I went to the library today with the intention of return a few books and leaving empty handed. As usual, I proved incapable of resisting the lure of more books and I left with seven more (seems to be about what I can justify borrowing on a whim without feeling like I’ve gone completely overboard).
I’m sure I did overdo it but since I need to read one for a book club and I’ve already written about my interest in all the others, I don’t feel too silly.
- The Moviegoer by Walker Percy (National Book Award for Fiction winner 1962)
- Are We Rome?: The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America by Cullen Murphy (click here to view all my posts about this book)
- In Defense of Food: an Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan (click here to view all my posts about this book)
- Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics by Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (click here to view all my posts about this book)
- The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker by Steven Greenhouse (click here to view all my posts about this book)
- The Uncertain Art: Thoughts on a Life in Medicine by Sherwin B. Nuland (click here to view all my posts about this book)
- White House Ghosts: Presidents and Their Speechwriters by Robert Schlesinger (click here to view all my posts about this book)
I first heard about Cullen Murphy’s Are We Rome? about a year ago at the Harvard Bookstore in Harvard Square and my interest in this book was renewed when someone in I.O.U.S.A. compared the United States to Rome. As a loyal reader of The Atlantic, I have great respect for Murphy who was their managing editor for two decades. I have high expectations for this book and hope I will not be disappointed. Click here to read an excerpt.
And I suppose the Democratic and Republican National Conventions have once again piqued my interest in speechwriters, so naturally White House Ghosts: Presidents and Their Speechwriters by Robert Schlesinger caught my eye.
With all the talk of tough times, economically, for the average American and the outrage over the recently released GAO data that most U.S. Corporations pay no income tax, I just couldn’t resist picking up Steven Greenhouse’s The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker. I hope it provides new information and doesn’t overlap too much with David Cay Johnston’s Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill) and Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich – and Cheat Everybody Else.
And like most Americans, all I know about Joe Biden I’ve learned from reading the news (in my case the New York Times) these past few weeks. It hasn’t added up to much. I hope to get a better sense of the Democratic Nominee for Vice President from his 2007 memoir Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics.
I tried to keep myself to just five books but when I saw Nuland’s The Uncertain Art sitting on the shelf, I had to borrow it — it’s been a few months since I’ve read any books related to medicine or the human body and as a scientist I am compelled to reading science books. And all the talk about our nation’s broken health care system makes this book about medicine from a doctor’s perspective all the more irresistible.
And as I was about to leave, I saw Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto which I’ve wanted to read since January when I read Janet Maslin‘s review titled “Obsessed With Nutrition? That’s an Eating Disorder” and published January 3, 2008 in the NYTimes Book Review). I suppose my new gardening hobby (influenced by reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life and Bill McKibben’s Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future) has made me even more interested in learning about food and nutrition. Click here to read the introduction of In Defense of Food on the author’s website or here to read the first chapter on the NYTimes Book Review website.
Alright, I think I’ve spent enough time trying to justify my borrowing way too many books — I’ve got to get to reading now! My book club’s discussion of Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer is scheduled to start in three days!