Friday, June 08, 2007

Peter's Book Pile



I spent most of the day catching up on reading blogs and then journalling. Nothing I feel ready to share, yet, at least with anybody but Cat.

In the mean time, here's my own book pile. I've cheated a little bit and included some books that I've just finished and one that I'm about to start, but it's all within a two-week window.

I had brain surgery, what's your excuse? is an autobiographical account of humorist Suzy Becker's recovery from a brain tumor. It's laugh-out-loud funny and heartbreaking at the same time, and I'm wolfing it down in huge mouthfulls.

Xenocide satisfies the craving I often get for hard science fiction. Well, can any story that features faster-than-light travel and telepathic communication with a sencient computer really be called "hard" SF? It was good, though. A fun read, but also pretty thought provoking.

All of Anna Quindlen's books, regardless of plot, are really about people in mid-life thinking about their relationships as they deal with shit raining down from Heaven. I listen to her in the car a lot. Audiobooks are great for my hour-each-way commute to work.

Stephen Hawking is another audiobook favorite, A Briefer History of Time was a bit too brief for me. I can't actually do the math for quantum mechanics, but if you do it in front of me I can sit back and watch the pretty lights, and even understand a little of it.

Entanglement: The Greatest Mystery in Physics was given to me by my father, who teaches physics. It's been sitting idle, half-finished, for a while but now that I'm done with Hawking I can pick it up again. It's just right for me--as meaty as you can get without requiring me to solve my own wave functions.

This week's audiobook is a BBC radio series about Dante: Poet of the Impossible. I read (and loved) the Inferno when I was in high school. It wasn't a school assignment--I picked it up after reading a science fiction novel by the same name by Larry Niven, which I also recommend.

Hermann Hesse was a German pacifist in World War I. I loved his novels when I was in my 20's, but this is the first time I've read any of his essays.

Lloyd Lee Wilson is the next Quaker book on my list, as soon as my wife is done with it. I haven't done nearly as much Quaker reading as Cat has, and I'm beginning to feel my lack of familiarity with Quaker history and thought as a significant deficiency. Quaker Vision of Gospel Order was Cat's recommendation for a good place to start.

And then there's Batman. Gotta have Batman.

And when I'm not reading, I'm writing at least a little, at least in my journal, and some of that will eventually find its way onto this blog. Marshall, I haven't left our conversation; I've only paused to think.

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