The Complete Calvin & Hobbes
Yes, many of the strips were similar and the riding-the-wagon-downhill-while-having-a-philosophical-discussion strips got a wee bit tedious, but still, amazing body of work. It just makes you happy.
Put A Little Latin In Your Life
My mom gave this to me for Christmas and i was interested to see if it brought back fond memories of highschool Latin class. Uhhh.... Well, it read like a "i'm trying to be hip" Latin textbook, and it bugged me that the author listed the noun declensions in the wrong order from how i learned them. Early on in the book there's a definition of a "wanker" as someone who throws Latin phrases around just to sound important. I think this book would be better subtitled as "How To Be A Wanker".
The Buried Book
The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh
I really didn't know anything about the epic of Gilgamesh besides just hearing the title before. This book explores where the story came from, how it was saved (written on clay tablets), and how it was eventually discovered and brought to the British Museum. While it discusses the epic itself, the main subject of the book is the people involved in its saving and finding. Not bad.
Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court
Great book. It's about the US Supreme Court during the time of the nine justices who served as one group for the longest time ever: Rehnquist, Stevens, O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, Ginsberg, and Breyer.
Well-written accounts of each justice are spread along the general time-line of the Court in this era, with a focus on how the ideology of the Court has transformed and how the religious right has been pushing hard to get justices in who'll overturn Roe vs. Wade. Highly recommended if you are at all a concerned citizen of the US.
Eddie Chapman was a "gentleman crook" who ended up in a French jail in 1941, signed up to spy for Germany, parachuted into England, and immediately became a double-agent. This is a really well-researched account of Eddie Chapman's wartime exploits that reads like a thriller novel.
The American Military Adventure in Iraq
Thomas E. Ricks
Very complete telling of Bush's war from the run-up to the summer of 2006. The administration didn't plan it at all and much of the military had no idea what to do once we stormed into Baghdad. It just makes you pissed off at Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and all of their comrades.
The End Of America
Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot
Scary book. Ms. Wolf lays out the things that every dictator in history has done and shows how the Bush administration has done or is doing all of them. Read this, wake up, vote!
Three Cups of Tea
One Man's Mission to Promote Peace. . . One School at a Time
Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Inspiring story of a man who bypassed all of the beaurocracy and raised money to build schools for girls in remote vilages in Pakistan. Our governments should learn from this how to "fight terror". It's a lot easier, cheaper, and more effective than bombing villages.
On The Beach
What a downer of a book. Everybody dies. Although it didn't bum me out too much because i never got lost in the narrative. I was always aware that i was reading something that someone wrote. And what is it about the late 50s, did everyone just stand around talking stiffly, drinking hard liquor, and smoking cigarettes? Bleah.
Alice In Wonderland
Through The Looking Glass
The Hunting of the Snark
I though that i'd read this in college, but other than those parts that everyone knows, it wasn't familiar, so maybe i didn't.
The odd thing about these stories is that the parts that everyone knows are each about a page long and all the other parts take up chapters.
I suppose that it was fantastic for its time, but two things bothered me about this. One, the characters are met with and discarded with no real plot, just a series of not-very-well-developed characters dispensing their oddities on the alternatingly docile and ambitious Alice. And two, each story ends with it being made obvious that Alice was only dreaming all of it. It woulda been nice to let it have been more magical.