Friday, March 07, 2008
Pmomm's reading list - May through June
Here's part two of the reading list. Previously, I had tried to mark re-reads with an asterix and, as many pointed out, I didn't quite catch all of the re-reads...so, this time around, if you see it twice, it was a book that I read twice. I tend to do that with books I either love or don't understand. A second reading helps me commit the parts I loved to memory and take a whack at what I didn't get the first run through.
Same guidelines as the last post: title, author. # of pages. Rating out of 5. Anything in italics is a commentary.
43. "The World According to Garp", Irving. 720 pages. 4/5. (Easy read. Subtle humor.)
44. "Control of Nature", McPhee. 272 pages. 3/5. (If you enjoy exploring random subjects in great detail, then John McPhee is an author you should check out. My friend Michelle turned me onto him. This book is about the attempts to control the Mississippi River.)
45. "Assembling California", McPhee. 224 pages. 4/5. (If you have any interest in the geology of California, then you need to read this book. Just make sure you have access to a good geology text so you can understand all of the terminology. McPhee writes "smart". He doesn't throw out terminology just to make the book more readable. One gets the distinct impression that he doesn't really care about the mass market.)
46. "Basin and Range", McPhee. 216 pages. 4/5. (He examines road cuts on I-80.)
47. "Monkey Girl", Humes. 400 pages. 2/5.
48. "Facts and Mysteries of Elemental Particle Physics", Veltman. 348 pages. 3/5. (I'm sure I would've scored it higher if I had the inteligence and chops to read it without interuption. As it was, I was reading with a dictionary by my side.)
49. "Q is for Quantum", Gribbon. 542 pages. 5/5. (I truly, truly loved this book. It was a perfect balance between educating the reader and pushing your capacity to think outside the box. This book explains the theories scientists currently hold about cosmology and astrophysics. But, it's not dry!)
50. "Russia: the Once and Future Empire", Longworth. 416 pages. 3/5
51. "Autobiography of Henry the 8th: With Notes By His Fool Will Somers", Margaret George. 944 pages. 3/5 This guy was a class-A narcissist. But, I did appreciate the history of the feuds with the Tudors.
52. "Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles.", Margaret George. 870 pages. 4/5 You can't very well read about Henry VII and NOT read about Mary. I think, between the two books, I have a far greater understanding of Elizabeth...I'm not sure I'd ever considered her in context to those who went before her and who she gave sanctuary to.
53. Quest for Anastasia: Solving the Mystery of the Last Romanovs, John Kleir. 246 pages. 1/5
Holy-assumptions, Batman!! This book really, really pushed the bounds of non-fiction. In fact, there's so much speculation that it's probably more deserving of a fictional placement. Read the next book if you want a clear and truly historical perspective.
54. " The Fate of the Romanovs", Greg King. 672 pages. 4.5/5. Wonderful, wonderful book. Despite the length and the potential to be "dry", I found this a real page turner. It held me spellbound. P1 had been asking me questions about Imperial Russia and this book helped us, both, learn more.
55. "Atlas Shrugged", Ayn Rand. 1200 pages. I know I'm supposed to like this book...but, it wasn't my cup of tea. In fact, it took me several weeks to read it as I had to keep laying it aside. Therefore, I'm not giving it a rating because I probably would need to read it again to give it a fair go.
56. "A Passage to India", Forester. 372 pages. 5/5 This book made me cry. The writing is beautiful and provacative. This would be the perfect book for a rainy day and a kettle of tea.
57. "Women in Love", DH Lawrence. 592 pages (Cambridge Version). 4/5. Follow up to "The Rainbow". I strongly recommend the Cambridge version - the notes are great.
Posted by Atheist in a mini van. at 7:01 PM