December 27, 2008

Fun books

It's that time of year at Goat Rope wherein the dying year's reading is discussed. Here are some fairly random but interesting ones that I'd recommend, presented in no particular order.

Note on method: some books included in the category of "fun books" are kind of downers but they are the kind of reading material you don't have to force yourself to read.

*All is Change: The Two-Thousand-Year Journey of Buddhism to the West, Lawrence Sutin. Call me weird, but I think this was my favorite for 2008.

*Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time, Greg Mortenson and David Olive Relin. The true story of how a mountain climber found his life's vocation building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

*Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich by Robert Frank. After the financial meltdown, this may be more of a cultural artifact than a current account, but it was a fun tour through an alien world.

*Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, Barbara Kingsolver, Camille Kingsolver, Steven L. Hopp. This one got lots of people eating closer to home. At Goat Rope Farm, we're all about that. Plus, the authors are all Appalachians to one degree or another.

*Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls. If you think your childhood was rough, check out this autobiography. Sad to say, El Cabrero's beloved state of West Virginia didn't come off very well in this.

*The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, Nassim Nicholas Taleb. A great poet (but not so great defense secretary) once said that there are known unknowns and unknown unknowns. One of my pet peeves is dealing with people who think they can predict the future and plan without taking surprises into account. Too bad the people who really need to read this won't.

*American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China, Matthew Polly. You don't have to be a martial arts nut like me to enjoy this one.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for keeping this great blog going! I always enjoy it!