Archive for the 'Reading' Category

Glamourous New Blog

August 28, 2008

Be sure to check out Virginia Postrel’s new blog, Deep Glamour: At the Intersection of Imagination and Desire.
In addition to being pretty easy on the eyes, this new blog offers up a fresh perspective on what many may normally consider a superficial topic. Call it a more focused application of the “substance of style.”

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John’s Reading Report (June 2008)

July 2, 2008

OK, here’s what I’ve read over the past month, some of it unplanned:
Pattern Recognition, William Gibson
No More Mr. Nice Guy!, Robert Glover
Skeleton Crew, Steven King
In progress:
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas R. Hofstadter.
Consciousness Explained, Daniel C. Dennett.
On deck (this is growing faster than my finished list):
Necessary Losses: The Loves, Illusions, Dependencies, and Impossible Expectations That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Grow
My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, Jill Bolte Taylor
Extraordinary Relationships, Roberta Gilbert.
Suite Francaise, Irene Nemerovsky.
Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain–and How it Changed the World, Carl Zimmer.
Spook Country, William Gibson.

John’s Reading Report (May 2008)

June 1, 2008

Over the past month I have finished:
The Martian General’s Daughter, Theodore Judson
All Tomorrow’s Parties, William Gibson
Oath of Fealty, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
In progress:
Pattern Recognition, William Gibson
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas R. Hofstadter.
Consciousness Explained, Daniel C. Dennett.
On deck:
Extraordinary Relationships, Roberta Gilbert.
Suite Francaise, Irene Nemerovsky.
Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain–and How it Changed the World, Carl Zimmer.
Spook Country, William Gibson.

John’s Reading Report (April 2008)

May 1, 2008

Over the past month I have finished:
Virtual Light, William Gibson.
Idoru, William Gibson.
In progress:
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas R. Hofstadter. I’m really savoring this one this time around. It’s taking me longer to read, but I am breaking it into more digestible chunks.
Consciousness Explained, Daniel C. Dennett.
On deck:
The Martian General’s Daughter, Theodore Judson
Extraordinary Relationships, Roberta Gilbert.
Suite Francaise, Irene Nemerovsky. My wife loaned this one out, so I’ll need to wait to start it later.
Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain–and How it Changed the World, Carl Zimmer.
Spook Country, William Gibson.

John’s Reading Report (March 2008)

April 1, 2008

Over the past month I have finished:
Flashman, George MacDonald Fraser. Not sure I’ve made up my mind whether I liked this or not. It was a fairly easy read.
The Forever War, Joe Haldeman. An interesting contrast to Heinlein’s Starship Troopers or John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War.
In progress:
Virtual Light, William Gibson. I have neglected Gibson for the last 15 years or so. Time to catch up.
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas R. Hofstadter.
Consciousness Explained, Daniel C. Dennett.
On deck:
Suite Francaise, Irene Nemerovsky.
Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain–and How it Changed the World, Carl Zimmer.
Idoru, William Gibson.
Spook Country, William Gibson.

John’s Reading Report (February 2008)

March 2, 2008

Here’s what I’ve read since my last report:
Bill Bryson’s The Life And Times of the Thunderbolt Kid.
Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. I love his show No Reservations, and reading about life in the “culinary underbelly” was simultaneously fascinating and funny.
Orbit, John J. Nance. Surprisingly entertaining. I had low expectations, but the story grabbed me about half the way through and I couldn’t put it down.
In progress:
Flashman, George MacDonald Fraser.
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas R. Hofstadter.
Consciousness Explained, Daniel C. Dennett.
On deck:
Suite Francaise, Irene Nemerovsky. One offered up by the Amazon algorithm based on product searches and past purchases. I hope it is as compelling as the author’s own story.
The Forever War, Joe Haldeman. I’ve been meaning to read this for, like, forever.
Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain–and How it Changed the World, Carl Zimmer.
Still about five months’ worth of Analog magazine.

John’s Reading Report (January 2008)

February 1, 2008

OK, I am not quite the reading machine that Fred is, but I did do a little reading this last month:
I started and finished The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell. I first read this about seven years ago, and it had a bigger impact on me this time around. If you’ve read this and know me well, you’ll know why. I usually don’t read “literary” SF, but this one is well worth it.
I also continue to read my regular monthly magazines as they come, and am continuing to work my way through the Ana-backlog.
I am also currently about a third of the way through Bill Bryson’s The Life And Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. I got this for Christmas, and wanted to read it as soon as possible. While aimed squarely at the Boomer generation (with a birthdate in 1968, I fall in that awkward midpoint: too young to be a Boomer, just a little too old to be as Gen-Xer), this book is providing me ample laugh-out-loud moments, which are really good for the soul.
Still in progress:
Consciousness Explained, Daniel C. Dennett. I’m going to have to re-read portions of this. My attention strayed from cognitive science during the Holidays to lighter fare. Now that we’re back in the grim clutches of the post-Holiday work grind, I can get back to pondering existence and consciousness.
On deck:
Orbit, John J. Nance. A Christmas gift, and the next novel I’ll be reading.
Suite Francaise, Irene Nemerovsky. One offered up by the Amazon algorithm based on product searches and past purchases. I hope it is as compelling as the author’s own story.
The Forever War, Joe Haldeman. I’ve been meaning to read this for, like, forever.
Flashman, George MacDonald Fraser. Thanks to a plug by the Llamabutchers.
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas R. Hofstadter.
Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain–and How it Changed the World, Carl Zimmer.
Still about five months’ worth of Analog magazine.

John’s Reading Report (December 2007)

January 7, 2008

Late again! Hope to be better in the coming year.
Here’s what I’ve read since my last report:
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens is one of those three people I would invite to dinner, although I think I would lock up the liquor ahead of time. His style is engaging and entertaining, but I think this polemic sometimes preaches a bit too much to the atheist choir. I don’t think it would really change the minds of the religious (and to be fair, I don’t think that is the goal here). Recommended whether you’re faithful, faithless, or somewhere in between.
The current issues of Architectural Digest, Dwell, National Geographic, and one month of Analog magazine.
In progress:
Consciousness Explained, Daniel C. Dennett.
Still on deck:
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas R. Hofstadter.
Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain–and How it Changed the World, Carl Zimmer.
Still about five months’ worth of Analog magazine.

John’s Reading Report (November 2007)

December 3, 2007

OK, we’re just a day or two late on this. Check out Fred’s reading report here.
Meanwhile, here’s what I’ve read since my last report:
The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick. This alternate-history novel was an interesting read, especially so soon after I read Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America.
The current issues of Architectural Digest, Dwell, National Geographic, and two months’ worth of Analog magazine.
In progress:
Consciousness Explained, Daniel C. Dennett.
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Christopher Hitchens.
Still on deck:
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas R. Hofstadter.
Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain–and How it Changed the World, Carl Zimmer.
About five months’ worth of Analog magazine.

John’s Reading Report (October 2007)

November 1, 2007

Here’s what I’ve read since my last report:
Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert.
The Plot Against America, Philip Roth. This is the first one of Roth’s books that I’ve read. I don’t usually seek out bestsellers or “literary” authors, but my prior alt-history reading habits led Amazon to recommend it for me. I liked it enough that I now intend to check out some of Roth’s other books. If you’re a fan, are there any that you would recommend?
The current issues of Architectural Digest, Dwell, and National Geographic.
In progress:
Consciousness Explained, Daniel C. Dennett. Dennett is a wonderful author, and I’ve recently discovered that he is on the advisory board of The Center For Naturalism.
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Christopher Hitchens.
Still on deck:
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas R. Hofstadter.
Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain–and How it Changed the World, Carl Zimmer.
About seven months’ worth of Analog magazine.