Not to mention some fascinating insights into the will of the five-dimensional beings that look down on us as we look down on our creations on the comics page.
"I used to think it was a terrible thing that life was so unfair. Then I thought, 'what if life were fair, and all of the terrible things that happen to us came because we really deserved them?' Now I take great comfort in the general unfairness and hostility of the universe." — Marcus Cole, Babylon 5 — A Late Delivery from Avalon
The Shrink and the Sage by Julian Baggini and Antonia Macaro. Self-help aimed at people who would usually look down on self-help. Baggini is a philosopher and Macaro a psychotherapist, and they alternately give their takes on common problems. It's one of those books which boils down to mostly common sense, but it doesn't hurt sometimes to have that stuff reinforced.
It leans largely on Aristotle; I read The Nicomachean Ethics last year (I highly recommend) and this is not far off being a modern take on that.
Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne-Jones. A magically-gifted orphaned boy from London on the run from strange beings is taken in by an academic-turned-magician (it's hard to describe) in the country, awakening the latter's childhood memories. It's hard to summarise without spoiling and going into detail. Suffice to say it's really charming; give me Wynne-Jones over Rowling or Pullman any day.
From Here to Infinity by John and Mary Gribbin. I picked it up in a sale at the Royal Observatory, and it's a really quite nice introduction to astronomy / space science. A lot of stuff I knew already but also a lot that I'd forgotten and a refresher is always good. The little one likes space stuff at the moment, so I feel some responsibility to know these things better even if she is a bit young.
I have never read 3001 - read the first three on several occasions (as well as "Fire Alarm", the short story that is at the root of it all) but never felt that there was a pressing need for anything after 2061. (Also, it has never been in a library anywhere I have lived since it came out). Liked the book version of 2010 more than the film - the latter has its charms, but one of my favourite parts of the book is all the stuff with Tsien and the poor doomed Chinese scientist.
Post by Grand Moff Muffin on Sept 6, 2012 5:52:01 GMT
Currently just over 300 pages through the 850+ pages of the Shahnameh, the Persian Book of Kings. Amazing how such a large body of mythology could have slipped past my radar for so long. Anyone else have any experience of it?
Also got a book of Native American folk tales on order to enjoy during my break.
Little is known about this goblin beyond its dual role as an offensive weapon and teapot.
Nor had I until this year's Beyond the Border festival. But it is apparently to Iran what the Iliad and the Odyssey are to Greece, the Arabian Nights to the Arabian peninsula, and the Arthur legends to Britain.
Pre-Islam Zoroastrian stories compiled after the coming of Islam, basically. There's some pretty good stuff in it.
Just finished Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, a birthday present from the other half.
I overall quite enjoyed it, though it is a bit repetitive and lacks humour. I read Epictetus last year, and while it had much in common it was a bit less dry. I'm not convinced Stoicism is for me, but I could probably do with a bit more of it - my reactions to certain events at work in recent times have been far from Stoic and probably did more harm than good, and I could see parallels in what was written here. So hopefully some lessons to learn.
A day spent in waiting rooms means I finished another book at last! The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch. As an impressionable student I read his Fabric of Reality and immediately started to evangelise it, lending it to friends and colleagues - and I kind of want to do the same with this.
Amazing book, remarkable scope. I have no problem admitting there were bits which sailed clearly over my head, so there is some element of taking his word for it, but it is a very compelling argument for scientific thought and progress and a good overview of all sorts of seemingly unrelated topics and ideas. Pushed the right buttons for me, one of the most interesting books I've ever read.