What Are You Reading?

Created by eznark on March 15, 2012, 6:22 p.m.
  • Pretty much everything from O'Rielly! I don't really find time to read fiction.
    However, I think every geek should read Jpod and Microserfs by Douglas Coupland
  • I see we have a Books forum now, huzzah. 
     
    I've been reading Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson and Tokyo Vice by Jake Adelstein.  The former is standard cyberpunk affair, the latter is about a western journalist who got a job in Japan and did work on organized crime there, very interesting.
  • I haven't read a book in ages... I'm picky when it comes to books also I'd rather spend what money I do have on games usually.
  • Side note: It is unnecessarily difficult to link to an image offsite.
  • @MAGZine: I've read the original more than a few times!
  • @Monkeysphere said:
     
    " I've been reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo which I'm really liking so far, its a detective thriller and it takes place in Sweden.  If the rest of the trilogy is of similar quality then they'll be a must buy for me. 
     
    The book I finished before that was Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds, a really fantastic sci fi story.   SPOILER WARNING: Click here to reveal hidden content.
      You follow two story lines that are expertly intertwined and it doesn't talk down to you when its being cerebral.  Turning back to fiction has been a good break for me, since I've read almost exclusively non fiction for nearly the past year. "  
     I'm intermittently reading the second book in that series "The Girl Who Played with Fire" Stieg Larsson and "Breaking the Spell" Daniel Dennett. Kind of balancing fiction and non-fiction, Stieg Larsson's books are more immediately interesting and quickly become hard to put down but I feel a little better having learnt something or been given something to think about or seek more knowledge in after reading.  
     
    As far as recommendations go I wouldn't hesitate in recommending Stieg Larsson's series for anyone with the faintest interest in fiction books and finds the description at all interesting. Pretty early in with Dennett's book so I won't pass judgement yet, though it is interesting so far. The best similar book I could recommend would be "God is Not Great" Christopher Hitchens, or "The Selfish Gene" Richard Dawkins, though I wouldn't say The Selfish Gene relates so directly to religion It's the most entertaining non fiction book I've ever read, good for making me think. By the way, no offence or judgement based on those recommendations is intentional, those are just of interest to me, and could be to others.
  • @markhole said:
    " @MAGZine: I've read the original more than a few times! "
    At the rate I'm moving through this book, you probably HAD to just to fully understand everything the book was saying! :D
  • @MAGZine: all I have to say to that is that I will more than likely read it again!
  • I went by Barnes and Noble this morning and picked up The Name of the Wind. I'll start on that tonight.
     
    I hadn't bought anything new in ages so I went on a bit of a spree, it helped that they actually had a bunch of books I was looking for.  I ended up getting The Road, Ender in Exile, and Foundation.
     
    A bit disappointed that they still didn't have The Last Colony though.
  • @MAGZine: Is it particularly difficult to read? I'd be interested in giving it a go but I've got a feeling I could be confused to the point of migraine within the first few pages. I'm a semi-intelligent layman if that helps and recently had to give up reading "Consciousness Explained" Daniel Dennett after getting to a point where an entire chapter went by without me understanding enough to reiterate a point, though I had intended on re-reading it a few times to get it properly. He kept going on about heterophenomenology, duality and the pineal gland. :P
  • @Zaxex: Either taking physics in Highschool or post-secondary will help your reading ability of the book immensely, because when it being to explain some of the more difficult to reach ideas, it relies on some more basic concepts of physics that it helps to understand. The book has a fair amount of colored illustrations (some of them that made be LOL pretty hard), which help to explain the context of the book. 
     
    The book itself doesn't read like a normal read. When the book starts discussing theory of general relativity for example, I think I had to go back and re-read some selections over and over - entire paragraphs at a time. It's not a leisurely read - you need to be giving your undivided attention to the book in order to get past some of the concepts it presents. It's a good thing to understand everything as you go through the book, because it's likely to resurface. Finally, it's not a book you want to read once, but maybe twice or three times so you can understand everything the book is saying. 
     
    I wouldn't say the book uses big words/is hard to understand, you just have to do a fair amount of understanding/concept grasping.
  • @MAGZine: Thanks, I think I might give it a shot soon, worst case scenario I can't get everything from it but it should be worth testing myself and seeing what I can grasp. Should be interesting. :)
  • @Zaxex: That's how it was for me. It IS entirely possible that I'm just an idiot - but it wasn't an easy read for me. In any case, good luck and enjoy! I'd be curious to know if the older, original book - A Brief History of Time - reads the same way.
  • @will: Thanks for the advice Will, I've ordered the original from Amazon, should get it Tuesday. Briefer wasn't in stock from Amazon, so I got the original for simplicities sake. Looking forward to reading it. :)
  • I'm currently reading Cryptonomicon by Neil Stephenson.  So far it's been a pretty slow read, but if I remember right, other Stephenson books I've read don't really pick up until you're about 1/4th of the way in.  I keep hoping that I'm on the cusp of the book getting better.
  • I took a break from reading The Divine Comedy, after finishing Inferno and started reading The Aeneid. Not an easy read by any stretch of the word.
     
  • Nothing, I really need to do some reading though.
  • I'm reading The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
     
    It's a good book, but I'll have to get a new one soon.
  • The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet for English class.
  • Life, the Universe, and Everything by Douglass Adams.
  • @Rallier said:
    " I can't even remember the last book i read. As soon as the required books for school where out of the way i never touched one again and that is a long long time ago. "
    You really should try picking it up again sometime, it's very fulfilling.
  •  
    I just finished reading The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett. 
     Pretty light fantasy fair, was interesting enough. Once I've got a bit more time on my hands I'll pick up the sequel. 
     
    Edit - as a side note, does anyone have a really good long-ish running fantasy series to recommend? I have the problem that I read pretty quickly and really want more, so it tends to work better for me if I come in late to an existing series, so I can bash through 3-4 books in the week instead of being frustrated waiting on sequels.  
     Any suggestions?
  • I recently finished Of Mice and Men. Now I'm reading A Thousand Splendid Suns.
  • I read lots of books at one time.  Right now I'm working on: 
     
    The Big 3 in Economics: Smith, Marx, and Keynes
    Tractatus Logico Philosophicus 
    Principia Ethica 
    Elementary Discrete Mathematics 
    Bertrand Russel (Biography) 
    The Question of God: The debate between CS Lewis and Freud 
    Call of Cthulu
  • I'm currently reading Of Mice and Men for my english class. Pretty good book, so far.
  • @eznark said:
    " I like Skousen but trying to write a history on the formation of modern economic thought and completely leaving out Mises and the Austrian school is kind of absurd, especially since he is a libertarian!  I have not gotten around to that one yet, but many of his other books are great.  In particular, The Making of Modern Economics, which reads like a re-do of The Big Three is a great book. "
    Ha, never thought I would find someone who even knows who Skousen is on the internet (aside from mises.org). It's a very mediocre book, but it does accomplish the task of making a brief book on the history of economic thought. While the Austrians were critical (especially with regard to value and business cycle theory), the fact that they have made virtually no penetration into the education system makes them much less significant. The fact that 98% of my fellow economics classmates had never even heard of the Austrian School is evidence for that. I have always found this odd though, considering that Hayek did win the Nobel Prize in economics which should give at least some exposure to it.  
     
    As far as Skousen's book though, I'm not sure that Marx should have been on that list. I feel like Marx made it on the list to complete the spectrum of differences in economic thought. Yet if the book was based on impact and significance, I don't think he should have made it. As far as economics is concerned as a field itself, I would say that Smith, either Bohm Bawerk or Mises, and Keynes have advanced the field to the greatest extent. As far as impact on the state of economics, I would say Smith and Keynes for sure, but I believe that Marx could have been replaced by either Marshall, Samuelson, Ricardo, Malthus, or maybe even Pigou. 
     
    That said, I think a better book on economic history is "A History of Economic Thought" by John Bell. My only issue with it is the obvious bias. He absolutely praises Mathlus, Marshall, and Keynes, yet he constantly makes negative remarks against Smith, Ricardo, Mises, Hayek, and Menger. Aside from the bias, it's a fantastic book. 
  • I'm reading "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" by Tom Wolfe. I'm about a hundred pages into it and it's really good.
  • Indeed, it's hard to discuss the current crisis without at least mentioning the Austrian theory of the business cycle. I tutor a class called Money and Banking which is just a class on monetary policy, and not once is an Austrian mentioned despite them developing the first coherent theory of monetary theory. But since I tutor the class for the purpose of helping people get good grades, I can't mention anything about the Austrians. But what really amazes me is the lengths which the textbook goes to avoid mentioning them. The closest opposing view that is given of course is Friedman and Irving Fisher.  
     
    I haven't read the Austrian V Chicago School book yet. I have it on my amazon wishlist though.  
     
    EDIT: Are you from Wisconsin?
  • Currently knocking out some marketing books by Seth Godin (Purple Cow, Tribes) but then it's on to Chris Adrian's Gob's Grief. Discovered his work through McSweeney's and after reading his Children's Hospital, I was sold.  

  • @lilburtonboy7489 said:
    " Indeed, it's hard to discuss the current crisis without at least mentioning the Austrian theory of the business cycle. I tutor a class called Money and Banking which is just a class on monetary policy, and not once is an Austrian mentioned despite them developing the first coherent theory of monetary theory. But since I tutor the class for the purpose of helping people get good grades, I can't mention anything about the Austrians. But what really amazes me is the lengths which the textbook goes to avoid mentioning them. The closest opposing view that is given of course is Friedman and Irving Fisher.   I haven't read the Austrian V Chicago School book yet. I have it on my amazon wishlist though."
    I would agree that the Austrians are one of the most overlooked schools of economics.  Perhaps it has something to do with often being associated with Libertarianism, and some of the negative political connotations that draws in American politics for many people.  I think a lot of people mistakenly view them as more fringe/extremist than they really are. 
     
    Also, how can anyone have a "big three" without Ricardo?