28 February 2007

Just Asking

I've had an inquiry as to when we're going to start reading another book in unison. I'm more than willing to participate and even lead/moderate, but I think we should pick a book that everyone is eager to read or reread.


joe shropshire said...

A different strategy might be to pick a book that your audience will have to argue over. So : Varieties of Religious Experience. It's online here.

Either that or Life of Pi.

Susan's Husband said...

"The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind"?

Or "Snow Crash".


"Sociobiology" E. O. Wilson

"End of Equality" Mickey Kaus

Or we could get graphic with Dragon Ball Z or Battle Angel Alita.

Mike Beversluis said...

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.

Peter Burnet said...

Cryptonomicon was a new experience for me (in terms of genre) and I read it too fast. Once we got going, I realized I would have to re-read it, which was too daunting for a book of that size. Given the widely differing backgrounds of our merry gang of thieves, may I suggest a (much) shorter book and more guidance and provocation from our overly-modest host? Also, once a book has been chosen, if you say you're in, you're in or no dessert.

Brit said...

I'm reading Bryan Appleyard's 'How to live forever'. It would be perfect, as it covers religion, science, biology, poetry and death. And we might even be able to get some comments from the author..

Main disadvantage is that you might have to have it shipped from the UK.

erp said...

SH, "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" would be a great choice for me. When I first read it in the '70's, I was very skeptical (to put in mildly) and since then I've thought of it now and then and would love to know what the Amiable Armchair Authorities, Arbiters and Artists of the Anglosphere have to say about it.

Was there a consensus on "Cryptonomicon"? I read it a couple of years ago and confess much of it was over my head. Not only the math and science, but the new technology and popular cultural iconery.

The premise as I saw it was that there's gold in marketing to the uber stodgy rich and beautiful the new and trendy radical permutations from the brains of the uber impoverished and ugly.

If this is very far off the mark, then all of it was over my head.

joe shropshire said...

The voices in my head are sharply divided on this. Half of them would like to read "Origin Of Consciousness...", but the other half think it would be a big waste of time.

Susan's Husband said...

erp, Mr. Burnett;

Try Snow Crash. It is a much faster paced book that in many ways is more relevant today. I finally persuaded SWIPIAW to read it and when we discuss the state of the art, I can frequently point out prescient parts of Snow Crash. Significantly better than Neuromancer IMHO and way better than Cryptonomicon.

"Torque this baby. We got a Mission to Control" — L. Bob Rife.

Mr. Shopshire;

If I had to pick one book that has most influenced my thinking, excluding technical works like Puttting Metaclasses to Work, Jaynes' book would rank number 1. His discussion of the nature of consciousness, language, and the relationship of the two is the best I have ever read.

joe shropshire said...

Looking under the sofa/on top of the toilet tank/behind the dresser for things I would like to re-read, or finally finish:

The Prince, and Other Writings, Niccolo Machiavelli.

The Case of the Marble Monster, and Other Stories A great,great book for a thoughtful child.

The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got That Way. Bill Bryson is a travel writer and a neighbor of oj's, according to the book jacket.

erp said...

Joe, "The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got That Way" sounds amusing. I tried a cursory googling, but couldn't find it, anyone remember a Peter Jennings documentary on English and its origins. The only thing he ever did that I liked.