Classic book written in the same vein as Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media. This book is a must for anyone wishing to understanding what modern s...moreClassic book written in the same vein as Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media. This book is a must for anyone wishing to understanding what modern society has become. While other books of Neil Postman go deeper into his perspective and philosophy this is a good one for people new to his writing.
For more of his thoughts on the philosophy of technology, i.e. what technology means and how it changes us read Technopoly. For more of his understanding of education... well, you have your pick, really.
Excellent book by an excellent author. Only becomes more relevant as time goes on.(less)
I've long been in love with wolves, the idea of them and the truth behind them. Of Wolves and Men by Barry Lopez examines both our conceptions of wolves and the truth of how little we know of the creature. Myths are examined, legislation, and ethology.
This book neatly encompasses the bulk of what we know about wolves, what we think we know about them, and perhaps why we want to know more. It's one of the best books on the topic I've ever come across. I truly treasure this book - it serves as a great reminder of both the good and the bad we're capable of as a species.(less)
What a fantastic book! I've owned this book for ages, but never read it all the way through. This year, I decided to change that. I read this book in...moreWhat a fantastic book! I've owned this book for ages, but never read it all the way through. This year, I decided to change that. I read this book in small chunks, mostly while on the exercise bike, and I think that that reading of it really benefited me. It allowed me to try to digest each section I read, rather than plowing through the entire book too quickly. Yes, this is a book that requires much thought.
Joseph Campbell holds such an interesting view of the world. Moyers, in his interviews, really brought out the best of Campbell's perspective. I don't think there was a page of this book that bored me, Campbell, as always, breathes new life into old myths and creates an image of a world in which each day can be infused with wonder.
As always, he illuminates the power and ambition within each one of us, and highlights the best of the human experience. He doesn't deny the negative aspects of the human experience, but he does reframe it so that the world remains something that we all -want- and are proud of being a part of.
This book reminds the reader how extraordinary the world truly is.(less)
Beautiful, beautiful book. Tragic and moving, thoughtful and intriguing.
This book is made up of a series of short stories set during the years direct...moreBeautiful, beautiful book. Tragic and moving, thoughtful and intriguing.
This book is made up of a series of short stories set during the years directly following WWII in Britain. Much like Roger Water's album "The Final Cut" Alan Stillitoe asks what happened to the post-war dream? The division between the classes clear, the trauma of war time and the double standards harshly erected... they're all there. We can't quite understand one another at all, can we?
I normally don't go for the inspirational books, let alone the sports memoirs. Lynne Cox is the exception to all of this. Her book is soft spoken, det...moreI normally don't go for the inspirational books, let alone the sports memoirs. Lynne Cox is the exception to all of this. Her book is soft spoken, determined, and truly inspirational. The book isn't preaching, nor is it a hearty pat on the back in any way. She acknowledges how difficult all that she did was, and she is thankful every step of the way to those who helped her do it.
Lynne Cox is truly one of the most incredible people I've ever had the joy of reading about. She achieved more in her life than just about anyone else I've read. They should be teaching about this woman in schools. What hope, and what stubborn determination. If everyone had her drive - well, this world would be a far better place.
My hat's off to Ms. Cox. She's certainly inspired me.(less)
This is yet another book I have owned for ages and only just finished reading now. This book was an impulse purchase, bought out of curiosity and with...moreThis is yet another book I have owned for ages and only just finished reading now. This book was an impulse purchase, bought out of curiosity and with no knowledge whatsoever as to what the book was about.. or even who the author was. One of those, and yet this book ended up being quite the pleasant surprise.
The book is comprised of essays, all dealing with the topic of turning New York City into one's home. The essays, for the most part, take place post-9/11 and the topic of that atrocity does come into play. For the most part, the essays are rather entertaining and involve the writer's family life. Honestly, the book is well worth reading just for the essay on Ravioli, his daughter's imaginary friend.
The book is touching, incredibly funny, a bit sad, and a bit contemplative. It gives you things to think on without turning preachy. I would happily recommend this to anyone who enjoys say, Shirley Jackson's essays on family life. Domesticity can be quite an entertaining thing.
This book proved extremely difficult to get through. I had trouble finishing a chapter a night. It was heavy reading, to say the least, and n...moreOh, man.
This book proved extremely difficult to get through. I had trouble finishing a chapter a night. It was heavy reading, to say the least, and not at all pleasant in the facts it contained. Against Us is a book that strives to explain why the Middle Easterners dislike America; essentially, the reasoning behind the almost palpable loathing that seems to come from there. At this, the book succeeds.
Sciutto goes country by country, interviewing people and examining the situations they find themselves in. By the end of the book you feel that you have a better understanding of the people's perspective, whether you agree with it or not, and more important, you have an idea of what America needs to do in order to save its largely unblemished image.(less)
Hunter S. Thompson lived with the Angels for over a year, recording their thoughts and witnessing their lifestyle. In this book he takes an objective...moreHunter S. Thompson lived with the Angels for over a year, recording their thoughts and witnessing their lifestyle. In this book he takes an objective look at the world in which they live and the people who populated the outlaw clubs of the time, as well as their successors by the late 60s/early 70s and how the scene was changing.
The book is fascinating, at times horrifying, and overall seems to be a fitting testimony to the circles in which the outlaws thrive and the way in which the media and popular culture handles them. The book was difficult to get through only in the way in which reading about such a lifestyle is difficult to get through. It is at times incredible to consider that such a society exists somewhere in our own.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is curious in learning about the outlaws and I look forward to reading Thompson's other works.(less)
My Life Among the Serial Killers was a fascinating view into the debate about what drives a serial murderer to kill. Although the book became technica...moreMy Life Among the Serial Killers was a fascinating view into the debate about what drives a serial murderer to kill. Although the book became technical at times, for the most part it was written in layman's terms and in depth enough to leave the reader feeling a bit more knowledgeable in regards to the somewhat esoteric subject.
Where the book went wrong were the long (at times more than half a chapter) rants about the author's life. While I understand that it is important to realize how deficient the police force and FBI can be in terms of catching killers -- and moreso, how the medical community is still prejudiced against women in the workforce -- I do not understand why the author feels compelled to push her cause in these two matters forward in a book regarding serial killers. Yes, her work was revolutionary, but no.. I am not terribly interested in learning whether or not her child did well at that hockey game.
Complaints aside, the book was well structured and a nice overview of the different types of serial murderers that exist. I came away from the book more interested in the subject than I was when I first opened it, which I suppose means I should tip my hat to this book; it was a job well done.(less)
I found Jesus for President under the New Non-Fiction section of the library and couldn't help but check it out when I read the...moreA genuinely cool book.
I found Jesus for President under the New Non-Fiction section of the library and couldn't help but check it out when I read the title. I didn't know what to expect from the book (there's no summary on the back) and decided immediately that that was part of the overall allure it presented. What I got was not exactly what I expected, but instead was something more fascinating.
Firstly, I have to praise the formatting of the book. The pictures and somewhat interactive footnotes make it a fascinating read. The content, also, was excellent. The book at first is a political history of the Bible that ties the ancient politics to present ones and offers a good compare/contrast of the two times. The final section of the book is the best, where it talks about practically implicating what it means to be a good Christian into today's world.
Jesus For President was difficult to get through at times (any fact heavy book is) but overall was an excellent examination of contradictory Christianity that goes above and beyond the norm by actually providing examples of how to consolidate this contradiction.(less)
Tradition and Incarnation was a basic introduction to Christian theology. The text gives an in depth look at the very basic questions that make up the...moreTradition and Incarnation was a basic introduction to Christian theology. The text gives an in depth look at the very basic questions that make up the foundations of Christian theology; for instance, "How was the Bible complied? Is Jesus human or divine? How do we know that the Bible is accurate?" etc.
The text explains the various forms through which Biblical accuracy can be discerned, such as form criticism, source criticism, and textual criticism. In addition to this, the book takes great pains to explain how faith and reason can co-exist and takes the time to address each of the various philosophical obstacles that Christianity has come up against since the Enlightenment.
I enjoyed this book due to the reason that it presented within its arguments. One of the main obstacles that Christianity has come up against in recent years is the unsoundness of a fundamentalist (strictly inerrant) viewpoint. The text takes great pains to explain that the Bible is infallible only when it is viewed in a theological manner - in layman's terms, the Bible is NOT a science textbook, nor is it a historical or geographically sound novel. Personally, I think that more people should be taking that viewpoint.(less)
The first two sections of the book contain a historical explanation of the context in which Genesis 1 and Genesis 2-3 were wr...moreWhat an interesting book.
The first two sections of the book contain a historical explanation of the context in which Genesis 1 and Genesis 2-3 were written, thus explaining the discrepancies between the chapters and why they exist.
Textual criticism is a field that greatly intrigues me, and any historical context given to the Bible is something that I will eagerly eat up. From that viewpoint, then, this book was extremely fascinating. The last two sections (placing the interpretation of Genesis 1, 2-3 into a modern context and questions that arise from it) were a bit boring, but the first few sections more than made up for that.
The book is a quick read and an insightful one that presumes the Bible to be a human and changing text and one that can be more fully appreciated in light of a contextual understanding. So, all in all, quite a good read. (less)
A historical 'mystery' about who truly killed the Prince's in the Tower. The book was well-written, intriguing, and overall jus...moreWhat a delightful book!
A historical 'mystery' about who truly killed the Prince's in the Tower. The book was well-written, intriguing, and overall just terribly pleasant to read. It was made even better by recent events - the uncovering of Richard III's bones in Leicester - and certainly has made me want to read more about this much maligned figure.
Liberal Parliament and well loved in his time? Certainly want to read more.(less)
I adore Jon Ronson. Inevitably he writes in a style both informative and irreverent, which lends itself to an appealing readability comparable to Mary...moreI adore Jon Ronson. Inevitably he writes in a style both informative and irreverent, which lends itself to an appealing readability comparable to Mary Roach or Hunter S. Thompson's political essays. Jon Ronson is simply fun, and the topics he takes on are both fascinating and a bit ridiculous. The fact he sees the humor in it makes it all the better.
I started reading The Men Who Stare at Goats before the film came out, partially attracted to the title but mostly the topic. From the 1950s on, the U.S. Military has conducted some rather bizarre tests both within its own ranks and on the civilian public. While the topics that this book deals with are laughable, some are truly horrific and to think that this barely scratches the surface... well, the truth is stranger than fiction. (less)
While I am usually not a fan of political or economic texts, this book proved very interesting. This book succeeded where other texts don't by giving...moreWhile I am usually not a fan of political or economic texts, this book proved very interesting. This book succeeded where other texts don't by giving a historical context to the matters that it is discussing. The basis of the book was that America is entering into a decline merely because other countries are beginning to become politically and economically prominent (most notably China and India.)
The book goes on to recommend ways for America to continue to be relevant (mostly diplomatically) so that it does not crash in the manner which Britain did. Throughout the book is a tone of unwavering optimism and the writer manages to be engaging even when rattling off GDP and PPP statistics.
While I did not find myself agreeing 100% with everything that was said, I still found this text to be valuable and engaging, a rarity for books of this nature.(less)
An enjoyable look at the history of the human species - or at least what is known of it for now. The book goes into decent depth in terms of controver...moreAn enjoyable look at the history of the human species - or at least what is known of it for now. The book goes into decent depth in terms of controversy surrounding certain aspects of evolution (for instance, bipedalism and why it arose) as well as explaining how paleoanthropologists manage to deduce as much as they do from such small fragments of fossil.
The book was overall enjoyable and a light enough read that it goes by quickly. In particular, the illustrations and photographs were near. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a brief overview of history - possibly to discover which aspect would be most interesting to delve further into.(less)
While the beginning of it was extremely difficult to get through (it contained a good deal of information about the s...moreThis was a truly incredible book.
While the beginning of it was extremely difficult to get through (it contained a good deal of information about the sex trades) and the middle had a tendency towards things rather disgusting (with information about fistulas and the like) the book was fully worth the read.
The information was truthful, and not exaggerated. In several instances the authors actually apologized for the tendencies that other humanity groups have in exaggerating their claims. The author explained the various reasons for the way the book was laid out (i.e. it mainly contained individuals stories) rather than trying to exact sympathy they simply explained that it was a tactic. Acknowledging this earned my respect as a reader and made me more inclined to want to help.
Finally, the book had ways to help. The last portion of the book explains the steps that America should be taking in order to help the situation of women within the world, and actual organizations were then listed. There were steps one as an individual can take to give, and purchasing the book itself gives money to the charities.
All in all, I loved it. This is the way to make a difference as well as to incite others to join in.(less)