Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Currently Reading

For pleasure: Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I've read a couple of Chabon's novels already: The Yiddish Policemen's Union and The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, and they were both excellent. And I've heard from many folks that The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is numbers of times better. So I'm looking forward to it. I'm about 40 pages in and it's taking me a bit to get into the book, but I can already tell that the writing is superb, even though I haven't fully gotten into the plot line nor the character identities yet.

I've also been a busy bee in terms of other pleasure reading and I think it's time to put up a listing of what I've read recently. I'll get that posting up soon, so be on the lookout for it.


eric said...

My spring and summer reading has been a mix of light and heavy:

Zorba The Greek - Nikos Kazantsakis (I was told by a friend I trust that I would love this book and this character, but I found Zorba to be one of the most annoying figures in the history of literature...)

Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein (offers up a tempting but ultimately unpalatable solution to the problems inherent with universal suffrage)

Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert Heinlein (a wonderfully strange book, I liked the character of Valentine Michael Smith for all the reasons I was supposed to like Zorba The Greek)

Contact by Carl Sagan (much better than the movie, of course, but also great because Sagan manages to explore the relationship between science and religion without treating religous people like retarded children, or scientists like deities)


On Liberty by John Stuart Mill (an instant favorite, and probably the book I underlined, notated, and scribbled in the margins more than any other in the last 5 years)

The Social Contract by Rousseau (I find Hobbes approach to the subject matter to be better thought out and more in line with reality, justice, and human nature, but this is still a great read)

The Discourses of Epictetus (mostly just skimmed this, but the more I read of Stoic philosophy the more I like it)

The Science of Liberty by Timothy Ferris (a look at the relationship between classical liberalism, democracy, and social and technological progress. Ferris makes a good historical argument that the latter can only take root in a cultural landscape that has been fertilized by the former, and warns against both academic charlatans peddling fake science for money and power, and also anti-science religious factions trying to hijack the relationship between science and Western culture).

Huck said...

Eric - I remain continually impressed both by your eclectic (and superb!) reading choices and by how much you actually read over a relatively short period of time! Heck, my job is to do lots of reading (mostly heavy stuff) and I don't think I match your accomplishments! I know you probably will cringe a bit to hear this; but I think you would make a very fine academic, scholar, and university professor!

eric said...

Thx, Huck. I get a lot of reading accomplished in the summertime. My business is traditionally very slow in the summer, and I used to fight it by putting in lots of extra hours and busting my butt trying to scrounge up opportunities... now I just sit at my desk and read until summer's over and things pick back up. And I still don't get half as much reading done as my buddy Creede (granted, he's a bachelor) who probably stands alone in America as being the only conservative, atheist, Palin megafan who has read Proust's [gak] entire 'Remeberance Of Things Past' in a three week period.