recently read

between my trip to hungary a month ago, and convalescing from surgery, i've actually managed to plow through some books.

slaughterhouse five by kurt vonnegut
although it looks like i didn't write up a mini-review of it, i had seen the film version of this not long before reading the book. it's a great story about a less-than-glorious experience in world war ii, with an interesting time-jumping style. this is one of those classic books i had somehow avoided reading in high school or earlier.
the maltese falcon, the thin man, red harvest by dashiell hammett
this is three novels in one. red harvest was probably the best story of the bunch (the others involve too much stuff-just-happening), but the thin man easily had the most interesting characters. i picked up the book for red harvest and its influence on yojimbo (and its derivatives), but the connection is not as strong as i had expected. red harvest's story has a much larger scope than the movies.
bluebeard by kurt vonnegut
more vonnegut, and the book actually shares a lot in common with slaughterhouse five—a protagonist who served in world war ii and a time-jumping narrative (although there's no actually time-travel involved). the book is the fictional autobiography of an abstract expressionist painter and collector. great stuff.
innumeracy by john allen paulos
it's a little disheartening to see that so little has changed in the fifteen years since this book was released, even as the number of examples that such a book could cite of numerical illiteracy seems to explode. it makes you wonder why the basics of probability aren't covered more thoroughly in elementary and secondary education.

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