The Blurberati’s current reading list

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Guilty Pleasure #409: iTunes celebrity playlists. I like to think that I can tell the fake ones (compiled by some PR agency flack) from the legitimate ones that provide an inner world glimpse into a star’s taste and life. Drew Barrymore likes Nico – no surprise. Stephen King listens to Spoon – who knew? William Shatner is into Eminem? That’s a bad visual.

While our reading list does not include celebrity picks, the Blurberati are avid readers and genuine book lovers. These are the ones we’re currently into, in our own words:

  • Scratching the Surface: Impressions of Planet Earth, from Hollywood to Shiraz
    By Jeff Greenwald

    That he lives in Oakland and I’ve spent some time in his flat has nothing to do with how I feel about his writing. He’s a master travel writer who has a gift of describing culture, new lands, and dramatic encounters with funny, engaging prose. My favorite book of his is The Size of the World. -Kathy
  • Dune
    By Frank Herbert

    Co-worker Nikita inspired me to pick up Dune. Interesting that a lot of the nomenclature in the book seems to be Islamic inspired. Will be curious to see if this becomes allegorical. –Sam
  • The Raw Shark Texts
    By Steven Hall

    [This book] intrigued me because the main character’s memory is worse than my own (just barely). – Laura
  • A Long Way Down
    By Nick Hornby

    I wouldn’t say I’m an enormous Nick Hornby fan, but I’ve ended up reading nearly all his books, because they’re always fun and easy to breeze through. In A Long Way Down, he uses the somewhat interesting gimmick of writing in the first person as all four of the main characters. Each “chapter” is labeled by which of four characters is speaking. So far the book is pretty dark and funny. The four very different characters meet on a rooftop, each one planning to commit suicide, but end up making a pact to not jump until a later date. –Jack
  • Game of Thrones
    By George Martin

    Alysha, my good friend and design comrade here at Blurb, is my lifeline for escapist sci-fi and fantasy. When I need a break from the latest design and business innovation non-fiction manifesto she always delivers. I just started Game of Thrones and already realize that any free time I have this summer will now be devoted to plowing through the rest of the 700-page tomes in this award winning series. I also may take up long-swordsmanship. -Chad
  • Zorba the Greek
    By Nikos Kazantzakis

    Just started, so no comment, yet. -Jacob
  • Sun of Suns (Virga, Book 1)
    By Karl Schroeder

    It was full of great concepts; Virga is a vast fullerene balloon filled with air, water and floating rocks, towns and cities consisting of counterweighted rope-spoked wooden ‘wheels’ spun up to provide centripetal gravity, swashbuckling ship to ship combat in an extremely well realized and thought through zero G environment. But sadly the characters were cardboard cut-outs placed against this dizzying backdrop and tended to smolder with generic rage or be rather trite creations (the troubled antihero with a past, the beautiful but deadly chatelaine, the exotic (and fortuitously female) outsider with a secret). Still, it romped along at a fair old pace, and whenever the characters became too prosaic, a nifty new and wholly believable concept would be trotted out and that would perk things up again. So it was fun but even though it is book one in an as yet undecided number of books, I doubt that I will be picking up the next in the series. -Jason
  • Katharine Graham – Personal History
    By Katharine Graham

    At first blush, Katharine Graham’s life seems privileged. Nannies, European vacations, and summer homes were not things that most Depression-Era children were exposed to. But through her words, she paints a different life, one more complicated, at times tragic. This book takes us on a journey through her life from childhood to marriage to a manic depressive to her rise to Washington Post Publisher. Her story is gripping at times and it’s easy to understand why this book is a Pulitzer Prize winner. – Mugs
  • Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy parts 2-5
    By Douglas Adams

    If you can’t take a vacation this summer, take a mental tour of the universe. These books have been on my shelf forever – and I suspect at least the first novel is on yours, as well – and I’m delighted I waited so long to read them, as now is precisely when I needed to treat myself to such a high dose of whimsy. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, the second novel in the series (which features a novelty restaurant perched at the chronological terminus of space for the dining delight and apocalyptic entertainment of its time traveling diners), begins with the line, “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.” How can you go wrong? – Jeremy
  • Dune
    By Frank Herbert

    A science fiction novel about a desert planet where the most precious resource is water. The story focuses on a young duke and “outworlder” named Paul Atreides, who uses his outworld training to prove himself to the locals and unite them to fight their oppressors and Paul’s royal rival and enemy. A very unique and clever glimpse into the human condition that will change the way you see everything. – Nikita
  • One Train Later
    By Andy Summers

    I’m in a nostalgic phase. I was 13 when I saw The Police perform in San Francisco. Although Sting was the focus of my early-80s schoolgirl crush (remember him in that English Beat t–shirt in the “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” video), years later I would become much more curious to learn about Andy and his take on music and fame. -Allison
  • The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Alone 1932 – 1940
    By William Manchester
    Totally engrossing account of the run up to WWII. Centered on Churchill as a highly entertaining yet polarizing political figure and the leading opponent of appeasement. One of the most interesting books I’ve ever read, especially in its exploration of France and Britain’s peace-at-all-cost mindset during the 1930’s. Sadly, I was crushed to find out the author never published the final volume that would have started right when Churchill became PM in 1940. -Gareth

And you will know us by our trail of books…

What are you reading?

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One Comment

  1. Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time
    by Greg Mortenson

    It’s the story of a man who went to Central Asia to climb a mountain and instead found himself tearing them down for the people he met there. Greg Mortenson was drawn to the mountains on the border of Pakistan and Afganistan by the thrill and challenge of the climb, but after an accident, he got to know the people in the area and the crippling need for education, especially for their girls. The book is the story of his dedication to people halfway around the world, who some Americans think are only out to kill us, and the role of education in the “fight” against prejudice and violence. Very inspiring – when I was finished, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take up mountain climbing or become a teacher. What I do know for sure is that part of the world is now officially on my list of places to see before I die!

    By Amy
      August 3, 2007 – 11:25 am   Permalink

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