8/31/2012

Books Prevent Brain-Rotting

     This is a little stack of books that I've put together for myself in order to keep my brain from rotting. I read a good-sized chunk out of each one before lunch. My stack started out with Letters from the Earth by Mark Twain, The Great Omission by Steve Saint, and two or three books from the Bible. There wasn't any particular logic behind those choices, they were just books that I kept out because I hadn't read them yet. (Well, you know, I've read the Bible before . . . but yeah.)  Later on, I got the Emily Dickinson poems out of a box while I was digging for something else, and I got the other three from the library. Oddly enough, I've found some pretty great books at the local library, despite its smallness and dumpiness. I don't expect the supply to last for long, but it's been a lot better than I feared. Right now I'm reading Tower Stories by Damon DiMarco, The Quest for Anastasia by John Klier and Helen Mingay, and 1001 Historic Sites You Must See Before You Die. 


Letters from the Earth is a collection of short stories that was published fifty years after Mark Twain's death. Some of them are longer than others and some of them are very short. Some of them are hilarious, some of them are a bit slow, and a couple of them are bitingly sarcastic. I'm currently in the middle of the very last story, all about a family who is on a voyage across a water-drop under a microscope. Interesting stuff.
The Great Omission is written by the son of Nate Saint, one of the four missionaries who were martyred by the Waodani (often called the Aucas.) In this book, he writes about his perspective on missions and he tells a little bit about the experiences he had while helping the Waodani become a self-sustaining church and tribe. The writing isn't stellar, but I really appreciate what he says and I think that many churches and Christians need to hear what he says.
Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson. Ah, Emily Dickinson. I can never decide whether I'm a poetry-loving type or not. I hate to admit it, but more than half of these poems don't make any sense to me. However, some of them are pure brilliance. Like this one:

The show is not the show,
But they that go.
Menagerie to me
My neighbor be.
Fair play --
Both went to see. 

I read that one out loud three times and then I laughed. It's my new favorite. If I had to name a favorite poet, it would be Emily Dickinson. Or Shel Silverstein. I know, I know. They're not at all similar.
1001 Historic Sites You Must See Before You Die. This is possibly the book that I enjoy the most. And that's a good thing, because it's going to last me a long time. I usually take a big break after I read it, because I want to look up all of the places and events. I've already learned lots of facts and added quite a few destinations to my bucket list, and I'm only a quarter inch through the book. It's so huge that I'm tempted to say that it's three inches thick. But it's probably not. It's probably only two.
The Quest for Anastasia is about . . . Anastasia. Who else? For some reason, I've always liked Russian history. That and ancient Egyptian history. Don't ask, because I don't know. Additionally, I've always been a little fascinated/curious about Anastasia. Who isn't? I kept noticing the book on the shelf at the library, so I picked it up. I expected it to be really boring and technical, but it's actually quite well-written and interesting. Either that, or I'm growing up and I can actually handle non-fiction.
Tower Stories is a book of eyewitness accounts from September 11, 2001. At first I was a little scared to read it, because 9/11 gave me terrifying, reoccurring nightmares when I was little. That being said, I think that it's something I need to read. It's good to know what happened on that day, because it's real history and it's my history. I'm glad I'm reading it, and I wish that we had accounts like this for all historical events, wars, and tragedies. The best way to truly grasp something is to hear the story from people who were really there.

     So there you  have it. My Anti-Brainrotting Kit. Hope this wasn't exceedingly lengthy and dull. If it was, I hope you skipped it ;) In addition to these lovely books, I've been working on a large stack of fluffy/fictitious books as well. I'm still on a bit of an Agatha Christie kick, but I'm starting to get over it. I introduced myself to Rick Riordan, and John Grisham and Sherlock Holmes are next.
     Have you ever read any of these books? What non-fiction books would you recommend and what are your favorite topics and events to read about?

(Linking up with the Notebook Sisters today! Afraid this isn't exactly a "book review" but I think they'll forgive me.)


3 comments:

  1. Oh thanks for linking up!!! (I'm so glad you did... holding my breath... will someone link up??!!) And I think that was fairly book-reviewy. I should read some non-fiction. Or some historical fiction. Or something. (Time does not grow on trees for me at the moment--exam week -_-)

    (And your post was not exceedingly dull. At all.) :)

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  2. Love this! All of these books are really interesting, sadly I've never read them yet. I usually read adventure books that are fiction, or mystery, because I've never really found what kind of 'type' of book I really like yet. So excited to see your next set! And your post isn't at all dull, haha x :)

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  3. Love it! And such a great stack. Talk about variety! I'm still on my dystopian kick, and I very badly don't read non-fiction. shame on me! Some of those books sounded really good though (especially the historic sites...I want to travel!). :)

    thanks for linkingUP :D

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