Tag Archives: reading

Some things you should read by Mallory Ortberg.

Some satire about how society tells women what to put into their bodies: So You’ve Decided to Drink More Water and The Moose Cleanse.

Funny and strangely poignant: Signs You’ll Never Read in Your Office’s Communal Kitchen

Completely amazing and beautiful: A Wizard Has Stolen Your Heart

More.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A couple things that make me think of His Dark Materials

I’m reading The Subtle Knife, second book in the His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman, kindly loaned to me in the form of the omnibus edition by David K.  It’s great reading, in large part because Pullman is a master of atmosphere.   I get very vivid mental pictures of all the people and places. (I’m a little afraid to watch the Golden Compass film for fear i won’t look as good on screen as it does in my head.) So here are a couple of things I’ve stumbled across lately that matched my mental imagery:

Viewing Falling Stars from Balloon

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

This happens more than I’d like to admit.

Step 1) Reading Hark! A Vagrant’s Wuthering Heights series.

Step 2) Thinking, Ah, I should read Wuthering Heights someday.

Step 3) Searching for Wuthering Heights at Goodreads.

Step 4) Attempting to add Wuthering Heights to my to-read shelf.

Step 5) Discovering it is, in fact, already there.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Gladiator at Law-Review

Gladiator-at-LawGladiator-at-Law by Cyril M. Kornbluth
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The title (and the racy covers on some editions) might lead you to expect a little more swashbuckling than is actually present in this book. This is mainly a corporate finance thriller, with a few hard-sf elements mixed in. Apropos of the current economy, suburbia has been laid waste by a housing bubble, but then real estate world is turned on its head by… bubble houses. With some very grim consequences for society. Overall, though the book comes off as very dated. There’s lots of rapid-fire 50’s repartee and raging, obnoxious sexism and racism. Pretty much all the characters are thoroughly unlikeable.

I was really sweating as I got down to the last few pages, as no gladiatorial combat had ensued, and I was feeling very cheated. (It brought to mind the crushing letdown at the end of Make Room Make Room in which, it turns out, Soylent Green is made of… soy and lentils. But, then, rapidly and incongruously the title character and his band of misfits get dumped into the Roman-circus-like games.

Really, though, our “gladiator-at-law” doesn’t do much in the ring except pass around bribes, so, it was a bit sad.

View all my reviews

I have half a notion to write my own “Gladiator-at-Law” novel that fulfills my expectations from the title, followed, of course, by “Gladiator-in-Chief”, in which our hero is elected president, and “Gladiator-in-Law,” a lighter tome to finish out the trilogy, in which the hero gets married—with sexy and/or hilarious results.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Goodreads Review: Packing for Mars

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the VoidPacking for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach

I found Packing for Mars very fun and mildly informative. Great bedtime reading. Based on the title, I thought it would be more about the specific challenges of crewed flight to Mars, but instead it’s a more general discussion of the practical difficulties of human spaceflight, more heavily weighted toward the Mercury, Gemini & Apollo programs. I detected no physics/astronomy blunders. Lots of mind-boggling facts, and hearty guffaws.

View all my reviews

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Goodreads Review: The Power of Full Engagement

Hey, check it, Goodreads lets you like post your reviews in your blog!

It’s summer time, and what’s summer without a crazy new productivity system, promising to finally fulfill all my dreams of accomplishing copious research and course prep between now and the end of August!  I’ve come up with a real doozy this time—there are forms and checklists and spreadsheets!—and it’s in large part thanks to this book I read called The Power of Full Engagement.

[And, whoa, the default wordpress editor is now WYSIWYG instead of straight HTML adn it’s blowing my mind.]

Anyway, here’s my review! If you’re on Goodreads, and you aren’t my friend there already, friend me! If you’re not on Goodreads, how on earth to you keep track of all the books you want to read, and all the cool stuff your friends are reading? Huh?

The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal RenewalThe Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal by Jim Loehr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The main idea behind “The Power of Full Engagement” is what every workaholic eventually discovers: after a certain point, getting more done is not simply a matter of “working” more. To keep yourself at the top of your game, you have to take the time to take care of yourself and your relationships.

The authors claim that we work and grow best through intervals of work and renewal, both on the small scale during the day (the authors recommend working in a fully engaged way for 1 1/2 hours, then taking a 1/2 hour break where you really relax), and on the large scale, by systematically making the time and space to be emotionally present to the people you care about.

This is wrapped up in the usual package: answering a bunch of questionnaires to discover what you are truly passionate about and committed to and whether that is reflected in your actions, and a whole series of anecdotes of people turning their lives around so that they’re happier and more productive now than they ever were, etc. etc. But it’s worth a skim for the basic ideas and the examples of how different people implemented these ideas in their busy lives.

View all my reviews

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized