Wednesday, November 2, 2016

October Books

Comfortably past my goal of 50 books for the year, but last year's number looks unattainable. The burden of office will do that to a reader. No top 5 candidates this month, but only one title that I wouldn't recommend.

The Burden of Office by Joseph Tussman


The Burden of Office: Agamemnon and Other Losers 
by 

able look at classic dilemmas (Creon, Lear) from a political standpoint. The present will shrink to littleness if you but assign its boundaries.





Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of ComprehensionOvercomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension


Book not unlike the topic.
Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction

How Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind Over Muscle

Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction 

Very nice synopsis of trade and economic growth through history. Admirably concise, but I learned quite a bit.



How Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind Over Muscle

Gift from Worldwide. Somewhat anecdotal, but generally entertaining look at the psychology of athletic performance. Perception of effort is a key ingredient of performance, and the brain is a poor, and somewhat corrupt, judge.
The Most Human Human: What Artificial Intelligence Teaches Us About Being Alive

The Most Human Human: What Artificial Intelligence Teaches Us About Being Alive


Thursday, October 6, 2016

September Books

A mixed bag. But Possession is a candidate for this year's Top 5. It was singularly clever and like nothing I can remember reading; and a good story to boot!

PossessionPossession

Sometimes an author or a book makes you wonder how they did it--how someone can be so lyrical, inventive, whatever. Something that seems beyond what a person is capable of. This is one of those books. Not perfect, but I couldn't put it down, and was moved by the end. 




War and Peace and War: The Rise and Fall of Empires

War and Peace and War: The Rise and Fall of Empires

Interesting look at how and why empires end--largely due to an erosion of the power for collective action. Learned a lot of post Rome, pre-Renaissance history that was new to me. Dragged at times, and stretched to prove the theory, but worth the effort.



The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900

Things move slower than we think. Could have made that point in an article. Interesting point, ponderously made.



You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding YourselfYou Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself

Short essays explaining the many ways that can interfere with thinking clearly about things. Nothing new, but good to be reminded.

Essays of E.B. WhiteEssays of E.B. White

Of a time. Sometimes the essays run together, but they are all well written and mostly interesting. The timeframe (1920s-1970s) shows a dramatically changing society.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

August Books

Nice to see the titles I'd impulsively ordered over the last four months waiting for me at home. They filled up the better part of a duffel bag. Sadly, I've forgotten why many of them stirred me to action, but, hopefully, that's something to be rediscovered. 

Quizzically, a long period of vacation did not spur me to read more than usual. I spent my time visiting friends and family, weeding my herb garden and helping the Gs get ready for school.

The Damned Yard and Other Stories


The Damned Yard and Other Stories

Monday, August 1, 2016

July Books

Something for everyone this month. Social science, fitness, British and Japanese fiction. Cannot wait to get home and rediscover the books I've ordered over the last eight months.

Tribe by Sebastian Junger

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging 
by 
thor researched thoroughly and developed into an excellent book.





25144069Strong Medicine: How to Conquer Chronic Disease and Achieve Your Full Athletic Potential


Straight dope science-based advice from a military doctor and my first strength coach (via the Washington Post). I e-mailed Marty to ask what he thought about my current regimen of bodyweight exercises. He responded, as always, promptly and succinctly: "Need weights."

From the local bookstore. Beautiful book about Britain and the end of an era. Enjoyed nearly every word.


Sunday, July 3, 2016

June Books

Good month. Exactly the kind of balance I'm looking for. Kapuscinski is the discovery of the year so far, and I thank Pat for that.


ImperiumImperium

Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking


June Books

Good month. Exactly the kind of balance I'm looking for. Kapuscinski is the discovery of the year so far, and I thank Pat for that.


ImperiumImperium

Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking