2003 in Review (books)

Best read, non-fiction: The Mind’s Provisions: A Critique of Cognitivism, Vincent Descombes, Stephen Adam Schwartz (trans). A well crafted argument. More people need to read this book. Let me repeat myself: more people need to read this book. Particularly all of you aspiring computer science majors and computational linguisticists. (Amazon customers who bought this book also bought: Dude, Where’s My Country? by Michael Moore.)
Worst read, non-fiction: The Language Police, Diane Ravitch. Ravitch’s stunning conclusion about how to fix education: better educated teachers. Sounds like the chicken and the egg.

Best read, fiction: Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser. I picked this one off of the Modern Library’s Top 100 list. I read the 1900/1912 version. It was reissued in 2000 to restore some bits that were originally edited out, basically some sexually suggestive passages. Modern readers need sexier novels, I guess.
Worst read, fiction: Wizard’s First Rule, Terry Goodkind. I have to admit, I skipped pages 300-793. Cardboard characters, pointless story. Goodkind has followed up his first novel with a number of equally ginormous volumes, all of which I won’t be reading in the near future.
Most difficult read: Beloved, Toni Morrison. Not an easy book to like, the author was a bit too interested in style over storytelling.
Favorite new author: Paul Di Filippo. Wonderful and weird short stories.
Best eye candy: Unknown Quantity, Paul Virilio. I bought this book by accident. :) Lovely photographs of disasters, and some cryptic musings by Virilio.

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