Tuesday, December 16, 2008

books I've read this year


that I can think of off the top of my head (read through, in no particular order):

Rape, by Joanna Bourke
Five stars, the best I've read on the topic--and I've read several.

The Lucifer Effect, by Phillip Zimbardo
Annoying as hell, but lots of useful and interesting information

The Communist Manifesto
Surprisingly excellent.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
Brilliant. I cried. It's also a fast/short read.

Introducing Shakespeare
Moderately terrible. Pet peeve; even more antifeminist than Shakespeare.

Introducing Existentialism

Didn't understand it, but now I know what to read.

Introducing Philosophy

Very useful, put lots of tidbits I knew in place and helped me develop a plan for further study.

Introducing Ethics
About the same as Introducing Philosophy

Introducing Derrida
Massively helpful. Plan to read it through again before I go back to actually reading Derrida.

Watchmen
Mixed feelings. The craftsmanship is amazing, and I have a deep fondness for Rorschach. It turns my stomach, but it's supposed to. Also, the source of my favorite Alan Moore quote.

The Rules of Survival
Excellent, highly recommended YA novel about the some of the subtleties of abusive situations and how to solve them.

Manipulating Parents
TERRIBLE. Prize moment? The discussion of how a teenage girl whose stepfather had "unwisely expressed a biological urge" with her was "manipulating" him by threatening to tell her mother if he didn't grant her special privileges. . . and this clearly had to be put to a stop. . .

How to Win Friends and Influence People
eh. See blog.

The last Twilight book
I cried, but for different reasons. . . ok, metaphorically. I do wish I could get my kids to stop reading these, and read something better.

The last Harry Potter book

*shrugs*

The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm
A good read-aloud book for the kids

Untapped

Excellent. This is an accessible and well documented description of the history and present state of the petrol industry in Africa.

The Speed of Dark

Another novel about autism, not as good but still interesting; deals explicitly in autism rights issues without getting incredibly pedantic. . . though to be fair, it is kinda pedantic.

Manga versions of Othello, Julius Caesar, and the Tempest
Very helpful--incredibly readable. I have mixed feelings about the art and presentation, but this may be my favorite format for Shakespeare--I wish someone would put out full text versions. After reading these through two or three times, I'm sure I'd get much more out of reading the full text real-time or watching the plays--and they read very quickly.

Rules for Radicals
Some useful ideas, I would like to see this more practically developed. It's kinda funny how anti-socialist he is.

How to Lie With Statistics
A good book on interpreting statistics for beginners who haven't had a ton of math.

The Mythic Imagination
Post-Jungean exploration of mythology as psychology for modern life. Some useful insights, also a very annoying book (writing style and pre-suppositions of author.)

The first book in "Y, the last man"
First installment of a story about what happens when a plague kills almost everything with a Y chromosome. Funny, well drawn, and insightful.

Help at any cost

A bit of an expose on the teen reform industry; has proven to be incredibly relevant in my life since I picked it up last spring. Not a bad read, either.

Notice how closely it all matches up with what I was planning to read. . .

3 comments:

Makayla said...

What were you planning to read?

And I've read... a couple of those books (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows and The Communist Manifesto.

And just yesterday a friend of mine told me I should read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. Guess I'll have to pick up a copy!

By the way, I'm totally copying your idea. Hope you don't mind. :)

AND I really am going to respond to the white privilege things... finals just caused a massive interruption to my life.

Day said...

heh, I do understand about finals. :)

This is what I was going to read-
http://difficultjane.blogspot.com/2008/07/summer-reading.html

ltandjbcox said...

Major reading list there. I have read a number of books this year, as well. I may keep a list of them and do a similar review at years end. My fuzzy memory blurs many of them together. The Dogs of Babel. . . . .Three Cups of Tea. . . .Several Preston Childs books, nothing resembling a text book (which several of yours reminded me of). I do enjoy reading, though.

I'm happy that your living arrangement will be making a change here shortly. I hope that all the details work in your favor. The whole home owner thing can be difficult to wade through so just hang in there.

Merry Christmas, Day. I hope 2009 is peace-filled for you.