Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Salon

Adding to My Library

Okay ... this week I went on a book bender. I went to the Half Price Books on Friday here is Sugar Land and today my family dropped me off to look at one in Houston. This resulted in the purchase of:

  1. More Sex Is Safer Sex by Steven Landsburg. This is an econ. book that argues that against intuitive common sense on certain issues, much in the same manner as Freakonomics. It joins another of his books, The Armchair Economist (unread), already in my library.

  2. A Mind of Its Own: A Cultural History of the Penis by David M. Friedman. Okay, okay, it was a spur of the moment buy, but promises to be interesting at the very least.

  3. A Reading Diary by Alberto Manguel. To join the other Manguel books I own.

  4. Sir Gawain & the Green Knight transl. by W. S. Merwin. I have read this and wanted a copy for a while.

  5. Out of Control by Kevin Kelly.

  6. Schott's Original Miscellany by Ben Schott. A book of trivial facts. Fascinating. I couldn't stop reading it while I waited for my family to return to pick me up.

Currently Reading

Currently I am in the process of reading a popular book on statistics, The Drunkard's Walk by Leonard Mlodinow, and the novel Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen. Both are library books. I am just about done with The Drunkard's Walk. It is good, but nothing special. It seems to go over the same ground as other books on statistics that I have read, e.g. Chance by Aczel or Chances Are ... by the Kaplans. I have just started Atmospheric Disturbances so I will reserve judgment at this time.

Challenges Update

I am new to this whole challenge thing, just have discovered them in the last couple months. Even though I didn't know about the challenges, I keep track of the books I have read in the last couple of years, so counted ones that were read within the challenge period.

I have completed one, the Orbis Terrarum Challenge (Nine books, nine authors, nine different countries):

  1. Castle of Crossed Destinies by Italo Calvino of Italy

  2. Elementary Particles by Michel Houlebecq of France

  3. The Sea by John Bainville of Ireland

  4. Lust, Caution by Eileen Chang of China

  5. Fear and Trembling by Amelie Nothomb of Belgium

  6. 1984 by George Orwell of England

  7. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey of Scotland

  8. The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein of Canada

  9. Throne of the Eagle by Carlos Fuentes of Mexico

I have started the What's In A Name Challenge:

  • A Book with a color in its title:

  • A book with an animal in its title: Throne of the Eagle (done)

  • A book with a first name in its title: The Lais of Marie de France

  • A book with a place in its title:

  • A book with a weather event in its title: Atmospheric Disturbances (in progress)

  • A book with a plant in its title:

I have also started the Man Booker Challenge (six Man Booker winners, short/long listed):

  1. The Sea by John Bainville (done)

  2. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (done)

  3. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

  4. Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

  5. The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch

I am also interested in the Seconds Challenge and the Japanese Lit Challenge 2 but I want to finish the two above first.

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