Some Books I’ve Read Lately

08Feb09

I have been doing a lot of reading in the past few months. For a long time, I pretty much have read murder mysteries and computer books. But when my “mid-life” crisis hit last year, I began to read books on Depression (eg. “I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression”  by Terrence Real).

I actually drank in books on psychology. I won’t list them all, most of them were provided by www.netlibrary.com through my public library patronage.   By the way, netlibrary.com is the greatest thing ever, if your public library  subscribes to it.  Sometimes they do not have the exact book you may want, but you can usually find something in the subject area you want to cover.

Here is a small list of books I’ve read lately:


Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
by Jared Diamond

I also recently viewd a video of a lecture by Dr. Diamond on the Evolution  of Religions:

Dr. Diamond does a excellent job of reviewing the broad range of  human history to explain his theories as to why certain societies thrive yet others dwindled.  I found his review of religion to be stimulating as well.

Another interesting read is The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature
by Steven Pinker  I’ve linked to the second of 13 videos of a lecture he gave on the subject at MIT:

In addition to describing the tension between the “nature vs. nurture” camps in science,  the book also demonstrates what happens when scientists allow the ultimate status they assign to their political views to overshadow the intellectual integrity of their public statements as scientists.  Of course, this is an ailment that I have observed in the area of religion.  Hmmm. . .

Currently, I’m reading a book called  A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives
by Cordelia Fine

I’m finding it hard to stay with the book.  When it’s all said and done, I don’t know how much usefulness it will have for me.   I cannot tell yet if it is supposed to be science used for entertainment or science marketed to a popular audience.

If anyone should happen to read this post, what books have you been reading?  What have you gotten out of these books?

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