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03 January 2010 @ 10:45 am
Book Dynamite in 2009  
I read ~40 books in 2009.

Here are the ones I really loved.

Thought-provoking non-fiction

An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales - Oliver Sacks (angerie)
Loved this book. An artist who lost his ability to interpret color at age 65 and began experiencing the world as light gradients. Autistic savants. A surgeon with Tourette's. A high-functioning Asperger's woman named Temple that I strongly related to. Temporal lobe epilepsy. The absence of the temporal lobe via brain tumor. Wow.

An Aerial Atlas of Ancient Crete (ok, yeah, I think we can assert this is me-specific)

An Entertainment for Angels: Electricity in the Enlightenment - Patricia Fara
Excellent snapshot of some of the history of electricity in its early years.

Provoking fiction

feed - M.T. Anderson (kfrye)
Brilliant. The More-More-More Acquisition Culture and Marketing Status Quo taken to the ultimate extreme.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
This is an amazing book. A very different angle on World War II, and a lot of very authentic human connection ... all begun with a book. Written in Dracula-ish form - all via correspondence between characters.

The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld (kfrye)
Obsessions with physical symmetry and en-masse obedience taken to the ultimate extremes. Also, post-apocalyptic. w00t!

To Say Nothing of the Dog - Connie Willis
Chaos theory. Time travel. The Victorian era. Cats. This book is AMAZING. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes any kind of fiction, with no caveats.

StoryPeople - Brian Andreas
short-burst, high-impact words and images

The Risen Empire series - Scott Westerfeld
Space opera. Artificial intelligence. Creative, newly imagined tech. If you loved Ringworld or Integral Trees or any of Larry Niven's work without character developer and plot builder Jerry Pournelle, READ THIS.

peeps - Scott Westerfeld (kfrye)
Vampires! As parasites! I love how he weaves science and math into so much of his fiction. He makes science and math sexy.

Fluffy brain candy

Bloody Jack - L.A. Meyer (kfrye)
girl power pirate brain candy!

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) - Jerome K. Jerome
some great Victoria-era humor.

Oh, look at all these geek cultural references I've been missing! o.0

DragonLance I-III (nplusm)
Mistress Vermilion: pangolinms_vermilion on January 3rd, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC)
I expect you might already know this, but Temple Grandin is quite well known in her own right. Her best known, and perhaps most controversial, book is Animals in Translation.
Kburgunder on January 7th, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC)
Have you read Animals in Translation or any of her other work? I have a different book in my To Do read list (at home, I keep forgetting to respond when I'm there to give the title!) by her that was recommended in Oliver Sacks' book. I found her incredibly compelling and fascinating in the chapter that focused on her. She's also where the title of his book came from.
Mistress Vermilion: pangolinms_vermilion on January 11th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
I find what I've heard about Grandin's ideas interesting, but I have not read any of her books myself. talheres absolutely loathes her, so you could probably engage in some interesting dialog with her.

(I have read some of Oliver Sacks' other books and really enjoyed them).
(Deleted comment)
Kburgunder on January 7th, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC)
It was fun. It wasn't, for me, Discworld level fun, but it was good. The thing I enjoyed most about it, honestly, was realizing all of the geek cultural references and gamer name origins I've been missing all of these years.

On my Ragnarok LPMud, for instance, one of our gods was Fizban (vaxhacker), and another player was Tasslehoff and I never truly appreciated some of their in-character banter until now. :)
Rafecookinghamus on January 7th, 2010 05:14 am (UTC)
I would like to read the uglies trilogy.
Kburgunder on January 7th, 2010 06:00 pm (UTC)
It is extraordinary. I have all but the first one, so, if you have no objection to reading old-fashioned paper books, I can grab Uglies after work tonight and lend them your way. I love lending out my favourite books, because after touring Europe's hostels, I'm now in the habit of having everyone who's read them sign the back with when/where and if relevant, a favourite moment, page or quote. It makes them so much more sentimental and awesome.