Reading in the woods to overcome caffeine addiction

My Grandpa was a last born child in a family with nine children. Like many last born children with older siblings always around to watch over him, he maintained a childish and impractical mentality into adulthood. Generally, he wasn’t good at handling problems, for example when he had a cataract, he refused to get itContinue reading “Reading in the woods to overcome caffeine addiction”

Murder in Italy, a real life witch hunt.

Exchange student Amanda Knox is young, well-off, and pretty. She has won life’s lottery. Unfortunately, at this particular time and place, (2007 Perugia, Italy) she doesn’t fit in. The hippie from Seattle is one of only a few American immigrants in Perugia at this time, making her a minority even among the foreigner population. TheContinue reading “Murder in Italy, a real life witch hunt.”

Thrift store finds: Galactic Aliens, others.

Today after running I went thrifting for books. My idea was it would help distract me from eating and the walking/driving would burn some additional calories. At Value Village I found this for $1: It’s a hardcover art book by Alan Frank, from 1979. The cheapest I could find a copy on both eBay andContinue reading “Thrift store finds: Galactic Aliens, others.”

Everything is Obvious *once you know the answer by Duncan J. Watts

Everything is Obvious by Duncan J. Watts is part of the same genre as Fooled By Randomness by Nassim Taleb, Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely (who even provides a blurb on the back), and the books of Malcolm Gladwell. Yet it brings an original perspective, and even takes a skeptical view of one of TalebContinue reading “Everything is Obvious *once you know the answer by Duncan J. Watts”

Phineas Gage by John Fleischman

As part of my study into emotional intelligence I’ve read this short but well illustrated book on Phineas Gage, a railway-construction foreman who lost a large part of his prefrontal cortex in a blasting accident at the age of 26. A sad and tragic story, and even though Fleishman tries to put an upbeat spinContinue reading “Phineas Gage by John Fleischman”

Harpy High by Esther Friesner

A sequel that’s at least as good as Gnome Man’s Land, if not better, Harpy High is cartoony, imaginative, funny, and smart. A happy book too, there’s something about Friesner’s style that makes me feel better about life. She uses a lot of food and textile specific nouns, like cherry blintzes and pebbled silk. IContinue reading “Harpy High by Esther Friesner”

Choosing Reading over Chess and Poker

It’s quite horrifying to fully accept that we have limited time. Everyone is aware of this in the abstract, but most people aren’t concretely incorporating this knowledge into their life plans. To do so is unpleasant. To do so is to stare death in the face and accept our own mortality. Yet, it is onlyContinue reading “Choosing Reading over Chess and Poker”

Silas Marner by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans Cross)

Here’s another classic Victorian novel, this one by George Eliot (which is a pseudonym) and published in 1861. It tells of the life of Silas Marner, a benevolent and good hearted weaver. Since I don’t want to spoil anything I’ll leave it at that. She belonged to the same milieu as Dickens so there areContinue reading “Silas Marner by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans Cross)”

Reading, running, caffeine withdrawal.

I’m withdrawing from a three year caffeine habit and it’s limiting my ability to read, or do anything intellectual or that involves willpower. From a peak usage of 1500 mg per day last year to presently having only 2 oz of normal coffee each morning. (20 mg about?) I’ve felt a sadness creeping in overContinue reading “Reading, running, caffeine withdrawal.”

Special Deliverance by Clifford D. Simak

With cover art by Michael Whelan. I believe the cover artists don’t get enough credit for these things. I wonder what sales would be like if every book was just a plain white cover with black text of the author and title. The cover and sales are of course irrelevant to how good the bookContinue reading “Special Deliverance by Clifford D. Simak”