rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
( Jan. 7th, 2009 05:11 pm)
The Borders at the Promenade had a 40% going out of business sale. People were rushing about with armfuls of books in a manner which made one think of predatory or carrion-eating life forms, like vultures and sharks.

I ran into an old friend and forced him to buy one of my very favorite books from last year (now out in paperback), Atul Gawande's Better, ostensibly an account of how excellence in medicine is achieved or not, but also a fascinating psychological and sociological analysis of how individuals and groups achieve success or failure. Unlike most works that supposedly provoke thought, this one actually does. I found it very inspirational, and also an extremely engaging read. Highly recommended.

For myself, I scavenged the manga shelves, sadly largely picked-over by the time I arrived, and got myself some volumes I'd been missing in series I'm already reading or have finished reading: Angel Sanctuary, Sand Chronicles, Afterschool Nightmare, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Hikaru no Go.

I also bought the first two volumes of High School Debut, which I have not yet read.

Remaining book purchases:

Sick Girl, by Amy Silverstein. Memoir of a woman who gets a heart transplant at the age of 24; this does not solve her health problems, but rather leaves her chronically and severely ill. Recced by [livejournal.com profile] branna. I read this last night. A defiantly non-inspirational illness memoir, well-written, informative, and refreshing in its lack of "I am so glad that I have a chronic illness because it taught me so much about life and brought me closer to my family."

Breathe My Name, by R. A. Nelson. A YA novel, apparently about a girl adopted after her mother went insane. I liked Nelson's previous novel Teach Me, which had somewhat cliched subject matter but a great voice.

The Caliph's House: a Year in Casablanca, by Tahir Shah. Travel nonfiction. A British family moves to Casablanca, into a house reputed to be inhabited by jinns.

Eating India: an odyssey into the food and culture of the land of spices, by Chitrita Banerji. Food/travel/history nonfiction. Looks both informative and fun.

Early India: From the origins to AD 1300, by Romila Thapar. Looks informative and not fun. But hopefully a good resource.

The Last Mughal: the fall of a dynasty, Delhi 1857, by William Dalrymple. I've read a lot about this period but not from this angle (focused on the last Mughal Emperor.) I like Dalrymple's writing style, especially in his other book, City of Djinns, that alternated a memoir of his life in modern Delhi with a history of the city.

Babur Nama. The journal of the Mughal emperor Babur, beginning when he inherited a kingdom at the age of twelve in 1494 and continuing through his rule in India. Random flip-throughs revealed poisoning attempts, a resolve to try wine for the first time, battles, and other fun stuff.
rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
( Jan. 7th, 2009 05:11 pm)
The Borders at the Promenade had a 40% going out of business sale. People were rushing about with armfuls of books in a manner which made one think of predatory or carrion-eating life forms, like vultures and sharks.

I ran into an old friend and forced him to buy one of my very favorite books from last year (now out in paperback), Atul Gawande's Better, ostensibly an account of how excellence in medicine is achieved or not, but also a fascinating psychological and sociological analysis of how individuals and groups achieve success or failure. Unlike most works that supposedly provoke thought, this one actually does. I found it very inspirational, and also an extremely engaging read. Highly recommended.

For myself, I scavenged the manga shelves, sadly largely picked-over by the time I arrived, and got myself some volumes I'd been missing in series I'm already reading or have finished reading: Angel Sanctuary, Sand Chronicles, Afterschool Nightmare, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Hikaru no Go.

I also bought the first two volumes of High School Debut, which I have not yet read.

Remaining book purchases:

Sick Girl, by Amy Silverstein. Memoir of a woman who gets a heart transplant at the age of 24; this does not solve her health problems, but rather leaves her chronically and severely ill. Recced by [livejournal.com profile] branna. I read this last night. A defiantly non-inspirational illness memoir, well-written, informative, and refreshing in its lack of "I am so glad that I have a chronic illness because it taught me so much about life and brought me closer to my family."

Breathe My Name, by R. A. Nelson. A YA novel, apparently about a girl adopted after her mother went insane. I liked Nelson's previous novel Teach Me, which had somewhat cliched subject matter but a great voice.

The Caliph's House: a Year in Casablanca, by Tahir Shah. Travel nonfiction. A British family moves to Casablanca, into a house reputed to be inhabited by jinns.

Eating India: an odyssey into the food and culture of the land of spices, by Chitrita Banerji. Food/travel/history nonfiction. Looks both informative and fun.

Early India: From the origins to AD 1300, by Romila Thapar. Looks informative and not fun. But hopefully a good resource.

The Last Mughal: the fall of a dynasty, Delhi 1857, by William Dalrymple. I've read a lot about this period but not from this angle (focused on the last Mughal Emperor.) I like Dalrymple's writing style, especially in his other book, City of Djinns, that alternated a memoir of his life in modern Delhi with a history of the city.

Babur Nama. The journal of the Mughal emperor Babur, beginning when he inherited a kingdom at the age of twelve in 1494 and continuing through his rule in India. Random flip-throughs revealed poisoning attempts, a resolve to try wine for the first time, battles, and other fun stuff.
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