drneutron's (Jim's) Reading to Avoid Work - Part 5
This is a continuation of the topic drneutron's (Jim's) Reading to Avoid Work - Part 4.
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Read so far:
The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Committed by Dinah Miller and Annette Hanson
The Inkblots by Damon Searls
Monstress, Vol 1 by Marjorie Liu
The Seventh Plague by James Rollins
You Disappear by Christian Jungersen
The Unwinding by George Packer
The Ferryman Institute by Colin Gigl
The One-Cent Magenta by James Barron
Three Gothic Novels by E. F. Bleiler
In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides
Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
Hyperion by Dan Simmons
Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Invincible, Vol 1 by Robert Kirkman
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
Lola by Melissa Scrivener Love
Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King
Armada by Ernest Cline
Powers of Darkness by Bram Stoker
Coolidge by Amity Shlaes
Magic in Islam by Michael Muhammad Knight
And the stats:
Total Books: 23
Male: 19 (76%)
Female: 6 (24%)
Living: 24 (96%)
Dead: 1 (4)
Hardback: 4 (17%)
Trade: 8 (35%)
Mass Market: 1 (4%)
eBook: 10 (43%)
Fiction: 14 (61%)
Nonfiction: 9 (39%)
Library: 16 (70%)
Mine: 7 (30%)
Group Read: 1
22. Coolidge by Amity Shlaes
Wanted to like this one - since the US Presidents challenge, I've discovered the joys of biographies of our political leaders. Unfortunately, I had a couple of issues with this one that spoiled it for me. First, Shlaes writes uncritically about Coolidge and how his Presidency fed into the conditions that brought about the Great Depression. Second, the book was tedious, which may be fitting for a book about Silent Cal. Either way, didn't work for me.
23. Magic in Islam by Michael Muhammad Knight
So, ever been to the library and come across something so unusual that you just had to try it out? That's what happened here. First there was a blurb about Knight on the back: "Islam's gonzo experimentalist!" What? Then there was the previous book, Tripping with Allah: Islam, Drugs, and Writing that I really need to find. Then the subject - magic and its relation to Islam across history - used as an intro to Islam and as a way to deconstruct and invert the orthodox/fringe split in modern Islam.
So how was it? Pretty much as promised, though I don't think this will "challenge common assumptions about organized religion" or "flip popular notions of a religion's center and margins", mainly because I can't see that this book will be widely read. But it did make me think about looking at historical religions through modern eyes, and it did make me think about how we interpret practices as compared to tradition and scripture.
Plus it was fun. Knight's a lecturer and grad student at UNC Chapel Hill's Divinity School, and it's clear he's got a talent for relating his ideas to people. He's out to shake some trees and make some people uncomfortable, and that's interesting to see.
>6 PaulCranswick: Congrats on being first!
Thanks for the good wishes, everyone! Welcome all!
Thanks! If it's any help, it's a short read. I read the whole thing on a plane from the West Coast.
That does help, thanks. It's harder to take a chance on a whopper, isn't it.
In keeping with your theme, and in honor of one of the best drinking days around: Happy St. Paddy's Day!!
Happy new thread, Jim, I don't drink beer, but you can make my husband happy with most of the trappists at your topper. We even named one of our Chow Chows dogs after one of them: Chimay.
Happy New Thread, Jim! Hurrah to both astronomy and zymology; you'll make scientists of us all at this rate.
>18 jnwelch: Yup! Although you and Mark convinced me to give Infinite Jest a go. :)
>19 Berly: Awesome! Bell's is a favorite!
>20 Carmenere:, >21 johnsimpson: Thanks! And welcome!
>22 FAMeulstee: I'd seen you talking about Chimay, but didn't know where the name came from.
>23 ronincats: That's my goal!
>24 mstrust: Thanks, and Happt St Patrick's to you!
Having a lazy Saturday afternoon and watching the old Adam West/Burt Ward Batman movie - yeah, I'm going cheesy this afternoon.
"Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!"
I'm with you, brother... :)
that does sound like a lazy March Saturday......what beer accompanied the bomb?
Hi, Jim! Just stopping by (and delurking) to say Happy New Thread and that, though I'm not a beer connoisseur like some, I'm enjoying the astronomical beer theme! Glad you're having a good weekend!
I've visited Orval. Nice and green place. A camping next to a café, connected by a wobbly footbridge over a small ditch. Orval tastes fine, but is a heady drink. We did manage without accidents, but it was a close call one time.
I don't agree that global warming or climate change are 'fashionable catastophes' but are more the biggest threat to mankind, but the fact is pretty interesting.
>42 scaifea: Thanks, Amber!
>43 PaulCranswick: Oh, yeah, I've got some things I want to do... (1) Learn some Old English/Anglo-Saxon, (2) Get involved with a local literacy project to help people become functional readers, including non-English native speakers, (3) Bike and kayak more, (4) Get involved in a local non-profit that builds water purification systems for areas of the world without clean water, ...
>44 drneutron: They all sound like absolutely awesome retirement plans. Seems like you'd miss the space life as well though?
>45 lunacat: To some extent, but I think by the time I retire I'd like a change. This year's my 30th anniversary here at the Lab, and I'm likely to retire at 40 or more years. So I think that's enough for one space lifetime! :)
>44 drneutron: Interesting plans, Jim. And worth while. But before you know it, you'll be as busy as can be, and won't have time to go visit Belgium;))
Ooh nice! Seems we're neck in neck at 23! I'm so glad I finally stopped by, Magic in Islam sounds fascinating. I've been thinking a bit about it, since stricter religious laws make magic and islam a taboo mix, versus the 'lax' approach of most american christian churches. Don't know when I'll ever get to it, but I think it would be useful! Thanks for reading and making notes. :)
>1 drneutron: Beer and astronomy, or as I call it now: B'stronomy.
>4 drneutron: ever been to the library and come across something so unusual that you just had to try it out?
That is why I can't plan my reading too seriously, gotta leave room for the randoms out there! This one seems to qualify, and what a bonus that it got you thinking.
>44 drneutron: and the dot dot dot at the end there is also very promising!! Looks like you are busy til.....2057 then?
>52 knotbox: Knight punts on trying to define magic, which I think is the right approach because it's too relativistic an approach - at some times in history, you can't tell the difference between magic and religious ritual. Instead he talks about technologies and how they are sometimes sanctioned and sometimes not. And talks a lot about how we can't think about a subject like this in terms of "Islam" in that there's no one Islam. You have to allow for different practices and interpretations in different times and places. Really thought-provoking stuff.
>53 Ireadthereforeiam: *snerk* Gotta pass that on to my scientist friends...
>53 Ireadthereforeiam: I'm planning to work 10 -12 more years, but I'm also hoping I can make some room for "pre-retirement" after Solar Probe launches next year. What I'd really like to do next at work is a high altitude balloon flight so I can go to Antarctica for a few weeks. :)
>54 scaifea: Thanks! I'm pretty sure I can find useful stuff to do that's a mix of serious and fun. :)
What I'd really like to do next at work is a high altitude balloon flight so I can go to Antarctica for a few weeks. :)
I have a bunch of friends who have done that (well, that or work on a telescope on the ground at the Pole, but same idea), and they all had a wonderful time at least the first few times.
>57 lorax: We have a group here that flies telescopes on the long duration balloons there every year. Back in the 2003-2005 timeframe, I built a neutron spectrometer and flew it on some balloons out of Fort Sumpter in New Mexico to simulate astronaut exposure to cosmic rays and secondary neutrons in thick structures like the Space Station. Got my PhD out of that work - hence, drneutron. :) I'm hoping that I can translate that experience into their balloon work!
Happy New Thread, Jim! And a hearty "Amen!" to the retirement sentiments; I thought about it a lot and verbally expressed my desire to call it quits on numerous occasions at work this winter. I would also like to volunteer in an adult literacy program (I donate to ProLiteracy, but my work and travel schedule aren't conducive to actively volunteering at the present time). I would ideally like to retire at 65, although 70 may be more realistic, and I am still seriously thinking about moving to Spain when the time comes, as it would be much cheaper to live there than in the US.
>59 kidzdoc: Spain sounds like an excellent choice! We've got the additional complication of a son who may someday provide grandkids, so no thoughts about where we'll retire just yet.
>60 Morphidae: :) I so far haven't been able to convince mrsdrneutron to move to Alaska, but I haven't given up yet...
Amazing how grandkids affect where one lives :) Were it not for our two I would seriously be looking at an international move.
A research stay in Antarctica would be amazing (imho) but then, I'm not a scientist and I don't' think they have much call for city planners there.
Yes, the hope of a grandchild someday (has to be soon; my daughter's turning 34 this year) is also keeping me from moving to Costa Rica, Spain, Panama, even Canada - somewhere that isn't the U.S.
I volunteered at the L.A. City Library as a literacy tutor a few year's before I retired. It was very rewarding, and I am still friends with a woman I worked with.
Hi Jim! Your retirement plans sound ambitious and fun.
I love retirement, having been at it a year and 2 months now. The nicest part, besides not setting the alarm clock, is that I'm a member of the board of our local Friends of the Library and in July will take over as Treasurer. We do some fantastic things for our public library and I'm proud to be part of it.
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