Author Topic: Rate the last book you just read  (Read 9077 times)

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Offline petrolpetal

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #360 on: December 12, 2014, 12:44:18 PM »
Hmm. The Murakami I've read so far has been 1Q84 and The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. So these are NOT the classics?? Dammit, I'm gonna have to pick up those other books then.

I've mostly been reading goofy stuff lately. The two books I'm working on now are The Dueling Neurosurgeons by Sam Kean, which is a bit more high-falutin' than I've been reading, and a book called Ranger Confidential (about the life of a US Parks Service ranger), which is probably mostly in-line. I did just finish a rather dry book on airline disasters, I guess, which was nice in explaining what exactly went wrong at Tenerife.

1Q84 I did not enjoy - but the Wind Up Bird Chronicle is also a classic imo - I had forgotten about that one.

I'm part way through "Waking Up" by Sam Harris (as recommended by Lonely Moa). I am also enjoying it - but I've read quite a lot about mindfulness and meditation and so far I am a little disappointed that Sam has not come up with another (easier) route to contentment. I find meditation extremely difficult - tho' I must say I haven't tried since I started with the Ritalin so it might be worth another try. My experience with spirituality mirrors Sam's in some ways - I would have been completely disbelieving of a truly spiritual felling of boundless love and unity with everything had it not been for drugs. Most significantly with a microdot of LSD but also with MDMA. Sam is correct to say that the experience is not like alcohol or marijuana where your senses are distorted - rather you remain clear headed (or perhaps it just seems that way). Sam articulated his experiences with drugs much more articulately than I ever have though. Nowdays, for me, drugs are just too much hassle and too risky so (like Sam) I would also like to find an alternative. I wish meditation was as easy as just taking drugs though.

Offline lonely moa

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #361 on: December 12, 2014, 01:52:44 PM »

I'm part way through "Waking Up" by Sam Harris (as recommended by Lonely Moa). I am also enjoying it - but I've read quite a lot about mindfulness and meditation and so far I am a little disappointed that Sam has not come up with another (easier) route to contentment. I find meditation extremely difficult - tho' I must say I haven't tried since I started with the Ritalin so it might be worth another try. My experience with spirituality mirrors Sam's in some ways - I would have been completely disbelieving of a truly spiritual felling of boundless love and unity with everything had it not been for drugs. Most significantly with a microdot of LSD but also with MDMA. Sam is correct to say that the experience is not like alcohol or marijuana where your senses are distorted - rather you remain clear headed (or perhaps it just seems that way). Sam articulated his experiences with drugs much more articulately than I ever have though. Nowdays, for me, drugs are just too much hassle and too risky so (like Sam) I would also like to find an alternative. I wish meditation was as easy as just taking drugs though.

Sorry, but I think you are stuck with meditation.  He does give examples of spontaneous enlightenment.  One could look up some of the extant masters he has studied under and go there, but that would be a lot of effort; one would have to be keen, as he is.  I try to keep up the practice I learned a decade ago to deal with an ugly disease.  I don't think I am any closer to enlightenment but I don't take less important things as seriously.
 
Like you, my psychedelic days are long past.  Ten cent trips led to far too may very long excursions. 
“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child”

 Pablo Picasso

Offline Billzbub

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #362 on: December 17, 2014, 11:45:16 AM »
I'm listening to the audio book of Lock In by John Scalzi narrated by Wil Wheaton right now.  I'm only about half way through, but I wanted to mention it here because when the author describes the science in his science fiction, I get a very subtle skeptical vibe from him as if he is a reader of Neurologica or similar content.  I'm very much enjoying the book so far, and I look forward to seeing if the payoff at the end of the book is as fun as the beginning of the book.

Online Sawyer

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #363 on: December 19, 2014, 12:29:24 PM »
The Martian by Andy Weir - 8/10

If I wanted to be generous to a first-time author this book would easily be a 10/10, because the overall story is fantastic and surprisingly original.  Clearly written for engineers and space tech enthusiasts, it takes you step by step through all of the nasty hazards that a stranded astronaut has to navigate to survive on Mars.  I'm sure there are some cheats on the science somewhere in this book but I sure as hell couldn't spot them.  From battery efficiencies to atmospheric composition to planetary alignment effects on orbital trajectories, no stone is left unturned.  With all these intricate details one might expect a gigantic sleep-inducing tome, but the pacing is very quick and easy to read.

My only complaint is the style of writing that the author/main character employs throughout the book.  It's meant to be informal and friendly but I found it just plain annoying.  Could have done without the nerd jokes every five pages.

Offline MikeHz

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #364 on: December 19, 2014, 03:21:15 PM »
I loved The Martian, corny jokes and all.
"It's easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled." Mark Twain

 

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