Sept/Oct 2018 ~ What non-fiction books are we enjoying?
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I've just started a new release that was favorably reviewed in the NY Times: My Year of Dirt and Water: Journal of a Zen Monk's Wife in Japan. I'm liking it, but I think I'd be finding it a bit hard to read if I didn't have a little experience with both Japanese and Zen.
Coding: Raspberry Pi &Python: A Guide For Beginners
by Leonard Eddison
(Kindle eBook/I decided to sample a coding book ~ the term "coding" is
all over the Internet these days)
Next week I will be reading this pre-ordered iTunes iBook ~
Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward
Parts of the book have started to leak out today ~ WOW.
I've just started reading Red Notice. While I knew that the former USSR had morphed into a kleptocracy, I had no idea. Yikes!
Am reading Hank & Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart by Scott Eyman. I bought this awhile ago and finally started it. So interesting!
Almost finished Undertones of War by Edmund Blunden. It's written in a very understated way and the language is beautiful. At times it takes a while for the violence to sink in, as it's not obvious or startling.
>4 Molly3028: I've ordered a hard copy of that. It sure sounds like one I'm going to want to read with a pencil.
I finished Along the Edge of America, a travel memoir of a boat trip along the Gulf of Mexico shoreline. Sometimes the author spent more time on his own mental state than I cared about, but the scenery and character sketches of those he met along the way were great.
I've also started Gods, Voices and the Bicameral Mind: The Theories of Julian Jaynes. I read Julian Jayne's original book many years ago and consider his theories most interesting. I considered rereading it but decided to read this series of essays instead. I'll probably read it slowly while reading other less demanding books.
Between these three books ~ Fire & Fury/Unhinged/FEAR ~ it is impossible to ignore the dysfunction of this White House. The long-term caretakers of the building, its "renters" and the grounds must be mortified.
>10 Molly3028: And to juice up the terror, read a couple of books on NK and Putin. They're the kind of thing that makes it hard to use the word "enjoy" with respect to our NF reading.
I'm about to start Sisters in the Wilderness: The Lives of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill by one of my favourite authors, Charlotte Gray.
Hank & Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart
Being a huge movie fan, when I saw this at the bookstore, I knew I had to buy this book and I was not disappointed. The two met in New York as stage actors and became friendly and ended up as roommates. This book follows them through that period to the end of their lives even discussing their time in the military during WWII and their movie and stage careers. So interesting, this will be one of my top books this year.
I finished Gods, Voices and the Bicameral Mind: The Theories of Julian Jaynes. Having read the original book by Julian Jaynes, this series of essays was a very good refresher in that each essay summarized Jayne's theories in their own words. It also provided an update on research and information gathered since 1977. There were only a couple of essays that were more obtuse than I cared to plow through.
I finished the LTER book, Our Woman in Havana. It is a look at Cuban life from the mid-50's, prior to Castro, to now although the author only lived there for 3 years starting in 2011, visiting several times after 2014. Her descriptions of Cuba before her arrival are taken from Graham Greene and the reminisces of people she interviewed. The book gives a colorful picture of Cuba which even handedly presents both the good and the bad of country's history
The Stowaway: A Young Man's Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica
Laurie Gwen Shapiro
This is the wonderful true story about William "Billy" Gawronski, a young man who longs to go to Antarctica with Admiral Byrd who had a soft spot in his heart for stowaways. After 3 attempts to hide on the boat, he has been allowed to stay and work on one of the ships on the trip doing odd jobs. Shapiro does a very nice job writing about Gawronksi through his life and highlighting the time period which included the beginning of the Great Depression that rocks Gawronski’s life and the lives of millions of people.
I finished up On Watch, Elmo Zumwalt's memoir about his time as Chief Naval Officer during the Nixon Administration.
Started The Brain: the story of you by David Eagleman. A tour of the brain's functions, perceptions and plasticity - very accessible to a non-scientist.
I finished the superb memoir, Educated. It was an excellent portrayal of the difficulties and struggles of breaking away from ones family no matter how crazy or abusive that family might be.
>25 snash:. I hadn't looked at it that way, but, yes, it does depict that very well. Educated was a selection of the Now Read This-PBS/New York Times book club and reading some of the comments associated with that club revealed that there was a blog by the author's brother that gradually backed away from supporting her and has now disappeared. Sadly, some never get away.
I'm now reading The Trouble with Physics: the Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next by Lee Smolin. I don't get all the details, but the general concepts are very interesting and overall the book is very clearly written.
Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time
Travel editor/writer Mark Adams who along with John Leivers, who had explored the Andes before, take off on a unique trip to Peru exploring the region, following the travels of Harvey Bingham’s (an early explorer of Peru who claimed to have discovered Machu Picchu). He also discusses the history of Peru. I found it very interesting and informative especially the information on Bingham.
Just finished The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next by Lee Smolin. It was dense and hard to push through in some places, but I do feel I learned a bit and it was as clearly written as a book on this sort of physics is likely to get.
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