What shall I read next?

Here’s the stack in the house, plus a box winging its way Shoshana-ward. Which would you recommend I read next, and why? The and why part is most interesting to me. Thanks.

Chambers: Culture Shock! Succeed in Business: Vietnam (2/3 done)
Mortenson & Relin: Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace … One School at a Time (just started)
Sage: Physik (Septimus Heap, Book 3) (1/5 done)

Bourdain: Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
Choi: Happy Birthday or Whatever: Track Suits, Kim Chee, and Other Family Disasters
Coates: *Cambodia Now: Life In the Wake of War *
El-Hai: The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness
Heath: *Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die *
Moalem: Survival of the Sickest: A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease
Nafisis: Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
Nazeer: Send in the Idiots: Stories from the Other Side of Autism
Plotkin: Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice
Reiss: The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life
Rough Guides: 25 Ultimate Experiences: Ethical Travel
Rough Guides: 25 Ultimate Experiences: Southeast Asia
Savarese: Reasonable People: A Memoir of Autism and Adoption
Slater: Opening Skinner’s Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century
Thwe: From the Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey
Templer: Shadows and Wind: A View of Modern Vietnam

Burdett: Bangkok 8
Chabon: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union
Dick: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Dorsey: A Paradigm of Earth
Mieville: Un Lun Dun
Le: The Stars, the Earth, the River: Short Stories
Le Guin: Powers (Annals of the Western Shore)
Palahniuk: Survivor
Pessl: Special Topics in Calamity Physics
Robinson: Pacific Edge
Welsh: Trainspotting

Humor & Difficult to Classify
Gerber: *Barry Trotter and the Unauthorized Parody *
Haggis-on-Whey: Your Disgusting Head: The Darkest, Most Offensive and Moist Secrets of Your Ears, Mouth and Nose
Hodgman: *The Areas of My Expertise *
Sill: Beyond Birdwatching: More Than There is to Know about Birding
Sill: A Field Guide to Little-Known and Seldom-Seen Birds of North America
Snickett: *Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid *

No particular reason. The only one I semi-recognized was Androids, but I haven’t read it and pretty much anything under Fiction is too easy an answer. Birdwatching isn’t my cup of tea. Books on war and genocide, while perhaps poignant, don’t seem like much beyond an excuse to feel good about yourself for caring. Lolita itself is perhaps one of the more boring books ever written (which is impressive given its topic), so reading about someone reading it doesn’t sound inspiring. The subtitle of “The Lobotomist”–principally the length, not the reference to “maverick”–gives me the impression that the author is rather impressed with himself, and thus is better to ignore. Culinary doesn’t generally sound like a recipe for interesting reading, and Orient-stuff seems to advertise for New Agers but then be rather bland, “Come see the sandy beaches of wonderful Tibet!”-style travel destination text if you actually open it up.

Now that’s a pretty reply! Thanks!

I can see that. I use these books for teaching, and I’m more and more involved with relief efforts in Southeast Asia, so they’re actually professionally relevant.

Excellent hypothesis. I’ll get back to you on this after I’ve read it (it’s also work-related).

I thought I’d point out, though, that Tibet doesn’t have a beach.

Are you tired?

I have a funny story about “Survivor”. Firstly, let me say that if you’ve read any other Palahniuk, you’ve read this one but if you’ve not read anything else by him, it’s worth a read. So I bought this book at an airport and this was my exhange with the cashier:

She: Do you know anything about this book?
Me: No. Why?
She: A woman bought this bought this book about an hour ago and then brought it right back. She said that she read the first chapter and was so disgusted that she returned it.

So I kept my copy and after reading the first chapter, I can see why someone who is a bit squeamish might not want to read any further.

I adored Three Cups of Tea and have now fully adopted the tradition mentioned in the title as my own. I am a tea lover so it was a no brainer.

But now I point out to people I am sharing a cup with that, sharing our first cup makes us acquaintances, our second cup makes us friends and our third cup makes us family.

The chapters were evilly short which made it hard to put down (just one more!), it has great little illustrations scattered throughout the pages, and it had some nice clever twists that strayed from your usual quest-type books.

Oh, and it has killer giraffes.

Add to the list: Beah: A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, just handed to me as a gift.