Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Snowlilly, Aug 21, 2012.
Paul O'Grady's Biography
I'm at the start of Act 2 of Much Ado About Nothing, having first properly encountered the story via Joss Whedon's movie. Enjoying it immensely so far.
Recently finished Joyce's A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man. This semi-autobiographical novel from very nearly a hundred years ago is erudite, emotionally charged, highly philosophical, quite modern-feeling and (considering his later output) remarkably coherent and straightforward.
Having just finished NO ONE LEFT TO LIE TO by Christopher Hitchens, I'm now on THE BEST AMERICAN COMICS CRITICISM edited by Ben Schwartz.
I'm a little behind you, just started A Clash of Kings! Read through A Game of Thrones pretty quickly though so it shouldn't be too long before I've caught up with the books.
Im at page 872, chapter 25 in A Storm of Swords. With each book, this series becomes more and more my favorite. I can't wait to be one of the many clamoring for the next book by GRRM.
Just finished Becoming Dr. Q: My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon, by Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, MD. Fascinating and inspiring. I had the opportunity to meet him last year, and the book really reflects his warmth and enthusiasm (in addition to the expected brilliance).
Moving on to The Chronicles of Downton Abbey.
World War Z by Max Brooks
Yeah, I didn't expect to read the first one as quickly as I did. They're really good value as well!
I'm currently reading a collection of Mark Twain's speeches.
I'm reading a novelization of the TV show Leverage. It's titled The Zoo Job if anybody's interested in looking it up.
Also looking forward to trying some of John Green's books. I've heard good things about The Fault in Our Stars.
I just finished reading Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King...it's very different from his usual...sword and sorcery for this one...good story, too.
Re-reading To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
^ One of my favorites.
I am attempting to read An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke. I'm not having much like with it, however. I don't think philosophy is for me. On a much brighter note, I finished The Bonobo and the Atheist. I am definitely buying this one for a re-read.
Just finished Dragonlance - The Lost Chronicles: Dragons of the Hourglass Mage. Next will be Dragonlance: The Second Generation. It kind of sucks that I've finished the 3 trilogies that star the heroes of the lance, and i've heard the books start dropping off in quality at this point, but I like the universe and characters enough that I want to keep going.
Reading another Frans De Waal book (Our Inner Ape). Gave up on Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Made it trip to the library yesterday. Maybe I'll read it another time.
I don't think you should give up on all philosophy. Thing is, a lot of philosophers aren't very good writers so it can be very grinding trying to read them. Some of my favourites are Plato, Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus, Kirkegaard, Descartes, Hume was alright as well I think, and Rousseau wasn't bad although it's been a while since I've read those two.
I have just finished The Library: An Illustrated History by Stuart AP Murray. A somewhat disjointed and repentative book which was disappointing as it contained interesting info. 3/5.
Tomorrow I will start In Our Hearts We Were Giants: The Remarkable Story of the Lilliput Troupe - A Dwarf's Family Survival of the Holocaust by Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev.
I have heard that Locke in particular can be hard to read because his writing can be so disjointed. I thought it would be different. I'm not going to give up on philosophy, but I am going to take a break. It seems to me that philosophy comes from a false premise that we are savages until taught otherwise. We have the capacity to empathize with others and to think outside our immediate needs. This comes from biology. For instance, I may be amorous, but I don't grab the first attractive person I see and rape them because I have that urge. I consider it from the other person's perspective first. I do it without thinking. This causes me to talk to them, to try and get to know them, even if my immediate goal is just to sleep with them.
These are thoughts as I got into the first 10 pages of the Essay. His premise that reason is the only thing that separates the human animal from chaos seemed an oversimplification. I have read philosophy, taken a few classes, I just wasn't, coming off of Bonobo, ready to tackle it. So I will try again later, I just don't want to do it right now.
^^ You're right, it's definitely an oversimplification. Reason is vital, of course, but it's not what stands between us and chaos-- the animal kingdom is not chaotic, merely animalistic. Many of the qualities we consider noble-- love, sympathy, loyalty, compassion-- are present in mammals generally (and other classes as well). What really defines Humanity are the arts and sciences.
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