Thursday, September 8, 2011

What I've been reading lately

My library's summer reading challenge is over, but of course that doesn't mean I'll stop reading (though I probably won't try as hard as I did during the challenge to never read two books from the same genre in the same week, because sometimes I get in a mood where I only want nonfiction, or where nothing hits the spot like reading six trad Regencies in a row).

Anyway, here's my reading from the last week or so:

1) Rules of Attraction, by Simone Elkeles
Genre: YA romance

A sequel to 2010's Perfect Chemistry, also featuring a Mexican hero with gang ties he'd like to break and a privileged white girl heroine. A quick, page-turning read, and I liked how the hero and heroine sort of unpacked each other's protective layers to find the real person underneath.

2) You Are What You Speak, by Robert Lane Greene
Genre: Nonfiction (linguistics/history/current events)

I'll always pick up a book on linguistics, and I found this book especially interesting in discussing how language interacts with political identity, social class, and the like.

3) In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson
Genre: Nonfiction (history)

Larson looks at Nazi Germany before WWII through the eyes of the American ambassador at the time (a history professor with no previous diplomatic experience) and his family. Reading it, I was for the first time able to do something with 1930's Germany I've been able to do fairly easily for other places and times--put myself in the place of people living through it who had no idea how it would turn out.

4) The Olympic Games: The First Thousand Years, by MI Finley & HW Pleket
Genre: Nonfiction (ancient history)

I've been renewing my interest in classical Greek history of late, hence this book. I liked it, but it'd be a bit dry for someone just starting to explore the period. If that's you, I'd suggest The Naked Olympics if you're interested in the early Games, or Persian Fire for the Greco-Persian Wars, or Lords of the Sea for the rise and fall of Athens.

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