What’s On Your List?

Here’s a list of books I have been reading for pleasure in recent weeks (and months), in no particular order:

  • Dune and Dune Messiah – reread the sci-fi classic.  Dune is great.  Dune Messiah is less compelling as a narrative, but more interesting in terms of social issues, religion and cultural behavior.  I’ll soon get to the third book, Children of Dune will be new to me.
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein – loaned to me by a friend, who insisted I read it.  Narrated by a dog, but don’t let that put you off.  A wonderful book.  I stopped midway through, when I hit a section that I found depressing.  (These days I sometimes feel too fragile emotionally to deal with fictional stress and anxiety.  There’s enough of the real stuff around.)  But my friend talked me through it.  I persevered and was happy to see (spoiler alert) the good guy win, in spite of the tragedy in his life.
  • Bait and Switch, by Barbara Ehrenreich – Referenced in my earlier posts.  A depressing exploration of white-collar unemployment and the fringes of corporate culture.  Makes me feel lucky to have the support system, skills, and alternate interests that I do.
  • The Power of One, by Bryce Courtenay – a South African coming of age novel, mainly in the 1930’s and 40’s, giving insight into Boer-English conflicts, bullying, prejudice, and personal growth.  A gripping story.
  • Catching Fire and Mockingjay (books 2 and 3 of The Hunger Games), by Suzanne Collins.  I love fantasy, science fiction, magic, legends, and myths, even dystopian futuristic stories.  I once taught a class on utopias and dystopias – leads to great discussions.
  • The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion – one of my sources for help with sourdough bread and advice about piecrust.

Piled on tables around the house, partially read or waiting their turn for attention:

  • Wild, by Cheryl Strayed – loaned by my sister-in-law after my son hiked the Appalachian Trail.  An adventure of self-exploration on the Pacific Coast Trail.  It’s waiting by the bed.
  • Turn Right at Machu Pichu, by Mark Adams – I love travel stories, even when the authors are unprepared for their adventures, and Machu Picchu is high on my bucket list.  This one follows in the steps of the “discoverer” of MP, and claims to answer the question of its reason for being.  I’ll delve into it one of these days.
  • The Speech, by Bernie Sanders – This book is his one-man filibuster speech.  It sits on the kitchen counter, and it’ s great to open at random when I have a moment to read a paragraph or two.
  • Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman – Enlightening, but I haven’t touched it in a long time.
  • Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton.  I stopped reading this one when the dysfunctional relationships took center stage.  I’ll get back to it eventually.
  • The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach – another good book I stopped reading at a place of conflict.
  • The Eye of Jade, by Diane Wei Liang – a detective story set in Beijing with a young female detective.  The narrative is a bit slow, but the setting and socio-political environment is fascinating.  This is the current novel for bedtime reading.
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