Monday, February 8, 2010

The Best 5 Books I Read This Year

5. Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley, what if the president chooses a "Judge Judy" to be a justice on the Supreme Court. The first 100 pages are a tour de force. Buckley is a wordsmith and he doesn't disappoint. Unfortunately, the book collapses in the end, and you get the feeling that he tries to muscle through the end with sentences littered with phrases like "dolorous excogitation."

4. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson: I avoided this book for a decade. Who really needs to read 100 bromides telling you to calm down? Then I read this, "The next time you find yourself at the lack of love in your life or at the lack of love in the world ... Forget about the world. Instead, look into your heart. Can you become a greater source of love." Things don't bother me as much now; and I couldn't say this a year ago.

3. God & Empire by John Dominic Crossan, he starts with a promising thesis, man is naturally nonviolent; therefore, empire is unnatural. Unfortunately, he doesn't thread the needle. Crossan discusses some interesting topics - for example how Cain (farmer) murders Abel (shepherd), then builds enoch, and is essentially unpunished by God. But that is the point, Crossan seems to reinforce that man is more like a farmer, rather than a shepherd.

2. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer: I am Jacob, sans rippling stomach muscles. As Jacob realizes he is going to lose the annoying high school girl he says "I swore I wasn’t going to get mad, no matter what you said to me. But… I just got so upset that I was going to lose you… that you couldn’t deal with what I am…." Dear Reader, we have all been there. I am also particularly partial to this book because it is all about property rights between vampires and werewolves.

1. Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling: Ok, so I am 11 years late. This book is part of my project, and I am so happy because of it. A entire mythos, nay, cosmos has been created. The book is essentially an exercise of the 14th Amendment. What if a muggle wanted to go to Hogwarts? Why is the law different for half bloods?

Most Disappointing book: Superfreakonomics by Levitt and Dubner. All the good subjects were in Freakonomics, the sequel is about the authors' politics. Ok we get it, global warming is bad, so find a solution through economics.

Worst Book: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown: Forget about how omnipotent characters make stupid decisions, such as, walking into a creepy house - alone! Here is an example of the prose found within this tome: "You know, I still haven't learned how to send a twitter." You know, I still never learned how to write.

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