the healthiest situation. This book talks about the difference between unhealthy and healthy relationships and how to improve family relationships, starting by recognizing that you can’t look to other people to fill your own emptiness.
Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli – The webmistress of the popular fansite The Leaky Cauldron describes the Harry Potter phenomenon from the inside out. Did you know that Harry Potter spawned a whole new genre of music? Me neither.
Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica, a.k.a “The Waiter” – I hadn’t heard of this apparently popular blog before, but here’s another memoir based on a blog about life as a waiter in a high-class restaurant. I’m a sucker for books like this and enjoyed it (although it didn’t make me a subscriber of the blog).
Murder By Family by Kent Whitaker – Memoir of a father who survived a murder attempt that was plotted by his own son. His wife and other son didn’t make it. I was crying as I read his story about how he came to completely forgive and accept his son. (I guess this guy has been on Oprah since then… too bad we no longer had cable. Not that I would have known to watch this, anyway.)
Farewell, My Subaru by Doug Fine – Another memoir (seems to be my genre of choice lately)… Doug makes a valiant attempt to live “green,” moving into a rural area, trying to grow his own food, take care of goats and chickens, convert to solar power, and survive the elements. Punctuated with lots of handy little “green” trivia bits.
The Woman Who Can’t Forget by Jill Price – Jill Price remembers everything about her life in emotional detail from when she was 14 years old. She has a very unique and unusual condition in that she’s not a “savant” (i.e., can’t remember huge long lists of numbers) but she can tell you what day of the week matches up with any date in the past… uh… I don’t remember how many but it was a lot… years and vice versa and then tell you what happened in her life on that day. Incredible.
The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs – A.J. Jacobs takes a year trying to live the rules of the Bible literally (first, Old Testament, then, New Testament). Despite his agnostic beliefs, he presents a very sincere memoir of his attempts, even as his life tends towards the ridiculous at times (reference beard comments and wife’s passive-aggressive “uncleanliness” during her time-of-the-month).
Starbucked by Taylor Clark – A full history of Starbucks’ beginnings and growth as a truly innovative company… and a look at how it’s turning into mass-market fast food.
Positive Discipline: The First Three Years by Jane Nelsen – I’m in a parenting class that is going through Rudolf Dreikurs’ Children: The Challenge book. The Positive Discipline series is based on his principles (along with others) and is right up my alley. This book was specifically about infants and toddlers, and I found the specific examples helpful for fleshing out some of Dreikur’s principles. There is also a helpful chapter about development and figuring out what’s appropriate at various ages. Thanks to my friend Lucy for recommending this book!