7 thoughts on “What Are You Reading?”

  1. I’m always juggling several books at once. These are among the books I am reading at the moment.

    * The Drug Book by Michael C. Gerald

    This is a timeline of drug discovery, listing roughly 250 different types of drugs and the year of their discovery or isolation. I was surprised to discover the vast majority of drugs have been discovered in the 20th or 21st century (although in hindsight it makes sense).

    * Lists of Note: An Eclectic Collection Deserving of a Wider Audience compiled by Shaun Usher

    A follow-up to Usher’s earlier book (and blog before that) Letters of Note. This consists of 125 different lists made by people throughout history. For example: a list from Benjamin Franklin of synonyms for inebriation; a meal list from Italian painter Michelangelo; and the rules of an “anti-flirt club” founded in Washington D.C. in the 1920s.

    * Tales of St. Austin’s by P.G. Wodehouse

    This is Wodehouse’s earliest published book from 1903, a collection of 16 short stories from the student academy St. Austin’s. The skill that would eventually blossom is not quite in evidence here, although you can see flashes of the trademark Wodehouse wordplay and wit here and there.

    * Smarter by Sunday from The New York Times

    This is a book with 52 different subjects, designed to be read each weekend throughout a year. Topics include literature, mathematics, science, history, and many others. I’ve committed to reading this throughout 2019, so I’ve just started it. 51 weekends to go!

    * Knock On Wood: Luck, Chance, and the Meaning of Everything by Jeffrey S. Rosenthal

    This book comes from a statistician at the University of Toronto, and the subject matter is exploring the tendency of humans to believe in some sort of driving force, like fate or destiny, when simply coincidence is the likely culprit. It examines common errors in reasoning that we all occasionally fall prey to, and explores why we seem to find patterns where none exist. Jeff is a friend of mine, which makes it that much more enjoyable!

    1. Oh, and I’m also in the middle of the latest issue of Back Issue, a magazine devoted to 70s, 80s, and 90s comic books. This particular issue is all about the Bronze Age adventures of the character Aquaman (timed to go along with movie, of course).

  2. I don’t get to read much.
    Compared to you Lee I don’t read at all.
    But for the last six months I’ve been trying to get thru a Memoir called “Found” by Jennifer Lauck.
    It’s about a woman who was adopted and is searching for her birth mother.
    I lost my mother as a young teen and have always wondered who she was as a person and toyed with the idea of seeking more information about her life. This is been just a thought.
    The book has been interesting for me.

  3. I’m reading “This Idea Must Die,” a compilation of essays primarily written by scientists about ideas they claim should be ready to say adios. Amongst the 145 challenged concepts are: (1) “Our World Has Only Three Space Dimensions,” (2) “Cause and Effect,”(3) “Free Will,” and (4) “Left Brain/Right Brain.”

    Next on my list is likely “An Edible History of Humanity.”

  4. I came across this list of familiar books, from the first chapter of Italo Calvino’s 1979 novel ‘If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler’. This list is now 40 years old, but it could have been written for me yesterday.

    Books You Haven’t Read;
    the Books You Needn’t Read;
    the Books Made For Purposes Other Than Reading;
    Books Read Even Before You Open Them Since They Belong To The Category Of Books Read Before Being Written;
    the Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered;
    the Books You Mean To Read But There Are Others You Must Read First;
    the Books Too Expensive Now But You’ll Wait Till They’re Remaindered;
    the Books ditto When They Come Out In Paperback;
    Books You Can Borrow From Somebody;
    Books That Everybody’s Read So It’s As If You Had Read Them, Too;
    the Books You’ve Been Planning to Read For Ages;
    the Books You’ve Been Hunting for Years Without Success;
    the Books Dealing With Something You’re Working On At The Moment;
    the Books You Want to Own So They’ll Be Handy Just in Case;
    the Books You Could Put Aside Maybe To Read This Summer;
    the Books You Need To Go With Other Books On Your Shelves;
    the Books That Fill You With Sudden, Inexplicable Curiosity, Not Easily Justified;
    the Books Read Long Ago Which It’s Now Time To Reread;
    the Books You’ve Always Pretended To Have Read And Now It’s Time To Sit Down And Really Read Them;
    the New Books Whose Author Or Subject Appeals To You;
    the New Books By Authors Or On Subjects Not New (for you or in general);
    New Books By Authors Or On Subjects Completely Unknown (at least to you)

  5. Most days I read passages from the Bible, following the Catholic church’s (and other denomination’s) daily scripture readings. Today we heard the story of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. Whether by coincidence or not, we had a baby girl baptized today at Mass. It doesn’t happen every Sunday.

    What stood out for me from the story was “a voice (God’s) came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.” According to our Pastor, we are God’s beloved as well. Sometimes it helps to remember that. Baptism is very important to Christians. It’s a great leveler – all are welcome, and all are God’s beloved.

  6. A mix of reading and re-reading kicked off during the holiday break:

    * “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
    * The “Bone” book series by Jeff Smith
    * The “Barrier” comic book series by Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin
    * “Surrender, New York” by Caleb Carr

    Now, if you want my movie watching list, I’ve got 18 of those since the start of the year:

    * Saw some great 2018 movies I hadn’t watched yet like Blackkklansman and Bad Times at the El Royal.

    * Got around to some other great movies I missed at the time like Spotlight and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

    * Re-watched an old classic I haven’t seen in many years, It Happened One Night.

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