chexmix: my 2011 thread odyssey
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So here is my thread for 2011, my first year at this. Hope I'm doin' it right ...
So far this year I have read:
Beckmann, Petr: A History of Pi
Greene, Brian, ed: Best American Science and Nature Writing, 2006
Tsiolkas, Christos: The Slap
Mollise, Rod: The Urban Astronomer's Guide
Osen, Lynn: Women in Mathematics
Doxiadis, Apostolos, et al: Logicomix
Theroux, Paul: The Mosquito Coast
Strugatsky, Arkady and Boris: Roadside Picnic and Tale of the Troika
Pershall, Stacy: Loud in the House of Myself
Hogg, James: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner
Nadler, Steven M.: The Best of All Possible Worlds
Netz, Reviel: Ludic Proof
Polya, George: How To Solve It
Drake, Stillman: Galileo At Work
Eliot, George: Romola
Lethem, Jonathan: As She Climbed Across the Table
Hesiod: Theogony; Works and Days; Shield
Welsome, Eileen: The Plutonium Files
Bowra, C. M.: The Greek Experience
Burrow, John: A History of Histories
Perryman, Michael: The Making of History's Greatest Star Map
McDougall, Walter: ...The Heavens and the Earth
Waters, Sarah: The Little Stranger
Dodds, E. R.: The Greeks and the Irrational
L'Engle, Madeleine: A Wrinkle in Time
Damrosch, David: The Buried Book
Shaffer, Mary Ann: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Cather, Willa: O Pioneers!
French, Francis and Colin Burgess: Into that Silent Sea
Paulos, John Allen: Innumeracy
Smith, Mark E.: Renegade
Freeman, Charles: The Closing of the Western Mind
Ball, B. L.: Three Days on the White Mountains
Van de Wetering, Janwillem: Outsider in Amsterdam
Kroah-Hartman, Greg: Linux Kernel in a Nutshell
Love, Robert: Linux Kernel Development
Adams, Colin C. et al: How to Ace Calculus
Maor, Eli: e: the Story of a Number
Rowling, J. K.: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Adams, Colin C. et al: How to Ace the Rest of Calculus
Bhatnagar, Arvind and William Livingston: Fundamentals of Solar Astronomy
Rowling, J. K.: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Hitchens, Christopher, ed: The Portable Atheist
Batuman, Elif: The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them
Feynman, Richard: The Pleasure of Finding Things Out
Cathcart, Brian: The Fly in the Cathedral
Banville, John: Doctor Copernicus
Banville, John: Kepler
Lloyd, Seth: Programming the Universe
Kaplan, Fred: 1959: The Year Everything Changed
Apuleius: The Golden Ass
Weinberg, Steven: The First Three Minutes
Sacks, Oliver: The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat
Chabon, Michael: The Yiddish Policemen's Union
Murakami, Haruki: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Bush, Douglas: English Literature in the Earlier Seventeenth Century, 1600-1660
Ore, Oystein:Cardano, the Gambling Scholar
Banville, John: The Newton Letter
Keeler, Harry Stephen: Thieves' Nights
Wallace, Daniel: Big Fish
Beam, Alex: A Great Idea at the Time
2011 Final Count: 61
I think The Mosquito Coast will stick with me for a long time. It kept me on a fine edge between being utterly gripped and wanting to throw the book across the room. It really touched some nerves!
Interesting about your experience with Paul Theroux's book; I've just read another of his, an account of his travels through Africa, and I would have enjoyed it far more if he wasn't such an irritating man! Perhaps his fiction is better as he's not in it being pompous.
Somehow I am reminded of my experience reading Fowles' The Magus, which I have ever afterwards summarized as "600 pages inside the head of someone I actively disliked."
I'm still not sure why I finished it ... the Fowles, I mean.
Hurrah -- you're here!!!
All -- chexmix/Glenn is a RL friend of mine who (sadly for those of us in NY) now hangs his hat up in Cambridge/Boston. He's not only a book junkie but an astronomy junkie...
My LT friend, Suzanne aka Chatterbox mentioned that you were new to the 75er group....so, welcome!
Your currents reads look "insane"!
Oh yeah! Welcome!! You're going to fit right in and carve your own niche. But ---- A History of Pi??? I have to go look to be sure it's what it says it is.
A History of Pi is what it says it is and is an entertaining but frustrating read. The author is shockingly opinionated, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, unless -- as Beckmann does here -- he's doing things like sweepingly condemning Aristotle and all of Ancient Rome ...!
Even this wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't repeated so often over the course of a short book that is supposed to be about mathematics.
Nothing like a bit of chutzpah, is there?
Just downloaded Stacy's book; not sure when I'll get to it to read it, but I love the title! Loud in the House of Myself -- very cool. Of course, the downside is I can't force her to sign a Kindle copy...
Oh, good to hear.
She is fretting about her Amazon rankings ... I think it is a little premature. :S
VERY premature. It's been out less than a week. There few major reviews. Time to fret in 2/3 months -- maybe. This is the kind of book that could do well over a longer time frame, with good word of mouth buzz. Five days??? pshaw.
Hi Glenn. Just coming over to welcome you to the 75ers at Suzanne's suggestion.
You guys have already got me interested in Loud in the House of Myself. I just put it on hold at the library and should have it later in the week. Sounds like my kind of book.
Especially if it is a chunkster.
I am currently reading 21, so I know how that goes.
What Stasia forgot to mention is that she will finish all those 21 books within the week!
#15-18 I was in Barnes & Noble today and picked up their Spring 2011 Discover Great New Writers publication. It includes Loud in the House of Myself.
Richard has a theory that Stasia is really a cyborg or summat. We just know she's superhuman.
#28 -- Hurrah!
Stacy did an NPR interview re: LITHOM today. It airs in a couple of weeks.
Catching up on new folks, new threads; I'm a sucker for big 'insane' books too.
John Cowper Powys, Thomas Pynchon, David Foster Wallace (this is new, I'm just getting started), Christina Stead, Iain Banks -- I've read more deeply of some than others because I like short books too. Hmmm. I like pretty much any size book if it's the right book.
I am having this strange (given the pile of stuff I am already reading) impulse to tackle or re-tackle a Big Victorian Novel. The question is: which one?
I never delved very deeply into Trollope, so am considering him. Perhaps the Barsetshire books would be a good project. But Dickens is so good ... and then there's Thackeray, Eliot, and so on ...
Great choices. I have read both before, but both are of course wonderful and merit multiple reads.
I am nearly half-way through Romola. It feels akin to a historical melodrama, though exquisitely rendered. I am having a great time in it -- I now want to read everything George Eliot ever wrote!
I find myself wondering whether I can possibly make 75 books by 12.31. Perhaps if I didn't -- almost inevitably -- choose such *long* books, I might have a better chance!
Am going to do my best to shave down the number of things I am simultaneously reading. Things feel too scattered at the moment.
As you can see, some people on this thread have already (!) read 75 and some are just starting the challenge. Don't put any pressure on yourself and just enjoy what your are reading. The important thing is to continue to read. 75 is just a number.
Oh, I know. :^) And after I posted what I did, I took a look back over my "read so far" list and saw that, really, not that many of them were all THAT long anyway.
I just finished Romola, and although I enjoyed it thoroughly, it felt long. And there are a few other doorstops on my "currently reading" list.
I may go all the way back and try Scenes of Clerical Life.
Daniel Deronda is another good read, though given to long discourses which don't move the plot forward that much.
... still not getting very far in my quest to trim down the # of things I am simultaneously reading ... :^)
Aha, glad you haven't vanished...
I'm reading multiple books at once. The bag of books that migrates between the office and living room twice daily contains nearly a dozen volumes. WHY I think I need to be accompanied around my home by that many books is beyond me. The equivalent of a safety/comfort blanky??
ETA: Did you ever read Perec's "Life: A user's manual"? We're going to do a group read in August/Sept...
I have read "Life A User's Manual." It's one of my top five favorite novels. Perec's masterpiece. Would love to re-read.
There's a chance I may have to make a detour & not concentrate on this for some time ... it looks like I may be taking multivariable calculus in the Fall ... if so, I am going to have to shore up the "basic" calculus something fierce this summer. So there might suddenly be far less time for "mere" reading. Ah, the sacrifices I make for me maths!
I never took any kind of calculus, so I have no idea what is involved in 'shoring up' basic calculus, but good luck to you with it!
well, since your maths are a necessary ingredient in your other pastimes...
btw, you are under orders to get over to my BRAND NEW book blog -- www.uncommonreading.blogspot.com -- and check it out -- and become a public follower via the Google friend thingummy. Or I will never speak to you again...
(Stasia, not directed at you -- just at Glenn, who knows me well enough to know (a) I'm serious (grin) and (b) he can ignore me, really)
Suzanne ... I done gone an' added yr blog to Google Reader, which I didn't realize existed.
Math backstory: back in high school, I was determinedly (more or less) headed for a science career when I was ... cough ... waylaid by theatre as a result of a counselor-inspired quest to look more "well rounded" on college applications.
28 years & much wandering later, I found myself taking pre-calculus at Harvard Summer School, partly because I now worked in support of science & partly because I had always nurtured a secret guilt that I had unjustly left the domain of the Queen of the Sciences. I wanted to right a Great Wrong.
Well, the summer course was brutal, so naturally I followed it up with a two semester calculus sequence at Harvard Extension School! I ... survived.
Now I am looking toward a degree program in Computer Science with an emphasis on mathematics and computation, and an 'advanced calculus' class is a requirement.
So here I go. My algebra is weak, my trig is weaker, and the calculus knowledge has been fading in the year since I finished Calc B. Somehow I have to get things more solid by September, otherwise I will simply *not* survive. I need a study plan, because left entirely to my own devices I will wander and wobble and get very little done. I do have hopes my brilliant girlfriend will be able to help me in that regard!
Go talk to Cushla on this thread! She is planning to become a math teacher (she used to be a banker... but she's a good egg!) when she goes back to NZ (she's now in Switzerland.) Maybe you could have an LT maths advisor??
ACK! I wish you well and stand far back in the boonies and admire. On the other hand, I find myself most often attracted to the books of many pages.
I just enjoy immersion even if I am Presbyterian.
Great big ol' Baptist *snerk* from over here... :)
Pleasure reading has been severely curtailed. I have got to be disciplined about the math or risk drowning.
If anyone is interested in my math progress, I am trying to track myself at a blog called Rude Sparkles.
Ha! I will follow you if you follow my book blog... hint hint.
btw, Darryl/kidzdoc plans to launch the thread for the group read of Perec this week; group read slated for August. Am sure it will help balance maths mania??
Ha. I will do my best to keep up with yr blog. I am avoiding Facebook again, so it might be easier ...
Reading little other than mathematics has proven to be a good exercise for augmenting my humility. I know that I could do this for the rest of my life and it would be like scraping at a mountainside with a needle!
#67: I know that I could do this for the rest of my life and it would be like scraping at a mountainside with a needle!
I feel like that and I do not even read maths! That is why the BlackHole is the BlackHole. Not a chance that I will ever read everything in it.
Humility is good, but so is mindless entertainment... in moderation.
One, my Mom passed away on Tuesday. I'm okay, it was not unexpected, but it's been a rough week.
Two, I'm moving my blog to WordPress, since they support LaTeX (for mathematical equations, etc) and Blogger does not. I'll have more specifics on this once I get the thing set up to my liking.
Argh. Not much happening there since multivariable calculus has truly devoured most of my time. =(
Well, obviously I'm not gonna make 75! But it's been an interesting reading year, even with allowances made for math obsessions.
Happy holidays, all.
Don't worry - you won't be the only one who won't make 75! :)
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