Just got the new copy of Offscreen. I subscribed starting with Issue 10 and have really enjoyed reading it.
My list of books to read is immense, and only keeps growing at a rate which outpaces my reading speed. That means there are many canonical books that I’ve never read. In the last week and a half I picked two of them off the list, and loved both.
The first, A Canticle for Leibowitz, is a wonderful science fiction book written in the late-1950s. The focus is a plausible future where humans have annihilated the vast majority of the world’s population through nuclear weapon strikes. Written knowledge, seen as the foundation for that nuclear arms race, becomes both rare and hated.
The second, Fahrenheit 451, is Ray Bradbury’s classic about book burning and the role knowledge and conversation have (or rather, don’t have) in a dystopian future society. Short read, finished in a day, but really fantastic.
I read two articles about books and their future this morning. The Millions has a feature on Tumblr’s Reblog Book Club. It’s a refreshing example of creating space for productive discussion online. Om Malik also has an interview up with Matt MacInnis, CEO of Inkling. The idea of unbundling everything we use the book for into its component pieces really appeals to me.
A few days ago I finished Haruki Murakami’s, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. Loved it; great book. It’s a book about running that, really, is about far more than running. Murakami weaves an engaging memoir together that illustrates the place running has in his life, work, and personal happiness.
Reading and experience train your model of the world. And even if you forget the experience or what you read, its effect on your model of the world persists. Your mind is like a compiled program you’ve lost the source of. It works, but you don’t know why.
How You Know by Paul Graham.
Those 34 books break down as 19 non-fiction and 15 fiction. I’ve been on a bit of a sci-fi kick this year, reading 11 books. That will soon be 12 sci-fi books as I’m nearly done with Abaddon’s Gate.
- Pardon the dust on that linked page. Still need to work out how best to display books with this new theme. ↩
I’ve been reading a lot more recently, about a book every week. This should keep me busy for a while; a benefit to living three blocks from Powell’s.
As an aside I find it really beneficial to read one fiction book in conjunction with one non-fiction. Ensures I have reading material no matter the frame of mind I’m in.
Ebooks are here to stay because digital is, and quite shortly we’ll stop having this debate about paper vs ebooks because it will no longer make a lot of sense.
Daemon, and its sequel Freedom, by Daniel Suarez are two of the best fiction books I have read in a long time. Props to Daniel for the recommendation.