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Curious To Know What's On Your Friends' Bedside Table?

abstract: So are we! So as an experiment in social networking using the Facebook site, I posted an invite to my "friends list", an agreed distinguished but paultry list of 110 (gloat, all you people with over 400 friends) and to my surprise 67 of them joined the eponymous BookBuffet FB group. Of those, over 20 posted a note about what they're currently reading. It's a fascinating list both in its variety, and in what your friends have say about their on-the-go book(s). Lots of ideas!! Check it out. Regardless of whether you're a FB member, go to FB homepage and type "Bookbuffet" in the search field and our group will come up. Join and we'll post new results again here in a few weeks.


March 10, 2009
— Playing social scientist, one can see how the books we read are both reflective of who we are and who we become. For instance, if I weren't married, I'd definitely check out ROCO - humanitarian, politically savvy, cute (well, I can see his photo on fb) and a keener; he wrote twice. Geoff wrote twice too, that's added points on my scorecard. Then there's the slightly quirky science books that some people wrote about. I didn't know some of my friends were interested in that. I want to hug the "classic" reader - YES! And, well, you read the list and comments and see what you think? I've ordered two new books based on the reviews below. (Books are linked to so to get .ca or .uk click here and paste the book title or author in the search box.)

The Books & Comments

  • Yasmine wrote at 8:59am on February 3rd, 2009 just finished reading "The Reader" by Bernard Schlink
  • Larisa wrote at 9:19am on February 3rd, 2009 Just finished reading The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto. Rate it highly for content. Translated from Japanese. A life-changing book. Emoto is a scientist who studies and photographs water crystals. He discusses how molecules of water are affected by our thoughts, words and feelings.
  • Shelina wrote at 9:26am on February 3rd, 2009 Avraham Burg's "The Holocaust Is Over; We Must Rise From its Ashes" should be essential reading for anyone interested in the Israilli-Palestine conflict. Very well written. I couldn't put it down. I've just started "Sashenka" by Simon Montefiore - it is keeping me up till all hours of the night! Can't put it down...
  • Sandee wrote at 10:40am on February 3rd, 2009 The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel - nicely written but so damn boring! I'm struggling with it.
  • Aaron wrote at 10:43am on February 3rd, 2009 "Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything" by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. Much, much less boring than it sounds... tackles such questions as, "What do schoolteachers and Sumo wrestlers have in common?", "How is the Ku Klux Klan like a group of real estate agents?", and "Why do drug dealers still live with their moms?". The most fascinating bit of the book is the assertion that Roe v. Wade was the greatest cause of the drop in crime in the U.S.A. in the 1990's...
    **** out of 5.
  • Linda wrote at 9:15pm on February 3rd, 2009 Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. Examines what make successful people successful, by looking at such things as birth date, family, opportunities given to them throughout their life. Very interesting read . . .
  • Paula wrote at 8:21am on February 4th, 2009 "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" by Juno Diaz. It's the NYT Bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winner (among other accolades) that tells a multigenerational story threading immigrant characters and culture from the Domincan Republic to America with hilarious and heartbreaking results.
  • Lynnette wrote at 1:55pm on February 4th, 2009 Nineteen Minutesby Jodi Picoult. 3/5. It was an interesting read. There was an interesting twist but there was something off about the way it came about. I don't know. I try not judge because I'm not a writer. It offered insight in the world of bullying and how one can be so deeply affected.
  • Charlotte wrote at 8:42am on February 5th, 2009 The Never-Ending Days of Being Dead: Dispatches from the Front Line of Science - Marcus Chown. This book takes ages to read because its just so mind blowing. Its all about the beginning of everything, how before the big bang their was a vaccum and the big bang came about 450,000 years after.. or something. Talks about how Elvis is alive and well.. just not in this Universe. Think Hitch-hikers Guide to Galaxy..but real.
  • Dorothy wrote at 9:29am on February 5th, 2009 The World Without Us by Alan Weisman is a non-fiction, international bestseller. It is an incredibly interesting read, if not a little eerie! What would happen to the world if we suddenly disappeared? Wiesman looks at both the immediate and distant future, spanning the globe to find out what would happen to our cities, oceans, animals and also what would remain as evidence that we ever existed. I am half way through and can't wait to turn the page.....
  • Roco wrote at 9:38am on February 5th, 2009 "Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World" by William Jefferson Clinton and "Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism" by Muhammad Yunus. Buba confirmed what I believed to be true, and Yunus lays out a blue print for action. you should have a read, It's what Barak would want you to do.
  • Annabel wrote at 12:47pm on February 5th, 2009 "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte. 4/5. As it is a classic the language is quite dense at times but its a lovely story and I was routing for Jane from the very first page. The romance between Jane and Mr Rochester is both sweet and frustrating but I'm loving it. Only 100 pages left!
  • Patrick wrote at 11:10am on February 6th, 2009 "Utopia" by: Lincoln Child. so far for for a techno thriller, this book deleivers a really well written and smooth plot with a few nice little twists and turns. If you are framillure with this author or with the co-written books with Douglas Preston. There is a suprize character you are gonna Freek when you realize who it is. all in all i rate this book 4 out of 5 stars only because it sort of sinks into the old Child ways of Man meets woman saves the day.
  • Geoff wrote at 6:06pm on February 6th, 2009 "Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About: A Novel" by Mil Millington....if you are looking for something amusing and light and at times very funny get this book...She is german and he english....and it is all a matter of amusing book with a few break out laughs ..Heather Malleck recommeded it....
  • Roco wrote at 2:00pm on February 9th, 2009 O.K. so I read this over Christmas, But I give a 5/5 to "Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army" by Christie Blatchford. Read it and get the real deal on our troops in Afghanistan .She somehow was allowed access to a very tight knit group,she earned their trust.Great job. Roco, 2 P.P.C.L.I. 80-83 Support your Troops!
  • Geoff wrote at 7:46pm on February 9th, 2009 Hi ....Me again.....reccommend any book by Knut Hamsun....norwegian writer ..nobel lit prize for the book Hunger... books written around 1938...fascinating a classic of love and the confusions and frustrations and opiations....If you get consumed the ottawa library has all the out of print is addictive and timeless...I met his neighbors here in whistler and they actually told me stories about this eccentric man ... Hunger: A Novel, Mysteries: A Novel, Pan: From Lieutenant Thomas Glahn's Papers (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
  • John at 10:43pm on February 9th, 2009 I am reading a book translated from Burmese by two friends of mine from Seattle/Japan, "Smile as they Bow" by Nu Nu Yi, one of Burma's most acclaimed and socially committed authors. It is a love triangle between a Nat, the colorful and primarily gay spirit figure at the center of Burmese tradition, her handsome young attendant and a young beggar girl who threatens to steal the heart of the attendant. I also happen to designing a photography book on Burma which is as beautiful as it is painful to see the depth of human spirit.
  • Jessica wrote at 10:15am on February 10th, 2009 American Wife: A Novel By Curtis Sittenfeld
  • Geoff wrote at 8:07pm on February 11th, 2009 sooooo..speaking of Healther Mallick....I just finished reading Pearls in Vinegar: The Pillow Book of Heather Mallick there are some images in here that you will not forget....three out of five.....ephemeral but poignant...and somewhat episodic...
  • Paula wrote at 9:33am on February 18th, 2009 Just finished "Mister Pip" by Kiwi author Lloyd Jones. A heart-wrenching story about the power of words/stories/literature to connect across gender, age, race and pretty much every barrier you can think of. Winner of the Commonwealth Writer's Prize, and finalist for the Man Booker (last year.)

    Next Phase

    I want to see where this can lead. I've asked everyone to "invite their friends list" to join the group. After that, I will make a FB Advertisement and see how many newcomers we attract. Join us in this Facebook - book experiment.



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