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Old 06-14-2012, 03:47 PM   #1341
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I picked up Lucy Worsley's If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home at the library yesterday and haven't been able to put it down. It is a history of the bedroom, bathroom, living room, and kitchen, and what people from the Middle Ages to contemporary times did in these rooms, how they furnished them, and how technological advances changed them. It is focused on England but relevant, of course, to the U.S. It is a fun read and educational to boot!
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:47 PM   #1342
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I am reading these posts! Good read, but seems to never end ; )

About to start "the Emotional Life of Your Brain" by Richard Davidson. Neuroscientist + buddhist = interesting combo. He regularly hobnobs with the Dalai Lama, who is quite keen on western neuroscience by the way...
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:08 PM   #1343
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Haha, thanks for reminding me about Gary Paulsen--I've been meaning to get a copy of his book about dogs, because he has working border collies. The one I want to read is My Life in Dog Years.

I just finished a neat book that I think will appeal to many, called Wild, from Lost to Found on the Pacific Trail by Cheryl Strayed. I borrowed the electronic version from our library, but I just looked it up at Amazon and discovered that it is an Oprah book selection. I hate to be a book snob, but glad I didn't know that beforehand.

It is quite interesting, mostly for the stories of the trail, but for those who like angsty 'girl goes off to find herself after tragedy', it is also good on that level, I guess. I've got the itch to start thinking about taking a really long walk, and the PCT is one on my radar, so that's why I got it. I've reserved her novel, Torch, in hopes I'll like it as much as the real-life story of her solo hike.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:24 PM   #1344
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I just finished Steven Pinker's "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined". I saw him speak about this book last Fall. DW gave it to me for Xmas. It's not just a lot of data and psychology experiments. It's a sweeping account of human history. It's very readable though I did take 5 months to finish it. Also, just in time, my May 18th edition of Science magazine is devoted to the topic of "Human Conflict".

Simultaneously, last week, I finished Sherry Turkle's book, "Alone Together". She's an MIT psychologist who has studied human/computer/artificial intelligence issues for the last 30 years. The first half of the book is about human interactions with the current generation of human like robots. The second half of the book is about the impact of social media on our lives. Very interesting. Both halves compliment each other nicely. I hadn't been keeping up with robot development so I learned a lot from this book.


Read about Pinker and also heard him via YouTube. Similar message was discussed in recent book "Abundance" I.e. violent crime is on a long decline, but our brains are geared to seek out threats and this leads us to over represent bad news. (helped by media's "if it bleeds, it leads" approach.
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:31 AM   #1345
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because he has working border collies..
I presume you've already read this oldie: Eminent Dogs, Dangerous Men?

(And if you're locked from the NYT.....here's another link.)
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:24 AM   #1346
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I have just started reading "Going Solo" by Eric Klinenberg. It is a book about living alone. He was interviewed on C-Span's BookTV recently and the book is very interesting so far.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:33 AM   #1347
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I presume you've already read this oldie: Eminent Dogs, Dangerous Men?

(And if you're locked from the NYT.....here's another link.)
I've read a couple of McCaig's novels (Nop's Hope and Nop's Trials) about Border Collies, but my library doesn't have that one. I need to put it on my list at Paperbackbookswap and see if I can't get it there. Thanks for the reminder. I loved the novels, especially the speaking voice of the Border Collies as narrators.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:37 AM   #1348
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One of the books that Amazon has been pushing lately for Kindle is The Mayo Clinic Diet: Eat Well, Enjoy Life, Lose Weight. It only costs $2.99 for the Kindle and is also available in paper form (for a higher price). It has a lot of color figures so I read it on my iPad, even though personally I prefer reading on my Kindle to reading on my iPad.

This book was a great kick in the rear. It emphasizes the importance of developing good habits (and ditching bad habits) for good health, and various desired behaviors. Some of the recommended behaviors seemed extreme to me, but the more I think about it, the more I think they are right. An example of one behavior that the books says we should develop, and that I think is extreme, is spending no more time watching TV than exercising. What? Is that possible in the 21st century? Definitely worth some thought, though. It also has the usual menus, recipes, techniques for dealing with restaurant eating, nutrition, BMI, and so on, and includes exercise and burning calories.

The food recommendations are consistent with Weight Watchers so the low-carb folks here will have to skim by the part on "moderate meat and low fat dairy - - the size of a deck of cards" I guess. But the other recommendations might be of interest to low carb devotees as well. One thing that I thought was interesting is that their methods don't require weighing and measuring food.

Anyway, good book, cheap, sensible, nicely presented. What's not to like? I probably wouldn't recommend buying it were it not so reasonably priced, though.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:42 AM   #1349
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Just ordered it, W2R! And Nemo, I found the McCaig book at the bookswap, so it will be on the way soon. Score! Thanks, y'all!
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:14 AM   #1350
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This is the author's first novel in the spy genre: Amazon.com: The Silent Oligarch: Christopher Morgan Jones: Books

It seems to be a pretty realistic rendering. 5 stars.

For some reason the hardcover book price is on sale right now (under $6). I got it from the library.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:04 PM   #1351
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Just finsihed In One Person by John Irving! I consider it a "must read".
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:39 PM   #1352
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Just finsihed In One Person by John Irving! I consider it a "must read".
I'm reading my first John Irving book right now A Widow for One Year. My first library download on my iPad. My Kindle is old and does not have wifi so right now, had to use iPad and EPUB format from my library....nice.
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:45 PM   #1353
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"All The Money In The World" by Laura Vanderkam.

She claims that we have more than we think, and we just need to spend it more creatively. Instead of saving all our lives for one big happily ever after, we can find more ways to deliver little bursts of happiness now. It’ll actually make us feel more satisfied with our progress in saving for retirement, and it will help our current lives feel less like deprivation in exchange for a better tomorrow.

For example, she totally demolishes the myths of the engagement ring and the wedding. (I didn't realize that the diamond ring "tradition" was created by De Beers in the 1930s with the willing cooperation of Hollywood.) Vanderkam's point is that you could spend $5000 on a consumer tradition before you're even married-- or you could break it up into smaller doses of marriage pleasure as a hundred nights of babysitting.

However while Vanderkam writes a great book and I've reviewed it in more detail on the blog, the actual reason for this post is: Wade Pfau. I do a book review every month or so on the blog and I'm not trying to drive traffic by cross-posting it here, but this time Wade has a couple thoughtful comments on the marginal expense of having more than two kids.

He starts here:
Book review: “All The Money In The World” | Military Retirement & Financial Independence
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Quote:
And though I’m frugal, I am rather curious about how the marginal cost of a third child can be zero. I understand hand me downs and all that, but there are not economies of scale on all expenses.
and riffs on from there.

I think there's new economic research to be done on the subject...
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:16 AM   #1354
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I thoroughly enjoyed Jim Garner's autobiography:
The Garner Files

His ghostwriter came to Garner's attention with a book on curmudgeons, which Garner decided qualified him to help with his bio.

50+ years of smoking marijuana-- no wonder Garner smiles so much!
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:35 PM   #1355
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I am now reading the latest book by former Senator Arlen Specter. It is titled, "Life Among the Cannibals," a biography centering on Specter's party switch in 2010 and eventual defeat in the 2010 Democratic primary as well as the rise in the Tea Party.
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:56 PM   #1356
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I read two books at the beach this week. Camilla Lackberg's The Stonecutter, is a well written mystery from one of Sweden's top new writers. You Have Gone To Far This Time, Sir, is a quirky memoir of a cross Europe/East Asia bicycle trip to raise money for slum kids in India. Wonderful read.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:58 PM   #1357
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Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson. Jobs was not a nice person. He had a narcissistic personality. He was adopted, and when he got his girlfriend pregnant at 23, he abandoned her. He was high on acid and other substances a lot in the early years, and didn't believe in personal hygiene. He was also a control freak and treated many colleagues badly, even Steve Wozniak, who was the engineering genius behind the first Apple. It's a fascinating story and I'm only half way through.

It feels odd to be reading about the genesis of the iPad on the iPad.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:11 PM   #1358
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Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson. Jobs was not a nice person. He had a narcissistic personality. He was adopted, and when he got his girlfriend pregnant at 23, he abandoned her. He was high on acid and other substances a lot in the early years, and didn't believe in personal hygiene. He was also a control freak and treated many colleagues badly, even Steve Wozniak, who was the engineering genius behind the first Apple. It's a fascinating story and I'm only half way through.
I'm always suspicious of people who get to the top. It's a bit disconcerting. Too many myths in our society I guess. Thanks for the dose of reality.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:21 PM   #1359
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I have seen a 1999 movie called "Pirates of Silicon Valley", which told the stories of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. You may find it interesting.

There was this story on Jobs cheating Wozniak big time by lying about a $5000 bonus that was supposed to be shared between them when they both worked at Atari. Wozniak was given $350 by Jobs, though he did most of the work.

No, not nice! Jobs may be a good marketeer or manager or had good visions, but Wozniak is the real hero for geeks.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:25 PM   #1360
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I have seen a 1999 movie called "Pirates of Silicon Valley", which told the stories of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. You may find it interesting.

There was this story on Jobs cheating Wozniak big time by lying about a $5000 bonus that was supposed to be shared between them when they both worked at Atari. Wozniak was given $350 by Jobs, though he did most of the work.

No, not nice! Jobs may be a good marketeer or manager or had good visions, but Wozniak is the real hero for geeks.
I lived and worked in Silicon Valley for 25 years. Did not see any heros except for my dog. That's business I guess.
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