I’m getting a bit fed up with LiveJournal, which is where I normally post my book reviews, as the site is down – again – just when I want to post up a load that I’ve written. So I’m going to pop them here for now, and I might keep them on here in a weekly update or some such. Does this make sense? Do you like the idea of having all my more personal stuff in one place, or should I keep this blog for my Libro full time experience? (Note that one of the things running Libro full time will give me is more time to read … so there is a link).

So here are two of the latest ones, and the other one will be on its own so I can let the author know how to find it!

A.J. Jacobs – “My Experimental Life”

(bought 14 July 2011)

Known for his long experiments like reading the Encyclopaedia Britannica and living by the Bible for a year, here Jacobs presents a (short) collection of 9 shorter-term experiments. This book seems to mainly be constructed from articles he has published in Esquire, etc., with updates, but an odd point was that, although many were clearly from different dates, he refers at a couple of points to his “year of experiments”, making a whole out of something that doesn’t seem to have been that. Hm. Some were interesting, like outsourcing his life to India, and he learns from being as rational as possible for a month: I also liked his last experiment of doing everything his wife asked for a month, and there were some laugh out loud moments. But it did seem a bit piecemeal and cobbled together, and left me wanting more.

Sinclair Lewis – “Free Air”

(Kindle)

My third Sinclair Lewis novel after “Arrowsmith” and “Main Street”, and I really like his portrayals of early 20th century America and Americans. Here we find Claire, driving her father from New York to Seattle, and Milt, a rather unsophisticated man she encounters on the way, who determines to look after her and captures her heart, but finds himself out of his depth. Well written and very perceptive on the effect of our social surroundings on our character and behaviour. An unfortunate animal death notwithstanding, a fine book, and an author I will continue to look out for.