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50 Book Challenge - Page 8

post #106 of 112
Thread Starter 
I've read several books that I haven't reviewed. I just finished my first book in a long time the other day,hooray.

27 - Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Ages by Blair Kamin

He's the architecture critic for The Chicago Tribune. Not much to say about a book that's a collection of columns from the Trib and a couple other publications. Kudos to the editor for allowing the book to be an interesting read. The grouping of essays kept the book fresh and interesting. At times it was a little Chicago-centric but that's to be expected. Kamin's postscripts were great, now that he had time to reflect on his columns and see how the buildings have progressed with occupants or plans have changed with the recession...

28 - Little Money Street: In Search of Gypsies and Their Music in the South of France by Fernanda Eberstadt.

It was pretty bad. Eberstadt never really ties anything together..for most of the book I was left saying "O....kay..." to myself wondering why it mattered. She fetishizes the gypsies and their culture. She gets overly poetic, self-indulgent and pretentiously verbose, calling a cd a "cultic vessel" at one point... yeah.
post #107 of 112
Thread Starter 
29 Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits by Jason Wilson

Wilson isn't so much concerned with giving you the defining qualities and flavors of a spirit. He focuses on the experience surrounding spirits. That keeps the book humming along at a good pace as there's plenty of other books to read about that. But this book isn't just a travelogue or even a memoir though at points he does the book does get memoir-ish. The writing is good. Wilson is clearly under no pretenses that he is writing a great book that will be revered for generations. His lively and colloquial, sometimes crude style is entertaining and a breeze. What is a little disappointing is he doesn't spend as much time getting into the more obscure or rare spirits, as you'd think would happen. Still we get insights to well known spirits that are pretty rare itself.

Oh and his recipes at the end of every chapter are pretty solid too.
post #108 of 112
I'm going to try at least shoot for 2 books a month next year. I just hope I can stick with it.
post #109 of 112
i will watch 50 movies next year!
post #110 of 112
Thread Starter 
#30 Makeshift Metropolis: Ideas About Cities by Witold Rybczynski

A short book discussing the history of America's metropolitan growth and some of the theories behind it in history, where we are now and a discussion of what we should do for the future. Not really a spoiler but he suggests the key to strong cities is good planning. Kind of a, well duh moment, but Rybczynski is able to present ideas clearly and without jargon that keeps them all accessible and still insightful. The book clocks in barely at 200 pages with a blank page between chapters and tons of photos. Its an entertaining read.

Yay 30.
post #111 of 112
In my 20s I read hundreds of books a year. I had the time and the cafe.
post #112 of 112
I'll give this a shot, even though I'm getting a little bit of a late start. Here are the books I've read so far this year:

1 Through 4. The Lincoln Lawyer Novels: These include: The Lincoln Lawyer, The Brass Verdict, The Reversal, and The Fifth Witness. As a criminal defense lawyer, I enjoyed this a lot. I was pretty surprised about how accurate some of the things were in the book that actually deal with real life aspects of legal practice (getting paid, investigating cases, using inside channels to get information, etc.). All in all, a very enjoyable read.

5. There's A Sucker Born Every Minute by Jeffrey Robinson: I am very interested in white collar crimes, scams, cons, etc., so I picked up this book to get some more information on the various types of shenanigans scammers engage in. It was ok, but a little light on each topic. It only covered things very broadly and then gave advice to regular people on how not to get scammed, which is kind of common sense.

6. The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson: This book explores the question of whether there are high functioning psychopaths in society. A psychopath is someone who cannot function normally due to a disconnect in their brain. It goes over the various criteria that are used to recognize people as psychopaths and how, often, many leaders in politics and business possess those characteristics. Pretty interesting and entertaining, but kind of useless.

7. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie: I don't think I really need to say anything about this one. Very useful.

8. Body Language by Allan & Barbara Pease: They describe being able to understand people's body language as walking around in a dark room and only being able to figure out what the objects in the room are by touching them and then all of a sudden somebody turns the lights on and you can see it all. Much of communication is done by body language and this books helps you to understand the unstated messages people give by body language.

9. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely: This book is about the idea that people do not act in rational ways, in fact, people very often act very irrationally; however, that irrationality is predictable. In other words, you can figure out the situations in which people are going to act irrationally, and predict how they will act.
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