Read any good books lately? Coming from a family of librarians and mathematicians, it was not uncommon to hear this question. At seven I could get by with discussing the latest book in The Baby-Sitters Club series. By nine the pressure was on to expand my horizons. For a few years I was able to get by with reading the children's classics: Louisa May Alcott, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and some Dickens.
At eleven, it was time for the big leagues. My mom saw Les Miserables in London's West End that summer and I became obsessed with the soundtrack. She said the book was an "easy" read. (This coming from a woman famous for marathon reading, i.e. not sleeping until her mammoth books were finished.) Over 5 days, I embarked on my own marathon read of Hugo's classic. That same year, after asking what Mme. Thenardier meant by "regular Voltaire" in the musical's classic song, "Master of the House," my dad dug up his copy of Candide and sent me reading. I remember being surprised that classics could be funny.
Since then my reading has flipped and flopped in between high and low brow. I gleefully and guiltlessly read the full Gossip Girl series soon after getting my first Kindle and allowed wonkier works to slip in occasionally. As for now my recent book buying binge yielded the following:
- Thinking, Fast and Slow Daniel Kahneman
- The Infatuations Javier Marias
- Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality, Edward Frenkel
- Great Formulas Explained - Physics, Mathematics, Economics, Metin Betkas
- The Misbehavior of Markets: A Fractal View of Financial Turbulence, Benoit Mandelbrot
- Think Like a Stripper: Business Lessons to Up Your Confidence, Attract More Clients & Rule Your Market, Erika Lyremark