Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Our Top To-Be-Read Shelf

Waterwalk: A Passage of Ghosts by Steven Faulkner.  Kent Craven reviews it at this link.  Sounds like my kind of book.

Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism by Sheldon S. Wolin.  Recommended by Chris Hedges on C-Span.

Norman O. Brown's Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History.  Been meaning to read this one for years.

Shawn Green's The Way of Baseball: Finding Stillness At 95 MPH.  A transcendental fastball.

I have but have not yet read the uncorrected galleys of John Burdett's VULTURE PEAK and Geoff Dyer's ZONA.  Burdett's series, always good, is continued.

Dyer is also the author of the beautifully written jazz memoir But Beautiful, the crazy brilliant D. H. Lawrence conjuring, Out of Sheer Rage, and other books I've quoted in this blog.

The subject of ZONA: A BOOK ABOUT A FILM ABOUT A JOURNEY TO A ROOM is the Andrei Tarkovsky film, Stalker, which I haven't seen yet but need to rent.

Possible tandem reads: Allison Krauss's A Man Walks Into A Room or Emma Donoghue's Room: A Novel.  Perhaps even The Enormous Room by E. E. Cummings.  Plato's cave, maybe.

We'll see.

Meanwhile, I've been having fun reading all of the new books on consciousness, almost all of them written by well-qualified brain scientists.  Besides the several I've read and listed on the best books list, I'm now reading Nicholas Humphrey's SOUL DUST: THE MAGIC OF CONSCIOUSNESS.

If I had to recommend only one of them, it would be David Eagleman's INCOGNITO: THE SECRET LIVES OF THE BRAIN. This book, along with my other reading, has shored up the way I look at free will (or free won't), and Eagleman has introduced me to several concepts I might have read somewhere but never took seriously before, such as "the Ulysses contract."

Free will seems to depend upon the circuitry in the prefrontal cortex, which is not yet developed in teenagers and never develops at all in some people.

Also new here:

Penelope Lively's How It All Began, a novel of interconnectedness, karma, the butterfly effect, a rose by whatever name you choose.

Sally Denton's The Plots Against The President: FDR, A Nation In Crisis, and the Rise of the American Right.  Glad to see this one from Denton, the author of The Bluegrass Conspiracy.  She used to be a reporter in Lexington, Kentucky.

Paul Johnson's Socrates:  A Man For Our Times.  A keeper.  I perused this when I first looked at it, was surprisingly drawn into it, so I sat down and read every word, cover to cover.  Of course I'd read books on the Greeks before, but this one has a different slant.  Highly recommended.

WIRE TO WIRE by Scott Sparling.  I picked up this mystery/thriller after reading the review of it at Spinetingler Magazine.  The author gives his soundtrack for the novel over at Largehearted Boy's blog  at this link.

No comments:

Post a Comment