Category: reading

Reading for the Week of 5/8/2022

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Here is what I read this week. Some of the articles/posts may require a subscription to read them. As you can see, I managed to read a bunch of books this week, but that ate into article reading time, so my article/post reading was way down this week.

Books

Finished

  • A Darkness More Than NIght by Michael Connelly. I needed a break from all of the nonfiction I’d been reading so I decided to continue reading some of Michael Connelly’s “Bosch” series of mysteries.
  • City of Bones by Michael Connelly.
  • Lost Light by Michael Connelly. This is the best of the Bosch books I’ve read so far. Excellent from start to finish.
  • Never Panic Early by Fred Haise. I think it is wonderful that more than 50 years after the first moon landing, the astronauts involved in Apollo are still coming out with memoirs about their experience. Fred Haise, who flew on Apollo 13 and who piloted test landings of the space shuttle Enterprise has a delightful memoir in this book.
  • Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel. I came across this book in my sister’s Goodread’s list. I enjoyed it, although it is not a particularly original time travel story in the tropes that it uses. It is the characters that make the book interesting. In some ways, I was reminded of Lauren Beukes The Shining Girls, although this book wasn’t a murder mystery.

In Progress

Gave Up

  • The Narrows by Michael Connelly. I started the next book in the Bosch series, but after reading three in a row, I’d had my fill, so I gave up on this one and will return to it eventually.

Articles/posts

Any recommendations for books, articles or posts I should read? Let me know in the comments?

Written on May 13-14, 2022.

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Reading for the Week of 5/1/2022

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Here is what I read this week. Some of the articles/posts may require a subscription to read them. I also share my recommended reads on Pocket for anyone who wants to follow along there.

Books

Finished

  • John le Carré: The Biography by Adam Sisman. I’ve only read a few le Carré novels, and his memoir, but he seems like a fascinating person and this biopgraphy confirmed that. It is also always interesting to me to see the evolution of a writer from a nobody to a celebrity.
  • The Hawk’s Way: Encounters with Fierce Beauty by Sy Montegomery. I enjoyed Sy Montegomery’s book on the octopus and this short book on falconry was almost as enjoyable.
  • All The President’s Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. I have two reasons for reading this book: one is because I recently read Carl Bernstein’s memoir, and the other is that I have a vague idea for a story involving an investigative journalist and so this book could be considered research.

In Progress

  • A Darkness More Than Night by Michael Connelly. I was looking for a change of pace, and in particular, something set in L.A. I’ve already read the first 8 of Michael Connelly books, so I settled on another Bosch novel for the weekend.
  • In Memory Yet Green: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov, 1920-1954 by Isaac Asimov. I’m taking my time with this book, which I started last week, luxuriating in it, since it is the first time I’ve read it in a dozen years.

Articles/posts

Any recommendations for books, articles or posts I should read? Let me know in the comments?

Written on May 07, 2022.

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Reading for the Week of 4/24/2022

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Here is what I read this week. Some of the articles/posts may require a subscription to read them.

Books

Finished

In Progress

Articles/posts

Any recommendations for books, articles or posts I should read? Let me know in the comments?

Written on April 30, 2022.

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Reading for the Week of 4/17/2022

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Here is what I read this week. Some of the articles/posts may require a subscription to read them. I also share my recommended reads on Pocket for anyone who wants to follow along there.

Books

Finished

In Progress

Articles/posts

  • The Art of Letting Go by Robert Breen (blog, 4/21/2022). I bumped this one up to the top even though I read it on Thursday evening because it is one of the best things I’ve read in a long time. I highly recommend this thoughtful piece on life.
  • Talking Talkies  by Melanie Novak (blog, 4/17/2022). I missed my Golden Age of Hollywood post this week.
  • Woody Guthrie’s Notebooks (Notebook Storie, 4/19/2022). Anything about notebooks catches my eye.
  • Two April Appreciations: Beach, Schell  by James Fallows (Breaking the News, 4/18/2022)
  • Two New Possibilities for the ‘Times’ by James Fallows (Breaking the News, 4/20/2022). Some interesting suggestions for The New York Times
  • MacOS Setup in 2022 for Minimal Mouse interaction by Decoded Bytes (Medium, 3/3/2022). Since I’ve been trying to use Vim mode everywhere, I thought this would be an interesting read.
  • How To Balance Fun and Ambition by Ian Frazier (Outside Magazine, print edition, March/April 2022). This line resonated with me: “You must balance fun and ambition, and care passionately and dispassionately at the same time.”
  • Field Testing My Cheechako by Stephanie Joyce (Outside Magazine, print edition, March/April 2022)
  • The Greatest Game Ever Played by Alex Hutchinson (Outside Magazine, print edition, March/April 2022)
  • Is This What John Denver Meant By “Dancing with the Mountains”? by Bill Gifford (Outside Magazine, print edition, March/April 2022)
  • There’s No Better Place to Flirt Than Outside by Allison Braden (Outside Magazine, print edition, March/April 2022)
  • Take a Flying Leap by Bruce Handy (Outside Magazine, print edition, March/April 2022)
  • Let’s Turn the faun Back On by Mary Turner (Outside Magazine, print edition, March/April 2022). Resonated quote from this one: “Fun, unlike happiness, is an action, something we can actually pursue”
  • A Winslow Homer for the 21st Century by Susan Tallman (Atlantic, May 2022). Homer’s name came up once or twice in Shirer’s memoir so I was interesting in learning more.
  • Student-Loan Reparations by The Editorial Board (Wall Street Journal, 4/21/2022). I came out of college with $16,000 in student loan debt, which is far less than what graduates 30+ years later find themselves with. I managed to pay off all my debt. Still, I’m not sure what the WSJ editorial board is so upset about. The government has bailed out banks, airlines, to say nothing of other countries. Why not help out with student debt. It helps everyone in the long run.
  • Framing: In Honor of Eric Boehlert by James Fallows (Breaking the News, 4/6/2022). More in James Fallows continuing series on the “framing” of news stories in the media.
  • Writer Samuel R. Delaney Reading in His Library (NY Times, 4/21/2022). Chip Delany and libraries in one piece!
  • Escaping from ‘Flatland’ – by James Fallows by James Fallows (Breaking the News, 4/14/2022)
  • Bring on the Pitch Clock! – by Joe Posnanski – JoeBlogs by Joe Posnanski (JoeBlogs, 4/19/2022). After seeing them in action in the minor leagues, Joe is in favor of pitch clocks. I’m still a skeptic. Introducing a clock on any kind into a clockless sport is a slippery slope. I’ll have more to say on my ideas for fixing baseball in a post in early May.
  • Revolt in Disney’s Florida Kingdom – WSJ by The Editorial Board (Wall Street Journal, 4/22/2022). I’ve got to wonder: is going after big business–from which both parties get enormous amounts of funding–a sound strategy? If a corporation is treated by law as a “person,” why can’t it have an opinion?
  • Alexandria home prices got boost near housing projects, study shows by Marissa L. Lang (Washington Post, 4/22/2022)
  • Apollo 16 astronaut reflects on life and God on landing anniversary by Earl Swift (Washington Post, 4/21/2022). An interesting look at the dramatic transformation in Duke’s belief system from the time he roamed the surface of the moon to decades later.
  • Obsidian Publish Improvements & Task Management Tips by Eleanor Konik (Obsidian Roundup, 4/23/2022). The Paste Image Rename plug-in caught my attention this week.
  • How to Fix Quantum Computing Bugs – Scientific American by Zaria Nazario (Scientific American, May 2022). I have to admit that while I have a fairly good handle of traditional error correction functionality, as well as the basics of quantum entanglement, this article pass the bounds of my ability to understand the mechanics of quantum error correction.
  • Can Sanctions Really Stop Putin? by The Editorial Board (NY Times, 4/22/2022). What are the limits of sanctions and how long should they last?
  • Why Did We Stop Believing That People Can Change? by Rebecca Solnit (NY Times, 4/22/2022). Reading this, I thought of that article on Charlie Duke above, and how much he had changed.
  • Covid Drugs Save Lives But Americans Can’t Get Then by Zeynep Tufekci (NY Times, 4/22/2022)
  • How a Recession Might–and Might Not–Happen by Paul Krugman (NY Times, 4/22/2022). Isn’t there a joke about never getting a straight answer from economists?
  • Democrats, You Can’t Ignore Culture Wars Any Longer by Jamelle Bouie (NY Times, 4/22/2022)
  • What Makes a Good Job Good by Peter Coy (NY Times, 4/22/2022). It will be interesting to see what metrics are ultimately used to measure this.
  • What You Don’t Know About Amazon by Moira Weigel (NY Times, 4/22/2022)

Any recommendations for books, articles or posts I should read? Let me know in the comments?

Written on April 22-23, 2022.

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Reading for the Week of 4/10/2022

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Here is what I read this week. Some of the articles/posts may require a subscription to read them. I also share my recommended reads on Pocket for anyone who wants to follow along there.

Books

Finished

In Progress

Articles/posts

Any recommendations for books, articles or posts I should read? Let me know in the comments?

Written on April 16, 2022.

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Reading for the Week of 4/3/2022

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Here is what I read this week. Some of the articles/posts may require a subscription to read them. This was a busy week with a lot going on. I did manage to finish two books, but my article reading was down from its normal levels because things were busy.

Books

Finished

In Progress

Articles/posts

Any recommendations for books, articles or posts I should read? Let me know in the comments?

Written on April 08, 2022.

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Reading for the Week of 3/27/2022

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Here is what I read this week. Some of the articles/posts may require a subscription to read them. I also share my recommended reads on Pocket for anyone who wants to follow along there.

Books

Finished

  • Twentieth Century Journey, Vol 1: The Start: 1904-1930 by William L. Shirer. As I mentioned last week, I am always fascinated with the writer’s behind great works (like The Rise of Fall of the Third Reich). So far, Shirer’s memoir is fascinating, both from the perspective of a journalist in Europe and for all of the people he meets along the way.

In Progress

Articles/posts

Any recommendations for books, articles or posts I should read? Let me know in the comments?

Written on April 02, 2022.

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Reading for the Week of 3/20/2022

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Here is what I read this week. Some of the articles/posts may require a subscription to read them. This number in parentheses after the books are as follows: # of books I’ve read so far this year / # of books I’ve read since 1996.

Books

Finished

  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer (17/1145). This was an outstanding history of the Second World War from inside the Third Reich. Much of the information comes from captured documents that the Allies obtained, many of which were used at Nuremberg. It is the first Shirer book that I’ve read, and I was delighted to discover that his writing style is remarkably similar to Will Durant, a favorite of mine. That really shouldn’t come as a surprise, since both came up the same age.

In Progress

Articles/posts

Any recommendations for books, articles or posts I should read? Let me know in the comments?

Written on March 26, 2022.

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Reading for the Week of 3/13/2022

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Here is what I read this week. Some of the articles/posts may require a subscription to read them. I also share my recommended reads on Pocket for anyone who wants to follow along there.

Books

Finished

  • The Rising Sun by John Toland (16/1144). A fascinating and engaging read, and my first specifically on the war in the Pacific with an emphasis on the Japanese point of view. I wrote about my inital thoughts on the first half of the book. Next week I’ll have a more comprehensive post on my notes on this book.

In Progress

Articles/posts

Any recommendations for books, articles or posts I should read? Let me know in the comments?

Written on March 19, 2022.

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Reading for the Week of 3/6/2022

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Today is one of those perfect days for reading. Windy and snowy with accumulations between 3-5 inches expected. I plan on trying to get through as much of The Rising Sun as I can. Meanwhile, here is what I read this week. Some of the articles/posts may require a subscription to read them. I also share my recommended reads on Pocket for anyone who wants to follow along there.

Books

The numbers in parentheses following each book represent: (a) the nth book I’ve finished reading this year, and (b) the mth book I’ve finished reading since January 1, 1996.

Finished

In progress

Articles/posts

Written on March 11-12, 2022.

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Reading for the Week of 2/27/2022

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Here is what I read this week. Some of the articles/posts may require a subscription to read them. I also share my recommended reads on Pocket for anyone who wants to follow along there.

Books

Finished Read

The numbers in parentheses following each book represent: (a) the nth book I’ve finished reading this year, and (b) the mth book I’ve finished reading since January 1, 1996.

  • The Sum of All Fears by Tom Clancy (13/1141). I think this one finally sated my desire for thrillers. When I finished it, I felt completely worn out (in a good way) and ready to move on to other things.
  • The Man from the Future: The Visionary Life of John von Neumann by Ananyo Bhattacharya (14/1142). Last spring, I read about dozen books on the history of computing and von Neumann kept appearing again and again. So when I saw this new biography on von Neumann, I jumped on it. It is an interesting bio in that it is less about the man than the ideas and concepts he fostered: mathematics, quantum mechanics, his involvement in the atomic bomb program, computers and computing, artificial life. I have a fascination with smart people, and he has to be one of the smartest people ever to live in the 20th century.

In Progress

  • Analogia: The Emergence of Technology Beyond Programmable Control by George Dyson. This is an example of what I call a “bridging book”–a book that will take a day or two to read, that takes on some of the concepts from The Man from the Future and gives me some additional insights before I start the next book, which is a big one on an entirely different subject. (Actually, I may squeeze in one more book after this and before the big one.)

Gave Up

  • Debt of Honor by Tom Clancy. Like I said, The Sum of All Fears sated me on the thriller for now. I started Debt of Honor but I could tell that I was read to move on to other things.
  • A Short History of Ireland, 1500-2000 by John Gibney. I’m just giving up temporarily, until I am close to our trip, when I will be in a better mental place to focus on the history of Ireland.

Articles/posts

Any recommendations for books, articles or posts I should read? Let me know in the comments?

Written on March 5, 2022.

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Reading for the Week of 2/20/2022

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Here is what I read this week. Some of the articles/posts may require a subscription to read them. I also share my recommended reads on Pocket for anyone who wants to follow along there.

Books

Earlier this week, I wrote about the reasons I sometimes reread books. It was on my mind because I have been rereading Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan books. A better description might be binge rereading. As you see, I completed 3 of the books this week. That’s about 1,750 pages of reading in 7 days — or 77 hours of audiobook listening time (45 hours at my usual listening speed of 1.7x). That’s a lot, even for me. Indeed, I have been so focused on reading these books this week that even my writing for the blog is way down from normal. Fortunately, by attempting to write 2 posts a day, I’d built up a healthy backlog, but still, I ate into that backlog quite a bit this week.

You’ll note a pair of numbers after each title I’ve finished below in the following format: (10/1138). The first number is the book’s place in the number of books I’ve finished this year so far. Patriot Games, for instance, was the 10th book I finished reading in 2022. The second number is where the book falls in the list of books I’ve read since 1996. This re-read of Patriot Games was the 1,138th book I’ve finished reading since January 1, 1996.

Finished Reading

  • Patriot Games by Tom Clancy (10/1138). Like The Hunt for Red October, this book was far better than I remembered it originally. It was also much more clear to me how the movie deviated from the book (for worse, as usual, but not terribly bad).
  • The Cardinal of the Kremlin by Tom Clancy (11/1139). This book had a greater scope than the first two Jack Ryan books, and in that expanded scope, something was lost in the overall storytelling. It was still a fun read, but I didn’t think this book was as good as the first two.
  • Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy (12/1140). Clancy tightened up the scope once again and this book had more of the feel of Patriot Games than Cardinal. Perhaps what was most interesting to me about this book was the development of John Clark. I’ve never read Clancy’s novels about Clark, but I am now looking forward to reading Without Remorse after I finish up The Sum of All Fears. Another surprise was how far the movie deviates from the book–more than The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games. Whole plot segments are eliminated and others dramatically changes from what happens in the book.

In Progress

Articles/posts

Because of all of that binge reading, I spent a lot less time reading articles and posts this week. Just another example of how time is a limited pool, and we have to pick and choose what is important to us each moment.

  • My Favorite Speech in Shakespeare (What Mark’s Reading, 2/18/22). For me, it is the St. Crispin’s day speech in Henry V.
  • Solving Problems I Don’t Have by Melanie Novak (blog, 2/20/22). I’ve lost how many times I’ve been there, done that.
  • Journalism Needs to Engage With Its Critics by James Fallows (Breaking the News, 2/19/22). Fallows has really been hammering on journalism–in a good way. We need better reporting and journalism. We should be constantly trying to improve the craft and avoid complacancy. #reporting
  • Ignoring a Text Message or Email Isn’t Always Rude. Sometimes It’s Necessary by Erica Dhawan (NY Times, 2/21/22). I’m a big believer that email and messags, like phone calls, or for my conveience and don’t need to be answered or checked instantly. I’ve been trying (with limited success) to drill this idea into my kids. #productivity
  • The Lockout and My Deepest Fear by Joe Posnanski (JoeBlogs, 2/22/22). I’m becoming really frustrated with with the owners and players in this lockout. I just want baseball, and as I mentioned in a post earlier this week, I can always get it because baseball is a game played in history. #sports/baseball
  • My Notebook System – ratfactor by Dave Gauer (Rat Factor, 2/2/22). This was one of the best posts I’ve ever read on notebooks and notebook systems. I’ve written many post on the subject, but I wish I’d written this one. Dave’s post is comprehensive, clear, and just so good. If you are interested in notebooks and note systems, I urge you to take the time to read this one in its entirity. #theme/theory-of-notes
  • They Fled for Greener Pastures, and There Were Weeds by Julie Lasky (NY Times, 2/25/22). This one hit home because I’ve lived in relatively urban or suburban areas close to urban centers for most of my life, and it’s been a growing daydream of mine to move out to a rural area, which I frequently think of as greener pastures. Kelly, who grew up in a rural area has seen the other side of those green pastures and this piece captured a lot of that. #theme/lifestyle
  • QR IQ by Mike Dariano (The Waiters Pad, 2/24/22). Once again, Mike has a novel way to apply to technology to small business–this time restaurants and restaurant menus–riding on the heels of how restaurants have had to switch to QR-code menus during the pandemic.
  • Brandon Sanderson’s Advice for Doing Hard Things – Study Hacks – Cal Newport by Cal Newport (Study Hacks, 2/25/22). I really enjoy Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. I am also an admirer of Sanderson’s work ethic. I have a fascinating with hard-workers and this piece by Cal Newport, summarizes some of Sanderson’s tips in a more generalized way so that they can be applied to more than just writers. #theme/theory-of-work #productivity
  • Walker: Player Ranger – JoeBlogs by Joe Posnanski (JoeBlogs, 2/25/22). Despite my frustration with both players and owners, I think Joe makes a good argument that baseball player salaries are front-and-center because that is what the owners want; that is how they frame their arguments and what they want fans to see. #sports/baseball
  • 🌠 Documentation efforts, Mobile Live Preview, & Improved Startup Time by Eleanor Konik (Obsidian Roundup, 2/26/2022). I’m interested in checking out the new and improved Better Word Count plug-in, as well as the Hotkey Chords Plug-in.
  • It’s Hard to Care About Baseball Right Now by Molly Knight (The Long Game, 2/25/22). In W.P. Kinsella’s Shoeless Joe, J.D. Salinger gives a speech toward the end of the book (the speech’s essence is captured by James Earl Jones in Field of Dreams, which is based on the book). He describes how the baseball diamond in the cornfield will attract people. “‘Of course, we don’t mind if you look around,’ you’ll say. ‘It’s only twenty dollars person.’ And they’ll pass over the money without even looking at it — for it is money they have, and peace they lack.” With all that’s going on in baseball and the world right now, I thought of this speech as I read Molly Knight’s post. She seemed to read my mind when she wrote, “if you love baseball but you’re finding it really hard to care about it right now, that’s ok.” “It’s money they have and peace they lack.” Maybe it’s money that they (the players and owners) have and peace that we (the fans) lack. For me, baseball helps to provide that peace and I realize there is a cost to that. The question becomes simple in that light: is the cost worth the peace? #sports/baseball

Any recommendations for books, articles or posts I should read? Let me know in the comments?

Written on February 26, 2022.

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