Monday, March 31, 2008

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Enchanted (movie)

Charming! Very enjoyable.

Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson

Not bad. But I enjoyed her others better.

Helvetica (documentary)

A fascinating look at the world of typography and graphic design. No, I'm not kidding -- it's really good! Take a look at what IMDB says: -- then do yourself a favor and go rent it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Murder at Madingley Grange by Caroline Graham

A modern, funny twist on the English country-house murder genre. I had never heard of this author till I found this book languishing on the giveaway shelf at a nearby Starbucks. I really enjoyed it! Can't wait to read more by this author.

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

A fascinating look at human behavior. Ariely, a "behavioral economist," says that we are wrong when we expect people to behave in rational ways. Not only are we irrational in the ways we make our decisions, but we are predictable in our irrationality. This book provided a lot of food for thought, was written well, and was entertaining as well as educational. How much better could things get? I would highly recommend it.

I've been on a teen book kick

Here are three of the really good teen books I've read lately:
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (this one appears on a lot of high school reading lists and I'm glad -- it's really great, and also contemporary
Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson (on the theory that reading one book by an author you like is never enough)
Tithe by Holly Black. Interesting.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Best Military Science Fiction of the 20th Century (anthology)

I had high hopes for this book of short stories, and while there were some pretty good stories in there, I was disappointed in the end. How could they not include a story from Lois McMaster Bujold? And why include a chunk from Ender's Game, which (while very good) isn't really a short story? Oh well.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Tales of a Low-Rent Birder by Pete Dunne

I didn't enjoy this series of birding essays quite as much as I enjoyed Kenn Kaufmann's memoir Kingbird Highway, but there were some great moments here. A very browsable book.

No Dogs in Heaven? by Robert T. Sharp DVM

A fun memoir of what it's like to be a country veterinarian. If you like James Herriot's stuff you will probably enjoy this too.

Crazy in Love by Lani Diane Rich

A very satisfying, funny romance novel. My favorite line: "The Poughkeepsie dive where Jake had set up his appointment with Rhonda Bacon was dark and smelled vaguely like feet and peanuts."  Feet and peanuts? What a combination.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Crawling: a father's first year by Elisha Cooper

An engaging and honest tale of what it's like to be a father -- especially when you weren't sure you wanted to BE a father in the first place -- and how it changes things. Funny at times, touching at others, this is a quick enjoyable read.