What book are you reading at the moment?

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by Pacific lefty, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Pacific lefty

    Pacific lefty Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Messages:
    272
    Location:
    Europe
    I got 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami for Christmas, and it is a really strange novel. He has a fantastic style of writing and unusual turn of phrase. If you liked the movie "Lost in Translation", you will like this as it is slightly surreal, very modern, and touches upon universal themes of loneliness, alienation, and the search for identity...
     
    #1
  2. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,092
    I'm reading "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime." Author Hadden.

    So far, I really like it.
     
    #2
  3. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    3,363
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, so far it's very entertaining.
     
    #3
  4. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,792
    I liked it too. My seven-year-old got a hold of my copy of this (she is a very advanced reader, and I think she was attracted by the cover art) and finished it off in an afternoon before I was aware she had it. I was worried about her having been exposed to some of the more adult themes in the book, but they seem to have gone right over her head. I was surprised how much she understood about the main character, though. A good read.

    I have been trying to get into the Game of Thrones series (highly recommended by a friend), but I guess I'm just too old for the fantasy genre--I am just not getting hooked by the first book in the series. Got a copy of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children for Xmas, and think I will crack the cover this afternoon.
     
    #4
  5. r2473

    r2473 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    7,113
    "As you like it"

    I'm reading a play a week. I read each play twice and watch the BBC / Ambrose version on DVD on the weekend. I should have read through them all by early summer.
     
    #5
  6. Slayer_of_Kings

    Slayer_of_Kings New User

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    0
    'The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick' -Philip K. Dick

    Absolute mindf*ck!

    [​IMG]
     
    #6
  7. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,673
    Just finished Brian Greene's The Hidden Reality.

    It lays down the current state of humanity's understanding of the Universe - a kind of status report. It reveals what the brightest people in the world have come up with so far. It is probably the most up-to-date summary of Physics and Philosophy, and one of the review comments was spot on - that if an extra-terrestrial civilization were to come over and ask us to summarize what we have found out so far, we should just give them a copy of the book.

    The depressing thing is that it is clear that no one has or ever had a better understanding that what is in this book - and the book just shows how much is yet unknown. It permanently puts to rest any notion that some philosopher or mystic or saint in the past knew more than we do today, and also gives no assurance that there is any meaning/purpose to anything, or if there is, that we can ever grasp it. It is true and honest writing, unlike the million books out there which seek to pacify and comfort by bluffing around.
     
    #7
  8. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,673
    That reminds me of what Sherlock Holmes said was curious about the night-time barking of the Hound of the Baskervilles - that it did not bark.
     
    #8
  9. r2473

    r2473 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    7,113
    I read a summary of the book and looked at the table of contents. It didn't look like it had much to do with "an up to date summary of philosophy".
     
    #9
  10. Z-Man

    Z-Man Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    984
    Keith Richards Life.
    The best book I've read in years,
     
    #10
  11. Hood_Man

    Hood_Man Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Messages:
    8,324
    Location:
    Wales
    Casino Royale. I read it a few years ago just after seeing the film, and although there are differences I'm surprised just how similar the film was to the book.
     
    #11
  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,673
    That is my twist on it. Just like half the things I said are not Brian Greene's words hehe. For example, he is respectful to traditional thinking in the book - but I suspect he is really not, so I extrapolate from there. For example, he says quite clearly he does not believe in a non-material soul behind consciousness, nor does he believe it a one-time creation. But he says it gently, probably to widen the appeal of his book.

    There is only one direct reference to philosophy - he talks about how his undergrad philosophy course teacher at Harvard challenged him about what he wanted to do, and introduced the idea of the multiverse to him.

    It is an up to date summary of philosophy because it goes beyond philosophy - no philosopher can bring anything more to the table than Brian does, because it will not be grounded in facts.

    There can really be no philosophy beyond science. That is why it represents state of the art thinking. It is really the only book that needs to be read.
     
    #12
  13. TripleB

    TripleB Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Messages:
    3,742
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Tim Tebow 'Through My Eyes' and The Bible (CSB translation)

    TripleB
     
    #13
  14. scotus

    scotus Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    7,710
    Biography of Steve Jobs.
     
    #14
  15. angharad

    angharad Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Messages:
    498
    "MegaTrends" - the original version. I love looking at what we thought the future would be like in the past, and the MegaTrends books fit nicely into that niche.
     
    #15
  16. jedd

    jedd Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    101
    Martin. A dance with the dragons.
     
    #16
  17. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Messages:
    13,696
    Location:
    So Cal
    The Quants.
     
    #17
  18. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,001
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer and Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz.

    GREAT BOOKS :)
     
    #18
  19. The Djoker

    The Djoker Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    472
    Location:
    USA
    Ask the Dust by John Fante
     
    #19
  20. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    31,207
    Location:
    Somewhere under the weather ;)
    You are so utterly brainwashed by "pop-thinking" (for lack of any other term) since it's cool to be cynical, I feel sad for you. What you call "mystics" or "saints" of the past (I presume you are referring to people like the Buddha) went by hard facts and what was found, not some nice sounding philosophy or chicken-soup. Obviously, you have totally misunderstood them, and refuse to, since you prefer to look intelligent.

    If you think people like the Buddha or Jesus or Ramana Maharshi were bluffing around, you clearly have your head up your you-know-what. Sorry for being so harsh, but I think you are mature enough to take it.
     
    #20
  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,673
    Well, a lot of stuff comes from people who write about them, not from them. They also deal with the moral and psychological domains, which is often confused with philosophy. I am talking about fundamentals. not about "love thy neighbor as thyself." Though it is fashionable to say that all religions lead to the same goal. Buddha, Jesus and RM did not say the same things at all, which makes it even more difficult. At least the disagreements between Brian Greene and his colleagues will be at a different level, and they will agree on all the fundamentals. Once the religious leaders were gone, their followers split into various groups, each claiming they are the true branch.

    If you are talking about philosophers, yes, there is some merit. The book quotes Plato (or was it Socrates) who said we experience only a shadow of reality. I suppose you will correlate that with Maya. But these are just good examples of speculative thinking - today we need much more physics and math behind the claims, and separation of human abilities from the physics of the Universe. Though it may be true that quantum mechanics implies a universal thread running through everything, it does not mean a 3D biological entity like us will ever be able to grasp it.
     
    #21
  22. r2473

    r2473 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    7,113
    I agree with Sentinel. You speak like one that doesn't know much about religion / philosophy. Your view of the subjects is negative, so you only pay attention to anything negative said about them (you clearly haven't read "the stuff" yourself).

    You accept the negative comments easily and without question (because they agree with your prejudices). The positive comments you don't believe UNLESS they come from a scientist that you respect (and clearly this Brian Greene is respected by you, thus your recalling his usage of a Plato quote).

    Fashionably cynical. I think Sentinel hit the nail on the head with you.

    I think you should (casually) read existentialism and post-moderism so you can arm yourself with more cynicism (even though they are not actually cynical philosophies at all).
     
    #22
  23. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,792

    Thanks for the laugh out loud! No, no, go right ahead and keep being "harsh." It's fun to see people get enough rope to hang themselves with. :)
     
    #23
  24. pageltennis

    pageltennis New User

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Messages:
    52
    I'm reading Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller, and I'm going to start the hunger games series soon.
     
    #24
  25. Nuke

    Nuke Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    2,976
    Location:
    location, location, location
    Stephen King's 11/22/63. Like all of King's later books, it's a lot longer than it ought to be, but his stuff is always readable. I'm halfway through and enjoying it.
     
    #25
  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,673
    Not really. Cynical is cynical, fashionable or not. Not being cynical when cynicism is required is dishonesty. You don't live like people did thousands of years ago, and in the same vein, there is no need to believe that they knew anything you don't know now.

    I know too much about religion and philosophy, and know that they have been proved wrong I don't know how many times. (I have probably read more about RM than Sentinel ever has.) The instances when they were right are the vaguely worded ones which can be interpreted in any way you like.

    That is why I always say - instead of reading a ton about religion/philosophy, just read one college evolutionary biology textbook. It has more truth in it than any "ancient sacred text." And add the Brian Greene book to it also. That is all the philosophy and religion you will ever need.
     
    #26
  27. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    3,713
    Just finished this past few weeks:
    Micro by M Crichton (another Crichton soon to be at your multiplex)
    11/22/63 by King

    Last week at the train station waiting for the Eurostar got The life of Lee by Brit funny man Lee Evans and Round the Bend by Jeremy Clarkson (love all his stuff).

    Finally got started reading Dance with Dragons on the plane back yesterday and just about halfway thru. Sooo much better on the iPad not having to lug around 1100+ pages of G R R Martins goodness.
     
    #27
  28. OTMPut

    OTMPut Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,328
    THE MAN WHO MISTOOK HIS WIFE FOR A HAT.
    Oliver Sachs.

    An old book. But amazing collection of neurological patient cases, narrated brilliantly.
    Makes me think the meaning of "normality". This one should be a must read for everyone who can read.
     
    #28
  29. ARON

    ARON New User

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    78
    The Prophet by Gibran
     
    #29
  30. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,673
    Just ordered that book from B&N. Thanks for the heads up.
     
    #30
  31. TopFH

    TopFH Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    3,450
    Mockingjay (The Final Book in the Hunger Games trilogy) by Suzanne Collins.
     
    #31
  32. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    31,207
    Location:
    Somewhere under the weather ;)
    My dear chap, you keep mixing something *else* up with what you are criticizing. I can never pin you down to exactly what you are arguing about or saying is false. You keep coming out with some vague "love thy neighbour" thing which may have been very appropriate in some context.

    You can read as many books on Buddhism or any ism as you want but you will never get it just like someone who keeps looking at the finger and not what is being pointed to.

    Anyone who has practiced looking, knows that Jesus and Buddha and RM and Nisargadatta and many others are pointing at the same one thing. Their analogies may vary.

    When Christ says "Be still and know I am", or some Buddhists talk of being in the Now, or the Hindus speak of abiding in the "I am"/beingness/consciousness, these are all identical pointings. Only one who has practiced to the point of having insights knows that they are all identical.

    One who has read the entire Vedas/Upanishads and whatever else will keep nitpicking on words and other question-answers. Thousands of people asked questions to these people and their answers and recorded but that is not their basic teaching.

    e.g. RM's teaching or instruction was basically self-enquiry which is a practical thing, not a belief or philosophy. But the lay-person will take up each and every question he answered and claim that to be his philosophy.

    In each major religion you will find the pointing. Otherwise there was no point going around teaching something that would merely entertain, or help pass time. However, it is my speculation too that the pointing was missed which is why *immediately* followers would have built up their religion around the instruction. Once you make the "finger" into your religion, no doubt people will fight and kill each other over their version of the pointing finger, never seeing where it is pointing.

    Anyone, who practices keeping the mind still (as Christ said) or self-enquiry or keeping the mind in the Now, to the point of insights, knows that when Jesus or Krishna etc say "I" or "I am" or "i am the way", or "take refuge in me", that it is not a physical body that was spoken of as "I". We have glimpsed that which was spoken of, or rather which was spoken from.

    Ironically, many of us have actually come to this insight independently, which further validates this. I was an atheist, and then went to books to confirm, and found confirmations all over. What is shocking is that religions have got lost in blind-faith and missed the pointing. This is something so enormous that it is mind-boggling that it is such a "secret".

    The Gita is more like a practical manual, with clear instructions, not something to be mindlessly repeated.

    All your great scientists (some of them are my faves too such as Hawking), are using their authority from one area to debunk something they have never experienced.

    Let me just summarize all this in case you glossed over it. There is actually something that is pointed to, something very practical. It is not some nice chicken soup stuff to keep in your mind and keep repeating to be happy. Their is actually a shift, a dimensional shift, that happens when you come out of the mind-stream and are anchored in the present moment/Now/consciousness.

    You can choose to remain lost in the mind-stream or be free and see what is here.
     
    #32
  33. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,837
    With this rant, you make your case for being brainwashed. The poster you addressed seemed curious/open-minded, but you came across as overly-certain/ inflexible.
     
    #33
  34. MixieP

    MixieP Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2010
    Messages:
    2,225
    Location:
    Milano, Italia
    "Doktor Faustus" by Thomas Mann.
     
    #34
  35. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    31,207
    Location:
    Somewhere under the weather ;)
    We've been locking horns for a long time.

    Yes, I am certain since I speak from practical experience, not (someone else's) belief.
     
    #35
  36. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,673
    Above is psychology, not fundamental analysis. That is why it may actually be practical. Remembering to breathe normally is a great calming tool in tennis, but it is not the reason for the Universe.
     
    #36
  37. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,673
    People who believe in things without evidence are always angry when the evidence does not show up or points in another direction. That is how religious fundamentalism begins. It is never about belief in something. It is always about the gnawing fear that the belief is wrong, so rather than admit it, the attempt is to force it on everybody else as soon as possible. If lots of people believes in something without evidence, that fact itself can then be presented as evidence.
     
    #37
  38. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,792
    Quoted for truth.
     
    #38
  39. r2473

    r2473 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    7,113
    ^^The Grand Inquisitor.

    Sureshs is a cynic in search of a mark (and the easier the mark the better).

    It's pretty easy to attach "the believers", but would be something else entirely to attack the actual "beliefs" in a sophisticated manner.
     
    #39
  40. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,673
    Or to attack them
     
    #40
  41. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,935
    'Making Ideas Happen' Scott Belsky
     
    #41
  42. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Messages:
    2,090
    I've read one of his books, 'Norwegian Wood' recommended by a friend of mine who is a dedicated Murakami reader. It did definitely adress the themes you mentioned , but four suicides was a bit too much for my liking.
    Maybe I started with the wrong book, but after that one I didn't give him another try up intil now. Maybe I should give 1Q84 a chance.

    Just finished 'A son of the circus' by John Irving. Very eventful and humorous but with a tragic edge as well. Good plot line, too.

    Just started reading L'√Čtranger' by Albert Camus.
     
    #42
  43. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Messages:
    2,090
    I've read one of his books, 'Norwegian Wood' recommended by a friend of mine who is a dedicated Murakami reader. It did definitely adress the themes you mentioned , but four suicides was a bit too much for my liking.
    Maybe I started with the wrong book, but after that one I didn't give him another try up intil now. Maybe I should give 1Q84 a chance.

    Just finished 'A son of the circus' by John Irving. Very eventful and humorous but with a tragic edge as well. Good plot line, too.

    Just started reading L'√Čtranger' by Albert Camus.
     
    #43
  44. TopFH

    TopFH Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    3,450
    You won't regret it.
     
    #44
  45. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,616
    The Hunger Games
     
    #45
  46. Rui

    Rui Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    406
    Mostly Harmless, by Douglas Adams
     
    #46

Share This Page