Sunday, August 17, 2008


I am really behind, so here is an attempt to catch up some.

60. Turning Thirty by Mike Gayle
This is a kind of men's chick lit. That is, the audience is clearly women but the author is a man, the main character is a man and the book is about his romantic travails as he turns thirty. The cover even looks like standard chick lit. I heard that this was part of a foray into "lad lit" that maybe didn't quite take off? Anyway, the main character was engaging and it was a fun, light read. I would definitely read more by this author.

61. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
I have not totally bought into the Obama hype. I have not drank the Obama kool-aid. For me, all Democrats are too conservative and I don't like the two party system. The beginning of this book almost sucked me in, though. I found Obama's honesty about the problems in our political system/country refreshing. I also really like his self-awareness of how becoming a senator can lead into this cycle of only hanging out with the rich and powerful, and how that is easy to get sucked into. I found the first part of the book inspiring, but the latter part let me down a little. In the second half (ish) Obama talks about the main issues facing America and how to fix them. I appreciate that he seems comfortable with recommending new ideas that might go against general Democratic ideas (he is for federal funding for faith-based programs, for example) and also says we need to be willing to experiment to figure out how to solve problems. He also often says he does not have a pat solution to these problems. I think this is good as it is probably more realistic -- why should any one guy be able to solve the country's problems with education? But sometimes feels like a cop-out. This book is definitely worth a read to figure out more about where Obama is coming from, and it made me happier to vote for him (despite my problems with the dems, I definitely like them more than republicans!) but still left me wanting a little more. Oh, at the very least, though, people should read the section on race which I think treats the issue in a really smart and nuanced way, similar to Obama's speech after the whole Reverend Wright thing.

62. Popped Culture: A Social History of Popcorn in America by Andrew F. Smith
R got me this book (it was on clearance for $1!) due to my insane love of popcorn. It was full of interesting trivia, although not at all well-written. I really don't recommend this book unless you want a lot of random popcorn trivia and to be made very hungry.

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