58. Falling by Christopher Pike
This is not the sort of book I would normally pick up these days, but I used to read this guys young adult fiction all the time when I was in middle school. I loved them, so I couldn’t resist picking up this book when I saw it at the library the other week. Apparently he has started writing adult fiction. Either my tastes have changed too drastically or he’s lost his touch because I did not like this book nearly as much as I liked the stuff I read as a kid. It started out pretty good and had my interest, but by the time the book was over I hated every character and thought the plot was dragging out way too long. I give it a 5 out of 10.
57. Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish
I actually read this book several books ago, but realized today that I had never blogged about it. Egad! It’s a memoir of this woman’s childhood growing up in Iowa during the early half of the 20th century. It was an interesting look into what life was like back then and how different it is from today. I give it a 7 out of 10.
56. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
NO SPOILERS! I promise.
I just finished reading the final Harry Potter book. It thought it was good. Much better than book 6 in my opinion, and a fitting end to the series. I give it an 8 out of 10.
55. Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian
This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I didn’t want to put it down. It’s a story of a woman who tries to solve the connection between a homeless man she helped through her job and the Buchanan family from the Great Gatsby, who in this story actually existed as did James Gatsby. It is a creative and compelling story. I give it a 9 out of 10.
54. Everything is Miscellaneous by David Weinberger
This book is a librarian geeks dream. It talks all about categorization, some library history, and how the digital world has changed the way we can categorize and then retrieve things. And cause I’m a library geek, I quite enjoyed it. I give it a 9 out of 10.
53. Don’t Know Much About History by Kenneth C. Davis
By the same author of the recently read Don’t Know Much About Anything. This book was different than that one though in that there was actually some narrative to it and it wasn’t just a bunch of trivia type questions. I actually think I learned quite a bit from it. It covers U.S. History from the explorers who founded the country up through about 2002. I give it an 8 out of 10.
52. The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler
Kunstler discusses the fact that the current age has lived during an extraordinary time of fossil fuels, which are now rapidly depleting and will be gone within the next 30 years or so changing life as we know it. He discusses the history of the use of fossil fuels and how they created the society we currently live in. He also talks about how they are going to run out and how the alternative ideas for fuel are in no way going to be able to allow us to continue to live as we currently do. He then goes into some ideas about how our cities and suburbs are not going to be able to sustain us once the fossil fuels are gone and we are going to have to rely more on close farming and how the service economy will go away and we will return to more of a subsistence lifestyle. It was an interesting book and kind of scary to think that this might actually happen during my lifetime, but as he points out if it’s true (which he says it is) then the fact that people are doing nothing to deal with the problems that are going to come is because it is to scary to think about. I give it an 8 out of 10.
51. Don’t Know Much About Anything by Kenneth C. Davis
I picked this book up for free at ALA the other week. I have no determined that I really don’t know much about anything, and after reading this book I probably still don’t. It’s set up kind of like a trivia book with there being a short paragraph of introduction for each topic followed by a series of questions on the front of the page and on the back there being the answers to these questions. It was kind of interesting, but there was just way too much information and a lot of little quick answers for me to really remember anything that I read. I give it a 6 out of 10.
50. The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger
I read about this book in one of the library blogs that I read and it sounded interesting so I decided to check it out. It was published in 2000 and is a little out of date at this point as it talks about how the internet has affected how businesses need to conduct themselves in this new world. You can tell it’s out of date because Google is not mentioned once in the book. A lot of the stuff they said though I suppose is still relevant today, but I also felt that the book was too long and just repeated themselves. The 4 authors all address the subject and to some degree they wind up repeating each others’ ideas a lot. I really felt that the information included in the book could have been covered nicely in a magazine article. I don’t think there was really a book’s worth of information there. I give it a 6 out 10.
49. Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon
I don’t know why I decided to pick up this book considering I just panned his most recent book and also didn’t care much for the other book I read by him. Who knows. At any rate this is Chabon’s first book and of the 3 I’ve read, in my opinion his best. The story occurs during one summer and follows the life of a group of friends brought together through various circumstances for the summer. I give it a 6 out of 10.