Thursday, July 8, 2010

Five Books I Want to Read this Summer -David's Picks

As always, my summer readings plans are somewhat dependent on when my library holds get filled. Here are my best laid plans, involving a science book, a biography, a graphic novel, a mystery and an audiobook (for when I will be "working" in the garden).

You Better Watch Out: a memoir,
by Greg Malone.

As a longtime fan of Greg Malone in Codco and The Wonderful Grand Band, I am very much looking forward to reading about this groundbreaking comedian's formative days. This memoir has received so much praise for it's heartfelt anecdotes, touching honesty and for it's humour filled observations of the lovable characters of 1950-60's St. John's, NF. I recently enjoyed reading Ron Pumphry's Newfoundland memoirs and have even higher hopes for Greg's book. A recent finalist for the 2010 John and Margaret Savage First Book award.

The Genius,
by Jesse Kellerman.

There is so much buzz around this author that I figure it is time to see for myself what all the fuss is about. A talented playwright who also happens to be the son of successful mystery authors Jonathan and Faye Kellerman. Jesse has received nothing but raves reviews for his mystery and suspense fiction, with critics making special note of his clever plots, great dialogue and characters. Given that his novels are stand alone works, I am able to start with his third novel, while I wait for my hold on his first novel.

by Jason Shiga.

Although this may be technically a children's book, it will definitely appeal to youthful minded adults as well. The primary appeal for me is the cleverness of the format. This is a modern update on the choose your own adventure books. Unlike the earlier choose your own adventure books, this book only has one "correct" path. The other 999 paths all lead to doom.

Operation Mincemeat: how a dead man and a bizarre plan fooled the Nazis and assured an Allied victory,
by Ian MacIntyre.

I have recently promoted this title on CBC radio and here on this blog. This is a fantastic, thrilling true story of wartime espionage and Allied chutzpah. This title is a great example of just how enjoyable narrative non-fiction can be. Also available as downloads: epub and audio.

The Battery: how portable power sparked a technological revolution,
by Henry Schlesinger.

I briefly leafed through this book at a bookstore and knew that I had to read it. A science and technology themed microhistory is my idea of great entertainment. "From its witty subtitle ( sparked, get it?), to its lively writing style, to its sheer abundance of fascinating and frequently surprising stories, this is a delightful book... One might say that this book is the technological equivalent of Mark Kurlansky's Cod." ~ Booklist

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