Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Poor Hillary…

Now this is just silly:
WASHINGTON—Network news cameras covering Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony Tuesday captured Hillary Clinton silently moving her lips along with each word of the minute-long presidential oath of office. As she stood watching several yards from Chief Justice John Roberts, the former Democratic presidential candidate could be observed placing her left hand on a leather appointment book and raising her right hand slightly from her hip. Clinton, who carefully followed the swearing-in procedure with her eyes shut tightly, only varied from the president's words once, when she soundlessly mouthed her name instead of Barack Obama's. Clinton was later seen at an inaugural ball pretending she was dancing with first lady Michelle Obama.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Books I read in 2008

So, as I was saying, I plan to chronicle the books that I’ve yet to read, but first I need to list the most recent—the ones that I actually own, those that comprise my growing collection. And as the title suggests, the list will contain only the books that I read in 2008, as this is when I started buying books in earnest. It begins with the last thing I've read and works backward, ending with the first thing I read last year:

Healing the Unhappy Caveman by Chris Wilson – 2008

Mere Anarchy by Woody Allen – 2008

Knowledge and Truth by L.A. Reid - 1924

Man, Beast, and Zombie by Kenan Malik - 2002

The Meaning of Race by Kenan Malik - 1996

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt – 1994

Strange Fruit by Kenan Malik - 2008

Actual Ethics by James Otteson - 2006

Everville (2nd part of series) by Clive Barker – 1994

The Great and Secret Show (1st part of series) by Clive Barker - 1989

Why I'm Not a Christian by Bertrand Russell - 1927

Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy by Avrum Stroll – 2001

Blink! by Malcolm Gladwell - 2005

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris - 2008

A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell - 1946

East of Eden by John Steinbeck - 1952

Letters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens - 1999

The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell - 1912

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck - 1937

The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought by Ayn Rand - 1990

Freedom and the Will by D.F. Pears - 1963

The Ways of Knowing by W. P. Montague - 1925

A History of Christianity by Paul Johnson - 1976

Saint Paul by Michael Grant - 1976

Augustine: A New Biography by James J. O'Donnell - 2005

Elementary Logic by W. V. O. Quine - 1941

Essay on the Freedom of the Will by Arthur Schopenhaur - 1841

The Confessions by Augustine - 397-98 AD

The next installment will include just one book, namely the one I’m currently reading (when I finish it) and so on. Stay tuned…

Healing the Unhappy Caveman: a brief review

I attempted to post a the following review of Chris Wilson's Healing the Unhappy Caveman on Amazon, but it's not yet appeared. So, in the meantime, I'll post it here. (You’ll recall that Chris is an old blog buddy.)

This is, without question, a thinking person’s book. The subject matter ranges from the philosophical (reason, the nature of truth, and applied ethics) to the scientific (evolution, cognitive science, and evolutionary psychology), but also stands as a species of self-help manual—one of the smartest you’re likely to find—written in an eminently readable style that’s reminiscent of Malcolm Gladwell.

The book is divided into two parts. Part One explores the evolutionary origins of the mind, as well as wading into the philosophical depths of reason and truth. It prescribes the use of reason to find what Wilson calls ‘the center line of truth’ by way of ‘critical rationalism’. Part Two is more practical and prescribes a reality-based ethic to serve as the foundation of happiness for a caveman—albeit an enlightened caveman—who finds himself in a modern environment, where survival is all but assured.

Don't wait...get your copy today!

Update: My review finally appeared...along with the others. Go check ‘em out.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

My Reading Habits

I’ve been on a book binge...since I moved to New Jersey in the Spring of 2006, that is. That said, I was recently reminded of this old post, a book meme that was going around when I first started blogging back in 2005. Interestingly enough, I’ve reconsidered my former aversion to book buying and have begun a collection that promises to (eventually) become a decent home library.

I plan to periodically list the books I read over time, primarily to chronical my perpetual self-education, but also to share the books I’ll read (and have read) with whoever happens by this blog. Stay tuned…