17 October 2011

What Should Steve Read?

Since we no longer have Internet at home, we have more time for reading in our flat.  This only works in the evening if Steve and I both have something to read, otherwise the spouse without a book will wander off to the kitchen and make unsanctioned baked goods (there are often threats of pulling out the doughnut maker) or loudly flop about in the reading area demanding attention.  We don't always have a lot of inner resources.

I've been pretty good at picking up acceptable books for Steve at the library when I collect my own books, but I'm running out of ideas for what he should read (many things I would get for him aren't available in our library).

Books he's read and enjoyed include the following:
  • Ian Rankin novels (but he's not too keen on fiction right now)
  • The Book Thief
  • memoirs about people who adopt dogs (he desperately wants a puppy)
  • Tipping Point (I can't get my hands on the other Malcolm Gladwell books right now, but he wants to read them)
  • Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics
  • The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
  • The Bob Servant books (local humorous fictional nonfiction)
  • Library Confidential (humorous librarian memoir)
Book I think he'd love if it was available (but it's NOT):
  • Candyfreak
He loves trains, steam power, puppies, facts (he's perfectly happy to read wikipedia for hours at a time), and food (he's just about to submit his PhD on food, so, yes, he's read all the Michael Pollan stuff and similar works and is probably a bit burned out on it, but FUNNY food books would probably be welcomed).

Okay, all you people who still have ready access to readers' advisory resources, what should he read next?


Katya said...

Has he read any books by Henry Petroski?

Breanne said...

I enjoyed reading the food memoir "The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove." I'm also currently waiting for "Lobsters Scream when you boil them - and other food myths."

Have you thought about getting a Kindle or similar? Does your library have access to a resource like Overdrive where you can download library books to your Kindle or ereader or ipod or even a laptop? That might help a lot with getting books that the library doesn't have.

Amy said...

Predictably Irrational is an interesting read along the lines of Malcolm Gladwell or the Freakonomics stuff.

I'll ask Jaren.

Ann-Marie said...

I just started "Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived" by Ralph Helfer last night. It's about a circus elephant. I'm only 4 chapters in, but so far it's great!

You might also have him look at our new Lifestyles Reader's Resource http://www.provolibrary.com/lifestyles
It has a lot of interesting stuff on it. He should also look through some of the other Reader's Resources to get some more ideas!

Anonymous said...

You might try, Gordon Sinclair or Pierre Burton books.


MBC said...

Ah, thanks for all the suggestions!
He has not read any Henry Petroski.
Amy, for sure ask Jaren for readalikes, because Freakonomics and Malcolm Gladwell are what he's enjoying the most right now.

Steve said...

Interestingly, my supervisor and I had talked about collaborating on a paper based around the theme of Henry Petroski's books. I have 12 of his book sitting on a shelf across from this very desk. I started 'To Engineer is Human' a few years ago, but it didn't really take. I'll have to give him another chance.

Dad - I've read almost all the Pierre Burton books there are! I think you guys have most of them.

I have been wanting to read some of Wendell Berry's fiction as well.

Katya said...

I know some people find Petroski's style annoying (even if they're interested in the subject matter), so you may or may not like his other books. (I loved The Book on the Bookshelf, but that book had clear crossover appeal for me in terms of relating to library work.)

ldsjaneite said...

If you're library has Westerfeld's trilogy: Leviathan, Behemoth, & Goliath (just published last month). It's steam punk/alternate history and he might like all the machine-y things. It's been my best recommendation all year.

Sara Lyn said...

Has he read any other of Bill Bryson's books? His newest, "Home," is fantastic. David McCullough's "The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris" was also very interesting.

MBC said...

ldsjaneite--I've never tried him with YA stuff. I tried reading those ones myself and couldn't get into them, even though I love Scott Westerfeld. I should give them another try.

Sara Lyn--When I read Home, I read a lot of it out loud to him and he found it really interesting, but neither of us (I don't think) have read any of McCullough's stuff. Will have to put it on the list.

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