Sunday, April 06, 2008

Reading list

CV Rick also asked about reading lists. I started out leaving a comment on his blog, but it got kind of long, so I decided to post it here instead.

I've been reading The 50 best sights in astronomy and how to see them: observing eclipses, bright comets, meteor showers, and other celestial wonders by Fred Schaaf, who is fanatically and contagiously enthusiastic about astronomy, although I'm putting it aside for a few days to read Born Standing Up by Steve Martin.

These days, I get books almost exclusively from the library, for economic and space-related reasons. (I live in a very small house, and I simply have no room for more bookcases, even if I had the money to buy the 50 to 100 books I read in a year.) I find a lot of books from best-seller lists, blogs, reviews, and so on. I always have requests in for a number of books, and while I wait for the best-sellers, I browse the New Books section, mainly for books about science or sports. I also browse the Graphic Novels section and I'm working on re-reading the complete Robert B. Parker Spenser series and the entire Travis McGee series by John D. MacDonald.

Other books I have out now are:
I Am Legend
The Complete Peanuts 1963-1964 (I plan to read all of these as they come out. Reading Schulz's day-to-day output in this form really emphasizes what a genius he was.)

My queue has:
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
Predictably irrational: the hidden forces that shape our decisions
The life of the skies
Your inner fish: a journey into the 3.5-billion-year history of the human body
The complete Peanuts: 1965 to 1966
The Complete Peanuts: 1967-1968
This republic of suffering: death and the American Civil War
The glass castle: a memoir

I also plan to read these soon:
Darwin's cathedral
Times Arrow by Martin Amis
Who really cares? (I promised a conservative friend I'd read it.)
No country for old men (I'm waiting to watch the movie first.)

And of course I add other books as I find out about them.


  1. Of the ones on your list, I am also going to read Born Standing Up, I Am Legend, In Defense of Food (I read the Omnivore's Dilemma and loved it), and No Country for Old Men (although I plan to read The Road first).

    Rare do I find someone who reads as much as I do.

  2. I also read Omnivore's Dilemma and I read The Road last year. Liked them both a lot.

    I come from a long line of petty intellectuals -- school teachers, basically -- so reading is just something we've always done in my family.


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