I really have been trying to read a bit more – and Troy got me some great books for Christmas too.

albright.jpgMadame Secretary: A Memoir by Madeleine Albright. Finally finished this book that mom gave me a while back. Fun to read back through the glory days of the Clinton administration, when people still knew how to spell “diplomacy” and “multi-lateral”. I’ve always loved Madeleine, and now I think I know why. She is an intellectual, powerful and a woman. We girls just don’t get a lot of role-models at her level and I relished reading about her story, the decisions she made, and the international actions she formulated. Role models matter.

davinci.jpgThe Da Vinci Code is a not very well-written fun read. I love a good puzzle, and though some of these puzzles were weak, the fact that they were based on history, religion and art made them more exciting. My understanding this book has upset some Christians, because it tells some truths the Church would like to keep hidden (like Mary Magdelene’s gospel) and it exaggerates some speculations and presents them as true, which might confuse folks who forget this is a work of fiction. I read it in a day.

pattern.jpgPattern Recognition by William Gibson. Well, this was a bit odd. I wasn’t really expecting a suspense, and after Da Vinci Code I was ready to dismiss the genre (not something I normally read), but outside of the plot of this book were some very interesting commentary. I like the idea of a protagonist allergic to corporate logos and brands, and snippets of video slowly discovered around the internet by obsessed fans trying to assemble the message. I just think I’m more of the type to enjoy a moody drama that explored these ideas rather than worldwide thriller. I think it would be a good movie.

nomad.jpgPractical Nomad. Troy surprised me with this book from my wish list. I even dreamt last night that we took a year to travel around the world. With our jobs, we could, which is pretty cool. A lot of the book is just common sense or directed to the backpack traveller, and I think I am beyond it or already know it. However, you should buy this (or his other book, something like a guide to online travel) because he explains exactly how the airline ticketing business works. I was surprised to learn that for international tickets you are better going to a travel agent specializing in travel to your destination (regardless of their proximity to your departure city) rather than using an online service. Very worthwhile.