Tag Archives: Arthur C. Clarke

My 2013 Reading List – Second Half

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)…

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My 2013 Reading List – First Six Months

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…

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The Quality of the Day

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.

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Milton, Holmes, and iPods…Oh my

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.

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