Recommended Books? Please share!
« on: July 20, 2020, 01:07:56 PM »
Any good books people want to recommend, please share!  Perhaps we can make a meta out of this via contribution.

Off the heels of Fazer's recommendation, I'll follow up with a book I'm reading lately called, "How to Have Impossible Conversations".
This book can be judged by its cover; shows how to talk to people that have opinions unlike our own, how we make conversations harder than they need to be, and is also full of practical advice. It really might be one of the more important books for today's political climate.

« Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 04:36:33 PM by boji »

Re: Recommended Books? Please share!
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2020, 02:10:03 PM »
Are we limiting to non-electronics non technical books or are those also allowed?


Re: Recommended Books? Please share!
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2020, 04:15:11 PM »
Posted a thread about this book but I like the idea of combining them to a single thread.   Mine came from the library. 

Tribe by Sebastian Junger

Just finished a short book that was exceptional.  For some I’m sure you’ve already read it.  I recommend reading no matter what side your on.   


Re: Recommended Books? Please share!
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2020, 04:33:31 PM »
Hey DF, don't see why electronics shouldn't be included. Good books are good books! Course, we can limit the subject to politics if it makes more sense to everyone.


Re: Recommended Books? Please share!
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2020, 04:53:28 PM »
Tribes made me think of the thing we have in common rather than our differences.   I need more of that kind of thought in these times.   

Re: Recommended Books? Please share!
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2020, 05:15:35 PM »
I keep dipping into    'A Theory Of Justice' by John Rawls and I think it should be required reading for all in public office. 

From the opening chapter:

“Justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others.  It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many.  Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled.”
Note to self:  Don't let c**ts wind you up


Re: Recommended Books? Please share!
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2020, 06:16:24 PM »
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford is a fascinating read about Genghis and his successors. 

The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson is fiction, but the bubonic plague is crucial in this one as well.  It's a reimagining of history where the plague wipes out nearly the entire population of Europe.  A good book so far, but really long. 

Unknown Pleasures by Peter Hook.  Hook's memoir of Joy Division.  I certainly wouldn't call it definitive, but Hook is a good story teller and builds an entertaining and informative narrative.


Re: Recommended Books? Please share!
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2020, 01:12:29 PM »
Brave New World (Huxley), 1984 (Orwell), Catch-22 (Heller), Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury)

Just Kids (Patti Smith)

Neuromancer (Gibson)

Rob Flinn

Re: Recommended Books? Please share!
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2020, 06:08:54 PM »
If you are into true stories & biographies (like I am), here are a few books for starters.

The White Rabbit: Wing Commander F.F.E.Yeo-Thomas

Autobiography of Maxim Gorky: My Childhood, in the World, My Universities

Satchmo : My Life In New Orleans

Miles: The Autobiography

To Be, or Not . . . to Bop : Dizzy Gillespie

Pete Townshend: Who I Am

Life: Keith Richards
regards Rob


Re: Recommended Books? Please share!
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2020, 06:33:23 PM »
In these crazy times I recommend reading anything by Terry Pratchett.



'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'


Re: Recommended Books? Please share!
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2020, 09:42:48 AM »
Too many good books to list them all but timely choice in light of modern culture is George Orwell's 1984 (especially Newspeak redefining what words mean). Futuristic science fiction authors have been predicting dystopian post apocalyptic scenarios for decades, it appears that some big city mayors are working hard to deliver on that vision sooner rather than later.

Speaking of good science fiction/fantasy
"The lord of the rings" by JRR Tolkien is a classic (I'm too old to read Potter/Rowling).
Another old sci-fi standard is "Dune" (Herbert). I am disappointed that Hollywood never remade the Dune movie that is pretty dated. They remake so many mediocre movies.

Pretty much anything by Asimov. An unexpected benefit of being old is you can re-read his old books and get new insights. I recently reread I robot. 

Satire/political commentary 
"Animal Farm" (Orwell),
Gulliver's travels (Jonathan Swift),
Lord of the Flies (Golding)
Catch 22, (Joseph Heller)

too many self help books but several of value

7 habits of highly effective people (Covey)
12 rules for life (Peterson)
The power of habit (Duhig).. I'm not finished reading this yet.

Scott Adams has several interesting books but not very deep.
books about the human condition and modern culture

Homo Deus  (Harari)
The Blank Slate (Pinker)
The madness of crowds (Murray)
The world is flat, (Friedman)
Freakonomics, (Steven Levitt)
Wealth of nations, (Adam Smith)
Books about cognition and persuasion

Thinking fast and slow (Kahneman)
Pre-suasion (Cialdini)
Influence (Cialdini)
The Prince, (Machiavelli)
The art of war, (Sun Tzu)

1776, (David McCullough)
Killing XXXX series by Oreily/Dugard
Several interesting American history books by Brian Kilmeade
Democracy in America, (Alexis de Tocqueville)
The Federalist Papers, (Hamilton, Madison, and others)


Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.


Re: Recommended Books? Please share!
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2020, 05:50:29 PM »
I've been reading mostly candy this year, but in February I read Junot Diaz's The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao. I had high expectations based on what a critical darling this book is, and I was still blown away. I also reread Hundred Years of Solitude about the same time. (I was on jury duty for 5 days so I got some extra reading time ...)

Some others I can recommend without hesitation that probably won't show up on the everyday best of lists (which are usually very American-centric and "character-driven" writing popular with post-war short story writers ...):
Jose Saramago Blindness. Really anything by him,  but this is the terrifying and cathartic book I've ever read. I personally think it does existential political dread better than 1984, and the ending is better.
Squirrel Girl (the Marvel comic books). Legitimately uplifting and hilarious.
Michael Chabon Adventures of Cavalier and Clay (Telegraph Avenue works too if you can pick two).
Italo Calvino Cosmicomics.
Anything Terry Pratchett wrote, but if you can only pick one read Small Gods or Night Watch (the latter is his best novel -- actually made me cry -- but I don't know whether the emotional content is there if you haven't read the previous books with Captain Vimes). [Woops! I missed that Ian beat me to it! <3 ]
Raymond Queneau Zazie on the Metro. It's cute and short enough to read in an afternoon.
Thomas Pynchon Gravity's Rainbow.
I'm Jon. Myself's music and things I make: My band: [Disclaimer: PCBs of guitar pedals I've designed are sold by Madbean, 1776 Effects, and JMK PCBs.]


Re: Recommended Books? Please share!
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2020, 11:36:29 AM »
I'm back to add the book I am currently re-reading: Ignition! (Clark)  A history of liquid rocket fuel told with a sense of humor.  Sounds like a hard read, but it is easy to gloss over the chemical names and enjoy the story.  pdf available online

And a +1 on Pratchett


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