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Old 11-25-2011, 01:06 AM #1
TheSilentAssassin
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Christmas Book List

I believe that most people on here are pretty intelligent, so I thought it would be cool to have a thread where we shared the books we will be getting this holiday season and recommend some good books for others to read*. I have been struggling with ideas on what I want to read next and would like to know if any of you guys have some cool books to pass on. This doesn't necessarily have to be religious or philosophical, but I'd prefer if these remained intellectual books.

So far, I am thinking of:
Social Animal - Brooks
Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting - Dennett
Waldon Two - Skinner

*If you don't celebrate Christmas, just talk about what books you plan on getting soon.

Ready... GO!
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:20 AM #3
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Oh, and for anyone interested in some sweet, geeky history that is both fun and enlightening, I highly recommend this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Hook.../dp/0691137471

Peter Leeson is one of the brightest newcomers to economics, and it's recognized by the profession (he was invited to teach at the University of Chicago for a semester and he was only 30!).

http://austrianeconomists.typepad.co...u-chicago.html
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:39 AM #4
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I've wanted to jump into reading Asimov, so I Finally requested the Foundation series, just to get my feet wet with him. I enjoy reading novels a lot actually, and think it is often the best medium for sharing ideas in a way the reader can actually visualize the concept.

I currently own 9 Vonnegut books, and have 2 more requested for this year.

As for books I would recommend:

Ishmael - Daniel Quinn (Probably the most meaningful and eye opening book I've read. It incorporates the Socratic method very well, so there are plenty of opportunities for the reader to pause and think as the story progresses)

The stranger - Albert Camus (Translated very well from French, definitely a unique style of writing)

Thus Spoke Zarathustra - Nietzsche (I'm certain he has better than this one, but that's the only one I've gotten to so far and it sparked a large amount of thought throughout)

And of course 1984 and Brace New World are terrific if anyone hasn't read either of those two, and likes insightful dystopian novels.
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:25 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pail Ail View Post
Oh, and for anyone interested in some sweet, geeky history that is both fun and enlightening, I highly recommend this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Hook.../dp/0691137471

[/url]
Thanks, that looks like a good one to pick up.

2 books that I just read and would suggest are: I can never get links to post right on my phone so you'll have to look them up.

1)." Crisis caravan". By Linda poleman. It's not well written, but an interesting account by someone pissed off by what they've seen in the international aid business.

2) "The immortal life of Henrietta lacks" by Rebecca skloot. It's about the history of tissue culture. As someone that works with her cells it was interesting. It also focuses on the ethics of informed concent in the medical industry in the 50s (or lack thereof). It puts a human face on the experimentation done on poor black people in the 50s. I got a better understanding of why there is so much distrust of the medical community.
The author is a bit obnoxious and spends too much of the story talking about herself... If you can get past that, the story is great.

Last edited by scienceguy : 11-28-2011 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:55 PM #6
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"The Mind & the Brain" by Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Sharon Begley.
It's my current read of choice and has been a delight thus far. Talks about the phenomenon of consciousness within the meaty flesh we call our brain. Not too far in it thus far (actually literally reading it in between posts here), but the author's backgrounds and openness to discussion is humbling.

"The Complete Robot" by Isaac Asimov.
Absolutely fantastic. Asimov will forever remain one of my (of not the) all-time favorite authors and this collection of shorts has been the best read I've had in years upon years. It's particularly fitting for my current search for understanding consciousness and what consciousness really is. Makes you look differently at what constitutes "life" and what is required for something to be sentient.

"The Art of Asset Allocation" by David M. Darst
Pretty self-explanatory. Discusses how to diversify your assets for monetary gain in any market. Pretty boring, but informative read. I started it about a month ago. Still on it... So, I guess I wouldn't suggest it too much unless you're really looking in to the field.

"The Greatest Show on Earth" by Richard Dawkins
Mind-numbingly excellent. No matter how much you don't like the man, he knows how to present information to solidify an argument like few others can. If you either come out of this book not feeling sufficient enough to hold your ground in an argument against creationism or not seeing the overwhelming amounts of intricately defined evidence to support evolution, you likely hold super powers.

Those have been my recent reads for the past month or so.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:12 PM #7
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well most recently I've been reading the Song of Ice and fire series, but prior to that I read "Pale Blue Dot" by Sagan, and for christmas I intend to buy a few more of his books

"The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark" and "Billions and Billions" are the two at the top of my list.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:45 PM #8
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Great thread. I've already read some of these, but they might be considered for your Christmas list:

Freedom by Johnathan Franzen
http://www.amazon.com/Freedom-Novel-...2531980&sr=8-1

On becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy by Carl Rogers
http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Perso...2532147&sr=1-1

Consider the Lobster and Other Essays by David Foster Wallace
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...obster&x=0&y=0

Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate by W. F. Ruddiman
http://www.amazon.com/Plows-Plagues-...2532342&sr=1-1

The Libertarian Reader: Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao Tzu to Milton Friedman by David Boaz
http://www.amazon.com/Libertarian-Re...2532414&sr=1-5

Libertarianism: For and Against by Craig Duncan, Tibor R. Machan
http://www.amazon.com/Libertarianism...2532414&sr=1-7

The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always do Better by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson
http://www.amazon.com/SPIRIT-LEVEL-S...pr_product_top

The Irony of Regulatory Reform: The Deregulation of American Telecommunications by Robert Britt Horwitz
http://www.amazon.com/Irony-Regulato...2534496&sr=1-8
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:24 PM #9
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You've read Tibor Machan and David Boaz? Learn something new everyday I guess
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:35 AM #10
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One that I plan on getting into here soon is one I picked up last Christmas but haven't gotten around to is "The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ," by Phillip Pullman, but for the most part I'm going with either finally getting through my Hawking novels or picking up the Foundation series by Asimov. As much as some of you bastards quote him, I may as well look farther into what he has to say.
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:25 PM #11
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...picking up the Foundation series by Asimov. As much as some of you bastards quote him, I may as well look farther into what he has to say.
Do it. The man's writings should be mandatory to read in public education, in my opinion
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:15 PM #12
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That's what I've heard, but time constraints with school and all the other bull**** I end up doing in between has shortened my reading time dramatically. :/
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:49 PM #13
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No, no, no... You just need to fix your priorities
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:15 PM #14
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Oh hush, this SOB right here has to get grades up asap. As unfortunate and sad as it sounds, near graduate level classes > fun time. I just wrote a 12-25 page paper (not whining about the length) til 5 AM and haven't slept yet. #woesofacollegekid
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:41 PM #15
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Oh hush, this SOB right here has to get grades up asap. As unfortunate and sad as it sounds, near graduate level classes > fun time. I just wrote a 12-25 page paper (not whining about the length) til 5 AM and haven't slept yet. #woesofacollegekid
Ah, the good ol' days. Don't miss them
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