Here's the latest from my summer reading:
13. America's Constitution: A Biography by Akhil Reed Amar: An excellent nonfiction book that picks apart the US Constitution from historical, political, and cultural perspectives, article by article-- like any good biography, "warts and all."
14. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith: A strange, strange new teen hit that basically takes (most of) the original text of the classic Jane Austen novel and adds scenes of zombie mayhem, brain-eating, and killing. Confused and/or disgusted? Me too. I justify reading this one because I worked in the kids/teen section of a bookstore.
15. Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower by Zbigniew Brzezinski: Analysis of the foreign policy efforts of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush in the post-Cold War era of American dominance. Written by Pres. Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor.
16. Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce: An old favorite fantasy book about Daine, a girl who has "wild magic" that allows her to talk to animals. First book in Pierce's "The Immortals" quartet.
17. Wolf-Speaker by Tamora Pierce: Continues the story started in Wild Magic with Daine and her teacher Numair going to the aid of Daine's wolf friends, whose home is being destroyed by humans. Second book in Pierce's "The Immortals" quartet.
18. Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce: Continues the story from Wolf-Speaker with Daine and her friends participating in a diplomatic mission to unfriendly Carthak. Third book in Pierce's "The Immortals" quartet.
19. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding: The book on which the movie with Renee Zellweger was based. Single girl with confidence and weight issues resolves to solve her problems-- especially by finding nice, sensible boyfriend. Very funny.
20. Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan: Economist writer Wheelan undertakes this explanation of economics for smart people who have forgotten (or never took) an economics course. Shows both the econ worldview and the broader, real-world applications of economic theory very clearly. Entertaining and well-written.
21. The Holy Way: Practices for a Simple Life by Paula Huston: Simple living is an age-old idea that monks and other religious figures have practiced through the years, but are relevant even for those of us inclined to live simply outside a monastery or convent. Huston uses her own stories and stories of historical monks and saints to pass on these ideas.
22. Simple Living: One Couple's Search for a Better Life by Frank Levering and Wanda Urbanska: Jointly-written autobiography of a couple who gave up life in the fast lane of Hollywood for life running an apple orchard in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
23. Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton: Famous twentieth-century monk passes on his thoughts on the spiritual benefits of solitude and meditative prayer.
24. The Broker by John Grisham: Legal/political thriller about a former, disgraced Washington power broker who has to run for his life from foreign governments.
25. Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters by Dick Staub: Draws comparisons between various Christian traditions and philosophies, and the traditions and philosophies of the Jedi knights of George Lucas's Star Wars universe.