Friday, June 23, 2006

"What Are You Reading Now?"--A Report From The Field

So, I asked friends and family, “What are you reading now?”

My son, Brandon, is reading Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter. reports that “besides being a profound and entertaining meditation on human thought and creativity, this book looks at the surprising points of contact between the music of Bach, the artwork of Escher, and the mathematics of Gödel.”

"Why," I wonder, "is this of interest to my son?" and then I discover that, according to, “It also looks at the prospects for computers and artificial intelligence (AI) for mimicking human thought.”

This explains Brandon’s interest--he is a computer game designer and programmer.

Kansas buddy Jerry Lonergan is reading the following:

  • The Porteus Effect by Ann Parson (history of stem cell research pretty fascinating stories)
  • Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk (pretty bizarre/stomach turning stuff but for some reason quite good – he wrote Fight Club)
  • Guests of the Ayatollah by Mark Bowden (we have talked about this)

“Back home in Topeka,” Jerry writes, “I am re-reading a wonderful book about Josh Gibson--The Power and the Darkness by Mark Ribowsky.

Also in Kansas, Randy Osborne is reading Charles Higham’s Trading with the Enemy The Nazi - American Money Plot 1933-1949. Randy is a blue-collar worker with the book list of an intellectual. Because of his work schedule he doesn’t get to read many books, but he makes every book count.

In Sacramento, California, Mark Beach is reading Armadillo by William Boyd. On the East Coast, in New York City, Beth Finkel is reading “that Marley dog book. Totally relaxing!” Beth is referring to Marley & Me by John Grogan. I recommend Colter The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had by Rick Bass.

Back in Kansas, Rex Buchanan is reading a collection of Amy Hempel short stories. “I've also started this book A War Like No Other, a discussion of the Peloponnesian War in light of recent events. What little I've read so far is real interesting, but it's slow going.

"I read this book about obituaries, The Dead Beat, by Marilyn Johnson. It was pretty good. And the book River of Doubt about Teddy Roosevelt's trip in South America, which was a real page turner. I read Dylan's Chronicles on the plane on the way back from Washington, D.C., in March.”

Rex, I agree about River of Doubt. It was one of my “Best Reads” last year. Dylan’s Chronicles is on my reading list.

No comments:

Post a Comment