Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pick My Book

   
I have a lot of audio books. I'm not quite at the book version of SABLE - Stash Acquisition beyond Life Expectancy, for the non-knitters among you - but getting there and it's time to do some stash diving. More specifically, it's time to get a bit edified by choosing something nonfiction. But which one?

A couple of years ago, I did a little experiment and it was a lot of fun, so I thought I'd do it again. I'm going to list five of my top candidates for next nonfiction book to read, ask you to vote in the comments and then read and review the book that gets the most votes. Ready?

Abigail Adams by Woody Holton. I've posted before about my reaction to John Adams , the  HBO miniseries - I enjoyed it thoroughly and learned a lot. One of the things I learned was that I wanted to know more about Abigail Adams. She was her husband’s equal partner and staunch supporter, frequently acknowledged by him as being the smarter of the two. Had things been different, she might've been president.

The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea by Philip Hoare. No list like this would be possible or complete without an ocean-related book (me? Obsessed? Whatever makes you say that??). Hoare is a British biographer who is himself obsessed with whales and this book is described as "a deeply moving and thought-provoking biography of the planet’s toughest, yet most vulnerable of prehistoric survivors." Sounds wonderfully intriguing

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan. This book was named one of Amazon's Significant Seven (whatever that is) in 2008. Described as a "shocking yet essential treatise on the industrialized Western diet and its detrimental effects on our bodies and culture," this could be one of those books that has your ranting for weeks.

The Pain Chronicles: Cures, Myths, Mysteries, Prayers, Diaries, Brain Scans, Healing, and the Science of Suffering by Melanie Thernstrom. The title is quite a mouthful, but if what's inside this book lives up to it, it should be a terrific read. Publishers Weekly says it is "an exquisite, meticulous history of medicine’s quest to alleviate pain" blended with the author's personal experience with chronic back pain. It sounds like a good one.

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi. I’ve wanted to read this book for years and a couple of months ago, there was an excellent sale on Audible and I finally bought it. Hirsi is a fascinating person who seems comfortable being controversial and Publishers Weekly describes this book as delivering "a powerful feminist critique of Islam informed by a genuine understanding of the religion."

Which one do you vote for? Leave a comment between now and Sunday at 6 PM and I'll start reading on Monday. Thanks for playing!
   

14 comments:

Wendelene said...

I pick Abigail Adams.  In fact, I just picked it for me too.  It's been on my wishlist for a while.  Time to edjicate myself some more!

Allison said...

Thanks for the links, because now I think I'm going to read <span>The Pain Chronicles</span>.  Hmmm... I'm now curious to see if it lives up to its name as well.  This has my vote.

AlisonH said...

I'm somewhere between the whale and the infidel. Moby I need to stop harpooning on it and just pick one.

LynnM said...

Abigail Adams, because I loved the HBO miniseries, too.

Becky (knittingyoyo) said...

<span>I vote Infidel. I have wanted to read it for years too. I happened to sit by a guy on a plane who was reading it and said it was excellent.</span>

k said...

Infidel. I started looking at Islamic art after a brief glimpse in art history, and I am overwhelmed. Also, somewhere out there is a book of poetry from the region which includes several pieces by women, commenting on how being able to speak is an act of sexual revolution. Completely different ways of thinking.

Wren said...

I'm voting for the book on pain, first, and Infidel, second. There. I've picked two, just to be that way.  ;o)

fridawrites said...

Pain--but maybe that's because I think I have to read it.  Any of these sound excellent--future reviews?

Rose said...

Abigail Adams, but then, I'm American!

Julia said...

Abigail Adams

Melissa said...

I've read both Abigail Adams and In Defense of Food. They're very different, but I found Abigail to be the more inspiring and entertaining. That said, Food was worth my time as well, but didn't tell me much I didn't already know or that I didn't find obvious.

Trevor said...

SABLE?  I'll have to remember that.  I have inventoried about 1/4 of my books, and it's over a thousand already.  I keep buying more books than I could ever read.  I'd open a library, but I'm way too possessive about them.  The rare times I've "lent" books, I never see them again.

As for voting on one of these books, I don't know which.  The pain book is probably the most 'useful' one, but I'm not sure I'd want to spend several hours or more listening to someone talk about pain.  (That doesn't include you :)    ).  The food book is probably fascinating, but it wouldn't change the way I eat.  I have noticed your attraction to water themes, so maybe that one would be the most enjoyable.

liz@millerhousehold.com said...

The only one of those I've read is In Defense of Food. It's good. My husband's reading it now.

Valeria said...

I don't want to be in the drawing, but doesn't your libvbrary have audiobooks?  The library here in Atlanta even has downloadable audio and ebooks.  The downloadable ebooks save my sanity when I work the late side.  It just seems a shame to have to  have too buy audiobooks, esp if you listen to a lot of them.