Saturday, 22 August 2009

homer's read lists july & august 09

august 09 blog pt 3 some august writers and reads

This collection includes some august writers.

Monbiot is a provocative writer whose ideas have attracted great debate. His book “the age of consent” is just one of those that question the status quo. This book challenges existing political systems and structures while questioning their relevance in addressing global inequalities.

“Beyond the brink” is a sequel to an earlier book by Australian farmer Peter Andrews. This deals with restoration of landscapes destroyed by human activity. Andrews proposes what is now referred to as 'Natural Sequence Farming' - a rural landscape management technique aimed at restoring natural water cycles that allow the land to flourish despite drought conditions. This is based on the principle of reintroducing natural landscape patterns and processes as they would have existed in Australia prior to European settlement. There are lessons here that may be applied to our denuded vegetable mountainside farms in the Cordillera.

The controversial Hitchens champions Orwell as only he can. Orwell's Victory is a good addition to understanding one of the great writers.

Idries Shah on Sufism is a great resource into other teachings, faiths and cultures – a must for modern societal harmony and tolerance.

I heard of Doris Lessing even before she won the nobel prize but didn’t really read her books. ‘The golden notebook’ is one of her better known works, and i still have only read a few pages of it. However her essays in “Time Bites” are very entertaining, educational and worthwhile.
Doris Lessings' - Doris’ lessons in good literature, in which she mentions a few of her favourite authors, are worth checking out. This book pointed me towards Idries Shah.

Arthur Clarke is my (and apparently everyone else's) favourite science-fiction writer. I have enjoyed reading his books over the years, even some of his collaborations with others. A collection of his non-fiction essays is in “Greetings, carbon-based bipeds!”. As with all the great science writers, Clarke is very enjoyable as well as informative and quite thought-provoking.

August blog pt 2 August bedchambers reads

First the books on numbers:

“Pythagoras' Revenge” is an enjoyable mystery novel - a gripping thriller intended for a broad audience, a quality book that somehow intertwines mathematical theories and philosophy into a clever and fun work of fiction.

The other book of numbers “Wonders Of Numbers” is fascinating and full of delight. a collection of common and unusual problems of varying difficulty that will entice almost anyone to pick up a pen and paper to work out a solution.

Now to the latest in music:

“Home Before Dark” is Neil Diamond’s follow up to his previous album, a collaboration with Rick Rubin. Sadly only a couple of tunes here measure up to his past achievements.
There’s nothing that’s not already been said of Bob Dylan. So on his latest album “Together Through Life” here are some comments by better informed and qualified quarters.
Rolling Stone: It is a perplexing record. 10 new songs in Dylan's vividly battered singing.
Uncut: a gas, a riot, a hoot.
Mojo: a purple patch of renewed vigour, consistency and a new record seemingly out of the blue. a record about love, its absence and its remembrance.

August blog pt 1 July's reading supplies

Another mixed bag – I like variety, for July’s peek and pry supplies.
There’s items on poetry, writing and general literature. A couple of fiction books round up the set.
Joyce’s “Ulysses” is considered as one of the most important works of modern literature. The book attracted controversy and scrutiny. It also ranks top or near top of lists of the best English-language novels. It’s a challenge to even start reading Ulysses for this lazy blogger. Believe me i tried reading this book so many times before, but i just cannot go past the first few pages. I really should buy my own...

The other book in the fiction category is actually a historical novel. “1421” is a book based on snippets of actual events and people. The plot of the book is that China discovered the world. Various sectors have debunked this hypothesis. Wikipedia lists some detailed criticism. Various other sites exposed the "1421" myth. Articles describe the book as: a fairytale, amateurish, a poser, unsubstantiated, “an example of how not to (re)write world history”, etc. But hey, it has generated a lot of interest and has sold lots of copies. So it must be good for the author.

Bryson’s Dictionary is a useful one. It is a good addition as a reference tool for pedants and recreational bloggers alike.

'The Ode Less Travelled' is a worthy book. It is instructive, witty and informative.
The Top 500 Poems' is a well-presented book. It claims to be a collection of the best 500 poems, based on the choice of critics, editors, and poets. These are the 500 poems we know or want to know. Now if i could only understand poetry.
For listening pleasure: see next blog.

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