Friday, July 31, 2009

Books I've read in 2009 - July

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie AUDIO
Doppler by Erlend Loe
An Earthly Crown by Kate Elliott
Det som er mitt by Anne Holt AUDIO
Pinnsvinets eleganse by Muriel Barbery AUDIO
Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel
Kurt quo vadis? by Erlend Loe AUDIO
Den rettferdige by Helene Uri
Kurt koker hodet by Erlend Loe AUDIO
Kurtby by Erlend Loe AUDIO
Empress Orchid by Anchee Min
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Folkemordenes svarte bok by Bernt Hagtvet, ed.
Røsten by Arnaldur Indridason AUDIO
The Book of Daniel by EL Doctorow
Ten Little Niggers by Agatha Christie
Vinterbyen by Arnaldur Indridason AUDIO
Penelopiaden by Margaret Atwood
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Skjeggete damer og siamesiske tvillinger by Herman Berthelsen

12 printed books, 3,694 pages.
8 audiobooks, 62h 52m.

Best fiction:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. No question. High class entertainment, people!! ;-)

Best nonfiction:
Very little to choose from. I have to say that Skjeggete damer og siamesiske tvillinger, a book about freaks and freakshows that I borrowed from AudiX78, was certainly the most entertaining one. :-)

Best audio:
Much harder to choose here (as opposed to the fiction category). Maybe Pinnsvinets eleganse ... I don't think I would have come across it on my own and it was a wonderful read, and wonderfully read, too. :-)

Can you tell that I've had a lot of free time lately ... ?? :-)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Paco Underhill: Why We Buy

Published by Orion Business Books in 1999.
248 pages + index.

I borrowed this book from a friend, or a friend of a friend, whatever ... a non-BookCrosser, anyway. :-) I read it last month.

This was a pretty good read, although somewhat dated. It's relatively well written, though IMO it would have been better if the language had been less informal and there had been fewer personal anecdotes. That's my opinion. But the topic is very interesting and there is a great deal of interesting information here. I work in retail myself and I found several useful points in the book. It's obvious that the author knows what he's talking about - there's solid research underlying all his claims. It's also quite entertaining to read about the various ways in which that research is conducted. :-)

This book is ten years old, and as I mentioned, it does show to some extent. This is most apparent in the part of the book that deals with online shopping. :-D But the predictions made by the author are all very correct, so it's simply amusing and doesn't spoil the book.

This is an easy read that I'd recommend to anyone interested in the mechanics of retail. Although I would perhaps suggest looking up newer work by this author as well. Such as this title, which I would also like to read some day.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Some favorite books

Recently on the Scandinavian forum on BookCrossing, one of the Swedish members posted to ask if there was any interest in trying to create a BC Scandinavia List of Bests (of books, obviously ;-). If you're not familiar with the Lists of Bests site, take a look at it here. She wants to try to make up a list like that ... but we're going to start small, with everyone just suggesting ten books. These were the criteria that she set up for us to use:

The books were supposed to be
1: books that we think everyone ought to read before they die
2: books that have given us fantastic reading experiences (even though the rest of the world may be shaking its collective head)
3: books that represent several different genres

I had to think about it for a while, but I managed to come up with a list of only ten books. This is it. Obviously all books that I recommend very strongly. :-)

The Count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren
Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z. Brite
Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner
Lord Valentine's Castle by Robert Silverberg
Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart
Illusion by Paula Volsky
The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-Reading Monster Hercules Barefoot, His Wonderful Love and Terrible Hatred
by Carl-Johan Vallgren

No particular order ... although The Count of Monte Christo is in fact my #1 favorite book of all time. :-)


Cross-posted from my main blog,