Tuesday, September 1, 2009

August book list

Happy September morning!

I love September weather.


Can you think of a better way to celebrate this event than with a rehashing of what I read in August?

That's what I thought.

August was a great reading month.

Beaujon, Andew. Body Piercing Saved My Life: Inside the Phenomenon of Christian Rock. Cambridge: Da Capo, 2006.*
Cody checked this out, and then I read it when he was through. So this guy decides to explore the Christian music industry and the awards shows and the producers and so on and so on. It's insular bubble-living at its best. It deals with how this started, how it works, and why 80 billion bands are doing the 'we're not a Christian band, we're just Christians in a band' thing because so much of Christian music is just....unenjoyable. (This is just me. And my opinion. I know a lot of people like it for its uplifting message. I am, in fact, married to a man who has actually uttered the phrase, "You know what praise and worship song I wanted to hear today?" after coming home from work.) The thing about the book that will probably stick with me the most is the fact that he was smack in the middle of this year-long project before anyone tried to talk to him about his faith. He spent 6 months talking to people about their Christian bands, their Christian production companies, their Christian music ministries, and their Christian artist retreats, etc., before a single Christian talked to him about his own faith.

It's spelled F-A-I-L-U-R-E, bretheren.

The Tyral of Rebecca Nurse: Transcripts from the Salem Withcraft Trials of 1692. Compiled by Donald Daly. Salem: New England & Virginia Company/Nova Anglia Press.
Back when I was in college, some professors would clean out their clutter by taking books they didn't want or need, leaving them in a pile outside their offices, and waiting for humanities and fine arts majors to forage through them like feral book collectors. It could get pretty wild. Dang you, Kelly Bisby, and your long legs. She always got to the good stuff faster. Anyway, I managed to snatch up this nearly pamphlet-sized book a million years ago and read it this month after finishing The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. I have no idea when this was published, or even when the forward was written (which appears to have happened before uniform spelling became the publishing norm). I think it was just reprinted for Salem tourists.

Gotta love those witch trials.

Howe, Katherine. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. New York: Voice, 2009.
Yes, I bought a new book. It was weird. First Kelly Bisby mentioned it in a comment on July's book list, and then I was meeting up with my parents in a Barnes & Noble and they had that big display up for it (B&N, not Mom and Dad). I thought the premise looked fun. The premise was fun. The historical research was good. The writing, particularly the characters' dialogue, was not-so-hot. We're talking juvenile fiction-level. And I do not care for juvenile fiction. You know when you're watching a movie and you can guess the plot twists and it's fun at first, but eventually you're bored to the point of being angry because it's so predictable? Yeah, I hate it when that happens.

Feel free to borrow this from me. Cody and I have already read it. He viewed more kindly than I did.

Reich, Charles. The Greening of America. New York: Bantam, 1970.
I've seen lots of references to this book, and I bought a long while back, so it was nice to finally finish it. Parts of it were great, parts of it weren't. But I really liked the parts that were great. Very nice, very thought-provoking, still relevant in places.

It has substance.

Truss, Lynn. Eats, Shoots & Leaves. New York: Gotham, 2003.*
I have a confession to make: I've never read this book until now. I can't believe it! This is probably the most hilarious and informative book about grammar I've ever read! The bit about the family that invented italics nearly made me fall out laughing.