Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Gates and Buffett

PBS aired a very funny and uplifting hour long program, "Buffett And Gates Go Back To School." The two business superpowers answered questions from students at University of Nebraska at Lincoln College of Business Administration. (A couple of the students identified themselves as "Actuarial Science" majors. Who knew that was a major at any school?)

Buffett and Gates hesitated on the question "If you could have one superpower, what would you choose?" Maybe they've never encountered this icebreaker popular with college students. Gates answer was not "flying" or "invisibility" but "reading super fast." Buffett agreed saying he figures he's wasted ten years by reading slowly. I've long envied Maggy's super fast reading ability - a talent she seems to have inherited from her father. They both tend to read novels in just a couple of hours. I used to think they couldn't really be absorbing what they read. But I was wrong.

One of Maggy's favorite children's books is "Petunia," the story of a goose who finds a book and carries it around the barnyard feeling superior 'til she learns it's not enough to own the book - she has to be able to read it.

What I'm leading up to is that I came home from the Friends of the Library booksale yesterday with another dozen books.

My new choices in fiction:
Choices by Mary Lee Settle - "A narrative borne on the exhilarating currents of memory, Choices is the story of a courageous woman who puts compassion ahead of society's expectations of her."
Anywhere But Here, Mona Simpson - "a moving, often comic portrait of wise child Ann August and her mother, Adele, a larger-than-life American dreamer."
Clearcut, Nina Shengold - "Set in the gloriously rugged backwoods of the Pacific Northwest in the 1970s, Nina Shengold's gripping debut novel follows three people in search of new lives deep into uncharted terrain of the body and heart."
The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy - "Roy writes with extraordinary grace, creating a world so vivid and strangely beautiful that reading it is akin to entering a mirage."

And essays:
Adventures in Contentment, David Grayson - "...the Grayson stories shed light on the attempts of middle-class Americans to rethink gender norms during the progressive era"
The Merry Recluse, Caroline Knapp - ""A potent blend of the very serious and the highly comical."
Our Land, Ourselves, Peter Forbes, editor - "...a new way of viewing land conservation as the process of building values and positively shaping human lives. "
In Deep, Maxine Kumin - "From a hillside farm in New Hampshire, a talented and perceptive Pulitzer Prize-winning poet records the sprawl and benevolence of nature with intelligence, humor, and tenacity of spirit."
On the Contrary, Mary McCarthy - "The electric snap and crackle of a literate mind and pen in contact with some of the striking intellectual and social currents of our time."
Nora Ephron Collected, Nora Ephron - "As tart and refreshing as the first gin and tonic of summer."

...and a couple I won't list here in case they turn out to be Christmas gifts.

The Friends of the Library sale continues this weekend with prices from a dime to a half dollar.

1 comment:

Endment said...

Reading is one of the blessings my parents helped me gain... I love books and I am so glad you posted your list of books for me to explore :)