The Stack

August 17, 2009 at 9:02 am | Posted in Book Blather | 3 Comments

Here’s what I read last week.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog:  I almost blew this off because I thought it would be chick lit.  Instead I think it might be on my top ten for the year, though the ending upset me.

Freedom’s Battle:  Everything you ever wanted to know about the history of humanitarian interventions.  I was interested to see that yet again, the history I read for fun was never touched on in my university history courses.  What else weren’t they telling us?

Good-Bye:  This was a collection of graphic stories by Yoshihiro Tatsumi from before manga became so popular.  Dark, disturbing, and brilliant.  You won’t believe what was actually going on in the frame the cover is taken from.

Shop Class as Soulcraft:  Go ahead and read this thing.  I know, I know, I don’t like reading heavily promoted books either, but this one is definitely worth it.  Crawford is subversive and has things to say about working in a cubicle farm that hadn’t crossed my mind, though I’ve done it for 15 years.  Besides, he’s a hot guy who can use tools and has a master’s.  And I thought my man Rocket Scientist was the only one…

The Girl Who Played With Fire:  Even better than the first one.  Stieg Larsson is writing books in heaven, right?

Me Cheeta:  Another winner.  It’s the first title I’ve read off this year’s Booker long list, and if it’s any indication, this is a promising year.

Airships:  Something I read off the Top 10 list.  Trippy.

Arrowsmith:  Finally I am getting back on track on the Pulitzer list.  I enjoyed this, but for some reason I found it a very dense read.  I was surprised to see Babbitt make a cameo appearance.

Right now I’m reading The Next 100 Years, and it’s stirring up discussion at my house.  Whether you agree with the conclusions or not, it’s guaranteed to get you thinking.


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  1. I liked 100 years mostly as for the geopolitics, I thought the predicted tech (the space station) was tactically implausible (should have been a space elevator). A friend who does this kinf of strategic planning for the gov said the whole thing was way off and nothing more than playful postulation.

  2. In regards to “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” – the ending upset in what way? The characters’ actions or the way the author handled the story? I’ve heard very different and contradictory views on that book particularly; I have to wonder.

    • Without spoiling the plot, it was just really heartbreaking. I got emotionally involved in the story and it didn’t have the classic “happy ending” I was hoping for. I can’t really object to how it was done; in fact, I don’t know that happy endings are very memorable. But still!

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