Books I’ve Read – First quarter 2009

Wow, I’ve done horribly at documenting my reading for this year. Maybe I need to just give up trying to do posts for every book and just aggregate them into 1 post each quarter. Here’s what I’ve read in the first quarter of 2009:

D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths
by Ingri D’Aulaire
I loved D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths as a child and bought a copy of it as an adult, but never realized they had illustrated Norse Mythology as well until I discovered this in the children’s section last year. It’s excellent; while their illustrations of the sunny Greek Gods and Heroes have always been the pictures in my mind’s eye of those iconic characters, their illustrative style is even more suited to the dark and sometimes grim Norse story telling.

The Various: Book 1 in the Touchstone Trilogy
by Steve Augarde
I picked this up at Unabridged bookstore in Boystown while we were there for the gay games. That independent bookstore has been well-known for many years for it’s staff recommendations (a technique since picked up by large bookstores around the country) and The Various was a highly recommended title in the young adult section. It was very lovely, and reminded me a lot of I Capture The Castle, although this book fits very much in the fantasy genre. I enjoyed it enough to put the second two books on my wishlist. I have to see how it all comes out.

The Limerick Trick
by Scott Corbett
I picked this up at Midland Antique Mall because Scott Corbett was the author of a childhood favorite book of mine – The Great Joke Game. This was cute, but not as exciting – a young man needing to write a poem for class invokes a spell and ends up spouting limericks unintentionally. Fortunately, none of them had anything to do with Nantucket.

The Fourth Bear: A Nursery Crime
by Jasper Fforde
I’ve been a fan of Jasper Fforde’s literary comic mysteries, and like the Tuesday Next series, the Nursery Crime series is clever and quite funny.

The Book of General Ignorance
by John Mitchinson and John Lloyd
A fun book of trivia and arcane factoids that challenge common wisdom, old wives tales and some of the rather general notions handed down in our elementary school textbooks.

The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman
This year’s Newbery award winner. It’s excellent, and quite worth it. Pick it up to read.

The Eight
by Katherine Neville
I bought this thinking it was a book about a jeweled chess set that I’ve been hunting for many years. It turned out not to be the book I remember, but it was quite engaging. Katherine Neville was Dan Brown years before Dan Brown, and she was much better at it. The story of the mysterious lost chess set of Charlemagne; this book spans several centuries and continents as various players race to gather up the pieces and unlock the mystery encoded there centuries ago.

Fresh Styles for Web Designers: Eye Candy from the Underground
by Curt Cloninger
A revised edition covering more modern styles of site design; a must-own book for web designers.
Wow, practically everything I’ve managed to finish so far this year is a children’s book. Yeesh! That’s sad, right there. I know I’ve been busy, but this is pretty unprecedented, even for me. But here’s the reason why….

Books I have in progress:
I’m in another one of those stuck modes where I keep getting distracted and picking up and putting down books. Here’s what I have on my plate to work through:
The Day Wall Street Exploded: A Story of America in its First Age of Terror
by Beverly Gage
This is a really engaging book and one that I will absolutely finish. I especially enjoy walking around saying “The day Wall Street asploded.” I am a mental five-year-old, after all.

The Writer’s Idea Book
Jack Heffron

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life
by Twyla Tharp

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
by Ph.D., Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica

Cities in Civilization
by Peter Hall

The Lovecraft Lexicon: A Reader’s Guide to Persons, Places and Things in the Tales of H.P. Lovecraft
by Anthony Brainard Pearsall

H.P. Lovecraft Unabridged
by H.P. Lovecraft
I have finished quite a few of his short stories, but this is a complete set, so it’ll be awhile before I get through them all.

The Moment It Clicks: Photography secrets from one of the world’s top shooters
by Joe McNally
This is a great book for any photographer. McNally and Scott Kelby are great for people who have some experience with photography in understanding technical proficiency. However I keep picking it up, and then returning to the more technical other photography book I’m reading to fill in the gaps…

Photography (9th Edition)
by Barbara London (Author), Jim Stone (Author), John Upton (Author)
This is the best book I’ve read so far at explaining the fundamentals of how a single lens reflex camera actually works – at helping me sort out what I need to know about aperture, focal lengths, depth of field, etc. I had learned all that back in photography class in college, but in the 20 years since then, I managed to spring a leak in my brains and all those bits of data fell right out. This book has helped me put them back in again.

Castle Waiting
by Linda Medley
Publisher’s weekly explains it might better than I could – “A set of linked nouveaux fairy tales, this graphic novel extends the story of Sleeping Beauty into a modern, feminist Chaucer for happy people.”

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