Wednesday 2 January 2008

What I've been Reading

I haven't been reading much of late but I'm hoping that the new year changes that as I've got a ton of stuff that I really do want to get to. As usual my yet to start list is getting longer and I keep starting books that I don't plan to but that's half the fun.

Finished:

Bill Bryson: "Shakespeare: The World As Stage" I prefer Bryson's more serious stuff and like "The Mother Tongue" and "A Short History of Nearly Everything" this is a thoroughly enjoyable and refreshingly frank summary of what is known about Shakespeare and of his contribution to our language. It's pretty short and quite light reading but it is highly recommended.

In Flight:

Colin Tudge: "The Secret Life of Trees" One of its review blurbs describes it as "One of those books you want everyone to have already read". I wouldn't quite go that far as I think you have to have a significant tolerance in order to keep interested in a book that is more than 50% one big long list of the various types of trees. Fortunately I am one of those and I'm revelling in it - especially since he seems to think that Kapoks really are magnificent (like me). He's just slightly too flakey for my liking but I can't really hold that against him - he clearly loves his trees and it is a book that I wish I'd had when I was young enough to realise that I should have always paid more attention to the trees I came across.

Richard Dawkins: "The God Delusion" I'm a bit ashamed to say that it has taken me more than a year to get around to reading it but I had a lot on last year after all. It is every bit as good as I'd hoped - not only is it substantially better written than some of his earlier books (which are excellent ideas books but those I've read were not as well written as this) but more importantly his core argument is very compelling, well thought out and coherently presented. It's definitely a book to make you think clearly - provided you are reading it in a frame of mind willing to do so.

Yet To Start:

Cormac McCarthy: "The Road"

Robert Harris: "Imperium"

Craig Murray: "Murder in Samarkand" ( thanks to Daithi.)

Jon Ronson: "The Men Who Stare At Goats"

Oliver Sacks: "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat"

 

1 comment:

Ithiad said...

Have I mentioned before how dreary I found Imperium? I had that Staring at Goats book lying around for ages and never summoned the interest to open it. (I want to say I stared at it but...)

Nice Peccavi image title, btw.