book list part 2

November 8th, 2004

Once before I did a listing of books I recently read, here's the sequel. Decided it would be more interesting to include short descriptions this time. Oddly enough, I seem to have read all of these but the first this year, a rather prolific year compared to past years.

Al Franken :: Lies and the lying liars who tell them
Al Franken is a comedian, right? He's not funny, that much is clear. The book gives a tireless account of what is according to Franken a long list of lies and misrepresentations in the media courtesy of the right. But unless one is incredibly interested in the people he talks about, it's fairly dull material. I also don't think much of Franken's self rigteousness, which I find in bad taste. His supposedly humorous exaggerations are far too obvious to be funny. That's not to say the man doesn't know what he's talking about, just not my cup of tea..

Jon Stewart :: America, a citizen's guide to democracy inaction

In familiar style to the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, this piece includes contributions from some of his tv cast members. It takes a humorous look at American history from day zero up until today, starting with how America invented democracy to a complete breakdown of the fine institutions then conceived, still in function. Get the back story on the presidential office, on the Senate, on the Supreme Court. Quite entertaining, also gives detailed instructions on how to become president.

Noam Chomsky :: Hegemony or survival (review)

A thorough account of American foreign policy since the 2nd World War, describing US ambitions for dominating the world by controlling strategic areas like the Middle East. In style, rather academic and "dry", certainly not a book for amusement. Should definitely provide several interesting revelations about recent events on the world political stage.

Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution (online version)

Deals with a broad set of subjects within open source history and practice, lots of interesting case studies. Features a range of authoritarian authors like Linux Torvalds, Bruce Perens, RMS, Eric Raymond and Larry Wall. Each chapter is completely autonomous, so they have no correlation and can be read selectively.

H. H. Dalai Lama & Howard C. Cutler :: The Art of Happiness

As one would expect, a spiritually enlightening book. Written by a psychiatrist studying the mental paradigms of Buddhist practices as applied to everyday life. I find the focus to be decidedly on basic human qualities and the significance they carry throughout life. Concepts of compassion, warmth and suffering are central. Gives a gentle introduction into practices centered around the individual and what can be done to achieve happiness.

Salam Pax :: Baghdad blog (online version)
The famous blogger from Baghdad. This is a rather interesting back
story on the events presented in the media. Salam tells the world about
his life in Baghdad during the buildup to the war, as well as during
the war. The story told is a captivating one, in stark contrast to what
the western media was selling at the time. Even daily events like
shopping, going to work, driving etc are set in a new light in a
country ravaged by war.

EDIT: the one that got away, added to the list

Albert Camus :: The plague

High school flashback but despite years having passed I seemingly have not made much headway in terms of maturity. Found the book reasonably dull from start to finish, very much lacked some kind of climax in my unrefined view.

Umberto Eco :: The island of the day before

Could not get past page 70, incredibly slow start to the story, bored me to death.

Michael Moore :: Dude where's my country?

Reasonably interesting but always true to Moore's sensationalist style. An interesting take on US domestic and foreign policy but hard to discount the fact that this book really sells by being controversial. Humorous on occasion, but Moore's self righteousness shines through.

:: random entries in this category ::

5 Responses to "book list part 2"

  1. Erik says:

    I agree on the comments on a couple of books from that list I'm also familiar with and I'd like to contribute a title myself: "Harry Müllisch - The assault".

    Takes place in Holland during the second world war and takes the reader from scene to scene at high pace, demanding focus and attention in a story that's filled with intrigue, corruption, nepotism, dirty secrets and betrayal.

    Fascinating stuff!

  2. numerodix says:

    Oh really? Which ones did you read? I'm putting my money on the one about Open Source philosophy.. :D

    I also got one in progress:

    Dr. Phil McGraw :: Self matters (creating your life from the inside out)
    Yes, *the* Dr. Phil, thought it could give me a few impulses on my life. The guy sure takes a long time to warm up, at page 145 (of 400) I still haven't come to the "meaty" part.

  3. Erik says:

    I attempted to read the Umberto Eco book :yawn:

    Yeah I know, that's only one whereas I used the plural form of book in my previous post. But you know me :redface: :D

  4. Erik says:

    BTW; dr Phil? Do you want to be ridiculed? :D

  5. numerodix says:

    attempt :dielaugh: :P

    Bring it on, baby :P