The Book Monster Vol. 16

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SONY DSCOn my way to Fred Meyer to buy some eggs I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Reading is Sexy,” and I couldn’t agree more; people who read are beautiful.

Glad to see the Mayans weren’t right, and the world didn’t end on the 21st of December. I was a little worried until I read this NASA-created webpage answering some questions about the supposed end of the world, but seriously, I laughed while reading this page.

Adventures in the Rocky MountainsOregon Quarterly, the University of Oregon’s official magazine, published an article titled “Doomsday or Deliverance”. It was written by my Magazine Writing instructor at the U of O, Alice Tallmadge (she interviews another professor of mine, Dan Wojcik {folklore department}, about the apocalypse). This is by far the best writing about the 2012-end-of-the-world hype we’ve been hearing about for the last couple years.

Gift Guide Part 2: Christmas can be stressful because the economy is in the dumps and if you’re like me there are some people in your life you’re really want to buy gifts for. Don’t fret, Dover Thrift Editions can save Christmas. DTE’s are cheap paperback books priced as low as $1.25. To gift your friends and family without breaking your budget or using a credit card, give your co-workers, friends, and family a DTE. You can’t find any contemporary books in DTE format, but old books are easy to find.

colby_buzzellWhether or not you agree with the politics of The Iraq War, it would behoove you to read Colby Buzzell’s “My War: Killing Time in Iraq”. The book is a result of an infantryman’s journals and blog that he kept while he was in Iraq (the blog eventually drew fire from the head honchos in Iraq, and after that Buzzell had to clear his writing with his Platoon Leaders before posting on his blog). What makes this book so great is Buzzell’s candid writing, which is blended with humor, and the cold-steel reality of being in a combat; nothing is sugar coated. In fact the author writes about how when he was in Iraq he got numerous email’s complaining about the offensive language on his blog. To them, all he had to offer was more explicit language. The Iraq War was one of the ongoing events that defined the last decade. If you want to understand it you need to read this book.

One of the reasons I enjoy reading older memoirs so much is that it gives the reader a view of how things once were through the lens of a living person (they were living when they wrote it anyway). Adventures in the Rocky Mountains is a collection of Isabella Bird’s correspondence during her travels through the mountainous-western states in the 1870’s. Bird’s writing is descriptive, concise, and telling. If you’re wondering how an adventurous women of the 19th-century fairs when a bear scares the daylights out of her horse, read it.

Look for the exciting conclusion of The Book Monster’s Holiday Gift Guide next week, and don’t forget to share The Book Monster with your friends and anybody else who loves reading.

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