Author Topic: Quarantine Reading (Buckworks)  (Read 3060 times)

gm66

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Re: Quarantine Reading (Buckworks)
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2020, 07:12:27 PM »
A friend of Foucault, check you out!

That's an exaggeration. Even my "sort of friends" is an exaggeration. I had the chance to have several conversations over the course of a month and he was very kind. It's possible he was looking for sex. I don't know. I was clueless.

But we were certainly not friends as one would normally mean that. But meeting him was pivotal. I was getting top grades, but was really disillusioned with my studies and talking to him was inspiring. I'm not sure I would have stayed in college if not for that. At the time, was majoring in computer science but had an interest in philosophy so I went up and started talking to him in the library one day and he was so gracious and kind. I then had a half dozen occasions to talk to him. One evening just me and a friend for about six hours, drinking wine and eating ice cream with him until 2:30am. I was 19 years old.

I have some nice memories like that, cool, older people who wanted to talk about the same issues we did at the time, stuff that most other adults seemingly weren['t interested in.
Civilisation is a race between disaster and education ...

ergophobe

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Re: Quarantine Reading (Buckworks)
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2020, 02:27:53 AM »
Rupert - I just finished the three Farseer books. I quite enjoyed them. Nice, escapist literature. Theresa started the first book today and I suspect will finish it before sundown. That alone was worth it. I've been thinking for a while she needed a quiet day and this provided it. Didn't even start up her computer today.

Since you like those, some others you might like:

- Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear. The third book in the series is not out, but supposedly the author says he's "working on it, but not fast."

- Lois McMaster Bujold, the Vorkosigan books. It's sci-fi, not fantasy, but if you like Farseer, I think you'll like Bujold.  Her books are a lot more standalone than the Robb or Rothfuss books, but start with Shard's of Honor and Barryar (also sold as a single-volume Cordelia's Honor).

buckworks

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Re: Quarantine Reading (Buckworks)
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2020, 06:08:57 AM »
I haven't been online much since this thread started, as we've been working on the property where we're planning to build a house. I've still been listening lots, though. The iPad and a good set of headphones are fine companions when watering newly planted trees!

During the lockdown I only read one physical book: a memoir by my aunt who published it when she was eighty. Lots of family tidbits ... among other things I learned that my maternal grandfather nearly died in the 1918 flu pandemic.

All the others were audio books, usually played while doing other things. The list covers some quirky ground, intellectually. The lengths varied from fifteen minutes to over forty hours.

Just finished:

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume I: Visions of Glory 1874-1932
By: William Manchester - over forty hours, fascinating to tackle this one just after Churchill himself.

My Early Life
By: Winston Churchill - an engaging yarn - I was struck by his dismal descriptions of life in boarding school - sheds some light on why Canada's Indian residential schools were such a mess.

The Life and Times of Prince Albert
By: Patrick Allitt , The Great Courses - a nugget for British history buffs

Others, not completely in order:

Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis - Jared Diamond - highly recommended

Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ
By: Giulia Enders - so-so

----------------------------------

The Story of Human Language
By: John McWhorter , The Great Courses

Language Families of the World
By: John McWhorter , The Great Courses

How Language Began: The Story of Humanity's Greatest Invention
By: Daniel L. Everett

Those three practically add up to a course in intro linguistics.

----------------------------------

Andrea Vernon and the Corporation for UltraHuman Protection
By: Alexander C. Kane - from Audible's monthly freebie list, not one I'd have chosen if I were paying for it, but a fun listen

Exit Interview with My Grandmother
By: Lily Meyersohn - ditto

The Flying Flamingo Sisters
By: Carrie Seim - ditto

Cold Turkey: How to Quit Drinking by Not Drinking
By: Mishka Shubaly - ditto

Inside Jobs: Tales from a Time of Quarantine
By: Ben H. Winters - ditto

The Getaway
By: Greer Hendricks , Sarah Pekkanen - ditto

Sea Wall / A Life
By: Simon Stephens , Nick Payne - ditto

A Murder of Manatees: The Further Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent
By: Larry Correia - ditto

Finding Tess: A Motherís Search for Answers in a Dopesick America
By: Beth Macy - ditto, except I wouldn't call it fun

Certain Woman of an Age
By: Margaret Trudeau - a speech by Justin Trudeau's mom

The Radical King
By: Martin Luther King , Cornel West - editor - highly recommended

Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts
By: Annie Duke - advice from a poker player

The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
By: Robert Garland , The Great Courses

Malcolm and Me
By: Ishmael Reed

Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World
By: Michael Pollan - if you enjoy coffee you'll enjoy this

Food: A Cultural Culinary History
By: Ken Albala , The Great Courses

The Way We Eat Now: How the Food Revolution Has Transformed Our Lives, Our Bodies, and Our World
By: Bee Wilson

Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat
By: Bee Wilson - my second time listening to this one. Highly recommended.

Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff
By: Dana K. White

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
By: Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets: Incerto, Book 1
By: Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The Black Swan, Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: "On Robustness and Fragility": Incerto, Book 2
By: Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The Home Front: Life in America During World War II
By: Dan Gediman , Martha C. Little
Narrated by: Martin Sheen

The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure
By: Grant Cardone

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It
By: Chris Voss

Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World
By: Richard J. Foster

The Art of Invisibility: The World's Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data
By: Kevin Mitnick

How Music Works
By: David Byrne - of Talking Heads - I'm a classically trained musician but I learned some things from his perspectives

David Copperfield
By: Charles Dickens
Narrated by: Richard Armitage - top-notch narrator and a good yarn

Macbeth: A Novel
By: A. J. Hartley , David Hewson - ditto

The Refugees
By: Viet Thanh Nguyen - short stories enhanced by the fact that I've visited Viet Nam

Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness
By: Edward Abbey - You'll look at the world around you with new eyes.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory
By: Caitlin Doughty - a morbid topic, surprisingly well written

TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking
By: Chris Anderson

Sense and Sensibility
By: Jane Austen - a glimpse into a different world.

Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life: A Former CIA Officer Reveals Safety and Survival Techniques to Keep You and Your Family Protected
By: Jason Hanson - I wouldn't call this one a great listen but it delivered some new ideas

Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln: 21 Powerful Secrets of History's Greatest Speakers
By: James C. Humes - ditto

High Performance Habits
How Extraordinary People Become That Way
By: Brendon Burchard - ditto

Classic Love Poems
By: William Shakespeare , Edgar Allan Poe , Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Narrated by: Richard Armitage

Rupert

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Re: Quarantine Reading (Buckworks)
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2020, 06:11:19 AM »
Quote
Theresa started the first book today and I suspect will finish it before sundown. That alone was worth it. I've been thinking for a while she needed a quiet day and this provided it. Didn't even start up her computer today.

always good to hear :) 

I have passed that list to Sue, as she reads way to fast as well, and has a couple of Robin Hobbs left to read, but is reluctant to start them, as she does not want to finish them.  She will be delighted!  She has just started re reading a Robert Jordan (Dont bother, way to much description, he struggles to get on with the story.)

After 20 years of not reading any Fantasy or Scifi, its fun to get back to it.


added... blimey that is a good list Buckworks!!!!
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 06:13:18 AM by Rupert »
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Brad

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Re: Quarantine Reading (Buckworks)
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2020, 12:36:39 PM »
Buckworks, I'm humbled by your list.  Well done.


For immersive reading:

Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" series is a great romp in urban fantasy.

For mystery/police Martin Walker's "Bruno Chief of Police" series is good.  Set in France so there is lots of wine and food in them.

I finished all of Carola Dunn's "Daisy Dalrymple" 1920's series (with the medicinal brandy) which provides some insights into the aftereffects that World War I had on Britain.


buckworks

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Re: Quarantine Reading (Buckworks)
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2020, 03:20:58 PM »
The list looks long but it's less than a book per day.

I should mention that, depending on the narrator, I often listen at accelerated speed. Many titles can be enjoyed at 1.2, 1.3, even 1.5x speed. That's about my limit for relaxed comprehension. I've heard that some blind folks can get good at listening up to 3x speed!


ergophobe

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Re: Quarantine Reading (Buckworks)
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2020, 06:23:24 PM »
Bucky - thank you for the list!

There are a few on there that have been in the back of my mind for a long time and many I have never heard of.

Are there a couple that you found just terrific, either because they broadened your mind and showed new vistas or simply because it was a tale well told?

>>I often listen at accelerated speed. Many titles can be enjoyed at 1.2, 1.3, even 1.5x speed.

I just can't do it. I am a slow reader and a slow listener. Even at 1.1 I find myself agitated listening and struggling to pay attention. I think my mind just turns slowly.

This is why I tend to start many more books than I finish. A book is a big investment for me. I can't just knock them off like Teddy Roosevelt or Bill Gates. I think Roosevelt could write a book in about the time it takes me to read one! In fact, at one point in my career, I joked that I had published three books since the last time I had read a book cover to cover (researching can become a process of ransacking books for the parts you want, devouring thousands of pages without ever enjoying an entire book as a whole, one word at a time from start to finish).

>>Robert Jordan (Dont bother ... After 20 years of not reading any Fantasy or Scifi, its fun to get back to it.

I basically read no sci-fi or fantasy from about 1976 until about 2000. Someone gave me a volume of Robert Jordan and I read it and got sucked in, but more and more the awful writing wore on me and I thought, "Wow, were my tastes that bad when I was young that I would read stuff like this?" To test that, after 25 years or so, I reread Lord of the Rings (which completely captivated me when I first read it when I was nine and was much in my mind for the next 4-5 years). And immediately, I fell completely in love with it again. I have now read it about 5 times as an adult. A friend who did his doctorate on Shakespeare and taught literature once told me he read it once per year.

So then I went to the sci-fi bookstore in Berkeley and told them that I found Robert Jordan unreadable, but the Lord of the Rings held all the wonder for me it did when I was nine and then some. Did they have any ideas.

The recommended the following, which I have recommended many times as being among the best books of any genre I have ever read in terms of being well-written and mind expanding

Vernor Vinge, Deepness in the Sky and Fire Upon the Deep, completely separate stories, but set in the same universe
Peter Hamilton, Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained. This is one story, very long and very, very good.

I would say no non-fiction I have read has come anywhere close to glimpsing what it means to be networked individuals than Deepness and Pandora's. Plus they are just super well-written.

Also, if you have not read Snowcrash or Cryptonomicon, give them a try. I prefer Snowcrash. Cryptonomicon took me several tries to get started, but pulled me in and was a lot of fun, but ultimately just not up to the level of Snowcrash.


Rupert

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Re: Quarantine Reading (Buckworks)
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2020, 06:51:11 PM »
Quote
Vernor Vinge, Deepness in the Sky and Fire Upon the Deep,

now that I read on you recommendation a while back and loved them both.  Sue was ahead of me on both, dropping little spoilers in as I read :)

I am glad I am not the only one who struggled with Jordan. 
I now have a further 4 books on my reading list, thanks.  But first I have a summer house to build.  The old pallets were delivered yesterday, so i am preparing the base at present.  I will be doing that as long as the weather holds!

Buckworks, I am waiting too :)
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buckworks

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Re: Quarantine Reading (Buckworks)
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2020, 08:23:28 PM »
>> showed new vistas or simply because it was a tale well told

Top pick: Desert Solitaire - I'd be surprised if you haven't already read this one but if you haven't, you MUST.

My Early Life - some of Churchill's perspectives are self-serving, and some even troubling when seen through today's lenses, but he is a witty and observant writer with unsurpassed command of English prose.

The Radical King - a glimpse into a period of US history which I should learn more about. Its self-contained chapters might be easier going than a long narrative.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - new vistas for me, <and> well told

Consider the Fork - ditto

Antifragile
Fooled by Randomness
The Black Swan
- I think you'd enjoy Taleb considering some of the other titles I've seen you recommend about stats, risks and numeracy.


ergophobe

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Re: Quarantine Reading (Buckworks)
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2020, 10:33:42 PM »
Top pick: Desert Solitaire - I'd be surprised if you haven't already read this one but if you haven't, you MUST.

I have, but I've been thinking about reading it again. I recently read "All The Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West," by David Gessner. It's certainly not on my "best of all time" list, but I enjoyed it. If you loved Desert Solitaire, you might enjoy All the Wild That Remains.

As for Desert Solitaire itself, and especially the bit on "industrial tourism," it is rattling around somewhere in my brain almost every day, either explicitly or implicitly. The world would literally appear differently to me without that book even though I don't think I fully appreciated it at the time. I read it long before I moved to a national park, but I didn't really fully see how bits of it were lying latent in my mind until I moved here and couldn't see the world but through Abbey's eyes, at least a little bit.

>>Taleb

That's one of the ones on my vague mental list. I just saw someone reading Black Swan in the last couple of weeks.... now if only I could track him or her down and steal that book....

>>The Radical King

I've been hearing a lot of whispers about this general topic (about how MLK had something like a 70% disapproval rating on the eve of his death, for example). I bet I would enjoy this one.

Rupert

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Re: Quarantine Reading (Buckworks)
« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2020, 06:25:52 AM »
My "too read" list is getting longer, I can no longer hold it in my head! 

Great thread, thanks for starting.
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ergophobe

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Re: Quarantine Reading (Buckworks)
« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2020, 08:27:38 PM »
>>I read on you recommendation a while back and loved them both.

Should have remembered that. I think the Peter Hamilton books are even better. They do require some attention though. It's a great read, but not necessarily an easy read.

Another book that is a favorite sci-fi read and is quite funny, one of my favorite books, but which gets savaged in some reviews for being meandering, is...
 -- Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway.

ergophobe

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Re: Quarantine Reading (Buckworks)
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2020, 04:19:56 AM »
I've still been reading away.

I did read Black Swan. I've heard so many people call it one of the great books of all time. I would say it's a long book with a couple of good ideas. I kept thinking his idea of what history is and what historians do was incredibly superficial and then I got to his afterword to the second edition and the first thing he mentions is that he came to realize much the same.

I reread 1984 for the first time since 1984. I have to say that in 1984 I thought of it as a morality tale about Stalin's USSR. Now it feels like a morality tale about the USA today. 2+2=5. Sounds about right.

I'm almost done with Foucault's Archaeology of Knowledge. It is a repetitive book and I either don't really understand it or it simply isn't as profound as the blurbs would lead you to belive.. But he signed my copy in 1982 and I've held onto it every since. I decided I had to read it someday. Almost done.

nffc

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Re: Quarantine Reading (Buckworks)
« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2020, 11:21:12 AM »
Bitter Lemons of Cyprus

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitter_Lemons

Got the audiobook, would highly recommend.

Rupert

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Re: Quarantine Reading (Buckworks)
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2020, 06:37:44 PM »
Bitter Lemons of Cyprus

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitter_Lemons

Got the audiobook, would highly recommend.
Ah, been watching the earlier Corfu story on Netflix :) Gentle comedy. Love it.  Unless it is a different take.
... Make sure you live before you die.