What are you reading?

You must be logged in to create new topics.

What are you reading?

  • B.K. Marcus

    What books have you been reading recently?

    I had the pleasure over the weekend of spending a day in a hammock, reading whatever I wanted. And I rediscovered that every few chapters, I seem to need to switch books, so I’m dipping in and out of many titles.

    I finished Rebels on the Air, by Jesse Walker. If you’re curious about radio history, and especially if you’d enjoy an informed libertarian take on the role of regulation, both in the USA and throughout the world, I recommend this book.

    I’m also in the middle of The Columbia History of American Television, which I recommend less. I started to reread Harlan Ellison’s The Glass Teat, but I seem to have a lower tolerance for Harlan Ellison than I used to.

    My fiction recently has mostly been by Robert A. Heinlein. I love Job: A Comedy of Justice, which I finished the night before Heinlein’s birthday last week. I’m revisiting Stranger in a Strange Land now. The obvious libertarian favorite, of course, is The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. If you only read one Heinlein novel, that’s the one to read. That may be true if you only ever read one science fiction novel at all.

    I’m halfway through Light in August by William Faulkner. Great, great first several chapters. I’ll have to get back to you on the rest.

    Have you read Teri Moore’s The Secular Homeschooler yet? I read a prepublication draft last summer, and I’ll say this: you don’t have to be secular or a homeschooler to find it interesting. (Although I’m both.) Teri’s book is free to Liberty.me members for July. Between it and Justin Arman’s “Guide for Liberty-Loving Parents,” there’s plenty here for those of us who would like to help the next generation avoid so much of the indoctrination we grew up with.

    I missed Jeffrey’s session on Rose Wilder Lane’s The Discovery of Freedom, but I’m considering digging up my old audiobook version, narrated by our own Jeff Riggenbach.

    And speaking of audiobooks, which are your favorites? I’m enjoying a series of history audiobooks by the very un-libertarian Sarah Vowell. Maybe more on that later.

    Liberty.me has a Bookworm Hangout every Wednesday night, 8 PM Eastern. You can find us at bookworms.liberty.me.

    Whether or not you can make it, please let us know what you’ve been reading and whether or not we should pick up any of the same books.

    You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

    • Jeffrey Tucker

      I’m reading Atlas for the first time, and absolutely loving it. Not that I think it is THE book of history or anything but it is a hugely important part of OUR history, and this is what is driving it forward for me. I’m so embarrassed that it took me so long to get around to it.

      You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

    • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      B.K. Marcus

      I have to confess that I’ve never read Atlas Shrugged.

      I read The Fountainhead, and decided I’d had enough Ayn Rand fiction for a while.

      You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        Jeffrey Tucker

        I could barely finish the Fountainhead. The IP material, the haughtiness of the whole thing, it was just too much. Atlas is actually much better — it’s weird in many ways, but it is a brilliant story with surprising insight.

        You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        B.K. Marcus

        OK so I guess I need to give Atlas Shrugged a try.

        You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        Anonymous

        I’m on board with Jeffrey, The Fountainhead is a tiresome read but Atlas Shrugged is just so much better, it’s simpler, more vast in setting, and the characters are pretty defined. It’s funny though because I just started Atlas and am half way through!

        You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      Wally Conger

      I’m now reading Rules for Patriots, by Steve Deace, in preparation for writing a review.

      You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        B.K. Marcus

        Wanna give us a pre-view of your re-view?

        You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      Eli

      I’m currently reading Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman.  It’s a very interesting read about western societies deviation away from typography onto television.

      I’m also reading The Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell.  It is based upon Campbell’s theory of the “monomyth,” which is the basic structure that all myth takes regardless of time and place.  The theory is grounded in Jung’s “collective unconscious” as the basis for the one structure – monomyth – that all cultural myths formulate around.  It’s a very interesting read.

      You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        B.K. Marcus

        Elias, I haven’t read Campbell, but I remember watching a series of interviews with him by Bill Moyers, which I loved.

        I listened to a lecture series from Stanford (if I recall) on mythology, and that lecturer was very skeptical of Campbell. She suggested that he cherry picked his data to fit a preformed conception of the monomyth.

        BUT, however much respect he may or may not retain among scholars, writers and storytellers love him. He seems to have given a broad creative community a set of intellectual tools both for structuring plots and imbuing stories with greater resonance. I recently heard a storytelling teacher sing his praises in a Great Courses lecture series on the art of storytelling, and I read similar praise just this past weekend in the book Your Writing Coach by Jurgen Wolff.

        Are you reading Campbell more from a cultural anthropology approach, or more as a storyteller?

        You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      Rebecca Lau

      The Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs by Dana Bate.

      It’s actually pretty libertarian. It’s about a woman that starts an underground supper club in her home. A supper club is basically an illegal restaurant where the chef asks for “donations” instead or charging. Reason Magazine did a video about it recently. A lot of chefs and food people are fed up with all the regulations regarding food and do not want to invest a lot of money into building a restaurant so they start supper clubs instead.

      You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        B.K. Marcus

        Oh man, I love this idea! Yet another peaceful activity driven into the extralegal market. So do you recommend the book as interesting? Well written? The subject alone may be enough to get me to read it, but is it a book that you’d give a friend as a gift, for example?

        You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      Josh Wells

      I’m reading Letters from Seneca. Wise words of advice and perspective on life rarely found in modern works.

      You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

    • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      B.K. Marcus

      Josh, I recently listened to a podcast interview with modern Stoic Ryan Holiday. He was recommending Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations for the perspective I believe you’re referring to. (The specific translation Holiday recommends is written by a guy I know, in fact. I even have an autographed edition, but I confess I haven’t read it yet!)

      I was a philosophy major in college, but most of what I know about Stoicism I learned from Tom Wolfe’s novel A Man in Full.

      So how well does this ancient text do for pleasure reading?

      You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

    • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      Josh Wells

      Meditations is also on my list and I have it on my ereader but have only read the first few pages. Letters from Seneca is delightful reading. The short format of letters makes for a quick and easy read and they are topic specific. As someone who doesn’t hold religious beliefs I particularly enjoyed his writings on aging and death. I’ve never been into philosophy as it seemed to me a subject for people with too much time on their hands. I read a bit of Rand’s writing on objectivism and it put me to sleep. But the writings of ancient philosophers like the stoics I can get into because of its practical use in living the “good life”. My interests tend to drift. I’ve read a good bit of libertarian literature and it changed my life for the better. Now my interests are in ancient history and philosophy. Being government educated, I never had a foundation in classics so I’m trying to remedy that.

      You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        B.K. Marcus

        Just found this: LettersFromAStoic.net

        Ancient history, hm. Gosh, I went through an intense few years of trying to catch up on my ancient history in time to homeschool my son.

        Josh, have you read any of these:

        1. Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter by Thomas Cahill
        2. The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels by Thomas Cahill
        3. Asimov’s Guide to the Bible by Isaac Asimov
        4. The Greek Way by Edith Hamilton
        5. The Roman Way by Edith Hamilton
        6. The Rise and Fall of Alexandria: Birthplace of the Modern Mind by Justin Pollard and Howard Reid
        7. The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh by David Damrosch
        8. Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs: A Popular History of Ancient Egypt by Barbara Mertz

        I’ll also take the chance to push my favorite translator. Have you read Stanley Lombardo’s translation of The Iliad?

        One more: Gilgamesh: A New English Version by Stephen Mitchell (also a great translator)

        You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      Josh Wells

      No I haven’t read any of those.

      You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        B.K. Marcus

        I recommend them all, although Rise and Fall of Alexandria is one of the most statist ancient histories I’ve ever read. It explicitly claims that the Ptolemaic state was a successful socialist dictatorship, managing a prosperous economy.

        If I were to choose only one from that list to recommend, it would probably be Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea.

        You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      Gborrego

      I’m currently reading: Living Economics, The Social Order of the Underworld, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, Stop Acting Rich and Start Living Like a Real Millionaire, and The Corner: A Year in the Life of the an Inner City Neighborhood.

      You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        B.K. Marcus

        A reader after my own heart: someone who reads a bunch of books at once. I didn’t used to do that when I mostly read print editions, but with the Kindle, I can carry hundreds of books and be reading a dozen of them at a time.

        At last week’s Bookworm Hangout, we discussed How to Think Like a Millionaire and Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Do you know those?

        Of the books you’re reading, I’m especially interested in The Social Order of the Underworld.

        You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      foobar

      Here’s a new book about the internet that might be of interest to folks hereabouts: Astra Taylor’s The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power & Culture in the Digital Age. Hardly the promising title to be sure, especially to some of us old crusties, but don’t let that deter you. The fifth chapter, “Double Anchor,” is a thoughtful, concrete, and informed essay on the copyright wars. The other chapter titles pretty well speak for themselves: A Peasant’s Kingdom, For Love or Money, What We Want, Unequal Uptake, and Drawing the Line. The disappointing chapter to me was the Conclusion. Though having traveled cheerfully enough with her along the way I ended up, as I knew I must, at some decidedly different places indeed. There are extensive end-notes but, alas, no index. Let’s blame Random House Canada, who likely imposed the title as well. 264pp h/c & trade.

      By the way, Astra Taylor was home-schooled, and thus serves the obvious advertisement, not to mention a belated invitation to have eccentric professors for parents. You can find her and some of her documentary film work on YouTube.

      You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

    • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      Paddy Harrington

      Just finished Diana West “Death of the Grown-up”

      In the middle of “The Price of Freedom” by Calvin Coolidge.

      Starting one I haven’t read since high school, “The Ninja” by Eric Van Lustbader. I used to zone out in math class reading this. I still got A’s, which used to flummox the teacher to no end.

      I usually have one fiction and one non-fiction going at any one time.

      You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        B.K. Marcus

        I don’t do it on purpose, but I’ve discovered the same pattern in my own reading: I have one main work of fiction and at least one main work of nonfiction. (I find it easier to go between several nonfiction books but tend to limit myself to one novel at a time.)

        Why do we want to balance it out like that? Any theories?

        You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      Sean Ridlon

      The Intelligent Investor- Graham.

      I was at a recent trade show and kept it on the table. I had more people walk up and comment on it than I ever could have predicted!

      Of course I sold a lot of product.

      I wanted to read it because so many people I respect recommend it but I had no idea it was going to get me work leads at a show!

      You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        B.K. Marcus

        Did they people comment on the title, or had they all ready the book already?

        (And what were you selling?)

        You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

      Sean Ridlon

      They commented on it, but most of them thought Warren Buffet had written it lol.

      Im a salesperson and project estimator in a large remodeling/restoration company. So I was signing up leads. But my angle is pretty unique, I think, from other people at trade shows.

      I was selling professional estimates whereas most of my competitors were giving away countless hours on “free estimates”.

       

      Free advice is seldom treasured or followed!

       

       

      You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Viewing 13 reply threads