…in the punchbowl


Books read: 2007

Filed under: 2007, books, read — Matt @ 21:15

And so we start again:

Read to date, in roughly reverse chronological order:

  1. The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson
  2. The Nasty Bits, Anthony Bourdain
  3. Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science, Charles Wheelan
  4. Mother of Storms, John Barnes


Books read: 2006

Filed under: 2006, books, punchbowl, read — Matt @ 8:35

I plan to keep a running tab of books I’ve read in 2006 here. Why? Some sick vanity, probably.

Started, but did not complete: Mother of Storms, John Barnes

Read to date, in (roughly) reverse chronologicial order:

  1. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, David Sedaris
  2. A Pirate of Exquisite Mind: Explorer, Naturalist, and Buccaneer: The Life of William Dampier”, Diana Preston
  3. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
  4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Mark Haddon
  5. On Bullshit, Harry G. Frankfurt
  6. Armaggedon’s Children, Terry Brooks
  7. Animals in Translation, Temple Grandin
  8. Silverlock, John Myers Myers
  9. The March, E. L. Doctorow
  10. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  11. Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis
  12. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
  13. No god but God by Reza Aslan
  14. Consider the Lobster: And Other Essays by David Foster Wallace
  15. His Excellency by Joseph J. Ellis
  16. Freakonomics by Steven J. Levitt and Stephen J. Drubner
  17. Alton Brown’s Gear for Your Kitchen by Alton Brown
  18. Driven to Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D.
  19. Good to Great by Jim Collins
  20. The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas L. Friedman
  21. Gods of Tin: The Flying Years by James Salter
  22. Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All Its Moods by Michael Wex
  23. The Art of Project Management by Scott Berkun


Books to Read

Filed under: books, punchbowl, ToRead — Matt @ 20:08

Since I’m listing books I’ve read, I probably should list books I’m going/would like to read too. If you have a suggestion, feel free to add it below!

Currently 8 In the Pile (Mentally and/or Literally–it’s certainly not a queue):

You might also check out my list at del.icio.us; it’s probably more current.


Religio Medici

Filed under: books — Matt @ 19:46

The title of this post is the title of a book I received for my birthday. My older brother ordered a 1903 edition, on vellum, of Sir Thomas Browne’s Religio Medici from that Holy of Holies, Powell’s.

I can’t believe I’m geeking out on this, but I am. My poor wife knows she’s married to a geek, but I don’t think she knows just how geeky…


Men prefer angst

Filed under: books, punchbowl — Matt @ 20:26

At least they do in their literatature according to this article from the Sydney Morning Herald.

One of the authors’ findings is that men in their “middle years” don’t read much fiction. I can say as I’ve (ahem) “matured”, I’ve moved away from fiction. Part of my reason for doing so is my belief in the old adage about the truth being stranger than fiction. I enjoy stories where seemingly inconsequential events have major impact and I think the large, shared context non-fiction often gets to build on gives the impact more heft.


The Book Meme

Filed under: books, meme, punchbowl — Matt @ 7:05

It’s not complete yet, but I’ll update as I can…

This is the result of this post on Chronicle West, who was in turn led to this by Chazzbot. But, of course, I found the list incomplete, so I’ve added a few categories of my own (marked with a †).

A Book That Made You Cry

A Book That Scared You
Stephen King’s The Stand. I happened to be reading The Stand during the time period in which the outbreak was supposed to occur: same year, same month. On top of that, I was staying at my aunt and uncle’s farm house in Ohio, keeping more or less out of touch with the world around me. This isolation let me sink deep into the book. I can honestly say I was pretty freaked out.

A Book That Made You Laugh
Christopher Moore’s Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. An account the life of Jesus (technically, Joshua, the book will tell you) that includes the “missing” years between his birth and his ministry. It has some great situations, and it really brings out the “man” part of the “fully Man, fully God” claim.

A Book That Disgusted You

A Book You Loved in Elementary School

A Book You Loved in Middle School

A Book You Loved in High School

A Book You Hated in High School
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. No question. A large part of the hatred stemmed from the rants of my English teacher, Ms. Twiss, regarding the symbolism of the novel. That and being subjected to the movie with Robert Redford on top of it all.

A Book You Loved in College
Emile Zola’s Germinal. Good, gritty stuff.

A Book That Challenged Your Identity
A People’s History of the United States of America: 1492-Present by Howard Zinn. It didn’t so much challenge my personal identity as my national identity. This is history meant to balance the way it is taught in our elementary, middle, and high schools, opening each and every closet and trotting out any and all skeletons to be found. A solid example of there being two sides to every story.

A Series That You Loved
The Sword of Shannara trilogy from . I cranked through these; if I remember correctly, this series helped hook “mi hermano” Anthony E. on reading.

Your Favorite Horror Book
A tough call. Both candidates are the products of Stephen King (surprised, aren’t you?): Misery and the previously mentioned The Stand. If pushed, I have to give the nod to The Stand. Not because it’s a better a book, mind you; just read the ‘Book that Scared You’ entry and you’ll understand why.

Your Favorite Science Fiction Book

Your Favorite Fantasy Book

Your Favorite Mystery Book

Your Favorite Biography

Your Favorite “Coming of Age Book”

†The “Best” Book You Never Finished
“Best” in the sense of acclaimed…Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes. Overwhelmingly crushing and depressing. I hate to leave a book unfinished but I just could not get through it.

†Your Favorite Book Not on this List

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