Friday, December 14, 2007

Books on a plane!

One of the things librarians try to keep track of is what sorts of things people are reading. One way to do this is to pay attention to a wide variety of Bestseller Lists, or to track what library books have the longest waiting lists.  Personally, I prefer to do a little bit of field research. For the past several years, whenever I’m travelling by plane, I’ve made a point of noticing what other travelers are reading.  I’m usually surprised by what I find.  Then when I come back to the library I’ll check my list to see what the library has.  Sometimes I’ll find a book that I really want to read that I hadn’t noticed in our collection before, and other times I’ll find something we don’t have, but should probably get.  Thanks in part to a four-hour delay in my connecting flight, I got a lot of research done over Thanksgiving weekend.  There were a wide variety of books, fiction and non-fiction, bestsellers and books with more cult appeal, recently published works along with timeless classics.  Here are the highlights, with occasional comments: 

Fiction:Next cover

Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen    

The Collectors,
by David Baldacci

, by Michael Crichton

The Adventures of Vin Fiz, by Clive Cussler

Treasure of Khan: a Dirk Pitt novel, by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler

Blink, by Ted Dekker

The Lost World: Being and Account of the Recent Amazing Adventures of Professor George E. Challenger, Lord John Roxton, Professor Summerlee, and Mr. E.D. Malone of the Daily Gazette, by Arthur Conan Doyle

The text of the book itself, I believe, is only slightly longer than the title.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter coverThe Memory Keeper’s Daughter, by Kim Edwards

Protect and Defend, by Vince Flynn

A Time to Kill, by John Grisham

Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway

Apart from a few short stories, I haven’t read much Hemingway.  I always figured, though, that if I were to read one of his novels, this would probably be the one.

Dune: House Atreides, by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

Death in Holy Orders, by P.D. James

Pontoon: a Lake Wobegon Novel, by Garrison Keillor

Main Street, by Sinclair Lewis

Proof Positive, by Phillip Margolin

The Emperor’s Children, by Claire Messud

Captain Alatriste, by Arturo Perez-Reverte

Lady Knight coverLady Knight, by Tamora Pierce

Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, by Tom Robbins

This might actually be my favorite book of all time, so I was very glad to see someone reading the paperback edition while waiting for their plane.  I think I might even have cheered right out loud.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling

The Interpretation of Murder, by Jed Rubenfeld

This one sounds pretty interesting.  On a 1919 speaking tour of America, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung join in the search for a serial killer.  The reviews look pretty good as well.  I'll have to keep an eye out for this on the shelves.

Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger


Doyle Brunson's Sypersystem: A Course in Power Poker, by Doyle Brunson

Into Thin Air coverGhost Wars: The Secret History of the C.I.A., Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, by Steve Coll

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster, by Jon Krakauer

The Homebrewer's Answer Book: Solutions to Every Problem, Answers to Every Question, by Ashton Lewis

I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This!: And Other Things That Strike Me as Funny, by Bob Newhart

The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama

Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House, by Valarie Plame Wilson

Marooned cover
My Airplane Books:

Marooned: The Next Generation of Desert Island Discs
, edited by Phil Freeman

This is a fun book.  The premise is simple—ask a bunch of music writers what one album they would bring with them to a desert island and why.  I really enjoy reading about music, particularly when it helps me hear familiar music in a new way.  That was certainly the case with the essay on Spiritualized’s
Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space
.  Other highlights include a short piece on Miles Davis.

The City: A Global History, by Joel Kotkin

Exactly what the title suggests, this is a breezy little overview of how cities have changed over time.  As a municipal employee, I figure I have somewhat of a vested interest in understanding the forces that shape the development of cities.

You Suck coverYou Suck: A Love Story, by Christopher Moore

Publisher’s Weekly describes the one novel in my backpack as “a cheerfully perverse, gut-busting tale of young vampires in love.”  That sums it up pretty well.  Part of a loose network of books by the always entertaining Christopher Moore, the plot stands on its own as well as acting as part of a greater whole.

Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer, by Chris Salewicz

Another book about music and musicians, this is the biography of Strummer, who once jokingly categorized himself as a “Punk Rock Warlord, with ‘Warlord’ being one word."

Originally posted by Patrick - November 30, 2007

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Blink was awesome, reads like butter

looking forward to reading Ted Dekker's "Thr3e"