Barrack Obama's The Audacity of Hope
; Jane Austen's Persuasion
Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice
- Now my favorite book ever. I'm a romantic and this book fueled that fire tremendously.
Isaac Asimov's Foundation
- an excellent sci-fi book; it's widely considered the granddaddy of modern sci-fi and I can see why as I could feel the stylistic similarities to many other sci-fi books I've read, especially O.S.Card's Ender's Game
. (FWIW, Card has admitted its deep influence on him.)
J.K Rowling's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Second time through. This book really gave the series its legs, IMO. It was dark and the tone took a significant turn towards the dark, with the introduction of the Dementors and the brutal (but deathless) finale.
J.K Rowling's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Also second time through. This one kinda reminds me of Empire
because it ends on such a downbeat; the others have ended on downbeats, but with at least some semblance of hope. This one just ends sadly with an introduction of the hero's final quest.
Ryszard Kapuscinski's The Soccer War
- A great compilation of news reports written by the late Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski. It mostly follows his experiences in Africa, where he witnessed quite a few revolutions. It also tells of his experience in Honduras and El Salvador during the eponymous war, which resulted from some hard fought and restless World Cup qualification rounds.
J.K Rowling's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- A lengthier installment than any previous, but despite its length, the action keeps rolling at a reasonable pace. This was my second time through.
J.K Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- The final chapter is a fitting conclusion with some really tender and touching moments. The only HP book I've read once. But I might be tempted to read it again immediately.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Death in the Time of Cholera
- Romantic and lyrical, Marquez's Death
proved to be an acutely detailed and deep journey in the lives of two intertwining destinies. (Geez, I sound like a book reviewer.)
The Economist's The World in 2007
- not technically a book, but I read it straight through, word for word, just like a book. It's interesting to read their predictions and it will be even more interesting to revisit these magazines in 20 years time.
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events 8 - The Hostile Hospital
- This book is a big step for the series and helps renew my interest as the kids have finally started deciding their own fate, rather than getting put into uncomfortable and redundant situations. The mysteries deepen.
Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd
- Too much time is spent developing every relationship except for the principle one. The ending comes about so quickly, it's like Hardy just had no concept of what was important to the outcome. Great book, nevertheless.
William Goldman's The Princess Bride
- Funny. Good stuff. Easy read. Only the slightest differences between this and the film. Nevertheless, it's good stuff.
E.M.Forster's Howard's End
- A good book about class differences at the turn of the 20th century in England. Not a hard read either.
J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone
- It all started here. My second time reading this one, in prep for the final book.
J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Also second time through. Probably the weakest of the series, IMO.
J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- The longest book of the series is not bad, but it moves at a leisurely pace - some judicious editing would help. The book does set the series up for its one-two finale as most of the elements are in place, minus the main objects of book 6. Second time through.
Alexandr Pushkin's The Captain's Daughter and Other Short Stories
- It was a good collection. My first Russian author too. The stories were much more humorous than I thought they would be - a lot of black humor.
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events 9 - The Carnivorous Carnival
- Not bad. Not overwhelming good either. The story is almost as redundant as always. The author always teases the readers with revelations, but there's never a pay-off.
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events 7 - The Vile Village
- His style doesn't change book to book and doesn't accommodate an aging reader, like the Harry Potter books have done. Plus, the plot was one of the worst so far.
Terle Englund's The Czechs in a Nutshell
- A pretty good assessment of Czech culture from the eyes of a foreigner.
Jared Diamond's Why Is Sex Fun?
- A scientific look at the origins of some of the aspects of human sexuality; for example, why do we have casual sex when most other species of animals don't?
Petr Cornej's Great Stories in Czech History
- Quick synopses of the important stories in Czech history. Not terribly well written (or translated, I should say), but informative nevertheless and a quick read.
In the cue:
Stephen King's It
Jane Austen's Emma