On Our Nightstand, August 31st-September 6th

Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!

Anna in Brentwood
Mockingjay
By Suzanne Collins
If you’re anywhere between the ages of eight and eighteen, you’re probably all over this already. But all you dignified adults out there would get a lot of pleasure out of this brilliantly conceived and powerfully written young adult series, of which this is the final–and impressively mature–installment.

Colin in Oakland
Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy
By Eric D. Weitz
I picked up Weimar Germany because I wanted to know how the Nazis came to power, but what I found was a history of a fascinating period in its own right. Rife with contradiction, revolution, workers rights, feminism, antisemitism, right-wing and left-wing paramilitaries, the blossoming of modern art and architecture, nudists, depression and hyper-inflation–the 15 years of the Weimar Republic are a microcosm of the 20th Century superbly brought to life in this excellent book.

Geo in Brentwood
The Master and Margarita
By Mikhail Bulgakov
In an excellent role reversal, a customer came into the bookstore and recommended a book for me! This Russian classic about the devil visiting Stalinist Russia is dark, inventive, and wickedly funny.

Kim in Malibu
Better
By Atul Gawande
I have a slight book crush on New Yorker columnist and surgeon extraordinaire, Atul Gawande, who writes about medicine and medical-related issues with sensitivity, intelligence, incredible humanity and very little ego. This particular book (he has written three) talks about the complicated reasons the medical profession succeeds and fails on a performance level both historically and in the present, and reads like the most compelling narrative. Fascinating stuff and highly, highly recommended.

Miles in Malibu
What the Dog Saw
By Malcolm Gladwell
Gladwell’s attempt to analyze and find deeper meaning in such mundane subjects as hair dye, ketchup, and dog training is a success. He asks the “more interesting” questions and answers them tactfully and with insight.

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