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1. My Life In France, Julia Child
    Absolutely wonderful. Although it was actually written by her grandnephew (based on her recollections and her and Paul's letters) Julia's voice is so authentic and real in this book! I was captivated. She would have been fun to spend time with ... as long as the talk was on food and not politics.
2. Word on the Street: debunking the myth of "pure" standard English, John McWhortor
    My favorite linguist! He has excellent things to say about language change, and although my interested waned a bit when he got into a lengthy exploration of black dialects, I appreciated what he said about the use of ebonics in education.
3. Let There Be Light: a book about windows, James Cross Giblin
    An older book detailing the history of ... windows! I love microhistories. And I would like to highly recommend this, but I'm afraid it might be hard to find.
4. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
    Perfectly honestly, I hated this book. It was so, so, so, SO depressing. In a different way than 1984 (which I liked) and F451 (which I liked at the time but am not sure I would like now). Of course I'm glad to have read it, but it's one I doubt I'll touch again.
5. The Swan Thieves, Elizabth Kostova
    This is the most captivating literary novel I've read since Her Fearful Symmetry. It's been a long time since I've read anything so wonderful, really, and when I finished all 500+ pages in less than two days, I was just sad to see it end.
    Kostova's writing is elegant and evocative, with layer upon layer of love, desire, genius, obsession and sadness. I don't know how to convey how thoroughly I entered the world she creates within this book. There's a veil of melancholy over everything, and yet I only wanted to stay longer between the pages.
    No, it's not like The Historian ... but that's okay. I was curious to see whether it was the story/history of The Historian that I liked so much, or the writing, and I'm happy to say it was Kostova's excellent writing.
I felt a little cheated by the abrupt ending and there were a few other things that felt off, but it kept me completely engrossed for two days, and that's something few works of fiction do these days.
6. One Good Turn, Witold Rybczynski
    Another microhistory! I know you've all been dying to know the history of the humble screwdriver ... and here you have it.
7. How to Be A Better Foodie, Sudi Pigott
    A collection of quotes, ingredient lists, and foodie tidbits. I expected something a bit more ... substantial, and thus was disappointed.
8. Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller
I liked it. I think pretty much everyone ever has already read this, so I'll leave it at that. For now. 

 9. Dancing in the Dark: a cultural history of the great depression, Morris Dickstein
I can always count on ruthette  to lend interesting books! And interesting it was, though requiring some time and patience to get through. I thought I had a pretty decent handle on depression-era fiction and movies until I starting reading about dozens of titles I'd never even heard of. 

 10. Smoke and Mirrors, Neil Gaiman
Short stories by the master of storytelling. Warning: most of these are disturbing in some way, some more so than others.
 (Books from the Stack: 7)



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 4th, 2010 10:41 pm (UTC)
I might have to check out Julia Child's book...
I was just thinking of reading Brave New World, but I might opt for 1984 instead.;)
Nov. 5th, 2010 01:50 pm (UTC)
Don't get me wrong, both are disturbing. 1984 just struck me really differently, I guest.

The Julia Child one was SUCH a gem!
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 5th, 2010 01:50 pm (UTC)
Nov. 4th, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC)
I haven't read Blue Like Jazz, mostly because all the hipster-types love it and I generally disagree with them. But if you say it's worth reading I might check it out. :-)
Nov. 5th, 2010 01:55 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I hadn't paid much attention to it until now for that very reason. Yep, he's a hipster. And there are things he does I wouldn't do. But he had a lot of Truth about God and loving people and what Christianity looks like in a real life and not just in some theoritical discussion.

Also he's really, really funny. :D
Nov. 5th, 2010 12:45 pm (UTC)
Neil Gaiman IS good but disturbing. I read American Gods a few years ago and didn't know what to make of it.
Nov. 5th, 2010 01:55 pm (UTC)
I LOVED American Gods. It deserves a re-read, though. It was so dense!
Nov. 7th, 2010 11:46 pm (UTC)
I'm making a mental not to read The Swan Thieves. Probably I will not actually remember unless I write it down. I've been meaning to read Blue Like Jazz for a long time too.
Nov. 8th, 2010 12:56 am (UTC)
They're both well worth the time. :)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )