Lab Cat

3 Jul 2006

June’s Books

Filed under: Books — Cat @ 9:12 pm

Books Bought

Debbie Macomber The Wyoming Kid

Homer Hickman Sky of Stone

Jodi Picoult My Sister’s Keeper

Tony Hillerman Skeleton Man

Michael Stebbins Sex, Drugs and DNA

John Brockman (editor) What We Believe but Cannot Prove : Today’s Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty

Steve Prosser Essential Ear Training for the Contemporary Musician

David Scott and Alexei Leonov Two Sides of the Moon

Books Borrowed

Billy Crystal 700 Sundays

Terry Pratchett Soul Music

Ursula Le Guin The Wind’s Twelve Quarters

Diana Gabaldon A Breath of Snow and Ashes

Edmund Morris Beethoven: The Universal Composer

A.M. Sperber Murrow: His Life and Times

Books Read

A.M. Sperber Murrow: His Life and Times

Billy Crystal 700 Sundays

Debbie Macomber The Wyoming Kid

Diana Gabaldon A Breath of Snow and Ashes

Homer Hickman Sky of Stone

Jared Daimond Collapse

Jodi Picoult My Sister’s Keeper

Terry Pratchett Soul Music

Tony Hillerman Skeleton Man


I also bought a number of books on food such as Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s dilemma but I think they deserve a separate entry of their own. Once, that is, I get round to reading them.

One of the advantages of not teaching is that I have more time for reading. I was also on vacation and had spare time. I didn’t, however, get round to reading the Shakespeare I promised in May! Maybe next month.

As I am suffering with a summer cold, bleuh, I can’t think straight about the books I read, even a few days ago! Oh well, here goes: Deep and meaningful thoughts about what I read.

I read Macomber and Gabaldon as form of escape and then I wonder why I read them. Especially Macomber, her books are pretty reliably unbelievable – the man always gets the girl. Usually the girl is a spirited independent thing and takes them some time to realize that they love the guy. Ok so I’m a cynical old maid, what of it? I find them fascinating to read.

The Hickman book was a continuation of his October Sky book which I really enjoyed. It was interesting to read more of his autobiography but I don’t think it was as intense as the earlier book.

My Sister’s Keeper was a very good book. I was very impressed with Jodi Picoult’s ability to describe both the science and the ethical and moral issues concerned with having a “designer” baby to treat an older sibling with leukemia. Unfortunately, the ending was totally unbelievable and spoilt the tightness of the book for me. The book would have been stronger if it had finished three chapters before it did, despite the fact that this would left some open ends.

700 Sundays is a very moving book. Basically a eulogy for Billy Crystal’s father, it gives a good account of growing up in New York in the fifties especially as part of the jazz scene.

Collapse was fascinating. Some of the histories he reported, such as Easter Island and Norse Greenland, I was familiar with but I hadn’t seen so many stories about environmental destruction together before. I also found the successes interesting and the fact that he gave suggestions for the future success of the US. It might be interesting to read this and then go and see Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. I wonder if there is a connection.

Murrow: His Life and Times has to be my book of the month. It is a long book. It took me over a week to get through and I still have 50 pages left. I read this book obsessively the week before I went to the Clearwater Festival, but then I couldn’t face it after I came back. It was also too huge to take to Orlando with me. Murrow lead a fascinating life. I don’t know if this biography is written from a particularly favorable point of view but I found Murrow’s life fascinating. Not only did he fight McCarthy, but he also reported from London during the Blitz. I’m sure when I am feeling more coherent I will think of quotes I wished I had use.

I see that Yellojkt has stolen my idea! Which admittedly I stole from Nick Hornby. However, despite his injunction, I am NOT calling this BooksFirst.







  1. Collapse is somewhere on the to-read list. I bought it awhile back but just haven’t tackled it yet. The Omnivore’s Dilemna has gotten a lot of publicity in NPR type circles. I’m sure ADM won’t be sponsoring the documentary version of it.

    And you are under no obligation to use BooksFirst since you had the idea first anyways.

    Comment by yellojkt — 5 Jul 2006 @ 11:52 am

  2. I strongly recommend Collapse – you should pull it out of your to-read list. Mind you – I didn’t read every chapter in detail, it is too long to do that!

    As even WholeFoods were upset with Michael Pollan’s take on their company, I wonder who would sponsor a documentary! Perhaps Walmart, now they are selling organic food?

    I couldn’t use BooksFirst as I rarely get to write this post at the beginning of the month. Perhaps if you are posting monthly it might be the encouragement I need!

    Comment by Cat — 6 Jul 2006 @ 8:22 am

  3. […] I find Jodi Picoult’s writing intriguing but disturbing. This is her second book I have read. The first I read was My Sister’s Keeper which I read a few months ago. In The Tenth Circle we see the effects on both a family and a small town community when the local high school hockey star “rapes” his ex-girlfriend. I put “rapes” in quotes as part of what the book is about is what counts as rape. Interspersed in the story is a comic book story about a father trying to rescue his daughter from hell. Which turns out to be his own personal hell. As I said intriguing but disturbing. […]

    Pingback by Books of the Month – October 2006 « Lab Cat — 15 Nov 2006 @ 12:02 pm

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