"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Another books post

Those of you who have been following my efforts to read 50 books this year, having not seen a post about what I've been reading lately, need not worry. ( I know, I know -- it has just been eating away at you, hasn't it?) I have been keeping up with my reading, I have merely fallen behind on my posting about reading. Here is what I've been plowing through over the last month:

13. Nixonland by Rick Perlstein
As I've said to pretty much anyone who will listen for the last couple of years, this is the best book about modern politics I've ever read. It is a detailed history of Nixon's career up to the Watergate scandal and readily demonstrates where the current massive political divides of the present day got their start. I spent a couple of months picking away at this book in short chunks  and given its cinderblock proportions that is really the only way to go about it.   An absolutely fascinating read.

14.An Orgy of George by George Carlin
Another doorstop of a book, this is actually a collection of three of Carlin's books: Brain Droppings, Napalm and Silly Putty and When will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? This one has been sitting next to the toilet since New Year's day, the perfect place for it since it is funny, funny shit and you couldn't really sit and read more than a few pages at a time.

15. Stainless Steel Visions by Harry Harrison
A collection of short stories by SF author Harry Harrison. Read this in an afternoon. Several excellent little gems that read like Twilight Zone scripts, especially "Not Me, Not Amos Cabot" and a nifty little Stainless Steel Rat story. This and dinner with an old friend who is a SF/Fantasy buff got me off on a bit of a SF/Fantasy bender as subsequent entries will show.

16. Makers by Cory Doctorow
Another fascinating read. Doctorow has an ear and eye for the near future the way a good jazzman knows what the changes will be before they are played. This one looks at the impact that 3D printer technology coupled with venture capitalism and technojammers could have on society, all of which sound pretty far-fetched at first until you realize that almost all the technology (with the exception of the "Fatkins" bio-tech obesity treatments) already exists. Definitely worth a re-read and I'll be seeking out more of Doctorow's work.

Coming soon: more SF and Fantasy and then on to some stuff assigned for review at the paper.


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