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May 17, 2007

Reading Revival

I've recently finished two books in two weeks after battling a reading funk for the last couple years, only reading a book every couple months or so. I've decided to leave fiction alone for a while and pursue non-fiction, especially works written by my generation. The two I just finished I couldn't put down; they were fun and profound, unpredictable and contemporary. I liked them.

The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs is the story of one's man's quest to read the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica. It's irreverent, funny, eclectic and personal. He throws topics he finds interesting to the reader, along with commentary that ranges from the stupid to the eloquent, examining society, history, and knowledge itself.

The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan has got to be the most fun I've had reading about plants. He concentrates on four plants: the apple tree, the tulip, marijuana, and potatoes as he weaves history, legend, and psychology together to beautifully explain humanity and our place in nature. Excellent science writing, almost at a mythical level.

Posted by tat at May 17, 2007 11:04 PM

If you are interested in modern non-fiction, try Bill Bryson. He's written a couple travel books, a couple books about the English language, a memoir and a great science/history book.

In a Sunburned Country is about book about his travels in Australia. Made in America and Mother Tongue are books about the English language, though they can get a bit hardcore. He's written a couple books and compilations about the differences between living in Britain and living in America. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is a hilarious memoir about his childhood. A Walk in the Woods is a book that details his attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail, 2000 miles of forest and mountains in the Eastern US.

And finally we come to A Complete History of Nearly Everything. A most excellent book. I've got the audio book and I've listened to it probably six times (it's 18 hours long, unabridged). It's a chronicle of what we know about the universe and how we came to know what we know. Lots of facts and lots of history. Simply wonderful.

I've read most of his books, but not all of them. I'm trying to savor them.

Posted by: ToddDrevers at May 21, 2007 02:26 PM

Who has time to read these days.
Blowing stuff up is much more fulfilling!
I miss you guys!

Take care,


Posted by: Busta at August 20, 2007 10:25 AM

Happy Birthday Bryan....I remember when you were just a toddler and how you would say October 11 when someone would ask when your birthday was...You had your own unique way of saying October 11...I love you. Hope your family is doing ok...Love you: Aunt Brenda

Posted by: Aunt Brenda at October 11, 2007 08:17 AM

Happy Birthday and welcome to the 40's club! (Hard to believe we have outlived John by 21 years.)
Wild to be alive on this little blue ball!
(Good Recommendations for reading! Thanks!)

Posted by: CKTS at October 11, 2007 04:38 PM