OK, I'm going to go off on a limb here and ask the Great Oracle of The Lazyweb something that might seem uncanny:

I want to buy books. Loads of books. You know, the sort of books you buy well in advance of a Summer vacation, and that pile up in such a way that when it comes time to pack, you're awfully glad that bathing suits take up so little room.

The thing is, I'm looking to buy completely different books than what I would normally pick out myself - If you've ever looked through my Amazon Wishlist you'll see that most of the stuff I pick out is either Sci Fi, technical, Economics, or similar - although I throw in plain random stuff now and then, that is the gist of it.

Which makes sense, since those are the ones I know I'll eventually get around to reading when I need to blank out annoyances or get an extra kick. I read like other people smoke, and it is the only addiction that I believe to do people some good (there has to be an exception to the rule).

In short, that wishlist is boring, predictable. I know I will like the stuff in it (or have a very strong belief that I will, which some would say amounts precisely to the same thing).

No, I want stuff that I would probably not think of getting unless I bumped into it - like Gray's Anatomy, which I literally bumped into at a bookshop recently and is precisely the kind of thing that I know exists, but that I ordinarily wouldn't be thinking about.

But it expands your mind. Those are the kind of books I'm looking for. Stuff that taught you, that inspired you, that made you look beyond the narrow focus that was your life before you picked it up and understood there was more.

So yes, I'm looking at medicine (insert obligatory joke about my usually being as much of an annoyance as Dr. House). And chemistry. And a bit more economics. Stuff about materials science would be nice, too, but I'm not just looking for other kinds of technical books (outside of computing).

I'm also looking for novels (please, no Dan Brown junk), romance, history, even (gasp!) philosophy.

The ground rules are:

  • No Sci-Fi, Fantasy (inc. Terry Pratchett), etc. - I've got that angle covered.
  • No computing books (boy, that must rule out most of the suggestions from my usual audience)
  • No Dan Brown, Le Carré, or thrillers (you know, the usual summer junk)

So, dear Lazyweb, feel free to send me your suggestions - extra brownie points for ISBNs or direct links to paperback editions on Amazon.co.uk, so that I can toss them directly into my wish list and shopping cart.

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