Book club, month two

2009-04-13

in Books and literature, Geek stuff, Internet matters

The first month of the non-fiction book club is coming to an end, and I will be posting my review of Easterly’s The White Man’s Burden on Wednesday. As such, it is time to start choosing a second book. I have the following nominees:

1) Speth, Gus. The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability.

2) Jaccard, Mark. Sustainable Fossil Fuels: The Unusual Suspect in the Quest for Clean and Enduring Energy.

3) Cherry-Garrard, Apsley. The Worst Journey in the World. (About a failed Antarctic expedition)

What else would people consider reading?

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

mek April 14, 2009 at 6:37 am

Well, I didn’t make it through Easterly’s book. While the material was interesting, his prose made me want to die.

I suggest Changing Images of Man. Based on what you liked about Easterly’s book, I think the subject of developing effective strategies to manipulate/guide/direct the development of human civilization in the immediate future seems very relevant.

Plus it has Joseph Campbell, it’s really damn weird, and it’s available in PDF!

Peter April 15, 2009 at 6:40 am

There was previous interest in reading Jared Diamond’s Collapse. I would like to add my vote to that tally.

Tristan April 15, 2009 at 10:20 am

I’ll vote for Nick’s selection, but I’d also support Collapse.

Milan April 15, 2009 at 11:06 am

Are paper copies of Changing Images of Man available? I much prefer a bound book to a printout or reading off a screen.

Amazon only seems to have used copies, and they cost almost $900.

mek April 15, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Unfortunately it has been out of print for decades. Where’s your Kindle now??

Tristan April 15, 2009 at 3:36 pm

You could just print it out. If you don’t print the appendix or the introduction, it comes out to just 200 pages, or, printing 2 pages per sheet, a hundred pages. Even at ten cents a page, that’s only ten dollars.

Milan April 16, 2009 at 11:32 am

It’s not the cost that puts me off. It’s the fact that even bound sets of printouts are annoying to carry around and lacking in durability.

R.K. April 16, 2009 at 12:25 pm

What would people think of Charles Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds?

BuddyRich April 19, 2009 at 9:50 am

How about:

Grown up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing the World

As an added bonus it would be good to read the author’s prior novel from 1998 first called Growing up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation to compare and contrast his ideas over 10 years as well.

Tristan April 19, 2009 at 10:46 am

Can you read normal PDFs on a kindle? I thought it only worked with proprietary format?

Milan April 19, 2009 at 10:23 pm

I think you need to get the files processed by Amazon for a small fee.

Tristan April 20, 2009 at 12:54 am

That sounds dangerous – that means there is an external record of you having the PDF – and what if you have it illegally? Amazon could be forced to release their records.

I would seriously consider buying a Kindle if they were not a proprietary format only device.

Milan April 20, 2009 at 9:56 am

The Kindle is much less useful in Canada, since you cannot buy books wirelessly on it, or use it to access Wikipedia for free.

Milan April 20, 2009 at 9:58 am

On the matter of book selection, will other people actually read Changing Images of Man?

If not, I will choose something that I can get in a professionally printed, bound form.

R.K. April 21, 2009 at 11:11 am

If it really bothers you to deal with a long printout, you can have it bound in several different ways at good print shops.

Tristan April 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm

I would definitely read it – partially because at York I have free printing privileges with which I can print it out.

Milan April 22, 2009 at 11:19 am

OK. Let’s go with that, then.

Milan April 27, 2009 at 11:18 am

Here’s a book to consider for June:

Oil 101, by Morgan Downey

R.K. May 6, 2009 at 3:12 pm

In response to your note: “Is anyone actually reading the May selection? Alternatively, are people planning to do so by the 15th?”

No and no.

Tristan May 6, 2009 at 5:21 pm

I’ve read the first 4 chapters, and found them highly interesting. I still need to print off the rest.

Peter May 7, 2009 at 9:20 pm

I started reading Changing Images of Man, but I am not very far into it, so I don’t care if you want to call it off.

Tristan May 7, 2009 at 11:21 pm

I printed out the rest today. It is really an excellent book.

Milan May 8, 2009 at 8:53 am

If others are reading it, I will too.

Peter May 11, 2009 at 1:49 am

Oil 101 sounds like an indispensable primer, however, it isn’t widely available. It isn’t in the Toronto or Ottawa public libraries and is only available in hardcover from Amazon.

Milan May 11, 2009 at 8:57 am

It was only released on January 1, 2009. A paperback version may follow.

Peter May 12, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Very likely. I was just saying that buying it is the only option since the libraries don’t have it yet. I would be happy to read it, if you want to convert it to a PDF.

Milan May 15, 2009 at 1:47 pm

My review of Changing Images of Man is up.

It isn’t very positive.

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