Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Books read, reading, and want to read

Books read

I finished the Preacher graphic novel (comics!) series. Not as good as Gaiman's Sandman, but still ok and pretty bizarre. Story is centered around a religious conspiracy involving an Irish vampire, an American priest, a female hitman, a spiritual being created from a tryst between a demon and angel, and whole bunch of other characters (and they all walk into a bar ...). Said priest has the spiritual being enter his body that gives him a power called the 'word of god', which enables him to command anyone to do what he wants including ordering one guy to count all the grains of sand on a beach. The preacher spends his time walking around Earth trying to find God, who has given up his position in heaven, so he can use the 'word of god' on God to command him back to his position. It also has a worldwide dominionist conspiracy operating in the background. Bizarre story. 

The Tiger's Way by H. John Poole

Re-read this again after someone who had borrowed it for awhile just returned it. Poole is a little bit out there, especially using dodgy sources to back up his arguments e.g. Ashida Kim and Haha Lung. Basic concept of the book: Using the ideas of Ninjitsu in infantry tactics. Yes. Sounds insane, but he kinda makes it work. Good book, probably will never use any of the stuff in it, as my days sitting in a fighting pit filled with water while slapping my face silly as I miss the mosquitoes, are over. Although it is conceptually useful, especially the stuff on deception (now to actually find a good scholarly historical work on Ninjitsu that isn't filled with hyberbole).  

Books reading

Great history so far. Massive and well sourced.

So far pretty good. Has a chapter on interstellar communications, which is why I picked it up. 

Books I want to read

Spotted this on the Library new books shelf wedged in between "Childhood lava studies: why the adult world ignores the lava they are standing in" and "She-Ra to Zena: Post-Colonialist Feminist Media Studies in Fantasy Antiquity" (don't go looking for those books. I just made them up, but they could be books on the humanities shelf). It has an entire chapter on the Shanxiao, which was mentioned in Poole's book (apparently certain groups of milita/bandits used to pretend they were mountain demons, this meme somehow found its way to Japan and to the Ninja, though Poole doesn't give any sources apart from Mr. Dodgy again). 

The Economics of Time and Ignorance by Gerald O'Driscoll et al.

Time as a non-renewable resource. 

The epistemology of confusion.  Might up the alley of people into Boyd's works. 

Now your turn: read, reading, want to read.


Anonymous said...

I was going to publish the same thing on my own site.

Meditations - Marcus Aurelius(again)
-One of the greatest books ever. Period

War of Art - Steven Presserfield (again)
-Conceptualizes and personifies what we might call "slacking" or not "living up to your potential." While I have no plans to write a novel I take it to use it any many other forms. Good stuff.

Virtues of War - Steven Presserfield
-Pretty cool book, I wish it was more historically accurate. It was hard to put down and had some interesting ideas mixed into the great retelling of an epic novel.

One Bullet Away - Nathaniel Flick
- Thanks to Smittin Eagle for suggesting this one. While the retelling of his experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq are crazy. I wish he would have done more steam of thought(like TE Lawrence did in Seven Pillars of Wisdom). Excellent book and you can really see the hierarchical 2GW of the military.

Fight Club - Chuck Palaniuk(again)
-Once again, the movie is crap just read this book and see some post talking about "Fight Club Moments." If only his other books were up to this level.

Enchirdion - Epictetus
-While you can't historically attribute everything to him it is a must read. Especially if you feel Meditations is a great book.

The Stoics - F.H. Sandbach
-Good breakdown of Stoicism that fleshes out anything you read about the philosophy. While later stoics are more to my liking I enjoy getting a background rerun of the philosophy I find so attractive.

Letters from a Stoic - Seneca
-Do as Seneca says not as Seneca does. Great stuff.

Want to Read
-Anything on my Amazon wishlist or stuff being shipped here to me in Africa(takes like a month :( )

(sorry for being so long)

G said...

Good list.

Are you going through a stoic phase?

Anonymous said...

I just like to consume ideas about certain subjects in the most holistic way possible. Taking on certain subject for a month or two is a good way to do so.

I won't deny certain aspects of Stoicism are attractive, even now.

G said...

Cool. I used to do that too. Still do it every now and then. My last phase on predators and their influence on human evolution. Got every book and article I could find on the topic.