I am in the middle of a fun book. It might even be good. I know that if someone asks me next January, "What good books did you read last year?" I will have a hard time remembering anything so far back. I should start posting now when I read a good book. Anyway, here's some I remember from last year:
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, by Jon Krakauer
I marvel at Krakauer's gift for order, the way he can puzzle together both big ideas and plenty of details to make a compelling story. He is the perfect author to write a thoughtful, measured history of so outlandish, sensational, outrageous a phenomenon as Mormon fundamentalism.
Under the Red Sea Sun, by Commander Edward Ellsberg
Thanks to kugelblitz and badmagic for recommending this. On Dec 8, 1941, a retired salvage officer insisted upon returning to the Navy. He was sent to the site containing the most wrecks in the world, the Eritrean port Massawa. Quick thinking and hard work prevail in this astounding narrative.
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach
If I were a kid I would love the simple gross-out factor of a book about what happens to corpses. As I inch closer to death, my curiosity is a little keener. Stiff satisfies both interests. I couldn't put it down. The author writes for Salon and she has that sorta too cool for school thing going, but she reins it in out of (I'm guessing) respect and manages to maintain a very readable voice here.
Ok, that's enough reminiscing for one post. Back to work.