Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer vacation -- bring on the light and fluffy!


Dear readers:

My reading of late has been emotionally intense, and after the recent racial violence in Charleston, doubly depressing and disturbing. I haven't felt this drained since surviving Chris Hedges' Empire of Illusion, and I stand in need of some encouraging, or at least fun, reads. I've mentioned in a comment that once through with the American Revolution series, I plan on taking a summer break of sorts,  keeping my reading lighter and varied. Old favorites like science, Star Trek, trains, philosophy and such will get some much-needed attention.  I had planned on playing with the revolution and politics throughout July, but I can't take it.  As C.S. Lewis wrote in The Weight of Glory, which I read recently seeking relief from all this gloominess:

A sick society must think much about politics, as a sick man must think much about his digestion; to ignore the subject may be fatal cowardice for one as for the other. But if either comes to regard it as the natural food of the mind—if either forgets that we think of such things only in order to be able to think of something else—then what was undertaken for the sake of health has become itself a new and deadly disease. 


So, I'll be mixing in other material with the American revolution series, and then keeping things mixed for a while before I do anymore big themes. I've just purchased a batch of books that includes some titles I've wanted to read for at least a year, including Philosophy for Life and Other Situations. Another book, not included in this set but to be pursued later, will be Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City.

So, happy summer, and may my future reading be far more hopeful.


6 comments:

  1. Nice to see you going light & fluffy. I think you need the break! Mostly politics and economics from me over the next month but I do have some SF and stuff to lighten the atmosphere.... [grin]

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  2. Bob Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" is among the ones I just purchased. It should be easier than his other material.

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  3. I was a HUGE fan of Heinlein in my youth. Not sure how I'd take to him these days.... [grin] Think I've read just about everything he produced - almost.

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  4. I want to read more of him because of his reputation as one of the three greats of vintage SF, and I've never been able to get into anything by Clark. I'd give 2001 a go if either of my libraries carried it..

    This should be an easier one to get into than his more philosophical works.

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  5. Good Clarke books are:
    Against the Fall of Night (1953)
    Childhood's End (1953)
    The City and the Stars (1956)
    A Fall of Moondust (1961)

    My favourite Heinlein novels are:
    Beyond This Horizon (1948)
    The Puppet Masters (1951)
    Starship Troopers (1959)
    Podkayne of Mars (1962)
    The Glory Road (1963)
    Farnham's Freehold (1964)
    Friday (1982)

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  6. I'll see if my uni library carries any of those Clark novels -- no mention of "2001"?

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