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1st quarter books read - The inexplicable charisma of the rival [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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1st quarter books read [Apr. 7th, 2010|12:55 am]
Just me.
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Non fiction:

1) Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
Moderately funny, but quickly became tiresome. I wasn't really familiar with her schtick, but I got it REAL quick after starting this book. Recommend: no.

2) Seattle's Best Dive Bars: Drinking & Diving in the Emerald City by Mike Seely
typo-ridden and slight in page count. I was surprised at how many of these I'd been to that I didn't really consider dive bars. Recommend: no.

3) A Year Without "Made in China": One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy by Sara Bongiorni
You know how this book is going to turn out before you even read it. Toys can be had that aren't from China, printer cartridges cannot. Family cheats by allowing Chinese gifts during experiment; mom begs her sister to get the son Chinese Scooby Doo toy to not ruin his birthday so that mom doesn't have to break the boycott and buy it. still, interesting if you like this kinda of thing. Recommend: lukewarm.

4) The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner
I especially liked the chapters on Bhutan (where the leadership measures Gross National Happiness) and Moldova (one of the unhappiest places in the world by most statistical metrics). Recommend: yes.

5) In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build A Perfect Language by Arika Okrent

wonderful. Did you know George Soros was taught Esperanto by his father and was at one time a fluent speaker? the klingon stuff is what you'd expect, but some of the languages you've never heard of have equally fascinating histories. Also, the author is not above picking apart someone's elaborate grammatical manifesto to figure out what the word for "poop" would be in the artifical language. also interesting is the history of how Hebrew went from being strictly a scholarly/religious language (that no one constructed original sentences in) to being the national language of the newly-created Israel (beating out more logical choices like Yiddish) Recommend: emphatically.

6) I'm A Stranger Here Myself - Notes On Returning To America After Twenty Years Away by Bill Bryson
collection of his newspaper columns for a UK paper for a UK audience. Bryson is better in longer formats; this was a little too precious. Recommend: lukewarm. read "A walk in the woods" first if you haven't already read Bryson.

7) Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States by Bill Bryson
okay, but not as funny as his other stuff. I remember his other linguistic book "The Mother Tongue" being better. Recommend: mostly yes.

wow, no fiction this quarter. odd.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: alfvaen
2010-04-07 02:28 pm (UTC)
I will definitely have to check out the Okrent book, it sounds right up my alley. Already put in a request at the library.
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[User Picture]From: cookalexv
2010-04-09 09:11 pm (UTC)
Ha, I know Sara Bongiorni, somewhere between friend and friend-of-friends. I haven't read it so don't know if they made it clear or not in the book that they live in Baton Rouge.
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[User Picture]From: lara7
2010-04-09 09:46 pm (UTC)

They don't, but I figured...

I picked up the book without knowing it had a BR connection, but since it had a blurb on the back from Danny Heitman, I suspected. She mentions "gulf south" and hurricanes and humidity and finally I think she fesses up to being in Louisiana. BR is never mentioned, though- it seems she went out of her way to NOT identify where they lived to make it more "everyman".
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