Current reading

I keep meaning to blog about books and then forget all about it, but I’ll try and do this on a reasonably regular basis. Here’s s quick round-up of stuff I’ve read recently:

The Five People You Meet In Heaven, Mitch Alborn
If you liked The Lovely Bones but hated the ending, this will be right up your street. It’s a bit folksy but it’s a nice (and sad) little story.

Tuesdays With Morrie, Mitch Alborn
Alborn’s first book was a non-fiction memoir covering the time he spent with a dying professor. A blatant tear-jerker but that’s never a bad thing.

Love All The People, Bill Hicks
A collection of Hicks’ stand-up routines, letters, interviews and so on. It’s fairly repetitive – especially the routines – and there’s little here you won’t find online, but it’s still a good compendium for Hicks completists.

The Plot Against America, Philip Roth
An excellent what-if book: what if the US had turned to Fascism in the 30s? Told from the perspective of a Jewish family, it’s particularly unsettling because the landscape – Washington, diners, main street USA – is so familiar.

Cosmopolis, Don DeLillo
A state of the nation novel that takes place in a single day, as a tycoon tries to get across the city for a haircut. One of those books you feel you should read, but that leaves you with an “is that it?” feeling on completion.

Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language And Music (And why we should, like, care), John McWhorter
More than an Eats Shoots And Leaves rant about grammar, McWhorter’s book argues that we’ve lost something special from our language and from pop music. Good argument fuel for language geeks.

We The Media, Dan Gillmor
An in-depth look at the blogging phenomenon and its implications for the future. Probably not a good Xmas present for your Gran.