What are you reading? III

I’ve been on a fiction kick lately… I recently finished a cool sci-fi story titled Undercity by Catherine Asaro. I can’t believe I had not discovered her works before! I really enjoy her writing style. (She also happens to be well versed in science with an MA in Physics and Phd in chemical physics.) I picked up the first book in her Skolian Empire saga, Primary Inversion, but haven’t started it yet, because…
I’m currently reading Queen of Thorns by Dave Gross set in the Pathfinder RPG world of Golarion. It’s the third (of four so far) book with these two characters: Count Jeggare and his hellspawn bodyguard Radovan. Each chapter continues the story but tells the tale from the perspective of one character or the other. A fun read so far.
EDIT: Just remembered that I read Think Like a Freak. :slight_smile: I liked it.
Take care,
Derek

Sounds good Harry. I have been meaning to get think like a freak since I listen to the freakonomics podcasts but hadn’t gotten around to it yet.
A while back I mentioned a book called The Martian. It’s an excellent scifi book about an astronaut who is stranded on Mars and has to figure out how to survive. A bit like Macgyver and survivorman meets Neil Armstrong. Really good science in the book. The movie version with Matt Damon is coming out in Nov 2015 and looks promising.
http://youtu.be/Ue4PCI0NamI

Just finished The Lost Gospel by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson. The book should be on the required reading for history. I would recommend this book for everyone. I can see the truly faithful burning the book. Jesus is one of the most important people to have ever lived. And Jesus is one of the most talked about people on earth. Yet we know very little about Jesus himself. Especially from a historical point of view. Most historian who talk about Jesus are using a theological position and have never covered the material in the way this book has. The subjects covered include the Gnostic Christianity and the god Mary being as important as high priest Jesus to the founding of Christianity. From understanding Mary better, you feel that you get a clearer picture of Jesus himself. The book does a wonderful job in making it easy to understand the political atmosphere as it relates to the steps Jesus took.

Unfortunately reading a book about group policy and Microsoft Server 2012… not exactly an “engaging” read. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m reading Barbarians to Angels: the Dark Ages Reconsidered by Peter Wells. Turns out much of what popular culture believes about the Dark Ages is just plain wrong. No surprise there, eh?
The Martian is next on my reading list.

I’m just getting into Coyne’s latest book Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion are incompatible. In the chapter I’m currently reading he explains why falsifiability is essential in determining scientific truth.
Cap’t Jack

Unfortunately reading a book about group policy and Microsoft Server 2012.... not exactly an "engaging" read. :P
I've recently done reading on configuring Bradley Communications ethernet cards through ApplicomI/O. Riveting.
Unfortunately reading a book about group policy and Microsoft Server 2012.... not exactly an "engaging" read.
I've recently done reading on configuring Bradley Communications ethernet cards through ApplicomI/O. Riveting. I'm sorry, I must have dozed off... What were you two talking about? :cheese: Anyway... I finished off Queen of Thorns last night and started Primary Inversion at lunch. Take care, Derek

I’m most of the way through SevenEves. Its a SciFi near future thought experiment in which the human race faces the fact that the earth is going to be decimated by an unstoppable natural event. They have two years in which to try to preserve a miniscule portion of the human race in the hopes that it may survive the 5,000 years it will take for the earth to be habitable again all the while accepting the fact that the other 7 billion humans will die in the catastrophe.
Its really two books. The first part is about how humanity would react to a death sentence and how their chosen few might meet the many challenges required to survive the calamity with the help of the rest of the human race. The second half imagines how the human race might have changed when we catch up with them ready to repopulate the earth 5,000 years later.
I don’t agree with some of the conclusions and there are some wholes in the logic but they are not major and its an interesting thought experiment.
There’s a lot of science in this and most of it is pretty accurate. Lots of orbital mechanics and physics and a fair amount of biology which I enjoyed but if you’re not into that it could get dry at times.

China: A History by John Keay
I’m about halfway through this non-fiction history of China. Extraordinary that an area that large could exist without a Jesus (except for the Taiping Rebellion against the Manchu Dynasty which was led by Jesus’ younger brother, Hong Xiuquan).

Recently finished “Europe in Autumn”] by Dave Hutchison. Its part political thriller, part sci-fi about a future Europe which is breaking up into smaller and often more bizarre types of states.
A possibility in the real future, perhaps.

I finished Snowy Tower: Parzival and the Wet Black Branch of Language by Martin Shaw recently. It’s a desconstruction of the Parzival story in the tradition of Robert Bly. Martin Shaw is a genius. He weaves the ancient stories with his current work with troubled young men and political and social analysis. It has not just filled the hole left by church, it has completely overshadowed it.

A VIETCONG MEMOIR By Truong Nhu Tang. With David Chanoff and Doan Van Toai. Illustrated. 350 pp. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

They called Me Mad (Monaham) About the scientist who have pushed at the limits of our knowledge.

I’m doing some retro reading so to speak. Almost finished with Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. Verne must have had an extensive knowledge of Marine Biology because every chapter is jammed full of detailed descriptions of every sea creature known to man at that time (1867). He must have consulted volumes of books on Marine Biology, electrical engineering, geography (his descriptions of various stops the Nautilius made along the way read like a travelogue), whaling, and general history were spot on, except of course his description of Antarctica. Still a great read over a century later. He was definitely way ahead of his time.
Cap’t Jack

A Story of the Telegraph, by John Murray
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/50864/50864-h/50864-h.htm
The Alien, by Raymond F. Jones
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/50783/50783-h/50783-h.htm
I check Project Gutenberg regularly to see if anything interesting turns up. They just passed 50,000 books last year. The telegraphy book is historical and brings up the early development of electricity. The telegraph was the big world changing application of electricity in the 19th century and was tightly linked to the development of railroads.
That SF book has a very high science word density and brings up Alfred Korzybski and mentions semantics a lot. Heinlein and von Vogt were into General Semantics so I am curious what this book does with it.
psik

A Story of the Telegraph, by John Murray http://www.gutenberg.org/files/50864/50864-h/50864-h.htm I check Project Gutenberg regularly to see if anything interesting turns up. They just passed 50,000 books last year. The telegraphy book is historical and brings up the early development of electricity. The telegraph was the big world changing application of electricity in the 19th century and was tightly linked to the development of railroads. psik
Does the book go into any significance of TA Edison's contributions?
Does the book go into any significance of TA Edison's contributions?
I have scanned down all of the pictures in the book and there is one of Edison. I have not read far enough to find his involvement yet, however. This comes up in a search:
While working as operator in New Orleans, La., he invented the automatic repeater. In 1864 he conceived the idea, which he afterwards perfected, of duplex telegraphy, but it was not put into practical operation until 1872. His next important inventions were the quadruplex and the printing telegraph for stock quotations.
The copyright is 1905 so I find it interesting to think of all of the advances in electrical sophistication since then. There are some science books in Project Gutenberg about things like bacteria or surgery that are over 100 years old that I figure must be nearly worthless. But this one mentions Volta and Ampere. Kind of funny that it uses the electrical term ohm but not Ohm, the man it comes from. psik
Does the book go into any significance of TA Edison's contributions?
I have scanned down all of the pictures in the book and there is one of Edison. I have not read far enough to find his involvement yet, however. This comes up in a search:
While working as operator in New Orleans, La., he invented the automatic repeater. In 1864 he conceived the idea, which he afterwards perfected, of duplex telegraphy, but it was not put into practical operation until 1872. His next important inventions were the quadruplex and the printing telegraph for stock quotations.
The copyright is 1905 so I find it interesting to think of all of the advances in electrical sophistication since then. There are some science books in Project Gutenberg about things like bacteria or surgery that are over 100 years old that I figure must be nearly worthless. But this one mentions Volta and Ampere. Kind of funny that it uses the electrical term ohm but not Ohm, the man it comes from. psik Yes that time period is my favorite for scientific discovery and invention. I read a biography of Edison and it really emphasized his early years as an operator. Plus Maxwell's equations come up around that time frame too. The quadruplex was also an amazing invention. The World was crackling back then!! Just exploding. Copyright 1905? Those old books sometimes give good historical perspectives not to be overlooked.

Back in the 80’s I read three of the early books in Piers Anthony’s Xanth series (our school library only had those ones).
I just got the entire collection and started the first book this morning. There are 33(!) books, so I should be good until at least this time next year.
Those Chapters/indigo gift cards I recieved for Christmas are going to be burning a hole in my wallet for a long time.