Monday, August 18, 2008

My reading list, part 1

As I've been transitioning to a new town and job, I've also been rearranging my book collection -- rediscovering books from back home in Madison and bringing them to my new home in Albany. Below are some of the ones I want to get to relatively soon. Some of them are books I'm in the middle of reading, some are ones I've read before but want to refresh my memory about, and some are just books I haven't read yet. All of them are books I might do blog posts about in the future, but for now I just want to have this list on the blog so that I'll be more motivated to read these:

1. The Post-American World - Fareed Zakaria

What in the world is going on?

(Video interview with the author.)

2. The Future of Freedom - Fareed Zakaria

If you want "liberal democracy," you need to have the "liberal" part before the "democracy."

3. Modern Times - Paul Johnson

A history of most of the 20th century. He's overly biased toward the right, and he's supposedly prone to outright factual errors. But when I want to read about history, I just can't not read Paul Johnson, with his passionate writing style and his knack for highlighting the human, quirky side of history.

4. The Mysterious Flame - Colin McGinn

An argument that the mind-body problem can't be solved by human beings.

5. Flow - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

The scientifically tested secret to enjoying life. Why is happiness so elusive even though it's quite attainable, even for people of modest means?

More to come...


Stupe said...

But, you live in Austin, Texas. Did you forget that?

Albany is a lovely place, though. And, that would be a good choice. Syracuse would be good, also. Don't get too comfortable, though. Don't settle in just yet.

Seattle, and Portland Oregon would be good for you, and that's exactly your type of climate and mood...the upper-Northwest.

But upstate New York definitely works, for now.

...Even though you are still living in Austin, Texas.

sonicfrog said...

On the last book, did you ever read Dr. Dean Edell's "Eat Drink and be Merry". It is quite good. The basic message - stop worrying so much about weight and thinness (you know, the rail thin modeling type) and enjoy life.

John Althouse Cohen said...

sonicfrog: Haven't read it -- thanks for the tip -- sounds good.

The basic message - stop worrying so much about weight and thinness (you know, the rail thin modeling type) and enjoy life.

That sounds very close to an aside from this old post of mine:

I would love to see Americans loosen up their attitudes about weight if it would reduce the incidence of anorexia and bulimia ... or if it would help people who might prefer to lose 10 or 20 pounds feel good about themselves the way they are.

I'm planning a big post to expand on this point. Stay tuned!

Simon said...

I'd like to advance Charles Dunn and David Woodard, The Conservative Tradition in America - it's a very neat, short, concise, and I think invaluable (liberals and conservatives alike could benefit from reading it) introduction to how the other half of us think.