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What webloggers are reading this summer

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 09, 2004

What webloggers are reading this summer. You reading anything good?

Reader comments

anthonyJul 09, 2004 at 11:18AM

i just finished the wisdom of crowds also. very good. a few years ago i read extraordinary popular delusion and the madness of crowds.

geek book: bsd hacks, which has so many good tips and tricks. it’s not even that bsd-specific, so even if you use os x you make use of it. the testament to how good the tips are in everyday usage (as a noc engineer): i reached for it to look up a command after i was only 8 pages into it.

work has been too hectic; i have so many older books in the queue. middlesex, running with scissors, life of pi.

NataliJul 09, 2004 at 11:32AM

I’m waiting on the new Neal Stephenson books to appear in paperback form (I’m so poor), so I’m passing the time with Nabokov’s Lolita , any Douglas Coupland that I can pick up (All Families are Psychotic is the current, and I just did Microserfs, which is, frankly excellent). I’ve also got Martin Amis’ collection of essays and book reviews - The War Against Cliche, and I’m re-reading Gibson’s Burning Chrome. Not to mention Burroughs’ Naked Lunch and Stuart Walton’s analysis of the history of drug culture; Out of it

All very unfashionable, I’m sure. Oblivion sounds quite interesting; have you written a review of it yet Jason?

jim bishopJul 09, 2004 at 11:33AM

i just gave up on the clinton bio because it’s written on a 3rd grade level and was giving me back pain schlepping it on the subway. i’m now reading “the epic of new york city” and the new escapist comic book series by michael chabon.

BrianJul 09, 2004 at 11:35AM

I’m on a Thomas Pynchon kick, so I just got done reading “The Crying of Lot 49”, and I’m starting in on “Vineland”.

My trashy novel fix is being satisfied by “A Game of Thrones”.

I’m also reading “Building Cocoa Applications” and “Mac OS X Advanced Development Techniques” to satisfy my programming itch.

TCJul 09, 2004 at 11:36AM

Anything by Sherman Alexie, probably one of the most underrated authors out there. I especially recommend “The Toughest Indian in the World”.

jkottkeJul 09, 2004 at 11:53AM

Oblivion sounds quite interesting; have you written a review of it yet Jason?

I haven’t yet…a review of it and The Wisdom of Crowds are on the lengthy to-do list.

Jon GalesJul 09, 2004 at 12:00PM

I recently read Syrup, an interesting pop-culture satire about marketing that was worth more than a few laughs. I had never heard of it but it popped up as something I would like on Amazon.

Todd W.Jul 09, 2004 at 12:16PM

I’ve got a stack of books waiting for me on August 11th when I finish my last grad school class. At the top is Niall Ferguson’s Colossus which I’m about 2/3 of the way through, and his Empire, a history of Britain. Then it’s Christmas gifts I haven’t gotten to yet: Toothpicks and Logos: Design in Everyday Life by John Haskett and Photography, A Critical Introduction by Liz Wells.

J.D. RothJul 09, 2004 at 12:36PM

One Hundred Years of Solitude, Pride and Prejudice, and Wallace Stegner’s Crossing to Safety, all for book group.

Year two of my seven-year plan to read Proust includes Within a Budding Grove.

And, for fun, the novelization of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and maybe the first of Jasper Fforde’s highly-recommended Thursday Next novels (in which literary characters come to life, I guess).

And, as always, lots and lots of comic books.

Jonas!Jul 09, 2004 at 12:49PM

for the near future, free culture by lawrence lessig; (technical) philosophy books by ted sider, john hawthorne, and hud hudson; a iannis xenakis book on avant garde music. plans are also to read some jane austen, vonnegut, and palahniuk, but somehow fiction just don’t grab me as much.

Jason WallJul 09, 2004 at 1:11PM

The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis. Its good, though i’m only 3-4 chapters into it. I read a rather large number of mid grade fiction too, but that’s not worth mentioning. :)

Thomas EdwardsJul 09, 2004 at 1:14PM

Just finished Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill. Brilliant read, if you like that kind of thing.
ISBN: 158799044X

Lester NelsonJul 09, 2004 at 1:26PM

Just finished The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping by Nasdijj. Excellent book that’ll make you ask all sorts of questions and cry.

Anthony LuceroJul 09, 2004 at 2:07PM

A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami; I. by Stephen Dixon; Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson, among others.

EliotJul 09, 2004 at 3:04PM

The Wind-up Bird Chronicle was a mess, but a compelling mess. Murakami is a neat fellow.

Jay TrautmanJul 09, 2004 at 3:15PM

A Wild Sheep Chase

Awesome. Just finished, and I’m halfway through Dance Dance Dance, the sequel. It may be an all-Murakami summer.

kareemJul 09, 2004 at 4:06PM

reading Ricardo Semler’s The Sever Day Weekend after recently finishing his first book, Maverick.

he’s got some revolutionary ideas on how to resolve many employee-related issues currently challenging north american businesses.

la1itreeJul 09, 2004 at 4:17PM

I’m making my way through Cryptonomicon (and loving it). Before that I read The Crying of Lot 49 and A Supposedly Fun Thing…; next up is probably Oblivion, but I’ve got a ridiculously long list of books on the waiting list.

kenJul 09, 2004 at 4:26PM

Ah, JD - Crossing to Safety is a sad and beautiful novel.

I finished The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, which was wonderful, and The Tie that Binds, which is written in a simple earthy style like my own will be when I perfect my own style. I’m now reading A Friend of the Earth, but am not loving it.

SunnyJul 09, 2004 at 7:13PM

Cryptonomicon and Confusion. I am yet to read Quicksilver though. Also finished the entire Aubrey-Maturin series.

Shane CavanaughJul 09, 2004 at 7:38PM

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez at the moment. On suggestion from a friend, I’ll be following it up with some E.M. Forster and some Rusdie. I’m starting to love books again.

megnutJul 09, 2004 at 10:57PM

I second the Crossing to Safety, it’s one of my all-time favorite books. Simply magical. As for current reads, I am really enjoying The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan, the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America. Very informative and engaging.

persitzJul 10, 2004 at 5:39AM

The eyes of Rembrant, by Simon Schama
Noboby “reads” a painting as Schama does. ( painting, that was way before photoshop) His understanding of Rembrandt is amazing. You know, Rembrandt the dutch Shakespeare. Life is a joke etc. Well, that’s true and he knew all about it.

JoeJul 10, 2004 at 12:30PM

I just read a fascinating dissection of the ills which are besetting MLB: “Moneyball” by Michael Lewis. If you have even a moderate interest in the sport, it’s a fascinating read.

Finishing up “Neuromancer” which hooked me up to this blog, Julefor which totally sucked me in.

JenJul 10, 2004 at 6:31PM

Crossing to Safety is one of my favorites as well. I’m reading Blue Blood by Edward Conlon, about being a cop in the Bronx (good, captivating read, but very dense, so harder to get through) and Island at the Center of the World, and I just finished a bunch of beach reads: The Jane Austen Book Club (if you’re a Jane Austen fan; it’s getting great reviews, but it’s more interesting in concept than execution), Second Assistant (sort of Bridget Jones in Hollywood; more intelligent than you’d think), The Dante Club (real-life Harvard area scholars investigate murders in 1860s Boston; boring at points), The Narrows (crime thriller, can be read in a day; entertaining but strictly a genre read).

doriJul 10, 2004 at 10:13PM

i just read Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk Through Portland, Oregon - written by Chuck Palahniuk, the guy that wrote Fight Club. It’s a sorta-seedy, sorta-charming tour through his town. I’m about to be his neighbor for a couple of months so i thought i’d do some research (i’ve been reading portland blogs, too - interesting lot, out there).

Prior to that I was eating up Thomas Lyttle’s Psychedelics Reimagined. And now I’m reading The War of the Saints by Jorge Amado and after that, unless I find an alternative I’ll finish reading the worst book Philip K. Dick ever wrote (Lies, Inc.)

EmilyJul 11, 2004 at 12:18AM

Lots of bell hooks, like Bone Black and Feminism is for Everybody. Also Zinn’s A People’s History of the U.S. and Derrick Jensen’s extraordinary A Language Older Than Words.

Matt PennellJul 11, 2004 at 3:48AM

‘Shampoo Planet’ by Douglas Coupland (for about the last two months due to baby-related time-suckage), and various PHP/CSS articles that have been printed out for later reading.

ToddJul 11, 2004 at 11:15AM

I am reading and enjoying Americana by Hampton Sides. It is a collection of short stories from his travels around the country. I am two thirds of the way through it and have enjoyed each story thusfar. Here is an excerpt from the back cover “We meet a diverse gallery of American visionaries - from the impossibily perky founder of Tupperware to Indian radical Russell Means to skateboarding legend Tony Hawk.”

Thanks to Denver at AirportMainstreet.com who mentioned it in his blog, great recommendation!

jcwinnieJul 12, 2004 at 10:08AM

Novels by Jonathan Kellerman, just finished The Butcher’s Theater

alokeJul 12, 2004 at 11:00AM

nelson mandela’s “long walk to freedom” anticipating a trip to south africa in a few weeks - compelling and readable

paul krugman’s “the great unravelling” - his nytimes columns collected, there’s a lot of repetition and the pieces are so short - it is a quick read but could’ve been expressed more concisely

alexandra fuller’s “don’t lets go to the dog tonight” about growing up in southern rhodesia (now zimbabwe) - she has a new book out called scribbling the cat but this one was in paperback so cheaper and it got better reviews when it came out a few years back.

this weekend i saw that “stalin: the court of the red tsar” by montefiore is now out in paperback and i covet it

MikeJul 12, 2004 at 11:06AM

I’m reading The Cartoon History of the Universe, Volumes 1-7 by Larry Gonick. I plan to read a few of his Cartoon History compendiums this summer.

GurnBJul 12, 2004 at 11:30AM

I’m revisting a classic that I first read 15 years ago. “Helter Skelter” Still amazed how one person can influence so many others into blind dedication.

mattwJul 19, 2004 at 1:13PM

We see the Fibonacci Sequence in the turns of a shell and in rabbits breeding. Patterning. Redundant encoding. But is there any communication? Is there cause and effect? Of course not. Acausal interconnectedness. Stars collect into galaxies. Galaxies into clusters. Clusters string along like fairy lights into superclusters, filaments that criss-cross the universe. It looks like the end of a game of Go. Standoff between black and white, filaments across the 19x19. But is there cause there? No. Sand behaves like water. Is there interconnectedness? Well.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.