I started the year with another ambitious goal of 100 books (using the Goodreads site to log and track), as last year I read 119.
As in my recap of the first half of 2013, I’m grouping the books as I did in last year’s recap by the month in which I finished them (and fiction/nonfiction subgroups.)
Some quick full year stats for the BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): overwhelmingly heavy on the nonfiction this year, but then a lot of the fiction was quite long (Ms. Rowling…please stand up):
- 55 nonfiction
- 45 fiction
- 14 of the fiction were Arthur C. Clarke novels, who rounded out the last of the Big Three
- I’ve rated 19 on Goodreads as five-star. Not all are must-reads, but these are ones I thought were excellent…and maybe read-agains.
- I gave a two books a one-star not-only-no-but-really-no UNrecommendation
Anyway, now to the books (five-star ratings are marked with asterisks)…
Posted in Books
Tagged 2010: Odyssey Two, 2061: Odyssey Three, 3001: Odyssey Four, 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology, 50 Mathematical Ideas You Really Need to Know, Alan Sokal, Amy Runyen, Arthur C. Clarke, Barry L. Beyerstein, Bill O'Reilly, Charles Bukowski, Christopher Stasheff, Chuck Palahniuk, Colin Gilbert, David Mitchell, David Rock, David Schmidt, Drifting Democracy, Dylan Gilbert, Edge.org, Elizabeth T. Gilbert, Ender's Game, Esther Forbes, Fight Club, Gabriel Guzman, Ghost of the Well of Souls, Gina Smith, Graham Nash, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed, Imperial Earth, Intellectual Impostures, iWoz, J.K. Rowling, Jack Chalker, Jacob Bronowski, Jean Bricmont, Jesse Walker, John Brockman, John Ruscio, Johnny Tremain, K.A. Yoshida, Killing Jesus, Martin Dugard, Martin Gardner, Neurodiversity, New Media for Designers + Builders, Omnivore, Orson Scott Card, Oscar Wilde, Paul J. Nahin, Piers Anthony, Post Office, Pravin Boddu, Quiet, Rama Revealed, Ray Kurzweil, Rebecca J Razo, Robert Anton Wilson, Robert Louis Stevenson, Scott O. Lilienfeld, Sharon Robinson, Stephen A. Mouzon, Steve Wozniak, Steven Jay Lynn, Steven Pinker, Susan Cain, The Age of Spiritual Machines, The Ascent of man, The Daily Book of Art, The Incredible Dr. Matrix, The Language Instinct, The Logician and the Engineer, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Reason I Jump, The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with AutiNaoki Higashida, The Sea is Full of Stars, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The United States of Paranoia, The Warlock in Spite of Himself, This Explains Everything, Thomas Armstrong, Tony Crilly, Wild Tales, Your Brain at Work
I started the year with another ambitious goal of 100 books (using the Goodreads site to log and track), as last year I read 119. Through June, I’ve managed 58.
I’m grouping the books as I did in last year’s recap by the month in which I finished them (and fiction/nonfiction subgroups.) As the list is already quite long, and I’ve decided to tag all of the authors and titles, I’m publishing the first half of the year as a standalone.
Some quick stats for the BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): heavier on the nonfiction (again) for the six months so far this year:
- 34 nonfiction
- 24 fiction
- 9 of the fiction were Arthur C. Clarke novels. The last of the Big Three (Asimov and Heinlein being the other two, though Heinlein doesn’t warrant the distinction…IMO), I think he did well with science fiction and not so well with things that involve people.
- I’ve rated 10 as five-star on Goodreads
- I gave 2 books a one-star rating (not-only-no-but-really-no)
- I’ve linked all of my Goodreads reviews (even if only one line) to each title, in case anyone is interested in what I thought.
And, now to the books of the first half of 2013…
Posted in Books
Tagged 2001: A Space Odyssey, 21st Century Dodos, A Fall of Moondust, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future, Andrew Keen, Arguing with Idiots, Arthur C. Clarke, Bernie Glassman, Calculating God, Childhood's End, Christina Perozzi, Daniel Coyle, Design, Easts Shoots and Leaves, Echoes of the Well of Souls, Edgar Allan Poe, Frd Collopy, Hallie Beaune, Islands in the Sky, J. G. Ballard, Jack Chalker, James C. Bradford, Jeff Bridges, Jen Campbell, Jim Holt, Jonathan Haidt, Jules Verne, Lynne Truss, Managing as Designing, Maria Konnikova, Marilyn Monroe, Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, Max Brooks, Michael Avallone, Michael J. Fox, Mitch Alborn, My Story, Nate Silver, On a Pale Horse, Pierre Boulle, Piers Anthony, Planet of the Apes, Quarterdeck and Bridge, Rendezvous with Rama, Richard Boland, Right: A New Design Perspective for Business Innovation, Robert J. Sawyer, Scott Trent, Simon Zingerman, Steampunk Poe, Steve Sack, The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking, The Atrocity Exhibition, The Cult of the Amateur, The Deep Range, The Dude and the Zen Master, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, The Happiness Hypothesis, The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue EXCELLENCE, The Naked Brewer, The Signal and the Noise, The Songs of Distant Earth, The Talent Code, The Thousand Coffins Affair (The Man from U.N.C.L.E. #1), The Throwing Madonna, Tom Peters, We All Need Heroes, Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops, Why Does the World Exist?, William H. Calvin, World War Z
One component of my job entails overseeing quality assurance on construction projects. Contractors are responsible for quality control, while we assure they do their part. When it comes to the use of the federal and municipal funds that I have stewarded for the last 20 years, I have exacting standards…and, I’m to understand, an “extreme sensitivity to details”. At least, that’s how an architect described our walkthrough to the contractor on one job.
Now, I am practical – there is a diminishing point of return at which high expectations turn to nitpicking because we all know that the value goes down as soon as we drive a building off the lot – but as he said, I am sensitive to details and there’s really no reason for anyone to expect or receive work of less than acceptable quality. I – and my team – are quite good at this, but I’m always looking to add to my toolbox and I find new or different tools in the most interesting places, such as a book on art, which rises to the top of the “of the week” items for this post.
Posted in Art, Books, Interests, Personal thoughts
Tagged Arthur C. Clarke, Bucking Bock, Colin Razinha, Construction quality, Dallas Museum of Art, Dan Roam, Frank Gehry, Gentry Lee, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Henry David Thoreau, Jack Chalker, Maxwell Anderson, Old Rasputin, Quality, quality assurance, quality control, Rahr & Sons, Rama II, Rem Koolhaas, Russian Imperial Stout, Shadow of the Well of Souls, Steampunk Poe, The Back of the Napkin, The Quality Instinct
I’ve been reading a couple of books on memory while also listening to a Great Course (The Teaching Company) on the subject and I plan to share some of my thoughts in more detail in a later post or two, but I’ll tease a bit here after a couple of other things.
First, I have to deliberately, if for deceptive reasons, drop two names: Robert Anton Wilson and Stephen Hawking. It seems right after I wrote a piece about Wilson generating a bit of traffic on my blog (Robert Anton Wilson redux), “Stephen Hawking” suddenly became the search term most used to stumble upon my page. I figure that by mentioning and tagging both, maybe I can get new folks to find me and then stay a while. So, apologies to those led here by that infernal engine only to find nothing of what they seek. I also apologize to Stephen Hawking for pairing him with Wilson. Brilliant scientist juxtaposed with nutcase writer who seemed to not be fond of advocates of true science – oh well, sorry, Steve. Um, Stephen. Um, Mr. Hawking.
Posted in Beers, Books, Cognition, Interests, Personal thoughts
Tagged A Fall of Moondust, Apple, Arthur C. Clarke, battery replacement, cognition, ifixit.com, iPod Touch, Maple Pecan Porter, Maria Konnikova, Mastermind, memory, Rendezvous with Rama, Robert Anton Wilson, Sam Adams, Sherlock Holmes, Songs of Distant Earth, Spring Thaw, Stephen Hawking, Steve Joordens