I seem to be on a mild kick reading modern German literature. This historical novel about Gauss and von Humboldt is a beautiful reflection on identity and fighting/discovering it through battling the world. Gauss does it through his math (and escaping the world), and von Humboldt does it by exploring South America (and escaping Europe).
We saw a British theater troupe's production of Taming of the Shrew in Beijing, which verged on excellent. A few minor flaws, but overall it was funny, easy to understand, and a creative production. The troupe of about 6 was highly talented: they acted, sang, and danced.
A nice collection of short stories about food and love. Some are touching, some are ironic, some are funny. The funniest one is where two women compete for a man by cooking for him, and he winds up choking on their food.
Another brilliant novel by Richard Russo. I love his writing, and his ability to capture the emotional rhythms of life. This novel did not seem to get reviews as good as Empire Falls did, but I really enjoyed reading it. Highly recommended!
Wow, what an awful performance at the debate. They might as well have just used the random text generator I linked to to generate her answers. She avoided substantive answers, or just dodged the questions. Amusingly, she kept saying that Biden kept focusing on the past, but then said that she and McCain had learned from the blunders of the past. Gwen Ifill should have asked her, "What Bush-administration blunders have you learned from?"