Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Best Books Read in 2011 Part 2


This book goes into the housing crash, and who predicted it and invested in its inevitability. The book reads like a novel, but is true. The story about the investor who has Aspergers was particularly great. As well as the story is told, it did leave me frustrated in that pretty much nothing has been done to fix the problems that caused the crash and the people who caused it have not been held responsible.
This is a book about a little girl from immigrant parents with uncontrollable epilepsy. It is about the trials Hmong refugees faced in the U.S. It is about the challenges two parents faced when getting treatment for their daughter's seizures. It is about the short-comings of western medicine and western medical attitudes. Having epilepsy myself I was very sympathetic to the family in this book.
This was a great book that gives hope to activists and makes you fear marketers. It also convinced me to keep my house clean for a few weeks in trying to reduce the damage caused by the broken window effect. Unfortunately keeping a clean house really cuts into my reading time and I my house once again fell victim to the broken window effect.
There is a roost of crows that gathers about 10 miles away.  Every evening in the fall and winter you can watch thousands of crows from as far as 15-20 miles away flying toward it.  It always makes me wonder why they go there every night and what are they doing?  I got in a theme of reading crow books (this one and Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness were my favorite). Crows are my new favorite animal.
Another theme I got into was reading about people who lived in the Puget Sound area in the early 1900's. I came across a list of books in More Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason about Cascadia and decided to read a few of them. I plan on reading more from the list as well. Did you know that octopus attacks were a problem back then? Granted in the two books that featured octopus attacks the octopi (wikipedia says its octopuses, but that just doesn't sound as cool) were provoked, but still--OCTOPUS ATTACKS! The accounts of these people using row boats for daily transportation between islands that are miles apart just boggles my mind. In the fall, winter, and spring that could not have been pleasant.

Historical Fiction

This was a book I came across for checkout on my Nook at the library. I had read some of Donnelly's books before and liked them, but felt that the plot devices she used were a little too cliche. But as this was what was available I read it and I was pleasantly surprised that I really liked it. It is a story that takes place in modern times and during the French Revolution.  The French Revolution is awful, and it makes you wonder how in the world people can be so crazy, but other than the disturbing history the book was good.
Having read the above book I decided to read the newest book in the prior series I had read.  I think this was the best of the three. I can definitely see improvement in her writing.
So that sums up my list for best books in 2011. I want to apologize if my writing is bad. I write these late at night and sometimes wonder about myself...

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