Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Everybody backlogs

A very good friend was generous enough to get me this pterodactyl. Now, it's boldly guarding my reading backlog.

I've actually made it a goal to go through these four books within the first quarter of this year. First, there's the much publicized and much hyped YOU: On a Diet. It's the kind of book that you don't really read from cover to cover -- you read one chapter, read another book, then go back to the next chapter. A brief scan would tell you that it really is a well-researched book; diagrams, factoids, and illustrations appear on every page. There's even a section on "easy-to-do" recipes you can try to follow yourself. (Ummm, two recipes require Jonagold, Ambrosia, McIntosh, and Rome Beauty apples. WTF! I only know two kinds -- the red and the green.)

Philip Hensher's The Northern Clemency was Amazon's top pick for 2008. While this may be enough reason to buy the book, I must admit that I got it because the story starts in 1974, the year I was born. It did receive mixed reviews though, and its 600 pages is enough to turn most people away. Still, I do like a challenge every now and then.

The World Without Us appealed to my scientific sensibilities. Contrary to what you may think, I was a science major in college. And every once in a while, I feel that I do have to get my geek fix. My friend told me that there's a documentary that used this book's premise, which is about Earth's environmental conditions should the human population suddenly vanish.

Everybody was expecting Michael Grant's Gone to fill the void left by the Harry Potter series. Judging by the lukewarm reception the book has currently received, I doubt that it would be the next publishing phenomenon that it was meant to be. Nevertheless, it does have a very intriguing story line: one day, everyone aged 13 years and older disappear. Think Lord of the Flies, with the characters developing superpowers.