Both my family and my best friend’s family are chock full of book nerds, so when we visit each other, books invariably get pushed. We joke about standing outside of schoolyards asking kids if they want to try a book, or hovering at the entrance of a dark alley flashing our book-lined trench coat to passersby. It’s always an interesting conversation.
Lapham’s Quarterly – A magazine of awesomeness my husband discovered a few years ago. Each issue focuses on one topic (I pushed “Intoxication”) and beats it to death across the spectrum of human civilization. If you are a history or information nerd, it is a must.
Kill Shakespeare, vol 1 – I bought this at the ALA conference after speaking with Colin McCreery. I only read the first 10 or so pages before graduate school once again reared its ugly head, but I like the twist on Shakespeare’s characters. It is on my list to read over Christmas break.
Mr g: A Novel About the Creation – A physicist’s take on Creation. It is a “makes you think” novel. Comparisons can be drawn with the Futurama episode “Godfellas” (season 3) where Bender plays God to a civilization that develops on his chassis.
The Unwritten, vol 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity – A graphic novel series I discovered three years ago. A nice mash-up of a Harry Potter-esque main character having an identity/reality crisis while trying to avoid being killed by unknown assailants. He uses references to classic literature as clues to try to figure out what is going on.
My Husband’s Pushes
I have read none of these books, but had to hunt the latter two down for my husband when he got a hankering to learn more about the slightly obscure explorers.
Democracy in America – An outsiders take on what democracy was like in the U.S. in the early/mid-1800’s. The book can be a bit of a slog, but my husband liked it because it provides perspective and historical context to a type of government we are so enmeshed in that we often don’t realize it went against the norm for governments at that time.
A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca – This book has it all: Spanish explorers, shipwrecks, enslavement by Native Americans then gaining freedom and respect as a healer, running into Spanish slavers/explorers on the other side of the continent, and finally returning to European civilization 10 years later. My husband liked trying to piece together the complexity of Native American civilization as Cabeza de Vaca described it.
A New Discovery of a Vast Country in America – A reproduction of Louis Hennepin’s journals about his time spent exploring North America. He was the first European to see Niagara Falls, which was one reason why my husband wanted to read it. The other reason (as with Cabeza de Vaca) was to read a first-hand account of what North America was like at the very beginning of European exploration.
BF’s Husband’s Pushes
I can’t really say anything about Hyperion or Ilium other than copies of them will be included in the box of books that will be mailed to me in the next month or so. I know BF’s husband talked about them, but I am slightly embarrassed to say I don’t remember what he said other than the author incorporates references to classic literature.