So a while ago for another post I mentioned that President Bush and Karl Rove had a reading contest during Rove’s last three years in the White House. There’s a worry with that sort of contest that you’re sacrificing quantity for quality, but the benefit is that the other person in the contest can recommend the books they’ve read to you. Also I recently decided to update my Goodreads page so I’ve been thinking about books recently.

All of that is just a preface to say that I intend to read 12 books this year. That’s one per month for you mathematicians. As hard as that sounds, we’re three months into the year and I’ve already knocked out two books: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer and Dixieland Delight by Clay Travis. Plus, I’m like 3 chapters away from finishing Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman.

But the point isn’t to brag or whatever, the point is to elaborate on the books we’ve read so that like minded people know what books to put on the schedule of books “to read” and what books to scratch off that list as they are overrated.

Hence, this is the creation of The Stormy Present Book Club. First of all, this is way cooler than Oprah’s book club. Secondly, it isn’t like we have to write huge book reviews for these unless they are so good or so bad that we feel inspired to do one. Third, the way this will hopefully work is that I’ll write a post or someone else will about a couple of books they’ve read and then others will put their reading choices in the comment section. As a whole what should result is a conversation about good books so that in these tough economic times no one has to buy a shitty book because they’ve been forewarn.

So here is what I’ve read so far:

Dixieland Delight by Clay Travis

Jeff read this and recommended it to me. But before he did he said it was a quick read and a good read but each chapter follows a pattern and sort of makes it predicatable by the end. It’s about a guy who goes to every football stadium in the SEC to see a game. Of course the overall point is that the SEC is the greatest football conference, has the greatest fans, and the greatest traditions. However, every chapter starts off with him and his friends tailgating and meeting people, then he goes to the game, then he reminisces about the history, then he gets back to the end of the game, then he meets with people after the game and brings all the various things he’s talked about around full circle. So, as Jeff and I discussed, it’s a fine book that is easy to read and therefore not something you regret reading but it also isn’t something you’ll remember reading for the rest of your life.

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Really good adventure book. He does a great job of describing what goes into making a trip up Everest happen, he describes the sights beautifully, and he makes the reader feel his pain as the air thins and he attempts to push the envelope of his physical abilities. Plus, he just so happens to make his summit attempt in the day when there is a disaster and a bunch of people died. It’s about the commercialization of Everest and how this perhaps led to the disaster but it’s also beautifully described and simultaneously tragic. I highly recommend this to anyone that like adventure reads.

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