Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Here are three books I've been reading lately.
The Burke novel is beautifully written, as always. There are several pretty serious coincidences in the plotting that kind of bother me, though Burke has never been the greatest plotter. Still it's a fine work and takes Dave out of his element and brings alive quite an array of striking characters.
On the non-fiction front I'm also almost finished with:
It's written by a Newsweek journalist and sketches out a very broad historical and economic picture of "the rise of the rest." Meaning, China, India and other developing economies. It's not about America's fall or anything like that, but it gives an overview of the ways in which China, India and other nations are becoming larger players on the world stage.
I'm a big fan of Jared Diamond, whose book Collapse has a very wide scope as this book does. Though Diamond is much more of a social scientist while Zakaria is a pretty straightforward journalist. Nevertheless,I've learned a lot from this one.
At any given moment, I'm usually reading one non-fiction book, along with one or two novels, and then try to work in short fiction and poetry as spice.
Reading it on my Kindle.
Also on my Kindle, I'm reading:
Funny and accessible and full of intriguing insights and imagery. What all good poetry should be. Billy Collins is wonderful.
I've put aside for now John Burdett's engaging novel, Bangkok Haunts. When I'm finished with Burke, I'll get back to it. It's the first of his I've read and I find it amusing and colorful, though not on the same level as Burke.
On the beside table waiting for me is the new Bob Crais and a novel by Junot Diaz. I've read the first few chapters of Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and am eager to get back to it.