Completed over the last week:
The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr
Interesting take on shortening attention spans due to extensive use of online media. I expected to get some info on how to prevent this from happening. Instead, I came away thinking that perhaps there is a fundamental change happening that is equivalent to the move from oral history to written. Very thought-provoking.
The Lake Shore Limited by Sue Miller
I haven't read anything by Sue Miller since The Good Mother (15 years ago). This story is about a playwright's use of events around 9/11 in her work and how it affects those closest to her. The structure is somewhat novel as she shifts the narrator in each chapter. The characters were interesting and unusual: for example, a brother and sister who are separated by fourteen years in age, leading to more of a mother-son relationship.
Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart (for Wordshakers over at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books)
A lovely, short memoir written by a woman who spent a wonderful summer in 1945 working at Tiffany's New York with her best friend. It nicely evokes the tenor of the times, the club scene, clothing, dating life, and the end of the war. More detailed review to follow. A fun, summer read.
Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey (audiobook)
Have just started this latest novel from Peter Carey. I've been listening to it on my dog-walks and have found myself flopping down when I get home for "just another chapter." I've only met Olivier so far, the son of a French aristocrat, and we're still in France. It's set in the 19th century and extremely enjoyable, particularly the French accent of the reader.
I've read quite a number of books on decision-making lately and this one has really captured my attention. I'm only about a quarter of the way in, but Ariely is knocking holes in basic economic theory around supply and demand based on his experimental discoveries about how people make purchase decisions. Very compelling (so far)!
For the Win by Cory Doctorow
A young adult (I think) novel about the gaming world, I"m having a little bit of trouble getting in to this as it's not my usual genre. But the characters are interesting and I'm going to plug along.
Girl Crazy by Russell Smith
Back in the day when I read The Globe and Mail (Canada's other national newspaper), I enjoyed Russell Smith's columns on dressing for men. I've also read his book on the same topic (and recommend it for the style-challenged.) This is the first fiction I've read by him and am looking forward to it.
Curiosity by Joan Thomas
This appears to be another novel about 19th century fossil hunter Mary Anning. I read and reviewed Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier a couple of weeks ago, a novel based on the same historical figure. It will be interesting to compare their treatments of this subject matter.