Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Books

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.

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