Thursday, February 02, 2012

January Reads (& Listens)

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

I never read this in high school or college, and just didn't get around to it until now. I've just started it, but plan to keep picking away at it. I'll reserve judgement...

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Cameron Smith, a high school junior, has mad cow disease. An angel named Dulcie tells him that he can be saved if he finds Dr. X, a time traveling physicist. Cameron and his friend Gonzo go off on an adventure to find Dr. X. The book is funny in a dark, sarcastic way. There are all kinds of ridiculous, yet interesting, characters. The reader can't tell if the adventure is really happening or if it is just in Cameron's fevered mind. This book won the Michael Printz award in 2010.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Here's another one I finally got around to reading. I listened to the audio book, which was really well-done! It is a family saga about the American dream - and the fragility of that dream. The story follows three generations of a Greek family in Detroit from the perspective of Callie. Callie is a hermaphrodite, and as much as this is a major theme of the book, I didn't find that the story really focused on that aspect. Yes, it was discussed and always sort of lingered in the background of the story, but I thought the story was more about the family, their Greek heritage, the changing times in Detroit's history, and relationships. It is a great story, if a bit long. This is one of the few books I would agree HAD to be that long. I didn't think there was much "extra" that could have been taken out.

The Last Speakers: The Quest to Save the World's Most Endangered Languages by K. David Harrison

Read my review on the PDL Staff Choices blog.

The World According to Twitter
By David Pogue and His 500,000 Followers

This was a really cute, funny book! I didn't read it cover-to-cover, but browsed through it. Every week, David Pogue tweeted a question to his followers. Their responses make up this book. It includes questions like, "What's your brilliant idea to improve air travel" and answers like "Snacks for the adults, sedatives for the children (-@justbustr)" and "In-flight Bingo. With swell prizes! (-@noveldoctor)."

Skin and Bones by Foo Fighters

This is a live acoustic album. The song "Times Like These" is especially good! Over all, I prefer non-acoustic for this particular band, but it highlighted Dave Grohl's singing. That guy's a heck of a singer!

Wasting Light by Foo Fighters

This album was released in April 2011. It was recorded in Dave Grohl's garage, since he wanted a less digital and more traditional/authentic sound. It was nominated for a Grammy for Album of the Year. The whole thing is awesome, start to finish.

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