On Friday, I told you what some of us are reading, but so many of the Blurberati participated that I couldn’t fit it all into one post. Here’s the rest of our reading list. Remember to let us know what you’re reading too.
I’m actually between books right now, but one that I read recently that I really liked is Less Than Zero by Brett Easton Ellis. It’s mostly about a guy that listlessly returns from college to LA for winter break. There isn’t really a plot, so much that the characters are all from rich families and find evermore extreme things to keep them occupied.
My book is kinda goofy, but very informative: A Twist of the Wrist 2: The Basics of High-Performance Motorcycle Riding by Keith Code. I have three other books I am trying to get through as well: Mastering Regular Expressions, Spook Country, and Cryptonomicon.
All Too Human by George Stephanopoulos. A very readable and seemingly honest look behind the scenes of Bill Clinton’s campaign and presidency from an inside advisor. (He was Clinton’s Director of Communications at 31 years old, which is pretty mind blowing.) Contains lots of relevant insights for the 2008 campaign.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I’m not really into vampire lore or Anne Rice, I’m not dark wave or goth, and I never watched Buffy, but you’d guess otherwise the way I’m devouring Twilight. Can’t. put. it. down. It’s a very tightly written, seductive love story with a quirky, smart heroine and hot vampire. The characters provide a full-on, quintessential teenage perspective that I remember all too well. It’s also inspiring to see a new author win so many editor’s choice awards with her first novel.
A few months ago I finished Personal History, an autobiography by Katharine Graham, and it’s now one of my favorite books ever. Terrific look at the media, women in business, and political history. Plus, it won the Pulitzer Prize in ’98. The book is long, but quite honestly a real page turner. And if you’re a Watergate fiend, you need to read the behind-the-scenes story from her perspective.
I’m reading Anna Karenina and just taking my time to savor so I can sound intellectual as long as possible before I can go back into my secret bat cave and read another Marian Keyes. (Or this bad boy is 820 pages long, which even my psycho-reader self can’t read in a week.)
You asked, so here it goes…Unless I’m reading a page-turner – like anything by Lee Child, for example – or a classic, I typically read multiple books at a time. These are usually books about music, science, or history, with an occasional biography thrown in to vary the mix. I find it helpful to read a chewable chunk at a time – typically a chapter or two – digest it, then augment my understanding of the subject via Wikipedia and other information-rich resources on the net. That I have the attention span of a gnat is irrelevant.
That said, here’s what’s currently in my bag of rendered words:
What is Life? by Erwin Schrödinger. Schrödinger – best known for his contributions to quantum mechanics and mathematics – in his later years wrote this book, which has served as one of the inspirations for the field of molecular biology and the discovery of DNA’s structure. The book also includes the essay “Mind and Matter” in which he queries about the relationship between consciousness and the evolution of life, as well as his “Autobiographical Sketches” in which he delves briefly into his own back story. It’s one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read.
How to Make a Noise by Simon Cann. Perhaps the book about the theory and practice of creating sounds with a synthesizer. Until now I’ve relied solely on my ear for constructing sounds. Once I’ve completed this book, however, I will add to my arsenal the ability to conjure up more precise sonic manifestations, perhaps on command – if the reward is sufficient enough, of course.
Consciousness: An Introduction by Susan Blackmore. From the Amazon description, the book “examines the scientific nature of subjective experience.” As a software developer, I’m naturally interested in what makes things tick, especially the mind. For me, it’s a follow up to Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near. Within my lifetime, I believe there will be sentient computers, so I’m curious about what consciousness is, and how the mind works.
Ableton Live 7 Reference Manual. Yes, I’m actually reading a software manual. Ableton Live is an incredibly powerful performance-oriented music production system. While I still prefer to do the final finishing touches to my musical pieces in Apple’s Logic Pro, Live is helping me to assemble my tracks using a more improvisational approach. It’s a very deep piece of software, hence why I’ve taken the track to RTFM.
The September of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer.