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Non-Spiritual Books


AletheiaRivers
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What books are you reading? What are your favorite books? What books did you hate?

 

Remember, this is an off topic forum, so the books do NOT have to be spiritual in nature. In fact, since we have a book discussion forum for spiritual books, it would be better if the books posted here are NOT spiritual in nature. :D

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I haven't actually finished it but I am really enjoying "Blink: The Power of thinking without thinking" by Malcolm Gladwell. Only thing, I think I enjoy his speeches better than his writing. I have heard him now on CSpan2 (BookTV 2-3 times) and a couple other forums. I like his presence and just the way he talks. :-) He has this reticence and self-effacing humor or something that I find very appealing. There are many interesting anecdotes, and I think police depts and the military ought to really study what he has to say about snap decisions and instinct, as it could save lives. Not sure when he describes what goes on as like autism though. (He says that when people have to make snap decisions in a high stress situation they become "autistic". I think that at best it is an analogy, and maybe not such a good one, but I think it is cool that he always makes some comment about autistic people in the audience. I've never heard anyone do this before.

 

--des

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Ok, some more books I have enjoyed, not necessarily lately (I've been reading a lot of the books from the list lately.) Anyway here's a list in no particular order :

 

I love the Harry Potter books (not so much the last one).

Homer Hickam's books: Rocket Boys; Sky of Stone; and the other of the Coalwood trilogy)

Anything by Oliver Sacks or Temple Grandin

Guns, Germs and Steel (or do I have that out of order) although I don't think it is well written, very thought provoking

The Physics of Star trek

Stuff by Paul Davies, etc. (I'm thinking I will like a Singh as well who writes about physics).

Ice Bound (the story re the woman at the South Pole that got breast cancer, also the writting wasn't so hot, but I was very hooked in).

Different dog training books: My couple favs: "The Other End of the Leash" "Don't shoot the Dog".

Things with Corgis on the cover. ;-)

 

 

--des

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My favorite all time FICTIONAL book(s) is probably the Earth's Children series by Jean Auel. When I was little I consomed anything by Edgar Rice Burroughs, but especially the Martian books. Like most everybody else, I really really really liked "The DaVinci Code". ;) "Lightening" by Koontz is a book about time travel that I have read about 3 times now.

 

For non-fiction I highly recommend "Brief History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson. Funny, well written and very informative. I just listened (on CD) to Brian Greene's "Fabric of the Cosmos". Very good. I'm currently listening to "Universe in a Nutshell" by Stephen Hawking.

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  • 1 month later...

Well for the summer reading club (from which so far I have had ONE call :-() but anyway I am reading all these very cool children's books (mostly out of the public library-- but a few from a closing :-( independent bookstore with a huge sale). Anyway, some I am really loving include: Summer Moon by George. (Lovely account of various animals in various habitats-- desert Southwest and Pacific Northwest -- among others. Some beautiful color drawings.) Another is "Navajo Summer" by Dewey which is fact based about a girl's adventures one summer when she runs away from home due to an abusive dad and emotional vacant mom to an Indian reservation where she has friends. I've also read lots of short Indian folk tales ala Southwest. Neat to learn about my own culture (or at least the one I adopted! :-)). Of course I've read some books I don't like so well too-- these are mostly pretty short.

 

(For anyone interested for their kids: Summer Moon is good outloud for K-2 and independent reading to about grade 3-4. Navajo Summer has some heavy social issues wouldn't be approp. til the kid is in about 6th grade. I think girls would like it better-- there are some adventures but they are gentle, low "plot", lots of descriptive language.) Both writers won awards, though not for these books I think.

 

Speaking of children's books, who else is excited about Harry Potter "Half Blood Prince" coming out? (Of course at this point I don't think that HP is exactly a children's book!)

Will prob. buy it and stay up all night reading....

 

 

--des

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I second Guns, Germs, and Steel. Haven't read it yet, but heard its excellent. Haven't read it cover to cover, yet, but I'd also recommend "Secrets of the Samurai" to anyone who's interested in feudal Japan. It gets into every aspect, the martial arts, weapons, armor, Bushido, and more. Interesting fact or two to get you interested: "Bushido" means "Art of the warrior", and the Samurai were called "Bushi", which is Japanese for, you guessed it, warrior.

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  • 4 years later...

Aside from what I'm forced to read for school:

 

Billy Collins Sailing Alone Around the Room: A book of poetry, and technically it was for school. But one of the few things that, despite being for school, I actually enjoyed reading. :lol: Probably because the poems were quick and not in a huge anthology. I just can't curl up with those bulky books with Bible thin pages. >.< and don't even get me started on teh size of those fonts! Anyway, he's a good poet and I reccomend him. Very funny.

 

Wilkie Collins The Moonstone: One of my favorite books, and the very first mystery novel written in the english language.

 

Umberto Eco The Name of the Rose: The man can craft an amazing plot, and his characters draw you in.

 

What I plan on reading soon:

 

A Turn of the Screw and The American by Henry James and Darkness Visible by William Golding (author of Lord of the Flies)

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Just finished Abraham's Curse, the Roots of Violence in Judaism, CHristianity, and Islam, by Bruce Chilton. Currently reading Gospel Truth, by Russell Shorto, on the search for the historic Jesus. My friend, Brother Robert, a Carmelite Friar, told me about Practicing the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence (available online for free), and it has altered how I view my day to day life. Bro. Robert also sent me Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, by Cynthia Bourgeault.

I would recommend Reinhold Niebuhr's The Irony of American History, and Andrew Bacevich's The Limits of Power, The End of American Exceptionalism as must read books for any thinking American.

Peter Rollins is a young Irish author, theologian, and philosopher. His books, Faith Beyond Belief, The Fidelity of Betrayal, and The Orthodox Heretic, have all been mind expanding for me.

Other must reads include anything by Bishop John Shelby Spong, A Generous Orthodoxy, by Brian McLaren, and Leslie Weatherhead's, Christian Agnostic. I also read the Bible daily, and frequently use gnostic writings for contemplative thought. Some of the best teachings of Jesus appear in the Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of Philip, and The Gospel of Truth.

For fiction, I read a lot of mystery/detective stuff by James Lee Burke, and everything by Chuck Palahnuik (Fight Club and many others)

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A few months ago I finished a book called Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose. The author goes "under cover" at Liberty University to see what life is like as a conservative Christian university student under Rev. Falwell. He completely immerses himself in the experience and writes about it...

 

I haven't lamented finishing a book in a long time, but I was really sad when this book ended. It was an excellent read and I just want another one so much, lol.

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