Friday, October 27, 2006

Bookblogging Update and Quick Hits

Well, I'm at 39, just finished Sully's, will get to that sometime this wkkend. Since I'm hopelessly behind in blogging the quest for 50 in 52, I might have to cheat a little and give some quick hits.

#25 - Ghengis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford: I can save a ton of time here by simply saying 'What Angelica Said.' The main thing I took away from the book is how ruthlessly utilitarian the more famous of the Khans (Genghis and Kubilai) were. They get a bad rap for being cruel and all that, but the time period, they weren't so bad. Ok, if you were an enemy soldier, they killed you, but there wasn't nearly the wholesale slaughter, rape and pillage which seems to be a staple of other 'civilizational' contests.

#26 - A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage: Like Salt, but with liquor instead. Since I like drinking more than I like cooking...

#27 - How Soccer Explains the World by Franklin Foer: Think of P.J. O'Rourke doing his "everything is crap" routine, but instead of warzones, soccer clubs. Really would have been better titled "How Soccer Reflects the World," but that's a minor quibble for a very readable book.

#28 - Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football by David Winner: Quite possibly the best book I've read this year. Wide ranging discussion of Dutch culture, ingenuity, individualism, racial integration and the 'style vs. substance' debate, seen through the prism of Dutch soccer. The Dutch are, with reason, often known as 'the Brazilians of Europe' for their stylishly attacking football. At least prior to this World Cup's much less extravagant side, they were. But there are particular psychological, perhaps even psychiatric reasons why they never seem to come good in the end. Fascinating read.

#29 - 31 - The Mind of Bill James by Scott Gray; Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville by Stephen Jay Gould; Fantasyland by Sam Walker; 3 baseball books, which I'll cover at TWT sometime soon.

More to come sometime this weekend...

1 comment:

Hops said...

Just finished "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and "The Botany of Desire" by Michael Pollan. Can't remember if they were on your list or not? Worth reading...even if you'd prefer drinking to eating.

"Salt" and "Six Beverages That Changed the World" are on the bedstand. Worth reading, i'm told.

Have you read "Ordinary Wolves"? It's about igloos and Alaska...wait, was that redundant?