Adams, Douglas. Mostly Harmless. 1992. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Five
Complete Novels and One Story. New York: Random House, 2005. 180 pages. I read it. It was nice because I always like to hear more about the characters, but when I finished it, I thought, "Well, that was a little stupid." But that probably the point.
Adams, Douglas. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish. 1985. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s
Guide to the Galaxy: Five Complete Novels and One Story. New York: Random House,
2005. 142 pages. Much more fun.
Smith, Alisa & J. B. MacKinnon. Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating
Locally. New York: Harmony Books, 2007. 272 pages. This book is like a cautionary tale about what can happen to your weight and relationship if you don't have wheat for nearly 6 months (they couldn't find any within the 100-mile radius). Think about it: a life without sandwiches! Scary. But the authors give you a lot to think about, and really, it's a lot more enjoyable and slightly less preachy than I expected it to be.
Weisman, Alan. The World Without Us. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2007. 287 pages. Wow. This guy looks at what would happen if all human life just disappeared one day. Nuclear plants would eventually melt down. The pipes in your house would freez and burst. Kudzu would be all over the place. Protected species might die out, cats would definitely go feral, new species might flourish. It's really, really interesting.
Woolf, Virginia. Orlando: A Biography. 1928. New York: Quality Paperback Book Club, 1993. It's really a novel. Ha! She fooled you! Orlando lives for hundreds of years, changes from a man to woman, and naturally has lots of adventures. It's about how we look at gender roles, literature, time, wealth, etc. I can't say it enough: Virginia Woolf is so very cool.