David Dykstal

Currently reading: The World by Simon Sebag Montefiore πŸ“š. Borrowed this from our local library. At over 1000 pages I’m only going to hit highlights this time around. Lots of interesting stories here. Will likely borrow again.

Currently reading: The Man from the Future by Ananyo Bhattacharya πŸ“š. This is an audiobook. I listen to this while doing dishes or some other chore that doesn’t take a lot of mental energy. Decent narration for the topic. I wonder what he would have accomplished if he had not died at 53.

Currently reading: Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen πŸ“š. Just started. I pick up a book of his about every 6 months or so. Random note: this one has typewriters.

πŸ“šI’m about 2/3 of the way through the audiobook “Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field” by Nancy Forbes, narrated by Patrick Lawlor. I thought it was going to be a bit of a slog, but it has turned out to be quite entertaining.

Starting to record books with Epilogue. Catching up with 2022. Queuing 2023.

πŸ“šJust finished the audiobook “Troy” written and narrated by Stephen Fry. Loved the narration in this one.

Starting Simply GΓΆdel by Richard Tieszen. It’ll be interesting to see how it works as an audiobook. πŸ“š

Finished Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. I had never read it before. Though dated I’m not sure it’s possible to overstate its importance. πŸ“š

πŸ“š Today’s reading: One chapter of Le Guin’s interpretation of the Tao Te Ching, the latest Science News, skimming IBM i Security: Administration and Compliance, an article from the Tampa Bay Times on the death trends for pedestrians on Pinellas county roads.

Finished reading: Naturalist: A Graphic Adaptation by Edward O. Wilson πŸ“š

Currently reading: From Yao to Mao: 5000 Years of Chinese History by Kenneth J. Hammond πŸ“š

Currently reading: Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching: A Book about the Way and the Power of the Way by Ursula K. Le Guin πŸ“š

Finished reading: It Can’t Happen Here (Signet Classics) by Sinclair Lewis πŸ“š

Finished reading: The Case of the Lady in the Luggage by Cheri Baker πŸ“š

Finished reading: The Case of the Lady in the Luggage by Cheri Baker πŸ“š

Finished reading: EndTimes by Bryan Walsh πŸ“š

The subject matter is grim, especially on the existential threats we create for ourselves. The book was released in 2019, and accurately predicted the way the science-denying Trump administration would “handle” a pandemic. Fortunately, while SARS-COV-2 was serious, it wasn’t the big one. Other anthropogenic topics covered are the AI apocalypse, nuclear annihilation, climate change, bioterrorism. Add to that the natural existential threats of supervolcanoes and asteroid impacts and you have a book that makes for some interesting reading. The science is presented well.

I “read” the Audible audiobook. The narration was OK, but the narrator tried to assume the accents of the people who are quoted. That didn’t work for me. I would have preferred to actually read the text.

Finished reading: Figuring by Maria Popova πŸ“š

The funny thing about all of Popova’s writings such as BrainPickings is that you want to take notes. Lots of notes. She works from a wealth of sources, although she obviously has favorites, and you want to see just how all this stuff is connected. This holds true for this book as well. I didn’t avoid that temptation at first, and it made the book slow-going. After I gave up trying to tie everything together and just read the damn book, it became much more interesting.

If you are interested in finding out about the influences of several historical figures (mostly women) in literature, art, and science then you’ll find this fascinating. Major figures include Maria Mitchell, Harriet Hosmer, Margaret Fuller, Emily Dickinson, Caroline Herschel, and Rachel Carson. Appearances by a host of others including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Johannes Kepler, Herman Melville, etc.

I plan in re-reading this at some point.

πŸ“š It’s not all work and no play. I’m also reading The Case of the Lady in the Luggage by @cheri.

Tech Resources

I like having tech books around as reference and for ideas (Ruby, Python, Linux, security, style, …). I tried various books apps to use them: bad idea – no way to leaf through them easily on ereaders, although desktop isn’t too bad. I tried hardcopy which is better but bulky. The real problem is obsolescence. Both of the forms are subject to that.

I was a big user of Lynda, but video is just too damn slow to pick up on essentials, and it is also horrible for browsing, and it’s gone into the trashcan since LinkedIn bought it.

I’m now trying oreilly.com. They might have gotten this right. One subscription, no purchases, a boatload of resources. It still has the browsing problem, but I can use the desktop for that, and they add newer titles regularly. It’s not cheap though.

πŸ“š I’m reading Popova’s “Figuring”. I do not understand Emily Dickinson. Perhaps with time?

Just finished the audiobook β€œThe Wave in the Mind” by Ursula K. LeGuin, an excellent set of essays on the crafts of writing and reading. The narration by Christina Moore was flawless. I’m keeping a print copy around to mark up. πŸ“š

Just finished the audiobook of β€œA Dance with Dragons.” Looks like I’ll have to wait quite a while (like years) for books 6 and 7 of β€œA Song of Ice and Fire”. Hope I make it. πŸ˜ŽπŸ“š

The only books I’ve read more times than Dune are LOTR and Stranger in a Strange Land.

Also waddling my way through this. Love the narration. πŸ“š