Phil Rambles

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    Sun, 01 Jan 2006

    Book purge, end of 2005
    Another year, another cleanout of the bookshelves. (Actually, I posted something earlier in 2005, so this isn't a full year's list). Here's a partial list of what I'm getting rid of this time. Some of these, I read a long time ago and am only now getting around to eliminating; others, I just read this year. Once again, the whole experience makes me think I should use the library more...but then, I've gotta do my part to support the publishing industry, don't I?

    These are the books I'm discarding, not the ones I'm keeping, so this isn't a list of the best stuff I've read recently, or anything like that.

    Let's start with nonfiction:

    Mr. Personality, by Mark Singer. Essays and profiles from The New Yorker. Good.
    Powering Civilization, by James Ridgeway. An old book about the future of U.S. power consumption and production. Fair.
    The Big Con, by David Maurer. A history of cons, a la "The Sting." Very interesting.
    Shadow Box, by George Plimpton. Ali and all that. Good.
    Lies my Teacher Told Me, by James Lowen. The American History that you didn't learn in school. Interesting and perhaps important.
    Inside Iraq (assorted authors). Informative.
    Portrait in Motion, by Arthur Ashe and Frank DeFord. Sort of "Ball Four" for tennis. Good.
    The Long Ball, by Tom Adelman. 1975, "The Greatest World Series Ever Played". OK.
    Neither Here Nor There, by Bill Bryson. Bryson is uncharacteristically ill-tempered. Fair.
    The Informant, by Eric Eichenwald. Corporate malfeasance revealed, sorta like A Civil Action. Good.
    Blue Latitudes, by Tony Horwitz. Following the journey of Captain Cook. Good.
    Full House, by Stephen J. Gould. Interesting thoughts about evolution and "excellence."
    Various books on the history of the Middle East, not worth discussing separately.

    And fiction:

    Motherless Brooklyn, by Jonathan Lethem. I really like this author. Good book.
    Lies, Inc., by Philip K. Dick. Also titled "The Un-Teleported Man." Starts well, but not good.
    Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides. One of the books my book club read. We all liked it.
    The Periodic Table, by Primo Levy. I can't believe Levy killed himself. Pretty good book.
    Underworld, by Don DeLillo. Everybody loves DeLillo. Except me.
    Players, by Don DeLillo. See Underworld.
    Independence Day, by Richard Ford. Sequel to The Sportswriter, and I liked it more.
    Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri. Short stories, some good, some fair.
    The Continental Op, by Dashiel Hammett. I like Hammett.
    Harry Potter, and other light fiction books too numerous to mention.

    [/Books] permanent link