View Full Version : book club

02-18-2009, 11:08 PM
anybody want to start a book club?

02-19-2009, 09:32 AM
I've just started Louisa Gilder's The Age of Entanglement (http://www.amazon.com/Age-Entanglement-Quantum-Physics-Reborn/dp/1400044170/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1235053321&sr=8-1), and while a full-blown review of it would obviously be premature at this point, I can say she's a fine, clear writer.

The book itself is a unique approach to popsci writing, so much so that she included a charming "Note to the Reader" describing her method and expressing the hope that she'll gain the reader's trust, despite the unorthodoxy. I've only covered about twenty pages and she's managed a presentation of Bell's Theorem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell%27s_theorem), a pretty challenging concept, that's both clear and satisfying.

I'd recommend it now, despite how little of it I've read - I doubt my opinion will change.

02-20-2009, 02:56 AM
I've been avoiding understanding quantum physics for a long time. :) Let me know how the book is.

02-20-2009, 09:01 AM
I've been avoiding understanding quantum physics for a long time. :) Let me know how the book is.

Heh. I've always felt the same way about econ.

uncle ebeneezer
02-20-2009, 02:09 PM
Great idea guys:

I'm currently taking a quick breather from BH non-fiction books and re-reading an old favorite: The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I rarely read a fiction book twice, but this one is so good that it's actually rather enjoyable the second time around. I'm also trying to do some writing of my own so I wanted to read something that had good dialog so I can try to make my dialog a little more believable when I write (it's one of my weaker areas.) For anyone who likes literary fiction, I highly recommend Secret History. Parts of it stretch belief a little thin, but Tartt has a really great way with words and is great at crafting suspense.

I just finished "Panic In Level 4" by Richard Preston, which was really excellent. I found him through BHTV and was really impressed with his writing. The chapter on Lesh-Nyhan syndrome (self-cannibalism) was really fascinating.

Next on my BH pile is John McWhorter's "Losing the Race" and Peter Ward's "Rivers in Time" (mass extinctions) After those I'd like to check out Lousa's book and a Mike Davis book about San Diego, although Davis has still never been on Bloggingheads (ahem!!) I'd love to see him partly just to watch the wingnut commentor heads explode!!

PS- Clay, there is a section on Quantum Physics in George Johnson's "Fire In the Mind" that is pretty good (from what I remember.) Also I believe John Horgan touches on it briefly in "The End of Science."

02-20-2009, 03:44 PM

Second the shoutout for Secret History. It's been a long time, so I don't remember details, but I remember vividly how much I liked it.

Last book I finished (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/02/coincidence.html) was The Men Who Stare at Goats. Worth reading once, but I don't know how much discussion it merits. Jon Ronson sounds like someone worth having on BH.tv, though.

uncle ebeneezer
02-20-2009, 05:07 PM
I almost forgot. This book completely rocked my world when I read it a few months ago.

"We Need to Talk About Kevin" by Lionel Shriver:


Be careful: The reviews/blurbs give away more of the plot than I think necesarry. So my brief sell on it would be that this book is about a professional woman who never really wanted a child but sucumbed to various pressures and was rewarded with one of those "bad seeds" who goes on to commit a horrible crime. The book is about her trying to come to terms with her own culpability in raising a monster. It's superbly well written and creepy as hell. You won't be able to put it down and it will really make you think about some difficult and disturbing questions about human nature, parenting, marriage, violence and forgiveness.

02-25-2009, 01:04 AM
Heh. I've always felt the same way about econ.

The more I learn about econ the less I know. :/

02-25-2009, 04:44 PM
There's probably a tool out there for making a book club. Hmm.

Anyway, I'll post what's in my queue (pile of unread books that I might actually read), and maybe we'll have some overlap. A little book club might be just the nudge to actually get around to reading one of them.

Animal Spirits by Akerlof and Shiller
History of the Peloponnesian War
Nixonland by Perlstein
Origin of Wealth by Beinhocker
The Federalist

I swear, I read fiction sometimes.

02-25-2009, 06:13 PM

Rationalism in Politics by Oakeshott (because rightwingers go on and on about him)

03-06-2009, 05:09 PM
"Losing the Race" is excellent. Hope you enjoy it.

03-06-2009, 05:11 PM
... more like the Andrew Sullivan school of conservatives rants and raves about him.

03-08-2009, 05:16 AM
Guys, guys, I think it's time we mention some more serious and real world books.


Mistborn trilogy
A Song of Ice and Fire series
The Wheel of Time
The Name of the Wind
Star Trek: Core of Engineers

....I like escaping my mundane world...

uncle ebeneezer
03-08-2009, 03:04 PM
Steven King's "Dark Tower" along with The Stand, Rose Madder, Insomnia, Talisman and Black House (all are tied into the bigger Tower story.)

JoeI; did you ever read "Replay?"


Pretty good book.