Saturday, May 10, 2008

Three Good, Not Great Books for One's Reading Pleasure

I have been reading more as there is nothing that keeps my attention on television. I have quickly gone through three books (two fiction and one non-fiction). All three shared the same characteristics: they were relatively short, did not require too much attention and easy to digest.

The two fiction books were:

1. The Ghost by Robert Harris.

This book received 41 generally favorable reviews from Amazon readers. I concur. This was (to my best recollection) the first time that I read one of his books. It combined a number of elements to keep me entertained, including politics, sex, scandal and mystery. The story follows a professional ghostwriter hired to finish the memoirs of an ex-British Prime Minister. The ghostwriter becomes more like James Bond as he tries to unravel the mystery behind the drowning death of the ghostwriter hired before him and a messy political scandal involving war crimes circling the ex Prime Minister. Entertaining story with a neat swerve at the end that I did not see coming.

2. Taming a Sea-Horse by Robert Parker.

This was one of the early Spenser series book (published 1986). Spenser talks a great game and backs it up by kicking ass when he investigates the death of a hooker and seeks to protect another young woman struggling in the oldest profession. I knocked this book off in two nights. An easy read instead of watching the late night news...

I also skimmed through True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society by Farhad Manjoo. What I got out of the book is this: There are a large number of people who will hold on to their misguided beliefs and opinions despite being shown evidence to the contrary. We just don't argue or differ on opinions but what constitutes fact. Manjoo illustrates his arguments from examples from 9-11 and the Swift Boat allegations against John Kerry in 2004.

This is not a book that most Conservatives or avid Fox News viewers will enjoy as the slant from the author is from the Left.

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