So, after a long summer of ignoring PtR, I thought about checking up on it today, because apparently there was some NBA related things going on. It seems to me that it looks a little different. In keeping with my surly personality, I don't like it. But you're not surprised. I'm the loveable grouchy bunny of PtR.
As much as I enjoy complaining about new-fangled things, that's not the reason I'm posting. I thought we all had a pretty good time in June, with our talk about what books to read and how great we are for reading them. But self-improvement doesn't end with the summer, kittens. Reading continues. I happen to have been in bed all day with a migraine, which puts me in just the right frame of mind to boss you around. The grouchy bunny's recommended reading list is after the jump. Bring Your Own Carrots.Let's start with fiction again. It creates a nice consistency.
It won the Printz (which is a big deal) and was a National Book Award finalist (also a big deal). Another entry in the evergreen young adult dystopia field, the first part of Ship Breaker is a little tough. "OH MY GOD," you'll be inclined to scream. "YOUR LIFE IS A LIVING HELL." And you'd be right. You feel for the characters' miserable existences. I was getting close to quitting the book, waiting for Nailer's letter from Hogwarts or being picked as Tribute or falling down the rabbit hole--something, ANYTHING, to enable his escape. It does happen, eventually, and the book is pretty good. Not the audio version, though.
DID YOU READ THIS YET? HUH?
I finally got around to reading this, and I have to say, it is one well written story.
I took a romp through Unread Classic Land and visited the doctor's island of crazypants ethical violations. I thought the tone was rather staid, for a hair-raising book of scifi, but I've thought that before about similar works, so I guess that's to be expected. Whether or not this makes you think about humankind's imposing its sense of order and values on nature or humanity's own savagery, it might make you feel for lab rats.
Another teen book, I have included it because Sergio Martinez's recent victory called it to mind. No, it's not about boxing, it's more of a romance. It's presented as a sort of multimedia scrapbook, which is kind of unique, and there is an app version, obviously, which really embraces the multimedia aspect.
Well that's enough of that. Nonfiction time!
Not to be confused, at all, ever, with The Coldest Winter Ever, The Coldest Winter is Pulitzer winner David Halberstam's chronicle of the Korean War. I recall reading somewhere that Halberstam had something to do with the new journalism movement, telling a nonfiction story in a narrative style--but I can't cite my source so take it for what it's worth. This book does use narrative to great effect, and I don't know how big this monster is in hardcover but the audiobook is 21 discs long. It's worth it, though--if you're like me then you remember roughly two things about the Korean War from school, and this book's a good read (or listen) about the apparently aptly named "forgotten war." I admit it was slightly jarring to see the "Gangham Style" video immediately after finishing.
I don't actually like the term "Civil War buff;" it sounds too much like you're a card carrying member of the fanclub of great national tragedy. So let's instead say that I have a strong human interest in the Civil War, although that's nowhere near as pithy. I haven't made any sort of serious academic study, mind you--but I was sick last week and watched the whole Ken Burns documentary so it's on my mind. This book focuses on Lincoln as a military leader (duh), and it's a fairly quick read (or listen--I mostly listen to nonfiction as I have a long and boring commute) and quite fascinating.
I realize this is the second Civil War themed book here, and I listened to it quite awhile ago, but you gotta understand how long The Coldest Winter was. I mean, it's really, really long. The Assassin's Accomplice probably feels longer than it is, but a good read all the same. Like most people, I'd been lead to sort of assume Mary Surratt was a kind of innocent bystander in the whole assassination plot and maybe probably wrongly executed. This book maps out just how up to her eyeballs she was in John Wilkes Booth's plans, and I'm thinking these days how those claims of innocence were maybe probably kind of disingenuous.
Just to prove a book doesn't have to be stamped with human tragedy to catch my eye, this here's a gardening book about small space organic gardening. It's an interesting and inspiring book about growing food where you'd previously believed you couldn't, and the only tragedy within involves potential threats to your plants' well-being. Which, I guess, if you're sensitive, might be more than enough.
Alright, kittens--time to brag about your summer (reading) conquests in the comments. Did you read anything on the last list? DID YOU?