Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

What are you reading? May 22, 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.

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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.

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

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.

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

Just started

Algorithms Unlocked  by Thomas Corman  A gentle introduction to computer algorithms

Robert Oppenheimer: His life and mind by Ray Monk  Oppenheimer was one of the most interesting people of the 20th century. In this biography Monk (a wonderful writer) attempts to cover both his physics and his many other interests.


  1. iriti

    Currently reading Lucy’s Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins by Donald Johansen & Kate Wong. Don was one of the original discoverers of Lucy, an very complete early Australopithecene.

    I am also re-reading a couple of other perspectives. It’s fun to see the different perspectives; all tend to be shaded by they idea that their find must be in the direct Homo Sapiens ancestry and that makes the other guy’s find a dead-end branch.  

  2. Diana in NoVa

    The action begins with with a journal kept by a nun in a convent in Spain, in the year 1552. The Inquisition is about to beat down the door of the convent to find and “question” heretics.

    The action then moves to modern times.  Apparently there is a secret women’s religion that has been safeguarded throughout history by a select group of nuns.  Sequestering themselves in convents under the guise of the prevailing religion was the only way they could keep their religion going. Haven’t got very far into the book yet but I’m really looking forward to it.

    Am about half-way or a bit further into The Dovekeepers. It’s just too much of a downer to read in one go.  I’ll go back to it when I feel cheered up.  Had to read three nonsense books that made me laugh to get out of the black mood caused by The Dovekeepers.

    Cooler Smarter sounds like a book I’d really like to read!

  3. Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott. Last night I opened You Have the Power, by Frances Moore Lappe and Jeffrey Perkins, which a friend sent to me.

    Today I’ll go to the library and pick up Auntie Mame, enthusiastically recommended by Silks, and If You Want to Write, by Brenda Ueland. I’m taking a writers’ workshop next month and the instructor recommends reading it prior to the class.

    It’s not really my style to spend a lot of time on self-helpy books of any sort (other than quilting books), so this recent string is different for me.

  4. slksfca

    The Stone of Destiny: In Search of the Truth, which is a rambling history of the facts and legends of the Stone of Scone. Not the best book I’ve ever read, but it’s plenty interesting.

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