Rebekah and James tagged me with some book meme a long time ago. I’m not a big fan of fill-in-the-blank memes, but I thought I might summarize books that are near-present on the book continuum. That is, books I’ve recently read, am reading or await reading in the book queue.
This also coincides with my effort to try to read fewer blogs and more books (inspired, in part, by Richard’s posting). Over the last year or so, almost all my reading has been online, and that’s not entirely healthy.
Shake Hands With the Devil – Romeo Dallaire is a frickin’ hero. This is an incredibly gripping story of one man’s struggle to avert a genocide. It’s also the story of the UN’s Byzantine incompetence, of tribal hatred between neighbours and the West’s apathy toward Africa.
The Tipping Point – I know, I’m about three years too late on this one, but I had thought it was a business book, and I loathe business books. Instead, it’s mostly sociological, and makes some compelling observations about the unpredictability of human nature.
High Fidelity – I’d never read it, and I was looking for some light summer reading. I saw Hornby’s new book, but didn’t want to buy the hardcover. That kind of suggestive-sold me on High Fidelity. I really enjoyed it, of course. He’s such a personable writer. I was also amazed by the film’s loyalty to the novel.
A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali – Gil Courtemanche provides a peculiar, myopic view of the genocide from the perspective of a Belgian journalist. The prose has that particular feel of a translated French novel.
Call to Action – There are so many things not to like about this book. The cover is profoundly ugly, the authors describe themselves as “Wizards of the Web”, it lacks both a table of contents or an index, needed another edit and a more thorough proofreader and it’s oddly organized into 2-3 page sections. That said, it does have some quality nuggets of information about online marketing. I bought it, on Seth Godin’s recommendation, and only paid US $9.99 for it, so it’s probably worth that price.
Buzz Marketing with Blogs For Dummies – I’ve been deeply remiss in not mentioning this sooner. It’s Susie’s book, and I got an advance copy to look at. I got diverted by other stuff after about 8 chapters, not because it’s not excellent, but because, you know, I know the subject matter pretty well. I’d definitely recommend this volume to anybody keen on using blogs in their work.
To Be Read
Picture Windows: How the Suburbs Happened – I got this as a gift, and it looks to be an interesting re-evaluation of the suburbs.
Y: The Last Man, Volume 5 – This is a great comic, about the last man on Earth (a plague has killed all the others). I haven’t consistently read a comic in years, but this one is witty, sophisticated and literary. It will also make a hell of a movie or mini-series adaptation. I don’t actually read the comic–I buy the compilations as each one comes out.
UPDATE: Whoops. Didn’t mean to close comments on this entry–it’s because I started writing it about two months ago.