Home Improvement Projects – And a Random Question

DSCN1952, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

My attorney got this sweet custom made built in book shelf. I think built in bookshelves are among the coolest features in homes.

So while we’re on the topic of books I have to share a couple great ones I just finished. I loved the FQoTD when I asked for your all time favorite books. I just finished Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey and The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson. My attorney loaned me the Kesey book but I was lucky enough to have received The Girl Who Played With Fire from the publisher. Someone asked if they thought I was selling out if I posted about it. Hell no, because it was an amazing book, I could hardly put it down. It’s a sophisticated mystery. It’s one of those books that you start reading and the next thing you know it is 3am. Very hard to find good ones like this. It is the second in a trilogy, with the first being the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo which I previously recommended.

So has anybody read a great book lately? And of course if you have home improvement photos please email them to princeofpetworth(at)gmail(dot)com.

35 Comment

  • Recently finished Clay Shirky’s “Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations.” Really interesting read. He’s got great perspective on how the internet is facilitating new kinds of social movements and changing human behavior in general.

  • How much time do you spend with your lawyer?

  • Some of my recent favorites include:
    The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry, for an easy, mystery/history type read
    A Fraction of the Whole, by Steven Tolz, for a crazy, hilarious romp through Australia. If you liked Everything is Illuminated, you’ll love this!
    and, of course, The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel. Don’t be fooled, this is not some literary version of a Tom Hanks movie where you want to kill the main character yourself, just to end your suffering (or was that just me?). Great book, AWESOME ending.

  • oh, and is your attorney anything like hunter s. thompson’s?

  • Who is this guy, a serial killer? His lawyer is his BFF.

  • Has anyone read any great memoirs lately that they could recommend?

  • I didn’t like Girl Who Played….and thought the ending was laughable. (Dragon Tattoo was good). Recent faves are The Help, which is amazing; How I Became a Famous Novelest, which is hilarious and a must-read for anyone who ever wrote a book; Olive Kittridge, which won the Pulitzer this year and is a lovely set of short stories all about the same woman. But mostly, I **strongly** recommend The Help, which is about a group of black maids in the South in the early 60s. Also, Stone’s Fall by Iain Pears is almost as good as Instance of the Fingerpost (his first, and IMO the greatest novel ever written). I don’t necessarily recommend Pears to everyone because his books are incredibly long and not easy reads but he is truly brilliant and if you haven’t read these two, you should try. (The Dream of Scipio is one you can skip).

  • Sara — I agree about Life of Pi, really amazing. If we’re going back old school, Time Travelers Wife is actually a really brilliant compelling novel, a little hard to get into but so worth it. THe movie (which is actually pretty good) doesn’t do the book justice since nothing can really. (I thought it would make a better miniseries and heard it is being adapted for tv).

  • Critique of Pure Reason – Immanuel Kant

  • In the process of reading Guns, Germs and Steel – all about human evolution and how some societies have tons “cargo” like the Americas, while societies like those in Papua New Guinea have little “cargo”. So far a very good book.

  • Oil! by Upton Sinclair.
    I was impressed by the film There will be blood which had the novel by Sinclair as “inspiration.”
    Excellent reading.

  • MnomeNa – try I’m Down: A Memoir. It’s by Mishna Wolff. A funny and compelling read.

  • PoP,

    Love this bookshelf and have an area similar in my house to do this. Any idea who did it and how much it would cost?

  • Sadly, it’s been way to long since I picked up a good fiction book. I re-read Lathe of Heave by Ursula K. LeGuin a little while ago though. Beautiful, beautiful book.

  • I just read Born Standing Up (Steve Martin’s bio) It was great. I also reread On the Road, which everyone should read. But, I mostly wanted to comment about how great I also thought Sometimes a Great Notion was, I always tell people about that book, just an amazing story.

  • The Petworth bookclub just started reading All Aunt Hagar’s Children by Edward P. Jones. It is a collection of short stories that take place in DC. We are excited and we hope that you will join us at our next meeting! We will be meeting in the Petworth library (second floor/children’s section) Sept. 21st at 7pm. Plenty of time for you to get the book and give it a go! We welcome those that loved it, hated it, or couldn’t even bring themselves to finish it. Come share your thoughts and meet your neighbors!

    Here is the book on Amazon if you want to see what its all about. They have copies at the Library on hold for anyone who wants to read it for the club.

  • This year I’ve red and would highly recommend White Noise, Ender’s Game, and Neuromancer. (All of them I read because they’re on the Time’s top 100 novels of all time list.)

    I’ve been wanting to put a built-in bookshelf in my bedroom, I might have to get a rec from your lawyer.

  • READ not red. Way you prove your literacy, Heather.

  • “What is the What” by David Eggers, half novel, half biography of Valentino Achak Deng, one of Sudan’s Lost Boys who resettels in the US. Amazing.

  • Neuromancer! I read that a little while ago too. Awesome book!

  • That pliny guys knows how to hire carpenters. I hope there is no holes in the floor.

  • For Burger.

    I hope you hope there ARE no holes in the floor.

  • That is truly a sweet built-in PoP! I want to add a large bookcase and some closets to my house- if anyone knows of a good carpenter to recommend, do so!

    Personally, I just finished “The Gang Who Couldnt Shoot Straight” by Jimmy Breslin- it was a good book, kind of like a proto-Sopranos. I am also working my way through “All the Kings Men” By Robert Penn Warren, which is great, and “Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth” which is so depressing it tires me out!

  • A couple of good non-fiction reads:

    *Lost Mountain – anecdotal stories about the people affected by mountaintop removal mining. It’ll get your blood boilin’ !

    *Under the Banner of Heaven – history and current practices of Mormanism vs. Fundamentalist Mormanism, framed by a shorter article written by Jon Krakauer (involving a Fundamentalist killing his brother’s wife and child in the name of God). Surprisingly good read!

  • i will second “under the banner of heaven”. it is amazing.

    i just read “A Walk In The Woods” about Bill Bryson’s half-successful attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail. He is such a funny and insightful writer; this book is awesome. Made me want to hike the AT, to be honest.

  • I am just about finished with “The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives” by Leonard Mlodinow. It’s a compelling read about probability and chaos theory and its influence on our daily lives

  • Currently reading:
    The Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George. It’s a LONG book (900 pages), but keeps your attention (if you’re into Henry and his wives).

    The Alchemist, hands down. Love that book.

    For the women out there, go read Eat Pray Love.

  • I travel frequently, so a good book is my best friend. I don’t read a lot of literature or fiction, stick to history and biography mostly. I highly recommend “the Sea Captain’s Wife,” about a white Maine Civil War widow who ends up marrying a mixed-race merchant ship captain after the war. By crossing the color line, she actually ends up moving up in socio-economic status. Really an interesting read, not the least because it is based on a series of family letters and give a really interesting insight in how it was to live in the 19th century without a lot of money.

  • I just finished “The Birth of Modern Politics”, about Jackson beating JQ Adams in the election of 1828. This is definitely not a bio of either man, but is an excellent history of an interesting time.

    Before that, I read Andro Linklater’s “The Fabric of America”, which was pretty stunning. Sure, it’ll only appeal to geography and history geeks, but the stories of how we became “America” are outstanding.

    I just started Shelby Foote’s Civil War trilogy. It’s epic, so I hope it’s good.

  • Hi PoP—-this is in regard to the built-ins, not the books (although I just finished Dragon Tattoo and love it–and I can second the Recommendation for Life of Pi… also check out The God of Small Things by Arundati Roy)

    Anywhoo–was Your Lawyer satisfied with the workmanship? I am looking to do some built-ins myself and would love to get a good recommendation, if possible–thanks!!

  • Prince Of Petworth

    My attorney and equally important, his wife, was very happy with the work. I’ll get the contact info and post over the weekend.

  • OK, I just realized an earlier post mentioned spotting a street scene while lost with your attorney. Ninety-percent of my friends are lawyers and my wife works for a law firm, but you somehow seem to spend more time with lawyers than I do. Well, I guess it’s just one very special attorney.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    @Jon nope I was lost by myself at that point.

  • If you liked Stieg, try Brett Battles, who has some of the same feel: The Cleaner, The Deceived, and Shadow of Betrayal. Couldn’t put ’em down.

  • I’d also appreciate the contact info for the person who did those shelves. I want something similar in my study. For a great beach read, I always recommend Bangkok 8.

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