Sunday, April 25, 2010


21. Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What it Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt
Seriously about everything you ever wanted to know about traffic. It is super interesting, and engagingly written, but could be a bit much sometimes. There is just sooo much info. I had to take a few breaks, but really enjoyed it in the end.

22. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
So towards the end this totally sucked me in and I could not put it down. If not for a late rally it might only have gotten two stars. There is a light of explaining of various hacker things and tech jargon that I did not enjoy. Also, this is a Book With an Agenda and I generally don't like those unless the story is super awesome. This story was not super awesome enough. That said, I liked the characters and the voice, and like I said I really go sucked in at the end.

23. Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert
A lot of people really hate this book, just like a lot of people really hated Gilbert's first book, "Eat, Pray, Love".
I liked this one, but I also liked "Eat, Pray, Love". Although I think people irritated by Eat, Pray, Love might like Committed more, as I felt she was more self-aware in this book and more directly addresses the fact that she is totally privileged and lucky to have the adventures she does. Anyway, I think I mostly liked the book as I am also someone who has partaken of legal marriage although I am deeply conflicted about it, and it was nice to read that point of view from someone else. Some of her research was interesting, but a lot of it seemed very superficial, and I know a little of it was inaccurate. But she bends over backwards to say she is not an expert on any of this and the book is about her personal journey.

I don't feel like I sold the book very well, there, but I did enjoy reading it. For me, it was like hanging out with a smart, interesting friend who shares my views on a lot of stuff and so made me feel normal for awhile.

24. The Darling by Russell Banks
This is another book a little about chimpanzees and Africa. In this one, the main character is a radical leftist in the US, involved in the Weather Underground and ends up moving to Liberia, marrying a Liberian man and kind of getting involved in Liberian politics. Along the way she works with chimps used for medical research, and eventually starts a chimpanzee sanctuary. I really liked the conclusions the main character came to about interactions between the powerful and the powerless, but she was also kind of just pushed a long in her life, and seemed to make few decisions and never stood up and took control of anything. That really frustrated me. So, this book is good for reading about Liberia and chimps, but the main character/narrator was pretty annoying to me.

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