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Monday, March 21, 2005



American Pastoral is one of my favorite books ever - a masterpiece. Much better than Plot - and I liked Plot.

I'm looking forward to Saturday as well, and reading Jonathan Strange. Great list. Thanks for sharing.


Kite Runner was a great read. I've never read anything about Afghanistan either and I found the cultural as enthralling as the story itself. The fact that part of the story occurs in the Bay Area was facsinating as well, since I didn't know about the local Afghan community either.


Ooh, you and I have very similar taste in books, I think. I read Cryptonomicon earlier this year and I absolutely loved it! I want to read Quicksilver and the rest of the trilogy, too, but I need a little more time to rest my brain - there are a lot of parallels and repeat characters, apparently, between the Baroque Cycle and Cryptonomicon, too.


I hope you post your opinions of these! I've read "Kite Runner" (loved it), Strange&Norrell (didn't, which surprised me), "Cryptonomicon" (loved it), "Devil in the White City" (was disappointed--the two different stories were interesting, but the juxtaposed telling seemed forced).


i'm a big fan of the Maus series. i dont recall who it's by but it's a series of three graphic novels, i'm sure you could find it given the right search. it's a tale about concentration camps, WWII, etc. beautifully told through they eyes of an artist.

also, neil gaiman's graphic novels are amazing. my favorite, while more a 'short story' than a novel, is Murder Mystery.


Not more books on my to read list!


Nice list. I just read Short History of Nearly Everything. I love Bill Bryson. I am currently reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell. I will have to look into some of the other books on your list as they sound quite interesting.


I think I am in the minority here. I did not like Cryptonomicon. I wanted to like it. I loved Snow Crash and Diamond Age, but Cryptonomicon was just toooooo freakin long! Quicksilver was given to me by a friend when it first came out and it's just sitting on my "to be read" pile, taunting me.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is taunting me too. I've started it, but I only have four weeks to read it because I took it out of the library, and I just don't think I'm going to make it. I have a feeling I won't be able to renew it because there was a long hold list for it. I might have to buy it.

I second the recommendation for Neil Gaiman. If you get really into him the Sandman books are amazing.


Hey, Blankets is on my list, too! The cover absolutely sucked me in. Gotta get it. Did you know there's a CD soundtrack accompanying it? I think the author's web site is www.dootdootgarden.com
and has the info.


I've read Hominids, Humans, and Hybrids, and really enjoyed the reading on all 3. Very, very interesting reads.


Hello - this is my first comment to your site but I read your blog all the time. I love all the books on your list - I am reading Jonathan Strange right now (and liking it - which is a surprise). I read the Roth "Plot" and loved it (also a surprise because I vowed never to read him again after Portnoy's Complaint). I loved the Kite Runner and have the Bill Bryson (on my to-read list - with 500 others). I have taken to listen to books on CD while I knit because I was started to really miss reading - I can't seem to figure out how to do both at the same time). Thanks for sharing your list.


I recently listened to A Short History of Nearly Everything on audiobook, and adored it. It's the perfect audiobook, in my opinion. I tend to prefer non-fiction for audiobooks. It is funny and interesting enough to keep you entertained and engaged, while not requiring so much thought that listening becomes a chore. I am sure that reading it in the traditional way is similarly enjoyable. I highly recommend it!


Bill Bryson can make me laugh until I cry, and hearing him narrate his books is even better. I finished The Kite Runner recently, and yes, enjoyed it plus learned so much about the culture of Afghanistan.


Midnight's Children is my favorite book ever. Absolutely brilliant. I was the copyeditor for Ireland and I thought it was quite good. Enjoy them!


I personally didn't like Blankets half so much as the Persepolis books. Both of those are truly brilliant, while Blankets fell short for me. The art is v. nice, though.

My favourite graphic novels/comic books are Neil Gaiman's Sandman. Very much fantasy, but sooo brilliant. I wish I could remember the name of some of the great graphic novels that I read a few months ago in a bookstore. Alas.

Hannah Wolfert

I have not read Cryptonomicon but finished Quicksilver and am 300 pages into the 2nd book in this series. I LOVE LOVE LOVE them. Well worth the read. I love the way they are written...very smart and witty and I love the characters in them. My husband has read all 3 and has told me that each one is better than the next. I can't wait to get to the 3rd book.


I thought of two more:
Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell- the story of a historian traveling as a tourist to places that connect a series of american presidential assassinations. Non-fiction and fascinating, but I'm a history nerd.

Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl - a tale of the one-time food critic for the New York Times as she struggled to give fair reviews. Discusses the different identities she assumed as well as their costumes, and includes the original reviews of the restaurants that she wrote as well as recipes that she loves.

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