Snuff [Terry Pratchett] : this was standard Discworld stuff, but I found it a little below-average. I’m finicky that way though.

Snakes Can’t Run [Ed Lin] : a follow-up to This Is A Bust, this book is about human smuggling in New York Chinatown in the 70s. Recommended if you like thing Asian and mysterious.

Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China [Fuschia Dunlop] : I found this memoir to be engaging but it’s definitely got that feel of “Western person’s observations about China.” Dunlop is more aware of her situation as outsider/observer, but sometimes its hard to shake that narrative vibe. That being said, you should definitely read this if you want to know more about Chinese cuisines.

Among Others [Jo Walton] : it won a Nebula and a Hugo and I could see why. This is a really sharply observed and narrated coming-of-age story about a high school girl who is not part of the “main crowd” and finds her solace in voraciously reading all of the SciFi/Fantasy novels she can get her hands on. Really lovely writing.

The Lost Soul of Higher Education [Ellen Schrecker] : a pretty sobering read with a lot of historical background on the state of academic freedom, the corporatization of the university system, and possible ramifications for the future of the US. It was a bit depressing but well worth reading.

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich [Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn] : this is Solzhenitsyn’s first book, a first-person narrative of one person’s life in a Stalinist labor camp. It really brings the grimness of the place alive — Cool Hand Luke’s prison camp had nothing on this. They’re worth comparing, I think.


Linkage : Black Friday edition

This is an amazing video that makes me miss the Bay Area. (via Bobak Nazer)

Also via Bobak, we’re number 8 and 10!

Since it’s holiday season, I figured it’s time to link to some profanity-laden humor about the holidays. For the new, The Hater’s Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog, and the classic It’s Decorative Gourd Season….

A Game of Food Trucks. (via MetaFilter)

Larry Wasserman takes on the Bayesian/Frequentist debate.

LCD Soundsystem + Miles Davis youtube mashup.

My friend Erik, who started the Mystery Brewing Company, has a blog called Top Fermented. He is now starting a podcast, which also has an RSS feed.