Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What Are You Reading? 2

There have been some changes to the NY Times Nonfiction best sellers list since the last time I posted about it.

#1 Game Change - Heilleman & Halperin - Behind the scenes of the 2008 election. I have not picked this up yet and I am not sure why. I understand the first printing was not as big as it should have been so the book has been hard to find. These two authors are respected political reporters one for New York and the other for Newsweek. These guys are on MSNBC so often I may not have to buy it at all. By all reports it is gossipy and light on footnotes. I was a big fan of all the Teddy White Making of The President books, I have read them all 2 or 3 times. I don't think this will compare with those in scholarship but I suspect it will more than make up for it in gossip and unsavory details.

#2 Committed - Elizabeth Gilbert - The author of Eat, Pray, Love wrestles with and overcomes her ambivalence towards marriage. She was perfectly happy to live in sin with her foreigner boyfriend until he could not qualify for a green card right away. So they went off and traveled through Asia while the were waiting for the paperwork to clear and in the end they had to be married to allow him permanent access to this great country. Now she is Sadie Sade married lady and happy about. I know this from NPR - You don't think I would read a book like this do you?

#3 Have a Little Faith - Mitch Albom - A suburban rabbi and Detroit pastor teach lessons about comfort and belief . This hobbit sized sports writer and failed talk show host scores another big susccess with a book about how to make people feel better about their lives.

#4 Going Rogue - Sarah Palin - A memoir by the former Alaska Governor and VP candidate. She of course did not write this & I wonder if she has read it. Now it turns out she spent close to $60k of peoples contributions to her PAC to purchase books. I wonder how many would have sold had she not bought so many herself. People contributed to her PAC to help her spread her happy conservative message, I guess she believes it was best spread by giving her book away to people too cheap to buy it.

#5 Stones Into Schools - Greg Mortenson - Building schools mostly for girls in northeast Afghanistan This self made millionaire is now giving it all away in an attempt to make the lives of the next generation better than the current. It is a remarkable story and hopefully he will be considered for a Nobel in the future. He is a decent man with only the best of intentions.

#6 Outliers - Malcom Gadwell - Why some people succeed. I either not smart enough or not focused enough to make it through his books. He seems like a cool cat though

#7 The Checklist Manifesto - Atul Gawande - Following checklists makes surgery safer and other things more efficient, says the Doctor - OK that makes sense - I use my Franklin Covey planner for that and I did not need to make someone else rich by buying this book.

#8 Superfreakonomics - Levitt & Dubner - A scholar and a journalist apply economic thinking to everything - Makes sense and I have no doubt that most of the folks who have this book received it as a gift and it looks really great on their bookshelves.

#9 Drive - Daniel Pink - What really motivates people in the drive for autonomy, mastery and purpose, not external rewards. I don't know that I really need to know this. Do I?

#10 - What the Dog Saw - Malcolm Gadwell - A decade of New Yorker Essays. I wonder if I can find them on thenewyorker.com?

#11 - Open - Andre Agassi - His life and times - In pureint details and do we really care? Do we?

#12 - Too Big To Fail - Andrew Ross Sorkin - About the 2008 financial implosion - Mr. Sorkin is my future ex-boyfriend. He had his first by line in the times while still a teenager. I may actually get around to reading this. It has received good notices and I would like to learn more about the topic.

#13 - Anticancer - David Servan-Schreiber - A doctor who survived brain cancer discusses his experience and reviews research on diet and mind-body balance. I am sure this is a worthy read. Nothing snarky about this one.

#14 - All Things At Once - Mika Brezezinsky - How the MSNBC newswoman continues being a wife, mother and journalist - I admit to having a bit of a crush on MorningMika and she is a great balance to MorningJoe. She is magic on TV and hope she stays around for a long time. Her father is also one of my hero's from the Carter administration.

#15 - Born To Run - Christopher McDougall - Secrets of distance running from a Mexican Indian tribe - Great, this is the book I have been waiting for my entire life. I many buy a Kindle just for this opus.

#16 - Half The Sky - Kristoff & We-Dunn - Women fighting sexual oppression in Asia and Africa - Some of the most compelling columns I have ever read in the New York Times were written on this topic by Nicholas Kristoff. This is a topic that he has been a thought leader on for many years. I am sure this is a compelling read.

If anyone wants to buy me a present I will be more than a happy to accept a copy of the following books by number. #1, #12, #16 and an autographed copy of #14.

Happy Reading

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