Saturday, August 14, 2010

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 5 and 6

A Non-fiction book that you actually enjoyed: Kind of a weird way to phrase the question, but there are quite a few non-fiction books I've enjoyed. I think a wide variety of people would enjoy these two books though.

1. A Mind of Its Own: A Cultural History of the Penis by David M. Friedman


David M. Friedman's A Mind of Its Own is a cultural examination of the penis, from ancient Sumer to the present. Friedman convincingly suggests that humankind's various and contradictory attitudes toward the penis have been instrumental in mapping the course of both Western civilization and world history.
The first half is more interesting than the second, but I loved this book. The best part of this book is in its details.

2. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris


Trying to make coffee when the water is shut off, David considers using the water in a vase of flowers and his chain of associations takes him from the French countryside to a hilariously uncomfortable memory of buying drugs in a mobile home in rural North Carolina. In essay after essay, Sedaris proceeds from bizarre conundrums of daily life-having a lozenge fall from your mouth into the lap of a fellow passenger on a plane or armoring the windows with LP covers to protect the house from neurotic songbirds-to the most deeply resonant human truths. Culminating in a brilliant account of his venture to Tokyo in order to quit smoking, David Sedaris's sixth essay collection is a new masterpiece of comic writing from "a writer worth treasuring."
What needs to be said about Sedaris that hasn’t already been said? His books are great and if you need a good laugh about the mundane yet entertaining aspects of life then this book is for you. You can read my favorite essay from this book here.

A Book that makes you cry: This question is a bit ridiculous to me since I pretty much cry at everything. Everything. It is completely out of control in fact. The last time I can remember crying super hard though was when Dumbledore died in Harry Potter.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

The war against Voldemort is not going well; even Muggle governments are noticing. Ron scans the obituary pages of the Daily Prophet, looking for familiar names. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.

And yet...

As in all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate -- and lose a few eyebrows in the process. The Weasley twins expand their business. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, though Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.

So it's the home front that takes center stage in the multilayered sixth installment of the story of Harry Potter. Here at Hogwarts, Harry will search for the full and complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort -- and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.

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