Tag Archives: Maria Konnikova

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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What, son? … It’s Elementary!

Where to start? Birthday, art, beer … books and Sherlocks galore … just another exciting week. Can there ever be anything else around here?

Drew - 14th birthday largeOur youngest son Drew turned 14 on Wednesday. Just the night before, he was standing next to me in the kitchen and I experienced an optical illusion of my peripheral vision: he seemed to be taller than me!

Okay…it wasn’t an illusion…he really had grown about two inches in the last month. So I am now officially shorter than all of my sons. But you know what? I can still… [say it with me boys…] … take them!

You see, I fully expected oh so long ago that all of my sons would be bigger, faster, stronger, taller, smarter (or some combination of the above) than me. So I prepared for just such an eventuality.

In the old days, circuses would tie a baby elephant’s leg to a stake in the ground (for the record, I dislike the use of animals in circuses, but for the sake of an oft-told story…) That poor baby would strain and strain and never be able to pull the stake out. Later, when he was a much bigger adult, he could probably quite easily pull the stake out, but he never did…because he thought he couldn’t.

Now, when Brandon, Colin, Dylan and Drew were all tiny babies, I would whisper subliminally over and over as they slept, “I can still take you…I can still take you.” And when they were teens, full of testosterone, strength and a need to show the old man that strength if they got mad at me, they would haul back and …

…think, “Nah. He can still take me!”

{None of my sons have ever “hauled back”…that’s just part of the story.}

Anyway, Drew had a great birthday with a bunch of friends at JumpStreet (trampolines), a nice dinner with his family at the restaurant of his choice (Cheddar’s), a Reese’s Fudge cake made with love by Momma, all capped with the awesome movie “The Princess Bride“.

And …

…I didn’t have to “take him”!

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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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