Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What I read during last week's work trip

Superfreakonomics, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
I read Freakonomics a few years ago and still follow the New York Times' Freakonomics blog daily, so I was thrilled to see that another book was out. Like its predecessor, Superfreakonomics looks at every day situations and breaks them down logically to see what really makes us tick. The unintended effects of our decisions (and legislation) can be both tragic and comical. After you read this you will never look at the world the same way again.

The Weight of Silence, Heather Gudenkauf
This novel tells the story of two young girls who go missing one morning and follows the fallout as people question each other while trying to find them. The two seven year olds are best friends even though one of them, Calli, has been mute for the past three years. The story alternates between the search and exposition of the stories of their families. Although I enjoyed the book very much, I would have liked it more if the author delved into the characters and relationships. I wonder why Calli's mother would marry her father, an abusive drunk, instead of her high school sweetheart who clearly still cares for her. The novel does explore why Calli became mute, and more important, what will make her talk again. I read this in the airport and on the plane and it held me rapt; hopefully it will do the same for you.

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