Saturday, October 5, 2013

What I'm Reading Right Now

I usually try to keep myself to 2-3 books at a time, max.  But right now I have found myself in the middle of 5 books, all of which I am really enjoying... although the "J" in me really wants to finish a few just so that I'm not in the middle of so many books.  But it is helpful to have distraction from my nausea, especially since I have been spending so much time on the couch.

Is Everyone Hanging Out without Me? by Mindy Kahling - This was a gift from a friend for my birthday.  I am enjoying it so far because its really light and easy reading, which means that it requires about the amount of concentration that I can give while rocking a crying baby (a frequent activity of mine since the addition of little man to our home).  I'm also a big fan of "The Office", so its fun to have hear the perspective of one of the writers and actors in the show.

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson- I've almost finished this book except for the concluding chapter, which (unlike the rest of the book) I have found difficult to get through.  This 500 page book is really interesting, though its length could be intimidating to some.  Isaacson goes into detail in every aspect of Franklin's life, from his ancestry to his death and legacy.  Isaacson is a masterful writer (he is also well known for his biography of Steve Jobs) and I appreciate the way that he portrays the complex and sometimes controversial life of Franklin.  Reading on the life of Franklin was also a refreshing and interesting journey through the history of the founding of our country.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot- This book gives the biography of the woman from whom the world's most prolific cell culture, known as HeLa came from.  It also portrays the complex ethical issues that come from her cell line, as they were taken and grown without her knowledge or permission (and without her family's knowledge for decades), as well as the vast number of medical breakthroughs that have come about as a result of her cell line (everything from the development of in vitro fertilization to chemotherapy and anti-depressant drugs to the first photos of and understanding of cell division).  This book is a page turner... I should know since I got halfway through in just two days of reading (thanks also to many hours of nausea that left me unable to do much else than read).

End the Fed by Ron Paul- This is the perfect book to satisfy my political and economic taste buds that need to be fed from time to time.  And who better to do it than Ron Paul? :)  Of course its also pretty frustrating and depressing to see the economic mess the Federal Reserve Bank has gotten our country into, but I am encouraged that Paul states throughout the book that he is an optimist when it comes to sound money and sees good things in our economic future.  It certainly is true that many young people (many of my friend included) see the need for change in our economic system, starting with the Fed.  And if young people's eyes are opening, I do think there is reason for hope in the future.

As as side note, I really want to read his new book about public schools, but our library doesn't have it. Anyone have a copy they want to lend me?  Or buy it for me as a belated birthday/early Christmas present? :)

Winston Churchill - This is a short (under 200 pages) biography of Churchill.  I picked it up as I was finishing the Ben Franklin book, as it got me in a historical biography mood.  I knew little about Churchill before this book, and have found it to be good.  The only downside is that the author is a military historian and goes a little more in depth into the military engagements that Churchill was involved in than I would like to hear about.  But I am enjoying (as I did with Franklin) journeying through an important time in history through the life of one of the key figures of that time.

What are you reading right now?

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