A few good books

Books to readI put my TV in my garage yesterday. I have been meaning to do it for a long time, but after wasting an entire Sunday and staying up too late, causing me to miss some things Monday morning, I finally did it. And then I realized that was in fact sick and I just wanted to curl up in front of the TV and do nothing. So instead I read. And I have survived two days hanging out at home sans TV. And it is good. I was reminded how much more lonely my house seems without a TV to keep me company. Sad, but true.

 While on vacation, I read two books:

  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: My friends have all raved about it, and is was a perfect vacation read. Not at all what I was expecting, but pretty good. The ending was quite disappointing though.
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: Another good, easy read, but again, the ending was a let down. It got just a little too super-natural for me.

And then there are the books that I just cannot get through to save my life:

  • The Balance Within by Esther Sternberg: Currently on p. 91 of 211. The book is about the interaction of the brain and the immune system, which is an area that I really love reading about thanks to books by Robert Sapolsky. Unfortunately, Sternberg doesn’t have the knack for popular science writing that Sapolsky does. I get bored to tears when she goes into great detail describing the architecture of a university right in the middle of describing some scientific discovery.
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond: I should have know that it would be hard getting through this book since I struggled with the writing style of The Third Chimpanzee, but like The Third Chimpanzee, the subject matter is so interesting that I thought I would be able to overcome the difficult writing. So far I have only made it through 130 pages out of 440.
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte: p. 116 of 338. I found this book sitting around, so I thought I would try to read this classic. I am really trying, but I just don’t like any of the characters and I do’t really care what happens to them.

Finishing the two books from my vacation and frustrated with the books that I have, I went to Recycle Book Store on the Alameda this afternoon and bought lots of new books. These should keep me busy for a while:

  • The Poems of Dylan Thomas: A friend sent me “Do not go gentle into that good night” when I was frustrated at work, and I really liked it. So even though I don’t really read poetry aside from a bit of Maya Angelou and William Cullen Bryant, I am going to try to read more Dylan Thomas.
  • Mary, Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley by Alison Weir: I am big Alison Weir fan, and since I have read a fair amount about Elizabeth I, I have been interested in learning more about her rival Mary.
  • Great Catherine by Carolly Erickson: The story of Catherine the Great, written in a novel-y format, so I am hoping that it will be an approachable introduction to Catherine before I tackle more scholarly books about her.
  • The Evolution of Useful Things by Henry Petroski: I like reading about the history of random things, so this book looks interesting. Plus I hope to learn more annoying trivia about common objects to irritate my friends with.
  • Don’t Eat This Book by Morgan Spurlock: With the success of Super Size Me, of course Spurlock had to write a book. I am quite excited about this one and have already started reading it.

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