Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Read These!

Here are a couple of books I have recently read and would recommend to those looking for a good read.

City of Falling Angels, John Berendt. Many of you may have read or heard of his mega bestseller, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Well IMHO City of Falling Angels is 3 times better than that book. It is full of wonderful characters, art and history. After you read it you will want to charter the first plane you can find to Venice.

Outlander, Diana Gabaldon. If you haven't read this your missing out on the queen of the bodice rippers. Just thinking about it makes my temperature go up. The one bad thing, Jamie, her main character will spoil you forever for all men. Or so my husband has told me.

His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman. This is a set of three: The Golden Compass, The Suble Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. This is the series they will tell you to buy at Chapters if you say you want something like Harry Potter. However, I should warn you this series is MUCH darker than Harry Potter. I liked these books quite a bit (Margarita LOVED these books), they don't talk down to kids and they are very imaginative, but they really are best for kids over 12 as they have some scary content. They also will not be popular with a lot of religious people as they skewer the concept of god and angels quite a bit.

Finally, Paris 1919, by Margaret MacMillan. This is an excellent book I had orginally bought for my father-in-law. One of the best things about buying books for my father-in-law is that we have such similar taste I usually end up getting to read them as well. Paris 1919 profiles the development and signing of the Treaty of Versailles at the end of the first World War. If you have ever wondered why so many of the Arab nations hate the Western powers so much, read this book. It provides you with a bird's eye perspective on how the seeds of colonalism sown after WW1 in the Arab world have created the culture of distrust we are now living with. It is also an excellent read to be followed up by Truman, by David McCullough. Truman of course goes into great detail about WW2 and gives you an amazing look at how the Marshal Plan after WW2 worked. This provides you a really interesting dicotamy between the two peace processes with one being a huge success and the other a terrible failure. Both are VERY readable non-fiction books that are not preachy or peppered with academic ideas or vocabulary that can be hard to decipher.


Mark Fournier said...

How can "Jamie" be that good, he wears a skirt for heavens sake.

Squirrelly Girly said...

Mark, Mark, Mark, have you read the book?? Even you would fall madly in love with Jamie. . .

Rebecca 'Becky' Heaman said...

Hey Heidi... I read The Dark Materials a year or so ago, by your recommendation, and really enjoyed them. Although I found them a little darker as you say, I also did find them a little "younger" than Harry.

BTW... FINALLY finished Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell Sunday!! :) Didn't mind it so much for the last section, but not as big of a fan of it as you are!