From the "Who asked You?" Department, it's
Larry's Top 10 Fave Reads for 2000
- Maze Maker, Michael Ayrton
- I noticed the spine of this book when I was in the library.
It (the spine) showed part of a labyrinth design. This book
tells the story of Daedalus from Daedalus' point of view.
Reading it, you can tell that the author actually knows how
to build stuff. It turns out that Michael Ayrton was
a sculptor, who obsessed over Daedalus.
- Ship Fever, Andrea Barrett
- My mom loaned me this book of short stories. They've each
got some kind of life-sciences gimmick to them. There's a
story about some famous biologist going on a sad sleigh ride.
(I forget which biologist. Linnaeus?) There's a scary
epidemic story set close to the exotic land of Canada. There
were many good stories, though some of them were sad.
- The Pretty Good Jim's Journal Treasury, Jim (Scott Dikkers)
- I read The Pretty Good Jim's Journal Treasury
and it was pretty good.
- Cod, Mark Kurlansky
- It's a book about cod. It's a book about Europeans and Americans
fishing for cod until the cod are all dead. It's about the human
culture that took form around cod. It's about the origin of
national boundaries that extend out into oceans. It's got cod
recipes, but I don't know if they're any good.
- Maakies, Tony Millionaire
- A big collection of Maakies comics came out.
You can read the comics at
but the book has got much better resolution than your monitor.
And these comics have got some pretty penwork going on.
- The Orchid Thief,
- To research this book, its author slogged through Florida swamp
with machete-wielding convicts. She talked to confidence tricksters,
thieves, and greenhouse managers. Is this not gonzo journalism of
the highest order? Yeah, I know. This book came out years ago, and
was a bestseller, and you already read it. Whatever.
- Moo, Jane Smiley
- Yeah, okay. This book was a bestseller, too. You already know about
this book. You don't need me to point this book out to you. But
really, I'm not trying to tell you about my
I'm trying to tell you about my favorite
reads of the year, period.
- We All Love PANCAKES!, various ("Whitey," ed.)
- There's this web page where people can leave pancake recipes and
pancake-related comments. People have added many comments, and
the page has become pretty long. There's some not-so-interesting
comments and some useful stuff. Here's an example of something useful:
I haven't finished reading this page, and perhaps never will.
But every so often I'll start in some random place and read
for a few minutes, and I have never regretted doing so.
Recipe Today is Shrove Tuesday, which we in England celebrate by eating pancakes. These are usually large thin pancakes
served with lemon and sugar, presented flat on the plate but then rolled up by the eater. My husband and I would like to send
you our very best wishes on this special day. Sometimes I wear a pancake instead of my crown.
- To Say Nothing of the Dog, Connie Willis
- I liked this book a lot, but when I read it, it was my
only reliable source of english text. I was
in Japan, and nobody would speak English with me. And in
this book, there was modern English and older, stuffier
British. I liked this book, but maybe I wasn't being objective.
And if you read science fiction, you already know about
Connie Willis, so what do you want me to say?
- On Blue's Waters, Gene Wolfe
- This is the first book of a series. Reading this book, you
can tell that the author has set up some interesting time-sequence
things. There's lots of mysterious foreshadowing. Which is nice,
because it suggests that he's thought pretty hard about the plot
for the series. Yayy! Three cheers for an intricate plot!
- All Tomorrow's Parties, William Gibson
- It has people living on the San Francisco Bay Bridge,
convenience stores, and watches. What else do you need?
- Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer
- Yes, another bestseller. I liked another bestseller. Shut up.
Anyhow, this story puts my most disastrous travelog to shame.
- Three Kingdoms, Lo Kuan-chung (Moss Roberts, tr.)
- Can I put a book on my fave reads of 2000 page if I haven't finished
it yet? This is a long book. I read an abridged version, and liked
it. Now I'm struggling my way through the whole thing. Should I
put the abridged version in my 2000 list, and then put the big book
on my 2001 list? That would be silly. Oh, I don't know what to do.
- Dracula, Bram Stoker
- This scared the hell out of me. It was pretty spooky.
I had nightmares. Then I read Stoker's Lair of the White Worm,
and that was just dumb. Don't read that. Read Dracula instead.
- Riding the Iron Rooster, Paul Theroux;
Saiing Through China, Paul Theroux;
In The People's Republic, Orville Schell
- I read a lot of China travelogues this year. I probably
liked Riding the Iron Rooster the best of these. But I can't
remember much about it now. So I guess it wasn't a favorite.
Or else I should maybe reread it.
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