Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Five Bookish Questions

Kelly of the Broke and the Bookish shared a quick book survey tonight, and I figured, why not?

1. The book I'm currently reading is Incognito: the Secret Lives of the Brain, by David Eagleman, which covers neurology and the subsconscious. It's probably one of the most fascinating books I've read this year, which is not surprising given my interest in the subject. The author and I definitely like reading the same guys: he's already quoted V.S. Ramachandran, whose "Phantoms in the Brain" absolutely astonished me, and Michael Shermer, who some may recognize as the author of Why People Believe Weird Things.

2.The last book I finished was...The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, by James Howard Kunstler, although perhaps I should mention Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne since I think I skipped a page or two of the Kunstler book. I was reading while being forced to listen to someone talk on the phone, and my attention wasn't quote focused.

3.The next book I want to read would be Bowling Alone: the Collapse and Revival of American Community, by Robert Putnam. Before I lived in a university town, I'd never experienced how enriching living in an actual, healthy, human-sized community could be; I grew up living outside of town, and viewed it as a place we 'went to', not a place we lived in. After having graduated and moved back to my hometown for the time being, I found I missed the constant interaction with neighbors and fellow townspeople, so I've been actively  engaging myself in the local community and reflecting on how we've become isolated from one another in the last decades of the 20th century, despite the rise of connective technology like iphones and interstates.

4.The last book I bought would be Bowling Alone, though I purchased it and The City in Mind within a day of one another.

5.The last book I was given was 2000 Years of Prayer, edited by Michael Counsell, which contains a huge variety of Christian prayers, beginning with those mentioned in the Christian New Testament and including prayers from most every branch of Christianity. It's a fascinating resource for seeing the diversity and growth of Christianity through the centuries. The gift has strong sentimental value for me because the giver -- a new friend of mine who happens to be the associate rector at a local church -- was given a copy of this book by her parents when she attended seminary, so I know she's sharing something profoundly meaningful to her. She thought I would appreciate it given my interests in history, philosophy, and comparative religion, and she was right.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I hadn't heard of any of these books! They do sound interesting though.

    Thanks for participating!


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