Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

What are you reading? May 15, 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

A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln and the 1848 US invasion of Mexico by Amy Greenberg. What the subtitle says, but very interesting. For instance, the 1848 war was the first US war to have a substantial group of anti-War Americans. This was a really good book.

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.

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.

Visions of Infinity by Ian Stewart. A nontechnical look at 11 famous problems of math. So far, it’s a little too nontechnical for my taste.

Woodrow Wilson by John Cooper, Jr. A fairly admiring look at Wilson.

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 book on teaching math ever written.

Just started

Lake Views: The world and the universe by Steven Weinberg. Essays by this leading physicist.

Silken Prey by John Sandford.  The latest Lucas Davenport novel. Starts with the murder of a political operative.  


  1. iriti

    Currently reading The Year Without Summer: 1816 and the Volcano that Darkened the World and Changed History about the Tambora volcano eruption in 1815 and its impact on global weather the next year (actually the next few years). In the US, 1816 was known as “1800 and froze to death”, with snows into June in areas as far south as Virginia.

    I’ve been on a volcano kick in my reading lately.

    Coming up next: Seahenge: A Quest for Life and Death in Bronze Age Britain or Lucy’s Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins or maybe Darwin’s Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution or perhaps The Itching Palm: A Study of the Habit of Tipping in America.

    Who knows. 1816 will probably take me a few more days to get through. Hard to say what my mood will be when I’m done.

  2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I got about halfway through but just didn’t care that much about the family, which was supposed to be the emotionally compelling part of the story. And as it was a library book and time was running out, I just returned it.

    Now reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I’d read most of it before and am getting more out of it this time.

    A few days ago I finish On Writing by Stephen King. I really enjoyed it, and I don’t think a person would need to be a writer to do so. I’d read a few of his books decades ago, none since until this. Makes me think I should pick a few to try now.

    I still have a few lined up to work on.  

  3. slksfca

    Gilded, a history of Newport, Rhode Island, from the Astors to the Jazz Festival and up to the present day. A relatively interesting read.

    Now I’m about to begin The Scarlet Pimpernel, which I haven’t read since I was a kid. It was free on the Kindle website so I thought I’d go for it. The next paid e-book I’ll get will be one of several I’m looking at which explore one aspect or another of LGBT history before the 20th century.

  4. bfitzinAR

    right now (so I’m mostly playing solitaire – with real cards even – and doing crossword puzzles).  I go through spates of reading very serious stuff then get so depressed I ready nothing but “potato chip books” for the next 6 months.  The last “serious” book I read was The Flooded Earth: Our Future in a World without Ice Caps by Peter Ward and have been recovering with Mercedes Lackey’s dragon rider books alternated with Alisa Craig’s grub-and-stakers books.

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