Monday, February 11, 2008

Why Things Break: Understanding the World by the Way It Comes Apart: Mark Eberhart

Good read, bit too much about his old professors.

Feeding the Fire: The Lost History and Uncertain Future of Mankind's Energy Addiction: Mark Eberhart

Really fun book, if yur a scientist, EXCELLENT run down on thermodynamics. Will probably use this for a class I teach.

The man who ate the 747. Ben Sherwood ... Whimsical tale. It was good enough that I now have his next book
The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud but I have not started it yet.

I also read in the last year a bunch of Karen Armstrong's books.
The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions
The Battle for God: Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (2000)

A History of God: The 4000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam (1993)

Also "Mindless eating" Brain Wansick. Very interesting read. A whole host of unconscious eating behaviours driven by macro and micro cues from our surroundings.

Just finished - in one sitting Monty Python Terry Jones's rant -
Terry Jones's War on the War on Terror (2005), ISBN 1-56025-653-2. Some points of view that I agree with but somewhat over the top.

much better was his "Barbarians" with Alan Eriera based on a BBC documentary series... Stickin' it to the myth that the Romans weren't barbaric.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Wild ducks flying backward


Tom Robbins - Wild ducks flying backward - a collection of short pieces was a little fun after reading most of the rest of his novels over the last 20 years, interesting to see some of the early writing

The list - I'll see how many I actually read

- LewisThomas - Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher

- Culture Dish - Rebecca Skloot's blog on Science, Writing, and Life.

- CRITICAL MASS the blog of the national book critics circle board of directors

Stephen King - Duma Key,
as Richard Bachman]

- Steve Martin - Born standing up

-Tim Baker - Go surf

-Stephen Colbert - I am America (and so can you!)

Gary Braasch - Earth under fire : how global warming is changing the world. A photojournal


-Jonathan Wilson. - An ambulance is on the way – a bit overwrought with the angst of secular american jewish men’s perceived travails – half way through, probably won’t finish it

- Fred Pearce - With speed and violence: Why scientist fear tipping points in climate change. Very scary expose of a worst case scenario

- William Ruddiman - Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate. Compelling evidence that humans have altered climate for millenia. Trashes some climate skeptics; we should be in cooling phase according to the Malkovich cycles [i.e. heading to the next ice age] considering we are warming against the solar flux trend it's even more scary. Some of the skeptics should go north of 55 deg latitude and speak to the 'seniors' who have seen climate change with their own eyes within a single human lifetime...

More reading

"Letter to a Christian nation" Sam Harris. Gone in one sitting [it's only a small book]. A chilling read regardless of what views you hold on the matter.

"The end of faith" Sam Harris - Just started it, but more in the vein of the above.

Still working through "Absurdistan", kinda a fun book but not compelling enough for me to read it in large chunks. Some unsubtle messages about oil and hegemony and ethnic friction and the attractiveness of the world's dominant consumer culture none-the-less.

About to start on the "Physical Chemistry of Food Processes" [Ion C. Baian
u - 1992] just to bring me back to the grubby reality of making a living and the growing, preparation, and consumption of our food.

Books I read lately or not so lately but nearly forgot about.

-Stephen King- "On Writing",
"The girl who loved Tom Gordon",

-Cormac McCarthy - "The Road" - really chilling,
"No country for old men" my first exposure to Cormac, before it was a movie, compelling but hard to read [no quotation marks around speech].

-Primack and Abrams - "
View from the Center of the Universe "

-Brian Greene - "The Fabric of the cosmos"

-Bill Bryson - "A brief history of nearly everything",
"The thunderbolt kid",
"A walk in the woods

-Jon MacPhee - "Annals of the former world",
"The founding Fish",
"Uncommon carriers

-Terry Pratchett - "
Wyrrd Sisters",
"Going Postal",
"Small Gods",
"Men at Arms",
"Soul Music",
"Interesting Times",
Feet of Clay,
Carpe Jugulum,
The Last Continent,
Nanny Ogg's Cookbook,
The Truth,
Thief of Time,
Night Watch,
Wee Free Men,
Monstrous Regiment,

-Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion

Christopher Hitchens - God is not great

-Patrick Henry -
The Ironic Christian Companion
-Tim Flannery - The Weather Makers,
Chasing Kangaroos

-Elizabeth Kolbert - Field Notes from a Catastrophe

-James E. Lovelock - The Revenge of Gaia
- Mark Kurlansky - Salt,

-JK Rowlands - Most of the Harry Potter series including the final one The Deathly Hallows

-Alan Wiseman - The world without us

Steven Hall - The Raw Shark Texts

Michael Polan - The omnivores dilemma - only read half of it after his credibility was shot with gross errors of fact in the crops section. Liked the first quarter, interesting viewpoint.

-Malcolm Gladwell - The Tipping Point [one of John Horgan's 10 worst science books !!!]

Jared Diamond - Guns, Germs, and Steel, still struggling through Collapse

Dean Hamer - The God Gene [another one of John Horgan's 10 worst science books !!!]

-Simon Winchester - Krakatoa,
The map that changed the world,
The professor and the madman

- Stephen Hawking - A Brief History of Time


- James Gleick - Chaos [one of John Horgan's 10 best science books]

-Edward O. Wilson - The creation : an appeal to save life on earth [might have read it?] 333.9516 WILSON

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Reading and Listening


Absurdistan - Gary Shteyngart

The Myths of Innovation - Scott Berkun


The Colorado Kid - Stephen King
The reader was too too heavy on the put-on New England accents and maybe the whole book is just a story about what makes a narrative a "story". Still, I listened to it all.

Love Among the Chickens - PG Wodehouse