What are you reading?

Just the usual list this week.  Suggestions for topics are welcome.

If you like to trade books, try BookMooch.

Just finished:

Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett.  I had mostly forgotten this one, and it’s really

Continuing with

Causality by Judea Pearl.  Fascinating but deep.

Intro to Probability Theory by Hoel, Port, and Stone.  A good text.

The Elements of Statistical Learning by Trevor Hastie and Robert Tibshirani.  An in-depth look at a wide range of statistical techniques.  Beautifully produced.

The Politics of Congressional Elections by Gary Jacobson

Just started

Privacy in Peril by James Rule.  Oxford U. P. has been sending me books to review, and I am going to start with this one.  I am only 10 pages into it, but it looks very good indeed.  Well-reasoned and well-written.

Soul Music   “Music with Rocks In” comes to Discworld.  Features Death and his granddaughter Susan.


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    • plf515 on December 1, 2007 at 3:04 am

    tell us what you’re reading

    civilly 🙂 !  

    • Robyn on December 1, 2007 at 3:19 am

    …is one of my favorite characters. 🙂

    Still reading Early Morning: Remembering my Father.  And I often stop to ponder if I would have written lines like

    Can you speak truth to power?

    How loud do you have to say no to an evil command?

    How softly can you safely say yes?

    • pfiore8 on December 1, 2007 at 3:35 am

    a big fat kiss… i am happy happy happy to see you’re here

    thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!! very happy

    { { { { plf515 } } } }

  1. a Story of Perfume, Obsession and the Last Mystery of the Senses by Chandler Burr.

    Wonderful writer and a remarkable true story about a brilliant and very funny scientist who developed a new theory about how the olfactory system works. He was rewarded by being ostracized and ridiculed by his peers. I’m hoping he gets revenge, because he so deserves it.  

  2. 1: Watching the English, the Hidden Rules of English Behaviour. by Kate Fox.

    2: Sherman Alexie ‘Indian Killer’

    3: Re-reading for maybe the fourth time  ‘The Mountain People’ by Colin Turnbull, an anthropological study of a world that was in Africa… the story of the Ik.

    4:’The Historian’ by Elizabeth Kostova- a novel about Vlad the Impaler

    My this weeks list to order:

    1:The Oil and the Glory: Pursuit of Empire and Fortune in the Caspian Sea’ by Steve Levine

    2: The Deep Hot Biosphere: The Myth of Fossil Fuels, by Thomas Gold

    3:  Annie Provoost. ‘In the Shadows of the Ark’

    4: Scott Ritter: ‘Waging Peace’.

    5: Aesop’s Fables (for grandsons Xmas)

    6: Michael Oren (sp?) ‘Power, faith   and Fantasy – Middle East American involvement

    7: Barbara Kingsolver’s new book.

  3. The town I am in is an old industrial town that has had a hard time regaining an identity since the closing of many of the factories and shops.  Luckily a group of young artists and entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to invest in real estate that would cost a fortune in other places.  They did it as a group and now have 30 Art Openings tonight alone to show for their efforts.  

    They keep the shops, bars and coffee houses open in the area of the galleries and make a night out of it.

    The quality of the Art gets better every year.  Your town could do something like this with old industrial buildings and neglected downtown areas as well.

  4. book Savage Detectives?  It’s in the top 10 of the year at Amazon and the NY Times and probably 27 other lists.  I wrote about my dilemma about buying this book before, and I still haven’t bought it.  Nor has anyone sent me one as a gift (hint, hint).  Maybe I’ll get it for the holidays…

    Bolano is a fantastic writer, and there are some wonderful shorter pieces by him in the New Yorker.  Long story short:

    Roberto Bolaño (April 28, 1953 – July 15, 2003) was a Chilean novelist and poet, winner of the prestigious Rómulo Gallegos Prize for his novel Los detectives salvajes (The Savage Detectives) in 1999.  < snip />

    A crucial episode in his life, mentioned in different forms in several of his works, occurred in 1973, when he left Mexico for Chile to “help build the revolution.” In this trip, he would meet Salvadoran revolutionary poet Roque Dalton. After Augusto Pinochet’s coup against Salvador Allende, he was arrested and spent eight days1 in custody, although he did not suffer torture, and was rescued by two former classmates who had become prison guards. In the seventies, he became a Trotskyist and a founding member of the infrarrealismo, a minor poetic movement. Although deep down he always felt like a poet, in the vein of his beloved Nicanor Parra, he is known for his novels, novellas and collections of short stories. Six weeks before he died, his fellow Latin American novelists hailed him as the most important figure of his generation at an international conference he attended in Seville.

    • ANKOSS on December 1, 2007 at 4:26 am

    Pfaff’s book is a brilliant study of how leading minds of the 20th century became intoxicated by ideological violence. We are still living with the hangover. Pfaff’s learning is prodigious, and the character studies in this book are eye-opening. The story of Ernst Junger alone is astonishing.

    Highly recommended.

    • RiaD on December 1, 2007 at 4:30 am

    well…this week i’ve read many many books…all of them had bunnies or kitties or squirrels large colourful pictures and not too many words 🙂 I loved every minute, teaching my grandson to love reading (even if we did read squirrel nutkin 12 or 15 times this week)

    I’ve also read too many essays/posts here. I hope things are settling down now.

    and I’ve Not written Any of my story this week 🙁

    I’m really not happy with that but….

    • Turkana on December 1, 2007 at 4:36 am

    the shock doctrine


  5. by Gerald M. Edleman…..

    • oculus on December 1, 2007 at 5:54 am

    A Traveller in Rome, by H.V. Morton (1957); Morton is one of the best travel essayists I’ve ever read.


    The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit, by Lucette Lagnado (2007); non fiction account of the lives of the author’s parents, first in Cairo, and then, when Nasser came to power, to Paris and New York.


    • oculus on December 1, 2007 at 5:58 am

    National Book Critics:  NYT

  6. from the too-tall, ever-teetering stack of books:

    The Places in Between, by Rory Stewart. A brit (Scot, actually) walks across Afghanistan in 2002. Why is it that all the best offbeat travel books seem to be written by people from that little island? If you’ve never read A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, by Eric Newby, haste ye to your local library.

    The Natural Remedy Book for Dogs & Cats, by Diane Stein. Educating myself more fully on pet care without toxic chemicals.

    The Story of French, by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow. History of the language, people, country, by two Canadians. Fascinating, amusing, intriguing.

    A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway. Were he still alive, I suspect Ernesto would be appalled at today’s world.

  7. Then I’m going back to Morte D’Arthur.

    My wife tells me I should read Shock Doctrine so that’ll be coming up soon.

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