Monday, September 12, 2011

Top Ten Books from Other Blogs

This week the Broke and the Bookish are discussing books which they encountered first through other blogs and bloggers.

1. Sharpe's Eagle, Bernard Cornwell

Reccommended to me by Cyberkitten of Seeking a Little Truth, this novel introduced me to the Napoleonic action hero, Richard Sharpe.

2. Persian Fire, Tom Holland

Suggested to me by the Resolute Reader after I read Holland's Rubicon,  chronicling the collapse of the Roman Republic.  Persian Fire looks at an earlier period in history, at the rise of Persia, its conflict with Greece, and the growth of Zoroastrianism which would come to influence the Abrahamic religions.

3. The Lightening Thief, Rick Riordian
Recommended to me by Baley of the Reader's Book Blog. I later read the entire series, enjoying it all the way.

4. Parasite Rex, Carl Zimmer

Imagine a world where parasites control the minds of their hosts, sending them to their destruction.Imagine a world where parasites are masters of chemical warfare and camouflage, able to cloak themselves with their hosts' own molecules.Imagine a world where parasites steer the course of evolution, where the majority of species are parasites.Welcome to earth.

Reccommended to me by Neurovore of Neurovore's Nuclear News Network, or N^4. Hoo boy, was this an eye-opener. You have no idea how wondrously terrifying and disgusting life can be until you've read about the life cycle of parasites.

5. The Age of Absurdity, Michael Foley

I only heard of this book through Cyberkitten,  and read it back in January. I haven't reviewed it yet, because -- like The Sane Society -- it comments on so much that I feel hard-pressed to do it justice. The essential idea is that we have created societies which not only fail to meet our needs, but often run counter to them.

6. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood

Neurovore again. This is a dystopian novel set in a nightmare future in which crazy Christians have taken over the United States and created a society based on the Hebrew scriptures -- complete with the total subjugation of women.  Considering the Republican Party's current offerings, perhaps we should read it in preparation.

7. The Blank Slate, Stephen Pinker
...Neurovore. This one takes on various misconceptions about human psychology, including the idea that we are born 'blank slates' who act from cultural conditioning only, and not instinct, and the concept that we are born 'good' and then corrupted by the artificial construct of society. It's a naturalistic approach to psychology and neuroscience: quite refreshing.

8. The Magicians, Lev Grossman
Reviewed by Joy of Joy's Blog. Its cover caught my attention, but the book is stunning. It's sort of a realistic, cynical take on Harry Potter-style fantasy.

9. Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer
Suggested to me by Baley, this is the story of a young man who lost his life while trying to find himself.

10. Nemesis, Isaac Asimov
This is tagged 'reccommended to me', so someone reccommended it to me. (Hence the tag, "reccommended to me.") I don't know of many people who would know Nemesis, so I am going to take a guess and say that it was Cyberkitten's doing.


  1. This is a very eclectic list. I read The Passage last summer because of all the reviews I read by other bloggers who raved about it. Great list!

  2. The Lightening thief is really good! If you liked it you might want to check out The Lost Hero.(it's a continuation of the series, but I like the characters more)

    Krazzyme @Young Readers

  3. I don't always follow popular culture, so perhaps it's all over the known universe, but I must tell you that I haven't seen that cover of Handmaid and I am laughing hysterically (and sadly).

    Here's my list, Top Ten Books I Read Because of Another Reader. I'd also invite you to sign up for the contest to win a $25 Amazon giftcard this month at my blog.

  4. That book Age of Absurdity looks like something I'll have to read. I am just so baffled at how society buys into all these 'time/work saving devices' and isn't any happier for it.

  5. @Krazzyme: I keep meaning to, and keep forgetting@

    @Deb Nance: That image came up in a search last night for the actual cover, and I had to share it. :-D

    @Trish Oh, it's good, especially as an anti-consumerist piece.

  6. An excellent and diverse list! :) I keep seeing The Magicians on the bookshelf at my library, and I have a feeling I'll be reading it sometime in the future. :) Thank you for sharing!


  7. Thanks for both mentions. I'm glad that I can give you some good ideas to follow up.

  8. These are some great books! I've been meaning to read The Lightening Thief forever!

  9. I read The Lightning Thief and the whold Percy Jackson series last yeat too. I saw the movie for Into the Wild and it disturbed me so much I have avoided the book. I got so frustrated with the main character and his finding himself seemed selfish at the same time.


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