Friday, September 01, 2006

Summer Reading Roundup

As part of an effective summer, I have read several books. Now as part of wasting homework time, I will review them.

1. The Prophet
By Kahlil Gibran

This is a short one and easy to read. Basically this guy tells you everything you need to know about life, the universe, and everything (something which Douglas Adams couldn't manage in more than three volumes) and in a very peotic way. If only Gibran were around today, maybe Almistra would ask The Prophet to speak to us of internet dating. 10/10

2. Leadership and Self-deception
By The Arbinger Institute

How can an institute write a book? Answer: Not very well. Okay, the message was good and I agree with it etc. but it is SO BORING. I couldn't finish it. It reads way too much like a corporate training manual because it's a corporate training manual (which I was supposed to read for my job). Might I reccomend books be written by humans from now on?

3. Messiah
By Gore Vidal

I bought this used at that cool enormous used bookstore they have in Portland. That was last August, and that's when I started it. I had a hard time staying awake for the first 50 pages or so, but to be fair I was in a hot tub for most of that time (that's another amusing story, by the way).
So I was turned off to it for a while until I picked it up again in July and finished a couple of weeks ago, fully one year after starting it. Well maybe I've matured or maybe it just got more interesting, but I loved it. And the last two pages were some of the most chilling I've ever read.

4. Welcome to the Monkey House
By Kurt Vonnegut

With a name like that, how can you go wrong? This is, in the author's opinion, a collection of his worst short stories. I liked most of the ones I read though, especially Harrison Bergeron.

5. I Sing the Body Electric!
By Ray Bradbury

If only this book were as groovy as that Weather Report album. Although I did make an important discovery while reading it: I hate Ray Bradbury. I hate the way he can't just come out and say exactly what the hell is going on in his story. "Peter Horn didn't want to be the father of a small blue pyramid." is the first line of "Tomorrow's Child". OH MY SWEET NOTHINGS, WHAT IS GOING ON? TELL ME RAY, I CAN'T TAKE THE SUSPENSE!! I MUST READ MORE!
That sums up how I did not feel reading any of his short stories. And man, this guy can preach. One story (that the collection is named after) is about a robotic grandmother, who after six months of listening to her grandchildren (humans) and squirting jets of water out of her index finger, suddenly starts spouting out her philosophical take on why she exists. Robotic grandmothers are supposed to bake cookies on command, not bore us with metaphysics.

All in all, a successful summer of reading. Even bad books are still pretty good. Especially on a road trip or when you're stuck out in the desert under a juniper (see previous entry).


Michelle 2021 said...

I started a book on relationships. Thanks Craig.

Creativity Escapes Me said...

Road trips? If I'm not driving I'm knitting. Fall reading list?

Territorial Soufleé said...

Oh I get it creativity... What causes road trips? Fall reading. Hahahahaha. Its funny cause you tripped and fell on the road while you were reading.

Awright13 said...

I'm proud of you for reading books that bore you. I have a professor who says we should start doing that...I ask myself, "why? why in the world would I ever do that when I have enough on my platter already!" Al, if you need a fall reading list, hit me up, I've got some cool stuff."

Creativity Escapes Me said...

Guests of the Ayatollah by Mark Bowden

The Great Game by Peter Hopkirk

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

The Tale of the Body Thief by Anne Rice

Sideways by Rex Pickett

I'm loaded.

Laverna said...

Hmm, I found the Leadership one interesting when I read it a year ago. Did you know that the Arbinger Institiute is acually comprised of a bunch of professors from BYU?