The Reading Corner is a place where books of all genres are examined and reviewed. Comments, questions and disagreement are welcomed. Grab some coffee and a comfy chair and make yourself at home.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Book Recommendations

I love books. If you didn't know that already, you're probably on the wrong blog. I have a tattoo devoted to books (and someday will probably have another. It's true what they say about tattoos -they're addictive), and so many books that I can't find them all and occasionally end up the victim of a bookvalanche.

But I'm still looking for new things to read.

What I'm Reading Now

Right now I'm reading a great book called Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism. I borrowed it from my grandma (she's awesome), and it's fascinating. As an American secularist, I am really interested in the history of the movement, and it's not something that gets much mainstream attention.

There's a lot more history (and humor) than I had even imagined. I was kind of thinking that Freethinkers might not have much to say (despite its 432 pages), because secularism isn't talked about all that often unless you're involved in some secular blog circles. The history of the movement and the individuals has been neglected. Freethinkers is like the history class I wish I could have had in school.

Susan Jacoby is an honest, open and funny writer. She's not bitter about the relative anonymity secularism has, only frustrated and sad. Some of the biggest secular figures of history never get even a whisper of a mention, but they had fascinating lives and often received national and international attention. Reading this book is like discovering old relatives I wish I'd been able to meet. There are fascinating people and events described.

If you have any interest at all in secular America, check it out. It's a great read.

Then What?

What would you recommend I start on next? I like juggling a few books at a time during the summer, and I will read almost anything.

What You Should Read

I would recommend trying something new this summer. Break out of your favorite genre and explore a new topic. If you usually read paranormal romance, try a book like Nudge, by Malcolm Gladwell. If your favorite books are science fiction, read some modern literature. Reading new things is one of the best ways to learn and expand your knowledge base -and who knows? Maybe you'll find a new favorite genre.


  1. One of my current favorite nonfiction books about writing fiction is Robert Olen Butler's "From Where You Dream." I am sticking my toe in the water of writing fiction (normally creative nonfiction) and Butler's concepts of getting into your unconscious proved to be an epiphany for me.

    And for mind candy fun, I am on the third (and, sadly, final) of the Stieg Larson books.

  2. That sounds like a great read! I just finished up a nonfiction workshop, so I'm trying to get back into some fiction work. I'll have to check that out.

    I think I need to pick up a copy of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" -I keep running into it in all sorts of places, so it's about time I read it. I've heard they're great books.