July 03, 2007

John's Reading Report - June 2007

Here's what I've read since my last report:

The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God, David J. Linden

The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God, Carl Sagan (edited by Ann Druyan)

In progress:

Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution, Paul Watzlawick et al.

Teach Yourself Spanish Complete Course Package, Juan Kattan-Ibarra

Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, Daniel C. Dennett

The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer, Neal Stephenson

On Deck:

1776, David McCullough (Still...)

Posted by JohnL at July 3, 2007 08:52 PM

I keep looking at the Sagan book and putting it back. How was it?

The Stephenson volume is one I never got through. It wasn't until Cryptonomicon and later The Baroque Cycle that he really hooked me. I should go back and try again, but there are so many other books on Mount Toberead.

Posted by: Nameless Blog Poster at July 4, 2007 07:52 AM

Sagan was the same as most of his work: accessible, readable, and entertaining. Some of the context of the material was dated, based upon the time it was first delivered (a series of lectures from the mid-1980s, when the Cold War still loomed). He does not throw punches at religious belief like Dawkins, but rather seems open-minded and curious. Essentially, his thesis might read: "why would someone want to believe old folk tales constrained by old superstitions when the universe as we currently understand and perceive it is so much greater and more awe-inspiring than old tribal religions?"

I am not sure about the Stephenson yet. It's not as immediately engaging to me as Cryptonomicon or Snow Crash were. I slogged my way through the Baroque trilogy, so I know I can finish this one. It's supposedly set in the same universe as Snow Crash, but I'm just not getting into it that quickly.

Posted by: JohnL at July 5, 2007 08:56 AM

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Posted by: jzaak at February 24, 2010 10:48 AM
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