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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Books Read in March

Well, this was a piss-poor showing. I guess I need an excuse factory for all the books I failed to read!

Excuse of the Month:

1. Pneumonia - delirious and uncomprehending for ~2 weeks; and
2. Gardening - the weather is beautiful and I have to get all the weeds gone before the annual fire inspections.

Books of the Month:
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - Dave Eggers

    Borrowed? Yes. I blame Smokey.

    This book got rave reviews from many well-respected authors and reviewers. Mr. Eggers, when it comes time for you to review my work, I hope you'll develop the same convenient amnesia that appears to be plaguing the entire current administration. This book is very clever.

    Recommended? For readers who enjoy cleverness.
    Reread? No. I prefer books that either move me or teach me.

  • The China Study - Thomas M. Campbell and Colin T. Campbell

    Borrowed? Yes. Thanks, Jay.

    This book has changed my life. The Campbells have put together an excellent and much-needed epic on nutrition and human disease. The epidemic of diseases that faces the 21st century human is very different from the previous century. Our worries center around obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, heart diseases, cancer. Diseases of affluence and longer lifespans. Except, according to Dr. Campbell, it ain't necessarily so. Why are the wealthiest not the healthiest? Don't we have all the science, the research, the necessary tools? Let Dr. Campbell tell you why. If this book doesn't change your life, I'll eat my hat. Or you'll eat yours, or something. It'd be better for you than that hamburger, in any event.

    Recommended? Highly.
    Reread? Yes, as soon as I notice any evidence of slackment.

  • The Easy Way To Stop Smoking - Allen Carr

    Borrowed? No.

    Okay, what's with the self-helpalooza? I'll tell you what. It's time to quit smoking, once and for all. When your lungs feel like hot buttered knives are ripping through them with every breath it is time to stub out the last little stinker and say goodbye to that feeelthy habit. This is an excellent book. Really. The book can be repetitive at times, but repetition is needed when trying to get rid of an ancient and deeply ingrained - and life-destroying - habit.

    Recommended? To any smoker trying to quit. To families and friends of smokers who want to help their loved one kick the habit.
    Reread? Every time I need to.

  • You Must Set Forth At Dawn - Wole Soyinka

    Borrowed? Smoke, again!

    What a wonderful book! It's so richly evocative of Africa, written with all the love that a person feels for their country and culture. It made me wish I was in Africa, it made me want to read a million books of African history and culture and language, and music, and art, and long for all Africana. It gave me hope. Africa can be the hope of the old world and the new world and the third world. It's funny, Jonathan Raban's book about Africana is the polar opposite of this, though well-written in its own way. Professor Soyinka has played a vital part in Nigeria's history, and is a writer of great talent and skill. I am glad he is still writing.

    Recommended? Oh, yes!
    Reread? Someday. After reading all the books on African history and culture.

  • Women's Lip - TBD

    Borrowed? Gift

    An amusing little collection of feminist snark, which is going to feature on this blog sooner or later.

    Recommended? For amusement only.
    Reread? No.

  • Pronatalism: The Myth of Mom & Apple Pie - Ellen Peck, Judith Senderowitz, Eds.

    Borrowed? Nope.

    This is an excellent collection of essays about the institutionalized pronatalism that has led the global population to increase by 50% over the last 40 years. Whatever happened to the ZPG movement? Forty years ago, governments concluded that the human population of the planet had grown too large and must be managed down to zero growth. Forty years later, we are seeing a vicious wave of pronatalism nearly unprecedented in previous history. Even as people endlessly whine about the rising cost of living, the pollution of the atmosphere, the water, the very earth, the crowded conditions of our cities, the lack of opportunities for young people entering schools and the workforce, we are breeding like cockroaches, with disastrous consequences, and no one is drawing the logical conclusion.

    Recommended? Highly. For anyone interested in women's studies, feminism, social studies, population studies, ecology, sustainability, and the fate of the world.
    Reread? As soon as ever I can.

I just noticed that four out of the six books I read this month were weighty and not a quick read. So there's that in my defense. I will stop beating myself up now and post an updated booklist to be read by July 1.

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At 10:22 PM, Blogger Sandy-LA 90034 said...

Once I had asthmatic bronchitus that lasted for months. I had to use inhalers and other medication. That was just AFTER I quit smoking. I think it was a mini-miracle for me that kept me from smoking again, since I had been a very heavy smoker and, believe me, when you can't breathe and can't walk more than a few feet without having to sit down and rest, you really can't imagine thrusting smoke down into your lungs.

At 9:28 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

No! I agree. Hot knives in the lungs, and more than a few steps causes dizziness and sweats. I've had a couple of lapses with the cigarettes, but they're minor and widely spaced, and I remain committed to quitting.


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