I have always loved to read. I'm one of those people who, if they have nothing else to occupy their mind, will pick up anything handy and start reading it. Ingredients lists, nutritional information, advertisements, surgeon general's warnings, doesn't matter. While at work, I carry a little notebook in my shirt pocket in which I write lists and notes to myself. I'm constantly taking THAT out and reading it, even though I know everything in it by heart. My favorite lunch is to sit in my truck and eat while I read
I enjoy just about every kind book, from history to total mind candy like Stephen King. If you looked closely at the pictures in my Cinelli post, you have seen what I mean. I most recently finished "Lusitania" by Dana Preston and "Into the Abyss" by William Benedetto. Both great shipwreck novels, "Lusitania being the better of the two because of the author's attention to world history at the time of the sinking.
I'm currently reading "The Lobotomist" by Jack El-Hai. This is about Dr. Walter J. Freeman who pioneered lobotomy as a cure for psychiatric problems. Apparently the writer started out considering his subject a monster but came to a different conclusion during his research. Dr. Freeman is the man who did the lobotomy on the Kennedy girl who recently died in her 80's. If you haven't heard that story, she had some behavioral problems and Joseph Kennedy decided that lobotomy was preferable to family embarrassment. Pretty awful. But it is fascinating reading in spite of creeping me out now and then.
For the cyclists in the group, the next book on my list is "The Dancing Chain" by Frank Berto. This is a detailed history of the evolution of gearing on bicycles, focusing on derailleurs. It has tons of pictures and is a must read for any cycling enthusiast.
One of the best history books I've read is "An Army at Dawn" by Rick Atkinson. It details our entry into WWII as we invaded North Africa and, after falling on our collective faces, chased the Germans off the continent. Interesting to read in light of our recent invasion of Iraq, it gives a lot of perspective on how we got where we are today. Notice I am not making a political statement here, so as not to offend my liberal friends. I seem to be in a very small minority, that being cyclists who are not liberals. I sure wish the states were purple instead of red and blue.
The other author I've been reading is Mark Kurlansky. I got started with his book "1968", a detailed account of that most challenging of years. After that I read "Salt", which is a view of world history as it relates to "the only rock we eat"'. Pretty amazing how economies were dependent on a source of salt. A good read. I also read Kurlansky's "Cod", which is a similar description of how important this fish was to the development of many cultures. Has some cool recipes as well.
I won't get into cookbooks here, save that for a post on cooking
But I could go on and on about books. I recently read the newest Rumpole of the Bailey mystery, "The Penge Bungalow Murders" by John Mortimer. Rumpole is one of my all time favorite characters. He refers to his wife as "She Who Must Be Obeyed", what a hoot. I also got hooked recently on K .C. Constantine, after reading a recommendation in a Stephen King novel. A little hard to find, most of the books are out of print. But good mysteries with a cool main character.