There's nothing like sitting with a cup o' joe and a good book in a quiet
local coffee shop. Perhaps Orchard Valley Roasting Company, the Blue Rock Shoot,
or The Plantation - after the morning rush.
All the books I list here are ones that I have enjoyed. Be sure to check the
category list or you'll miss most of them.
book ordering links are provided in association with Amazon.com Books. A great online
bookstore. Buying the book here sends me pennies; I list the links not for the money but
because this is such a super example of web commerce. (Well, truth be told,
I did this back in 1997 when it really was amazing. These days it is pretty pass�.
Ah well, so it goes.)
For the web search bots, here's a list of the book which are reviewed on this page, via the Amazon iframe:
- C.I.A. Manual of Trickery and Deception by Melton and
Wallace. An interesting read from three perspectives: that the CIA actually
hired someone to write this; the basic instruction in trickery; the authors
comments about the differences between men and women - which are quite dated.
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri. Short stories, lightly connected, of two Indian families living around the US. You see relationships between people grow, strain, break, regenerate. A lovely read.
- The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman
Alexie. An interesting set of stories about life on and around the Spokane Indian reservation. All stories of struggle - personal and societal. Told in a warm and engaging style.
- A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian by Marina Lewycka.
A old widower thinks he finds love in a 37 year old immigrant. His daughters think he's being taken for a ride. In the middle he writes of tractors. A nice, good feeling read for a rainy day.
- The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout. A quick week's read for me. The insight into these whacked folks is so useful. I know several. If you like psyc, this book is for you.
- Shantaram by Gregory Roberts. Good for the first half where he is learning the poor side of India. Then he starts working with the bad side and becomes philosophical. I lost interest then. Still, the first half is worth a read.
- 86'd by Dan Fante. A fast read of an alcoholic Vicodin
addicted limo driver. Another story of a living a tornado but the story
winds up too quickly.
- Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana. He spends too much time lost in the nautical jargon of the time. But when he describes life in 1835 along the California coast I was mesmerized. In the epilogue he returns 25 years later and comments on how things have changed. Overall a good read.
- Lucky You by Carl Hiaasen is a crazy story of two lottery
winners. It takes off when one winner steals the other's.
- Chatter: Uncovering the Echelon surveillance network by
Patrick Keefe. I enjoyed this book. It is an in-depth look at signals intelligence with a particular focus on Echelon. His basic tenet is that we collect so much sigint that we can't really analyze it except after the fact - which is worthless. He argues that we spend too much money on sigint to the detriment of funding other intelligence programs that would yield better results. We pay in dollars and in loss of privacy.
- The Fall of Berlin 1945 by Antony Beevor A
detailed, perhaps too detailed, look at the last years before Germany
surrendered as Russia marched to Berlin. I found myself wondering what it
would have been like to really be there. I enjoyed this. Thanks to Erling
for the recommendation.
- Night Soldiers by Alan Furst A spy novel set at the
end of WW2.
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett Historical fiction of the
life of black house maids in Mississippi c.1962. A very good read with sad
stories and brilliant ones.
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruin A great read
about life in the circus c.1930. Told by a man in his 90's as he remembers
the days. Fast and engaging.
- Bright Lights Big City by Jay Mcinerney
- Permanent Midnight: A Memoir by Jerry Stahl
- The Story of Junk: A Novel by Linda Yablonsky
- A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
- The Liars' Club by Mary Karr
- Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
- Confessions of a Dangerous Mind by Chuck Barris
- Consciousness: An Introduction by Susan Blackmore
- Party of One by Anneli Rufus
- The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons by Lawrence
- Freakonomics by Steven Levitt
- Making Miracles Happen by Gregory Smith
- Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by John Gray
- The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
- What Were They Thinking by Jeffrey Pfeffer
- Engineering Your Start Up by James Baird, et al.
- Gridlock Economy by Michael Heller
- Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
- Jennifer Government by Max Barry
- Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
- My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki
- The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
- Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
- Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- Mama Makes Up Her Mind by Bailey White
- The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall
- Moo by Jane Smiley
- Assasination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
- Far Tortuga by Peter Matthiessen
- Gardening with a Wild Heart by Judith Larner Lowry
- Inspector Imanishi Investigates by Seicho Matsumoto
- Finding Fish by Antwone Fisher
- The Unwanted: A Memoir of Childhood by Kien Nguyen
- Red Azalea by Anchee Min
- Makes Me Wanna Holler by Nathan McCall
- Cry of the Kalahari by Cordelia Dykes Owens
- To Destroy You Is No Loss by JoAn Criddle
- Mother Tongue by Demetria Martinez
- Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
- On Writing by Stephen King
- Running the Amazon by Joe Kane
- Shooting the Boh by Tracy Johnston
- On The Road by Jack Kerouac
- The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger
- Yak Butter & Black Tea by Wade Brackenbury
- The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
- West With the Night by Beryl Markham
- The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
- The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Thad Carhart
- Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
- The Bird Artist by Howard Norman
- Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
- Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons
- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
- Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons
- Stonewall's Gold by Robert Mrazek
- A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Butler
- Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
- This House of Sky by Ivan Doig
- The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
- World Without End by Ken Follett
- One Dry Season by Caroline Alexander
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
- Cashing In On The American Dream by Paul Terhorst
- Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin
- A Random Walk Down Wallstreet by Burton Malkiel
- Portfolio Selection: Efficient Diversification by Harry
- The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley
- Fortune's Formula by William Poundstone
- The Intelligent Asset Allocator by William Bernstein
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
- Stormy Weather by Carl Hiaasen
- The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
- Prize Stories 2001: The O. Henry Awards
- The Panama Hat Trail by Tom Miller
- How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
- Writing Dialogue by Tom Chiarella
- Beat Until Stiff by Claire Johnson
- The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
- Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
- Thank You For Smoking by Christopher Buckley
- Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
- Confessions of a Record Producer by Moses Avalon
- Diamond by Matthew Hart
- The Price of Loyalty by Ron Suskind
- Lost Mountain by Erik Reece
- Super Carrier by George Wilson
- Into The Buzzsaw
- The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
- Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis