Jason Manford’s Profile

Jason Manford
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Jason Manford is currently reading
The Health For Life Training Advisor by Andrew T. Shields
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How to Knock a Bravebird from Her Perch by D. Bryant Simmons
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Hell Before Breakfast by Robert H. Patton
"I'm a news nerd who jumped up and down with glee when I spotted Ernie Pyle's typewriter at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. So, yes, I loved this book. I'd never considered that the job of war correspondent predated World War II (or even Anderson C..." Read more of this review »
The Memory Chalet by Tony Judt
Undergraduates today can select from a swathe of identity studies.... The shortcoming of all these para-academic programs is not that they concentrate on a given ethnic or geographical minority; it is that they encourage members of that minority to study themselves - thereby simultaneously negating the goals of a liberal education and reinforcing the sectarian and ghetto mentalities they purport to undermine.Tony Judt
Ill Fares the Land by Tony Judt
Something is profoundly wrong with the way we live today. For thirty years we have made a virtue out of the pursuit of material self-interest: indeed this very pursuit now constitutes whatever remains of our sense of collective purpose. We know what things cost but have no idea what they are worth. We no longer ask of a judicial ruling or a legislative act: Is it good Is it fair Is it just Is it right Will it help bring about a better society or a better world Those used to be the political questions even if they invited no easy answers. We must learn once again to pose them.

The materialistic and selfish quality of contemporary life is not inherent in the human condition. Much of what appears “natural” today dates from the 1980s: the obsession with wealth creation the cult of privatization and the private sector the growing disparities of rich and poor. And above all the rhetoric that accompanies these: uncritical admiration for unfettered markets disdain for the public sector the del
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Tony Judt
Relativity Simply Explained by Martin Gardner
"This book gives an interesting view on Einstein's theory of relativity. It explains it for the average person. Things like distance, time, and size are described as relative, not absolute. Think about it. If overnight, while you slept, the univers..." Read more of this review »
Relativity Simply Explained by Martin Gardner
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Video Poker for the Intelligent Beginner by Bob Dancer
"When people decide to gamble—and they are rational and intelligent people—they usually understand what they’re getting into. Most will do a little research or even make some logical observations about the games they intend to play.

For example, fe..." Read more of this review »
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Henry David Thoreau
“Be not simply good, be good for something.”
Henry David Thoreau

Lena Dunham
“There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told, especially if that person is a woman. As hard as we have worked and as far as we have come, there are still so many forces conspiring to tell women that our concerns are petty, our opinions aren’t needed, that we lack the gravitas necessary for our stories to matter. That personal writing by women is no more than an exercise in vanity and that we should appreciate this new world for women, sit down, and shut up.”
Lena Dunham, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned"

“find. An extreme representative of this view is Ted Kaczynski, infamously known as the Unabomber. Kaczynski was a child prodigy who enrolled at Harvard at 16. He went on to get a PhD in math and become a professor at UC Berkeley. But you’ve only ever heard of him because of the 17-year terror campaign he waged with pipe bombs against professors, technologists, and businesspeople. In late 1995, the authorities didn’t know who or where the Unabomber was. The biggest clue was a 35,000-word manifesto that Kaczynski had written and anonymously mailed to the press. The FBI asked some prominent newspapers to publish it, hoping for a break in the case. It worked: Kaczynski’s brother recognized his writing style and turned him in. You might expect that writing style to have shown obvious signs of insanity, but the manifesto is eerily cogent. Kaczynski claimed that in order to be happy, every individual “needs to have goals whose attainment requires effort, and needs to succeed in attaining at least some of his goals.” He divided human goals into three groups: 1. Goals that can be satisfied with minimal effort; 2. Goals that can be satisfied with serious effort; and 3. Goals that cannot be satisfied, no matter how much effort one makes. This is the classic trichotomy of the easy, the hard, and the impossible. Kaczynski argued that modern people are depressed because all the world’s hard problems have already been solved. What’s left to do is either easy or impossible, and pursuing those tasks is deeply unsatisfying. What you can do, even a child can do; what you can’t do, even Einstein couldn’t have done. So Kaczynski’s idea was to destroy existing institutions, get rid of all technology, and let people start over and work on hard problems anew. Kaczynski’s methods were crazy, but his loss of faith in the technological frontier is all around us. Consider the trivial but revealing hallmarks of urban hipsterdom: faux vintage photography, the handlebar mustache, and vinyl record players all hark back to an earlier time when people were still optimistic about the future. If everything worth doing has already been done, you may as well feign an allergy to achievement and become a barista.”
Peter Thiel, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

Henry David Thoreau
“Dwell as near as possible to the channel in which your life flows.”
Henry David Thoreau

Albert Einstein
“The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society.”
Albert Einstein, Essays in Humanism

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One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe House of the Spirits by Isabel AllendeLike Water for Chocolate by Laura EsquivelLove in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
Favorite Magical Realism Novels
676 books — 3,463 voters
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Best Graphic Novels
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