This week the Broke and the Bookish are discussing books which they encountered first through other blogs and bloggers.
1. Sharpe’s Eagle, Bernard Cornwell
Reccommended to me by Cyberkitten of Seeking a Little Truth, this novel introduced me to the Napoleonic action hero, Richard Sharpe.
2. Persian Fire, Tom Holland
Suggested to me by the Resolute Reader after I read Holland’s Rubicon, chronicling the collapse of the Roman Republic. Persian Fire looks at an earlier period in history, at the rise of Persia, its conflict with Greece, and the growth of Zoroastrianism which would come to influence the Abrahamic religions.
3. The Lightening Thief, Rick Riordian
Recommended to me by Baley of the Reader’s Book Blog. I later read the entire series, enjoying it all the way.
4. Parasite Rex, Carl Zimmer
Imagine a world where parasites control the minds of their hosts, sending them to their destruction.Imagine a world where parasites are masters of chemical warfare and camouflage, able to cloak themselves with their hosts’ own molecules.Imagine a world where parasites steer the course of evolution, where the majority of species are parasites.Welcome to earth.
Reccommended to me by Neurovore of Neurovore’s Nuclear News Network, or N^4. Hoo boy, was this an eye-opener. You have no idea how wondrously terrifying and disgusting life can be until you’ve read about the life cycle of parasites.
5. The Age of Absurdity, Michael Foley
I only heard of this book through Cyberkitten, and read it back in January. I haven’t reviewed it yet, because — like The Sane Society — it comments on so much that I feel hard-pressed to do it justice. The essential idea is that we have created societies which not only fail to meet our needs, but often run counter to them.
6. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
Neurovore again. This is a dystopian novel set in a nightmare future in which crazy Christians have taken over the United States and created a society based on the Hebrew scriptures — complete with the total subjugation of women. Considering the Republican Party’s current offerings, perhaps we should read it in preparation.
7. The Blank Slate, Stephen Pinker
…Neurovore. This one takes on various misconceptions about human psychology, including the idea that we are born ‘blank slates’ who act from cultural conditioning only, and not instinct, and the concept that we are born ‘good’ and then corrupted by the artificial construct of society. It’s a naturalistic approach to psychology and neuroscience: quite refreshing.
8. The Magicians, Lev Grossman
Reviewed by Joy of Joy’s Blog. Its cover caught my attention, but the book is stunning. It’s sort of a realistic, cynical take on Harry Potter-style fantasy.
9. Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer
Suggested to me by Baley, this is the story of a young man who lost his life while trying to find himself.
10. Nemesis, Isaac Asimov
This is tagged ‘reccommended to me’, so someone reccommended it to me. (Hence the tag, “reccommended to me.”) I don’t know of many people who would know Nemesis, so I am going to take a guess and say that it was Cyberkitten’s doing.