. This week's Booking Through Thursday question asks what is the "most informative" book you have read recently? The book that springs instantly to mind -- because it is still staring at me from the nightstand -- is India: The Rise of an Asian Giant by Dietmar Rothermund. This book is informative the way the County Extension Service Five-Year Cumulative Report on Crop Rotation is informative. Mind numbing statistics are corralled into chapters by topic, with the bare minimum of narrative thread. If I want to know which political party gained a majority in a regional election in 1967, or the percentage fluctuation in rice production in the Uttar Pradesh region, I know the book to turn to. Unfortunately for me, my obsessively Teutonic reading habits will likely cause me to finish this one. I got half way through it because it was the only book I had with me on a long airplane ride. I set it aside. But a nagging little voice in my head -- is that a German accent I hear? -- keeps telling me to just finish it because maybe I'll learn something and at least I can add it to my list of Books Read in 2009. .