Tuesday, December 11, 2007

From My Reading Shelf in Dec 2007

While I sit here for the next hour (as part of a 250-person conference call with About.com/New York Times, for which I've freelanced for the last three years), I thought I'd fill these semi-boring minutes by perusing my reading table.

On my reading table as of today:

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, a Pulitzer Prize winning collection of ten short stories, published in 1999. Our book club (at church) is reading this volume for our January meeting. I read the first story today, and found it touching, deep and emotionally intimate. This author is sensationally talented.

I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert. A fairly funny book from the absolutely hysterical Comedy Central comedian. A birthday gift from Andrea. Should be a quick read, once I find a free afternoon.

Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes by Mark J. Penn, a senior campaign advisor to Sen. Hillary Clinton and a top-notch national political pollster. Sent to me by a publisher who wants a book review at my About.com site. At first glance, the book isn't nearly as dry as it sounds. Penn describes 70 trends in American society in the areas of religion, politics, health and wellness, work, family life, food, money and more. Problem is... the underlying premise is to create a path for politicos to pander to special interest groups, rather than taking moral stands.

Interventions by Noam Chomsky. For the radical bent inside my placid, middle-aged exterior. The brilliant (and almost supernaturally insightful) Dr. Chomsky has taught linguistics and philosophy at MIT for more than fifty years. And he has an entirely different, radical take on all things political.

The Voice of Luke: Not Even Sandals by Brian McLaren. Ordered it today from Amazon on a whim while I was shopping for Christmas. Luke is my favorite of the Gospels, and Brian McLaren is a fresh, interesting Christian voice. Should be intriguing food-for-thought.

Any suggestions for other books?

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