Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Books!

A New Year, a new list of books! Most of these arrived from Amazon today and I am thrilled to have them in my possession. First up is the Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, which was recommended by several people and was loaned to me by Cherie. I'd better hurry up and finish it though because there are several family members waiting in line. Cherie suggested that she became more aware of where her food originated and found the book to be enlightening. I have a sinking feeling that I'll start to feel guilty about enjoying my winter Washington apples, Costa Rican bananas, and Chilean kiwis when I'm done with this book. But I'm only partway through the first chapter at the moment so I'm going to enjoy my fruit with wild abandon until then!
Next up is "The Last Town on Earth" by Thomas Mullen. Amanda picked this one for our book club and I am so excited to start it on the 21st. Plus, it takes place in the lovely state of Washington (so it has to be great!!!).
A must for any geologist. I can't claim any geology-related title but I read this tome in college and figured it was time to give it another go. I'll tackle this one in bits and pieces: McPhee is a witty and surprising writer; however, it is a 700-page book about rocks. I can only tolerate so many enthusiastic paragraphs singing the praises of roadside rock exposures before I need to move on. So, that'll be a slow-paced one. If you have any interest in the geology of the United States, this is a great book to read. I think it's right up there on my papa's list of all time favorites, right next to all the bird books.

And lastly, a book that hits a little closer to home. My dad's father Sam served in WWII, like most men of his generation. His plane was shot down over Africa and, after a crash landing and capture (and re-capture after an escape), he was transfered to a POW camp in Europe for two years. This book was published several years ago and is an account by WW II airmen of their crashes, and subsequent captures by the Germans or Italians. My grandfather has a chapter. My dad discovered a few years back that he had lent the book to someone and never received it back. We all seemed to have forgotten who that person was. Mom and I spent a long time trying to track down another copy and we finally located one at a used book dealer. I remember spending long hours on the computer trying to find it (made difficult due to the fact that it was out of print and only had a small initial printing). In attempting to find a copy, I had a wonderful conversation with the editor (also a WW II airmen) regarding the book and the men who had participated. Then, out of the blue last week, I searched for it on Amazon and found a copy for 15 bucks. Jeez. So I bought another copy, just for good measure. Maybe this one can be our 'loaner'. But I'm going to read through it again before I give it to my papa.

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