Posts Tagged ‘reading’

Update on the old Reading List

Well, May was a wash. 0 books for me.

Why, you may ask?  Well, I was working my way through Napoleon’s Wars, by Charles Esdaile.   Don’t get me wrong, I was enjoying it quite a bit, but wasn’t exactly zipping through it.  Anyway, I’m about 3/5ths of the way through that, and have put it aside to read Game Change, the book about the 2008 election.  So far, it has confirmed what I already thought, that all politicians are scumbags.  So no surprises there.

Meanwhile, Estragon has bolted past me with 10 books.  This does not bode well for me.  No matter.  Just as England expects every man to do his duty, etc., etc, I shall soldier on.

Because it was free…

Last night I went on a “buying” spree, snatching up a bunch of free books from Amazon to have stuff to read on my iPad. Most of it is classic literature and public domain stuff, one of which was The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx. Perhaps because I went to Art School, I was never made to read it (or perhaps because I went to Art School it was assumed I had already read it), but I had not.

I found it interesting how much of the discussion still seemed relevant: free trade, protective duties, and the rapid class warfare (not that this part is terribly surprising). This thing was written pre-Civil War. There was still actual slavery (not just the economic slavery it focusses on) in America. The primary mode of locomotion was still foot (or hooves). And yet we still have the same economic concerns. Whoosh. I did actually laugh at a couple points, for a largely academic and stiffly formal sounding document, it did at one point accuse another group of having ‘high faulting’ ideals and then went on to accuse another group of philosophers of whining. Nice.

After finishing it up I decided to try and follow it up with The Republic by Plato, sadly by the time I worked (read/paged) my way through the hundred pages of pretentious introduction, I had lost all interest in trying to read the actual document. Maybe another time.

The Booklist - 2010

Back at the start of the year someone came up with the silly idea that everybody should read 52 books this year (Xeno). I knew that I would not be up to the task, though I read all day everyday, I never get around to reading very many books in a year. The challenge pretty quickly dropped to 24, just two books a month. I am glad to say that I actually did meet this challenge. Here is the list of books I completed this year (with a 5 star rating denoted by *):

It’s worth noting that most of the books got high ratings, not because I love everything I read, but because I tend to stop reading anything that isn’t entertaining me. The only two star ratings were books that came as personal recommendations, so I felt like I needed to finish them. I very nearly completed several other books and then just lost interest at some point. One that I vaguely regret having quit on was On the Road by Jack Kerouac. I really wanted to like this book, and the first third of it flew by and then it became a struggle, and then I just couldn’t muster sufficient giveashit to finish. Oh well.

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