Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

What are you reading? Mar 6, 2013

For those who are new … we discuss books.  I list what I’m reading, and people comment with what they’re reading.  Sometimes, on Sundays, I post a special edition on a particular genre or topic.

If you like to trade books, try bookmooch

I’ve written some book reviews on Yahoo Voices:

Book reviews on Yahoo

Just finished

Now reading

Cooler Smarter: Practical tips for low carbon living  by the scientists at Union of Concerned Scientists, a great group. These folk make sense, concentrating on the changes you can make that have the biggest impact with the least effort.

Thinking, fast and slow  by Daniel Kahneman.  Kahneman, most famous for his work with the late Amos Tversky, is one of the leading psychologists of the times. Here, he posits that our brains have two systems: A fast one and a slow one. Neither is better, but they are good at different things. This is a brilliant book: Full of insight and very well written, as well.

What hath God wrought? by Daniel Walker Howe. Subtitled “The transformation of America 1815-1848. I am reading this with the History group at GoodReads.  This is very well written, and does a good job especially with coverage of the treatment of Blacks and Native Americans.

The hard SF renaissance  ed. by David G. Hartwell.  A large anthology of “hard” SF from the 90’s and 00’s. I think Hartwell takes SF a bit too seriously, but the stories are good.

On politics: A history of political thought from Herodotus to the present by Alan Ryan. What the subtitle says – a history of political thought.  

He, she and it by Marge Percy. Near future dystopian SF set on Earth.

A Most Dangerous Book  by Christopher Krebs. How a short book by the Roman Tacitus had a dangerous life, culminating in its use by the Nazis to support their ideas of lebensraum and “Ein volk, Ein reich, ein fuhrer”.

The Ringworld Engineers by Larry Niven. The sequel to Ringworld in which Louis Wu, Chmee and the Hindmost return to Ringworld, which has become unstable.

Measurement by Paul Lockhart. About mathematics and, especially, how it should be taught and learned. Lockhart is wonderful; his first book A Mathematician’s Lament was, in my view, the best books on teaching math ever written.

Just started

Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander McCall Smith. A light and funny short novel featuring Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfield, a professor of Romance philology in Regensburg, Germany. A send-up of academia and its discontents


  1. Abra Crabcakeya

    Are From Uranus” by some guy . The title hints of the editorial slant.It wasn’t very good – has put me to sleep and took me parts of three days to read , though only about 200 pages.

  2. Portlaw

    that I hope to read yesterday’s Science section of the New York Times, The whole section, pages and pages, was filled with articles on Higgs Boson. Feel I should read it, fear I won’t understand it, but will probably carry it around with me until it falls apart. Wonder if anyone has read it.

  3. Jk2003

    I found a really great one at the library about shapes for my two year old.  You have to search pictures from the metropolitan museum of art for certain shapes.  Fun.  My daughter is getting into longer, chapter books and likes us to read to her.  Some just fluff but I did sneak in some Beverly clearly and we read charlottes web a while back.  I tried Harry potter but some of the descriptions were too long and she lost interest.  She’ll get there.  She’s only five.

    Also, a lot of knitting patterns.  I don’t have a book in the house that I haven’t already read.  I need to get to the library without the kids.

  4. Avilyn

    Just found out that R.A. Salvatore is doing a book signing near me.  Really Really hoping I can get home from work fast enough to get to the event.  excited bouncy dance

  5. slksfca

    …a friend dropped by who’d been collecting my mail while I was away. She’s lent me the novel Wicked, which I’m really looking forward to reading. I’ve never seen the Broadway musical version, but I know the basics of the story.

    After that it’s back to the Kindle, which (thanks to some lovely friends in Orange) was just upgraded to a large-size Kindle Fire. Looks like an awesome, sleek device. And it came at the perfect time, because this week my old Kindle bit the dust unexpectedly.

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