Sunday, May 25, 2008

Last Week's Reads

I have been on a bit of a vacation from blogging this month but I have been reading. I thought I would at the very least, give you a list of titles that I enjoyed. How long this post is depends on how long it takes me to recover from mowing half the yard. I really don't want to go back out there so this may be very long indeed:)

Last Week's Reads:

Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire by Judith Herrin - An attempt to weave together the astonishingly complex history of the Byzantium Empire. It is brilliant but perhaps not as accessible to the non-scholar as the author intended. To be fair, I am not sure how one makes such a complicated subject accessible but she gave it a darn good try.

Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Movement by Sally McMillen - excellent look at the powerhouse women who started and guided the women's rights movement in America. I wish I could have met a couple of them or at the very least, heard them speak. They sounded like amazing women.

Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton by Jonah Goldberg - This was interesting in an odd way. I found the historical study of fascism fascinating but I am not sure the author really offers convincing evidence that modern liberals are fascists. I do like books that offer a look an opposing viewpoint of my beliefs because it does force me to take a look at the not-so-pretty aspects of "my side" and try to avoid those qualities in my own life.

*Small Favor by Jim Butcher - Number 10 in the Dresden Files series does not disappoint. I'm not sure how much of a mystery was attached to this one but I really enjoy the SF elements of this series and he has managed to keep from getting silly and trite in the series. I like the characters, I enjoy the pyrotechnics and I am always satisfied with Harry and the good guys saving the day.

*not a notable possibility but a just-for-fun break from the serious scholarly work.

I have also joined a couple of new social networking sites and am currently exploring them.

Toluu - http://www.toluu.com/
Bright Kite - http://brightkite.com/
Friend Feed - http://www.friendfeed.com
Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/ (actually I have been on this one for a while but a bunch of my friends have now joined so it has moved from a pleasant diversion to a serious addiction.)

Ok, time to go finish mowing.

2 comments:

Nuke said...

Just finished "Small Favors" myself, and I certainly agree. Entertaining as always!

Waldo Oiseau said...

I've been curious about "Liberal Fascism," too. The author has gotten quite a bit of airtime over the last few months. Sounds interesting.