Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I recommend all the books you see up here. These are a few of my favorites, though, and none of them are hard to get into at all. If you're looking to pick something up that'll get you into reading, please, I implore you! Start here:

* <-----------> ** <-----------> *** <-----------> **** <----------> *****
Easy - - Pretty Easy - - Moderate - - Pretty Challenging - - Challenging

Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris
$13.45 at Bn.com ISBN: 0316776963
* (easy)
In part one, Sedaris tells a series of stories from his yout
h and adulthood. They seem inane to describe: being singled out for speech-therapy as a child, forced to take unwanted music lessons: the sorts of things that could happen to anyone, but told with such humor and self-effacing charm. One chapter where Sedaris is caught in the bathroom at a party with a giant poop in the toilet (not his) had me laughing out loud like a mental patient. Part two is the story of his move to France with his lover, and the foibles of being an American abroad: learning a new language and adapting to French customs. Hilarious at times, but really interesting at all times.
The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes, by Neil Gaiman et. al
$17.99 at Bn.com ISBN: 1563890119
* (easy)
This one is actually a comic book, or "graphic novel" as they call them now. There's certainly nothing funny about it. In this first part in a series, the King of Dreams is kidnapped and imprisoned, causing a wave of nightmares, insomniacs, and comatose around the world. His struggle to break free and rebuild his kingdom involves a trip to hell to battle demons, a showdown with an escaped madman, and a touching reunion with his sister, Death. If that doesn't sound interesting enough on its own, the artwork is knock-out as well. Cree
py, disturbing, and suspenseful.
Fast Food Nation
, by Eric Schlosser
$13.45 at Bn.com
ISBN: 0060838582
*** (moderate)
Fast food from a variety of different angles. This is not just about how they get the meat for the hamburgers (although it is in there). Schlosser also describes the marketing campaigns, the artificial-flavor industry, even describes a day in the life of a cashier in a McDonald's store. This isn't the sort of thing that grosses you out until you don't want a value meal anymore: that'd be too easy. This is a fascinating piece of investigative reporting into restaurants you probably eat in all the time.
Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich
$11.70 at Bn.com ISBN: 0805063897
** (pretty easy)
Another reporter wrote this one. Barbara is a single woman in her mid-forties who goes undercover as a low-skill worker trying to make it on a series of minimum-wage jobs. She works as a waitress, a cleaning lady, and even in Wal-Mart, and describes her experiences trying to find a place to live under the poverty line. Millions of Americans live like this every day. Many of them can't even afford computers with Internet access. This is their story.

No comments: