1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Which book are you reading now? Volume XI

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by NedimNapoleon, Apr 19, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Verarde

    Verarde Pondering Wearing A Hat

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Messages:
    3,795
    Location:
    Northern VA
    I never finished The House of Silk. It appeared under my bed covered in dust, so I've picked it back up.
     
  2. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    15,243
    Location:
    Here and there
    It's been a while.

    Finished:
    Egypt on the Brink, by Tarek Osman. I feel like I kind of understand the situation there more. Hated the skimping on its military history. Can nobody else integrate descriptions of battles into amodern history like Mr. Jones?

    The Spotter's Guide to Urban Engineering, by Claire Barratt and Ian Whitelaw. A must-read. Makes a train ride vastly more interesting not just by looking at the pages, but by looking outside the window and seeing how many specimens of modern engineering you can catalog.

    Starting:
    The Accidental Guerilla by David Killcullen. A look at the complex situations of recent insurgent conflicts versus the US military's view of them. Looked interesting, from the few pages I flipped through.
     
  3. Integral

    Integral Can't you hear it?

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    4,021
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Fair enough! I've finished it, and it has piqued my interest in the subject. In that, the book has served its purpose.



    Upward and onward to
    Parfit - On What Matters.
    Here is a review by a consequentialist. Thirteen hundred pages reviewed in sixteen hundred words.
    Here is a review by Tyler Cowen. Cowen's book reviews rarely last 200 words yet he spares a twelve hundred for Parfit; his main criticism is that Parfit should have included more insights from formal game theory. Indeed Cowen views the book as a failure on the whole precisely because it does not interact with the advances that economists and political scientists have made in social choice theory and game theory. I am reading it with that in mind; nevertheless my priors are strongly sympathetic to Kant and I cannot help but read it in that self-confirming light. It should be interesting nonetheless.
    Here is a review by Peter Singer.


    --

    Finished
    - Pacific Crucible
    - Otaku
    - Why Nations Fail
    - After the Prophet

    Currently working on
    - On What Matters

    Queue
    - Shi'ism: Religion of Protest
    - Solomon’s Knot: How Law Can End the Poverty of Nations (a good followup to Why Nations Fail)
     
  4. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Messages:
    25,238
    Location:
    Freedonia
    Having left this book 1/3 completed at my parents' house, I've moved on to Thomas Carlyle's The French Revolution. A delightful and rewarding read thus far. A mix of bardship, poetry, and history.
     
  5. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,602
    Took a break from my current reading list to tackle By One Vote: The Disputed Presidential Election of 1876 by Michael Holt. It covers the primaries, general election, and the chaos afterwards of the contest between Hayes and Tilden. Very well-written and balanced, I'd recommend it.

    Felt appropriate to kick off the general election season. ;)
     
  6. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,602
    No activity? Come on, somebody has read something interesting in the last week! :bump:

    Still working on my front-page three, but I have also read So Far from God by John Eisenhower. No, it's not about religion or anything like that, but rather the Mexican War from 1846-1848. Well-paced, very detailed on the campaigns. Couldn't put it down during Taylor's early engagements or Winfield Scott's march from Veracruz to Mexico City.
     
  7. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    46,239
    Location:
    US of A
    I've been reading the George RR Martin series up through the 4th book. I have the 5th one on order, and should get it next week sometime.
     
  8. Integral

    Integral Can't you hear it?

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    4,021
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Um....I got through three pages of On What Matters. Does that count? :D
     
  9. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    15,243
    Location:
    Here and there
    Finished Accidental Guerrilla. Still good, but the conclusion section was mainly repetition of earlier points he made and obvious implications that you can figure out on your own.

    Also finished Epidemics and Pandemics, subtitle "Their Impacts on Human History". Interesting book, but when the author was adamant in the preface that he was a historian and not a scientist, I knew there would be trouble. The phrase "cytokine storm" was nowhere in the section about the 1918 flu pandemic. The author is content to just ask questions in the "Unresolved Historical Issues" section without bringing up any recent research. Sigh, historians writing about topics that require scientific expertise (pro-tip: consulting experts in other fields does wonders). How disappointing.

    The local library doesn't seem to have any other good science or engineering books that I haven't read anymore. Mainly social science material now.

    Started The Struggle for Europe by William I. Hitchcock. Looks interesting so far, and I needed a break from the Muslim world.
     
  10. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,511
    Location:
    Osaka
    His dissertation is much better (and free). Having said that, he's still wretched for historical understanding.
     
  11. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    15,243
    Location:
    Here and there
    Well, I didn't buy the book. :p

    What do you mean by the last sentence? Events and contexts of past years, or does it tarnish the current conclusions he draws?
     
  12. Integral

    Integral Can't you hear it?

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    4,021
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Added another one to the bucket list: Enrico Moretti, The New Geography of Jobs.

    1. Given that the only thing I know about demography comes from Richard Florida, this should be good.
    2. Austin, Seattle, and the Research Triangle are in; Flint, Detroit and Cleveland are out. No word yet on Boston.
     
  13. Eat_Up_Martha

    Eat_Up_Martha Prince

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Messages:
    567
    Location:
    Canada
    What did you think? Have you read many of his other works? I'm a big fan of his work and I'm always eager to hear others' opinions.

    I'm working on The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality by Brian Greene and The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett. It's nice to have reading options to suit your mood.

    You're forgetting that Newton's theory of gravity has force being divided by the square of the distance between center mass of the objects in question, equaling the radius in this case. So it's really a 2.4 increase in gravity.
     
  14. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    32,378
    Location:
    Scotland
    It was really good. It's the first book of his I've read, although I've been meaning to read his stuff for a while, just never quite got round to it. (For some reason, my reading habits over the last couple of years have leant absurdly towards non-fiction.) I'll definitely get hold of some more of his stuff once I work through the little "to read" pile I've accumulated.
     
  15. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Trekkie At Large

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    5,944
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Heart of Dixie
    Recent reads:

    Spoiler :
    Suburban Nation: the Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream, Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck
    Catching Fire: How Cooking Made us Human, Richard Wrangham
    Star Trek DS9: Hollow Men, Una McCormack
    Reefer Madness, Eric Schlosser
    The Wal-Mart Effect, Charles Fishman
    The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing To Our Brains, Nicholas Carr
    Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood, Jennifer Linn
    Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What it Says About Us), Tom Vanderbilt
    A History of the World in Six Glasses, Tom Standage


    About to finish Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture and Why We Get Sick: the New Science of Darwinian Medicine.
     
  16. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    46,239
    Location:
    US of A
    Fleet of Worlds. Larry Niven and Edward Lerner. It's a prequel series to Ringworld.
     
  17. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,511
    Location:
    Osaka
    Chris Wickham - Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800
    Chris Wickham - The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000

    I've also placed an order for the following:

    The End of the Peasantry in Southeast Asia: A Social and Economic History of Peasant Livelihood, 1800-1990s - R. E. Elson
    A History of South-East Asia 4 eds - D.G.E. Hall
    Islam Observed: Religious Development in Morocco and Indonesia - Clifford Geertz
    Negara: The Theatre State In Nineteenth-Century Bali - Clifford Geertz
    The Religion of Java - Clifford Geertz
    Mystic Synthesis in Java: A History of Islamization from the Fourteenth to the Early Nineteenth Centuries - M. C. Ricklefs
    Polarizing Javanese Society: Islamic and Other Visions c. 1830-1930 - M. C. Ricklefs
    Sojourners and Settlers: Histories of Southeast China and the Chinese - Anthony Reid
    Imperial Alchemy: Nationalism and Political Identity in Southeast Asia - Anthony Reid

    At this stage, I'm running out of first rate stuff to purchase.
     
  18. Integral

    Integral Can't you hear it?

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    4,021
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I skimmed through that a year or two ago. Never got around to reading it closely, but it's not a bad book. It is extremely content-dense.
     
  19. GamezRule

    GamezRule Inconceivable!

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Messages:
    8,668
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Michigan
    I finally actually finished Brave New World, not sure what to read now.
     
  20. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    46,239
    Location:
    US of A
    A Dance With Dragons. George RR Martin. Finally got up to the latest book, and may have to wait another decade or so to finish the series...
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page