Your book report is due.

I’m going to the bookstore next weekend and wondered if I could pick up some good titles from my fellow dopers.
Soooooo, give me the title and author name of your most recent read, and rate it 1-5 stars.
Brief plot description optional.


Bookstores?! I love books!

Alright. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. The title one is a short novel about vampires (and one man’s struggle to survive, yadda yadda). If you love horror, it rules. It also includes a few other short stories, which are really quite well written and freaked me out. I’d reccomend the overall book and give it a 5. Maybe a 4.8 if I wanted to be picky.

Also, Stephen King’s On Writing. Really its more about writing in general, not just horror, though he does refer to books he’s written in the past. Its great and he writes well. I’m not done with it yet, half way through I think but I like it.

So as the first person to respond to your thread, do my suggestions take precedence?

Plan B by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee. 5 stars.

Currently reading: The Broken Crown by Michelle West. I’d say about 4.1-4.4 stars. Probably because I was hoping for Jewel and Evayne to show up more.

Well, there are 2 ways “The Catcher in the Rye” can work (since it is the WORST, most over-hyped novel ever):

  2. I recently read it, and found it much more fun to COMPELTELY DESTROY a book (in a report), than to praise it, as is usually how your forced to do these things.

So: if your allowed to write your opinion in this report, then consider “Catcher” since it allows for an interesting report. However, do NOT, at any point expect to be entertained by this book or enjoy it in any way. It is, without a doubt, the worst book I’ve ever had the misfortune to read.

Best thing I’ve read for pleasure lately is Neil Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon. Pretty damn good. 4.5-5. It’s a fictional narrative that jumps back and forth from some, er, techies/treasure hunters, sort of, in East Asia in contemporary times, and WWII in Europe and Asia with the development of encryption devices-- Turing, et al.

Hehe. Yeah it is fun to do some old fashioned book bashing. I found it rather irritating myself, Qwert.

I picked up the following two books for this weekend, so I have not completed them. However, I am mostly through the first, and halfway through the second, and I’m impressed enough so far to recommend them quite highly.

Canton, Norman F. “The Medieval Reader.” ISBN 0-06-272055-4. 4.5 of 5. Canton provides translations of about 100 selections of medieval literature which help give one glimpses of the nobility, the church, and the middle class through their own voices. The selections are well made, being both representative but varried.
deVilliers, Marq. “Water.” ISBN 0-7737-6174-8. 4.5 of 5. Governor General’s Award winner deVilliers presents the world water supply crisis through a political-economic lens. He gathers up into one text a great deal of varried information to which environmentalists have been pointing for years.

Don’t know if you enjoy nonfiction, but Donald Foster’s Author unknown: on the trail of Anonymous is a great read. I guess the best way to descibe him is a literary detective.

He was a struggling doctoral student who came across an obscure poem, signed only W.S., that was very much in the style of–you guessed it–Shakespeare. He did the research, made the historical connections–and got thoroughly clobbered by the experts.

It’s hysterical, in a sick way. The committee of experts were anonymous. Foster researched the writing style of each of the panelists, figured out who wrote the opionion (i.e. swung the axe) and wrote him to counter the conclusions. When the affronted expert demanded to know who’d leaked his name, he was just more offended to find out Foster had figured it out on his own. Foster was right but almost unemployable, the academic equivalent of a leper swinging his bell and chanting, “unclean! unclean!”.

Foster worked w/ the FBI to prove Kasinski was the Unibomber, based on his writings, but he’s most famous for indentifying columnist Joel Klein as the author of Primary Colors, the political novel he wrote as Anonymous–hence the subtitle. Don’t know if you remember the flapdoodle, but it was an 8-day circus guessing who wrote the book.

Klein indignantly denied authorship for about 6 months but finally had to come clean. (And looked like a bit of an ass, not to mention a hypocrite, lying about it.)

Hope I haven’t given too much away, though you could get most it from the jacket blurbs. It’s very entertaining reading, and geninely fascinating learning how Foster reads what he reads. Great story, well told but it’ll also open your eyes to stylistic, etc. stuff that’s as personal as a fingerprint. A solid, resounding 5, on a 1 to 5 scale.


My most recent <completely> read book has to be my old security blanket of a book, Anna Karenina. Of course, she is doge-eared and the cover fell off last time I read her…

However, I am presently in the process of reading the Terry Prachett/Neil Gaiman project, Good Omens. I’ve read a good bit of Prachett before, but this one <so far> is taking the cake.