Brief thoughts about some books I've read in the last few months:
- The Oregon Experiment by Keith Scribner: I'm biased because Keith's a friend of mine, but I thought this book was great, and described smells better than any book I've ever read. It's his third book and his best yet.
- The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta: Fabulous plot idea, so-so execution. I think Perotta is wildly overrated. He writes in multiple points of view, and everyone sounds exactly the same. Still, I totally got into it, and read it in just a few days, so how can I really complain?
- Man in the Dark by Paul Auster: Awesome, creative, inventive, multi-layered, well-written.
- The Music of Chanceby Paul Auster: There's some really fabulous stuff in here, and the characters are fascinating. But the book goes improbably downhill toward the end, and the last few chapters really don't do the rest of the book justice.
- Oracle Night by Paul Auster: I was gripped by this book, but I think I read it in too short of a time and kind of overdosed on it. I don't know how else to explain it, but take your time with this one.
- Sunset Park by Paul Auster: Wonderful characters. More like The Brooklyn Follies than anything else I've read of his. Multiple points of view done very well. Non-formulaic.
- The Element by Ken Robinson: As these kinds of pop social psych books go, this one is particularly good. It's in the general Outliers genre, but in my opinion is more thoughtful and better researched.
- The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami: As much as I love Murakami, I don't think his talent is best showcased in short story form. To me, most of these stories read like the first chapter of a novel--but I still greatly enjoyed the book.
- Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian by John Elder Robison: A great view of Aspergers from the inside, and one that emphasizes its strengths. Probably an especially great book to read if you've been recently diagnosed with Aspergers. As a "Nypical" person, though (as Robison would call me), I can't say whether his experiences would resonate with other Aspergians. Interesting enough that I've picked up his other book, Look Me in the Eye, and am already halfway through.