What Are You Reading?
Since Penn's sponsor is audiblepodcast.com, I thought this would be a great topic. Besides, it would tick off Adam, who has said loudly that he doesn't read. I listen to both Carolla's and Penn's podcasts - 'religiously'.
Right now, I'm reading Mark Steyn's After America. Steyn's writing style is that loose, sarcastic, topical and witty style that is very popular with the bombasts of the right and left.
Like Steyn, his book is very right leaning. Like many books of this kind, It has many footnotes for a great deal of the points, seemingly to apply credulity to his unique point of view. Steyn advances the premise that America is headed toward inevitable decline in world influence, and in global power. Steyn's journey, filled with an overabundance of sometimes unrelated tangents, takes us through the decline of America, into his imagined future Post-America, which is filled with immigrants, ineffectual and grotesquely bloated government, and is run by apologists to non-Christian religions. In general, I find this book to be a fairly entertaining rant from the perspective of an angry conservative white guy. You'd think that Steyn was in his mid-Seventies by the way he writes, but he is only in his mid-50's. If you want insight into how this particular demographic is thinking, Steyn's book is a pretty good read. If you want some reasoned argument about the actual subject matter, I'd suggest you pick something else.
These are not my current reads (listens?), but since this is our first crack at a reading (listening?) list, I might as well throw the lot out there. Please note that I am a bit of an audio book junkie. Here's some of my recommendations that are currently available on Audible:
Neal deGrasse Tyson:
Philip K. Dick:
Blade Runner aka: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Orson Scott Card:
Robert Anton Wilson:
Sir Winston Churchill:
Ok, I'm tired of copy/pasting. There's A LOT more that I may add later. I can't believe how many audio books I've bought over the years. Audible should buy me a fucking new house! lol
I am reading Not Taco Bell Material By Adam Carolla available now on amazon.com as well as God No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist Also available on Amazon.com.
Great list. Glad to see Ender's Game on it.
Penn, thanks for the free Audible.COM credit!
I just started listening to Hitchen's God is Not Great over the weekend. Fascinating and powerful. We're poorer for his loss, what a great thinker.
Thank you for sharing, these are wonderful; I am always looking for new titles to add to my list. Though my own recent reads are a bit…high brow (I credit my recent research and pray it is not a symptom of some growing elitist world view), perhaps they might spark something for someone. Enjoy at your own risk…
In the past (and a far more casual reading list by far) I would definitely have to recommend…
And the next three coming up on my list…
A few that I've recently finished:
(Most recently) The audio version of Jonah Lehrer's "Imagine: How Creativity Works". I really liked it. It's full of great stories about innovation and the creative process. You could say it's full of 'creation stories' that you can believe in.
Sam Harris' latest "Free Will", which is short but very good. I mean really short. You can finish it in about an hour.
"A Universe from Nothing" by Lawrence Krauss - I really enjoy Krauss' writing.
"Connectome" by Sebastian Seung - a great read about how wiring in the brain makes us who we are.
"Thinking: Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman - this is an amazing book. Penn mentions it in the first few podcasts. I can't recommend it enough.
"Mirroring People" by Marco Iacoboni - a book about the science behind mirror neurons and their role in empathy.
I'm leaving a bunch out so as not to bore you. These are some of the highlights from the first few months of this year. I'm currently reading "Moby Dick" (been awhile) and "Doubt: A History" by Jennifer Hecht.
Two newer more "mainstream" books I just enjoyed listening to are John Stossel "No They Can't" and Judge Napolitano's "Lies the Government Told You".
A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller, Jr.
I, Lucifer - Glen Duncan
Along with many a textbook regarding health care, psychology and more.
Always looking for new reads.
Lots of things mentioned that I loved. Richard, I was surprised your Neal Stephenson recommendations didn't include The Diamond Age, which was my favorite of his books until I read Anathem.
Speaking of Anathem, I second that. I thought the setting was interesting, where a group of scholars live inside a series of walled communities that are progressively more isolated from the outside world and each other. I liked the parallels between this secular community and a religious one. In this world, for instance, St. is an abbreviation not for saint, but for savant.
Currently I'm on a Mark Twain kick, now reading Roughing It which is a hilarious account of Twain's travels through the Wild West.