Completely random book reviews.

Some blog posts have clever themes; others are just lists of cool things. This post is of that second kind. Please enjoy.

Fiction

Abbott, EdwinFlatland: a Romance of Many Dimensions – This is my favorite book. It looks like a nice little fable about a two-dimensional world full of talking shapes, but it’s really a scathing criticism of Victorian society. Flatland is in the public domain now, so you can go get yourself a free ebook version. (Bonus: book on CD!)

Adams, DouglasThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Travel through space with Marvin the paranoid android and learn how you should react when someone calls you a “hoopy frood.” This may be the book that taught me how to be sarcastic. (Super Bonus Jackpot Bonanza: book on CD, ebook, original radio scripts, movie, television show!)

Cabot, MegAirhead – Average girl has brain transplant and wakes up in supermodel’s body. First in a trilogy, and yes, I’ve read them all. Don’t hate. It’s amusing fluff, despite the “only my boyfriend can help me now” crap that turns up now and then.

Dunn, MarkIbid – The fictional biography of a three-legged man told entirely in footnotes. What more can I possibly say? (Except perhaps that another of his books, Ella Minnow Pea, will do wonders for your vocabulary.)

Dutch, DanaRomance Without Tears – 50s comics about young women falling in love but not acting like morons or putting up with jerks. Amazing stuff.

Fforde, JasperShades of Grey – In a society that’s short on spoons, social standing is based on the ability to see colors. Also, no one can see at night. That’s a big one. And sometimes the roads eat people. That’s kind of important, too. (Bonus: ebook!)

Higashino, KeigoSalvation of a Saint – A man with a plan is murdered by someone with an even bolder plan. One of a series about a detective and his physics professor pal that’s being translated into English. (Bonus: book on CD!)

Ozeki, RuthMy Year of Meats – A Japanese-American documentary maker finds herself producing a television show designed to sell American meats to Japanese housewives. Surreal and alarming.

Timm, Uwe - The Invention of Curried Sausage – This one’s part war story, part messed-up love story, and part sausage story. It was published in Germany in the  late 90s, but it’s set in the late 80s and reaches back to the mid 40s. Sort of a time-travelling sausage frame narrative thing going on here.

Nonfiction

Colquhoun, KateMurder in the First-Class Carriage – Quite possibly the most gentle book about a vicious beating that you’ll ever read – features an oddly boring Trans-Atlantic chase and an awful lot of information about hats. But it is chock-full of amusing British spellings.

Gonick, LarryThe Cartoon History of the Universe – It’s possible that you’ll learn more from this series than you did from all of your high school teachers combined. It’s also very funny.

Johnson, StevenThe Ghost Map – A little bit about medicine, a little bit about plumbing, and a lot about bodily fluids. Ew. But in a good way. Or at least in an educational way. (Bonus: book on CD, eaudio!)

Shirer, WilliamThe Rise and Fall of the Third Reich – On one hand, you’re learning about Hitler’s income taxes. On the other, the author keeps using the phrase “homo-sexual perverts.” But you could say that in 1960, when this book was first published. (Bonus: really long book on CD, eaudio!)

Summerscale, KateMrs. Robinson’s Disgrace – A good book, though not nearly as salacious as the title would lead you to believe. It’s more about Victorian intellectual life and the early days of British divorce courts. (Bonus: book on CD!)

- Amy, who apparently enjoys sarcasm, history, and fluffy teen fiction

1 Comment

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One response to “Completely random book reviews.

  1. You’ve Been Nominated
    Hi. I just nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blog Award. Not sure of the exact rules, who started it, or where to find the exact rules. I think you are supposed to nominate 15 other blogs when you accept (kind of like chain letter/pyramid type advertising) but I know I won’t be advertising that many). Anyway, it only serves to help promote your blog. For more info, check out the appropriate post at my site on A Toast To Dragons. (The pasting of links hasn’t work on the last couple of sites, so in case it fails on yours, here’s the url: http://www.atoasttodragons.com).

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