Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Crushing Weight

Tablets have made it so incredibly easy to pile up books. Since they don't take up physical space anymore, my reading list is exponentially larger now.

For about a month (not exaggerating), I've been reading this: When The War Was Over: Cambodia And The Khmer Rouge Revolution. It's a brilliant piece of scholarship by Elizabeth Becker, somehow being both incredibly meticulous and entirely fascinating.

It's dense, though. And it's long--609 pages. It's aging me.

One of the things that Becker does tremendously well is clearly explain just how unmanageable and f-ed up international relations are most of the time (probably all of the time). Every country is like an onion, and inside that onion, every layer is different. And many of those layers contradict each other.

In the meantime, though, as I plow toward the finish, it's starting to drive me nuts that I have all these other books I want to start:
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
Power Moves: Livin' the American Dream, USA Style (that's DadBoner, in case you're wondering), Welcome to Hard Times: A Novel
Teenage Hipster in the Modern World: From the Birth of Punk to the Land of Bush: Thirty Years of Apocalyptic Journalism
Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: A Novel

That's what I want to read, and you know what I'm currently reading, so here are some books I've read (that I recommend):
Paper Trails: True Stories of Confusion, Mindless Violence, and Forbidden Desires, a Surprising Number of Which Are Not About Marriage. Pete Dexter is a quality, quality writer, and this is a collection of his newspaper columns (most written while he was in Philadelphia).

Another brilliant columnist is Charlie Leduff, and both of these books are gritty and brilliant:
Detroit: An American Autopsy
Work and Other Sins: Life in New York City and Thereabouts

This next book was written by DQ reader David Hoffman, and it's pretty damned good:
The Seven Markets (Volume 1)

This is a wonderful piece of science fiction:
The Windup Girl

More wonderful science fiction:

I've always been fascinated by Hemingway's writing, so this was a natural:
Hemingway: The 1930s through the Final Years

I've done a thoroughly lousy job of keeping up with recommending books to you guys, but I'm going to start staying more current.

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