Author Topic: Fave Books / Currently Reading  (Read 728417 times)

Josh

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #210 on: December 18, 2007, 12:19:08 PM »
He died on my birthday.

Will the circle be unbroken? (Is that a goth song?)
"Alright, well, for the sake of this conversation, let's say the book does not exist."

Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #211 on: December 18, 2007, 12:41:56 PM »
I'm a huge fan of Kavalier and Clay...

Yes! Genius.
Did you read Yiddish Policeman's Union?

I haven't yet, but I'm waiting for it to come out in paperback, which might have already happened - but I have a huge backlog right now anyway...
Oh, good heavens. I didnít realize. I send my condolences out to the rest of the OíConnor family.

Susannah

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #212 on: December 18, 2007, 11:57:57 PM »
Am spending my Christmas break reading "War and Peace."  Is that really as sad as I think it sounds?

Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #213 on: December 19, 2007, 12:14:35 AM »
Am spending my Christmas break reading "War and Peace."  Is that really as sad as I think it sounds?

Not at all.  I carried it around with me all summer in 2006 (not, like, on the subway, but I traveled a lot and brought it with me) and never actually read the damn thing.  Maybe we should start a FOT book club, except that I'm already about 50 pages into Origin of the Species.  Talk about sad.
Oh, good heavens. I didnít realize. I send my condolences out to the rest of the OíConnor family.

Sarah

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #214 on: December 19, 2007, 12:35:54 AM »
Hey, my sister and father both say that book's a cracking read.

dave from knoxville

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #215 on: December 19, 2007, 09:27:53 AM »
Still plowing through Crash, now praying for a quick end. I will say one thing for these gentlemen; they are enthusiastic about their automobiles!!!

buffcoat

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #216 on: December 19, 2007, 10:36:40 AM »
I've been reading three books at once.  All about the same basic theme, in their own ways.  All non-fiction.

- Eat Pray Love, at the insistence of a lady friend.
- Stumbling On Happiness.  Accidentally ordered the book on CD rather than the book.
- The Black Swan.

The first is pretty good - she has a light, funny and interesting writing style.  It's about how (in this case) one woman can have a lot of the things that are supposed to make people happy and still be miserable, then go looking for her own happiness in different ways.  I'm a cynic, but actually reading the book I found myself generally sympathizing with her.

The second is absolutely fascinating.  It's about the science surrounding what makes us happy.  It covers memory, how we predict the future, etc.  It's truly eye-opening the ways that our own brains do not work the way they're supposed to, and how wrong we are in the things that we feel certain about.  I highly recommend it - particularly the CD version, because you'll be riding along in the car saying, "Wow, I never realized that, but it's completely true."

The third is the most powerful.  If "Stumbling Towards Happiness" is about how wrong the individual human brain is, "The Black Swan" is about how wrong the collective human brain is.  The thesis is that we invent certainty and patterns and predictive reliability where there are only uncertainty, chaos and randomness.  And then we make wrong decisions based on those wrong assumptions.  The things we do to be safe are the things that make us most unsafe.

Especially for you business types, and those interested in politics, culture, and so on, this book should change your life.  He's a very digressive writer, which can be frustrating, but overall the thesis is so amazing that you can't help but be wowed.


I really don't appreciate your sarcastic, anti-comedy tone, Bro!

Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #217 on: December 19, 2007, 12:24:30 PM »
Still plowing through Crash, now praying for a quick end. I will say one thing for these gentlemen; they are enthusiastic about their automobiles!!!

Oh, Dave, I wish there was some way this could be the only review of that book ever written.
Oh, good heavens. I didnít realize. I send my condolences out to the rest of the OíConnor family.

ughwhy

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #218 on: December 19, 2007, 12:46:21 PM »
He died on my birthday.

Jacques Cousteau died on my birthday. I took it personally.

bruce

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #219 on: December 19, 2007, 01:45:37 PM »
I'm a huge fan of Kavalier and Clay...

Yes! Genius.
Did you read Yiddish Policeman's Union?

I haven't yet, but I'm waiting for it to come out in paperback, which might have already happened - but I have a huge backlog right now anyway...
My mother gave up on the book and she grew up in a house where Yiddish was spoken all the time. Sadly the only yiddish I know are the words I scream in traffic.

Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #220 on: December 19, 2007, 02:07:31 PM »
Not even food?  I made matzo brei last night - what a great meal.  You can totally tell it was invented in some shetl somewhere where they had to stretch out their food - one egg, one matzo, some water and some salt (and some oil to fry it in) and it sits in your stomach like a rock for a week.
Oh, good heavens. I didnít realize. I send my condolences out to the rest of the OíConnor family.

John Junk

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #221 on: December 19, 2007, 03:19:01 PM »
Am spending my Christmas break reading "War and Peace."  Is that really as sad as I think it sounds?

I read that.  It took me like a year.  I'm not sure if it was worth it or not, except I guess I get bragging rights.

Susannah

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #222 on: December 19, 2007, 07:27:00 PM »
I read the Constance Garnett translation of "Anna Karenina" when I was about sixteen, but had been reading about the new Pevear/Volokhonsky "War and Peace" translation for a few years and decided to hold off until it came out.  I read the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation of "The Brothers Karamazov" last year and liked it...so far "War and Peace" is good, but I think I'll probably wind up liking "Karenina" more.

Why do I even both posting on here?

samir

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #223 on: December 19, 2007, 09:08:41 PM »
I started reading Moon Dust today, it's an account of the nine living men who've walked on the moon, and how it's affected them.. So far, so good.
"Son, there's a thin line between crazed and rabid"


Susannah

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #224 on: December 23, 2007, 03:18:16 AM »
I just received a fun Christmas gift from a far-flung friend in Philadelphia: "Bizarre Books: A Compendium of Classic Oddities," by Russell Ash and Brian Lake.  It's exactly that--titles from the last 100+ years that are truly weird and entertaining, organized by categories like "Double Entendre Titles--They Didn't Mean It," "Science & Scientific Theories," "Religion & Beliefs," "Nature: Fauna," etc.  Some examples of my favorites so far:

"Life and Laughter 'midst the Cannibals" (1926)
"The Little I Saw of Cuba" (1899)
"So Your Wife Came Home Speaking In Tongues!  So Did Mine!" (1973)
"How To Be Happy Though Married" (1885)
"A Letter to the Man Who Killed My Dog" (1956)
"Understand Your Tortoise" (1980)
"We All Killed Grandma" (1954)

Perfect for the wacky English teacher/writer/college student in your life.