Saturday, December 16, 2006

I finished two books today. The first is iWoz - Steve Wozniak's autobiography. I owned an Apple II clone when I was in junior high but I never thought very much about the man behind it until last year when I heard him speak at a conference. His speech was about his childhood and inventing the personal computer and was inspiring. I didn't know how central his role had been and how much of an amazing engineer he was until that speech. After that, I heard his autobiography was coming out and couldn't wait to read it.

Of course, it's not quite as good as my expectations. Like many autobiographies, it's based on conversations/interview he had with the real author, Gina Smith in this case. Some of the stories are the same ones he told in his speech and some are ones that are available on the web. If you're interesting in the history of computers, Apple or want to be inspired about the pursuit of engineering, I'd recommend it.

The other book is Clive Barker's The Thief of Always. I haven't read a lot of Clive Barker's work, but this doesn't seem to be as much of a horror novel as his others. It's more of a modern fantasy/horror work for older children/young adults. It's an OK read but nothing surprising.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

On the drive home today, I realized that I had overlooked one of my favourite authors when I claimed there were no American authors writing in a similar style/genre to Superchick. Po Bronson's first two books, Bombardiersand The First $20 Million is Always the Hardestare both great books in a similar style. Bronson has gone on to right some very good non-fiction booksbut I hope he returns to fiction some day.
Latest book read: Superchickby Stephen J. Martin. This one was sent to me by a friend and is easily the best thing I've read in a while. It fits in a genre that seems to be entirely defined by British/Irish authors, in particular Nick Hornbyand early Roddy Doyle. For some reason, American and continental European authors haven't produced anything in this working class, humourous, naturalistic style. The most similar things I can think of by US authors are the lighter works of Elmore Leonard, Donald Westlake, or Carl Hiassenbut these are all in the mystery genre.

If you like any of the authors I listed above, check this one out. It actually had me laughing out loud a few times.