I'm reading India Traveler's Tales, in preparation for my trip to India. . . it's a collection not of travel writing per se -- since that implies to me suggestions about where to go and what to see -- but just about tales from people's travels. These books exist for every country, and I totally recommend them!
January 18 , 2004
My favorite book of 2003 was Ghostwritten by David Mitchell. It starts out feeling like a bunch of short stories, but everything quickly becomes interconnected. Each story is fascinating in of itself, and the final payoff is also fantastic. I highly recommend it!
Like everyone else, I just read the Da Vinci Code. It's exactly what everyone tells you it is -- a fast-paced thriller that keeps you engaged with puzzles, art history, esoteric mysticism, and grand conspiracies.
If you have read The Eight or Foucault's Pendulum and liked them you will either love this book, too, or not love it so much since you kind of already know a lot of the stuff therein.
Also, if you're a puzzle solver (if you got Games magazine all your adolescent years, raise your hand!) you'll find that several of the puzzles are not tough to solve and you will lose patience when the characters can't solve them.
Overall, however -- a fun book that doesn't take more than a weekend to read.
I just finished the Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I tend to steer clear of the books that everyone is reading, because too often after all the hype they are disappointing. But this was fantastic.
A tale of a boy lost at sea on a life raft with a Bengal tiger for 8 months. You'd think that there wouldn't be a lot of plot material with one person and nothing but the open ocean, but it's a wonderfully gripping book.
In the prologue the author says it's a story that will make you believe in God. Since they boy survives solely on his own wits, I'm not sure if this is true. . .
November 27, 2002
I've been on an obsessive mystery jag lately, doing a book a day for about three weeks. For some reason, they've almost all been books about Boston (a lot of Spenser for Hire and Dennis Lehane) and/or racism. And while I do love mysteries and how quickly one can race through them--why is it that they're never simple?
I mean, how come every single one has to end up with it being tied to the mob or the baddest gang in town so that in order for the detective to save herself she has to somehow bring down the entire organization? Whatever happened to Agatha Christie and a simple "the vicar did it?"
October 14, 2002
I have just finished Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson.
You know those wonderful books that you just don't want to end? This was one of those, and -- at almost 1000 pages, filled with beautifully complex ideas, long, but fasincating sentences, and funny, fantastic characters -- I read it blissfully for two weeks, eking it out like a bowl of the best creme brulee, drop by rich, precious drop.
Ok, that was a wee bit over the top. But I really LOVED this book.
And he's writing two sequels. I can barely wait.