Sunday, January 29, 2012

Reasons for Delay....and What I've Read and What I am Currently Reading

Well, many things have happened at once that will delay my promised posts. Because of some emergencies at work my part-time job as become full time for a while and my classes have started in full and already are proving intensive. So it will be two weeks or so before I can get back into a regular routine.

Someone asked me on a forum the other day what I had read so far this year and what I'm currently reading and since right now I don't have anything else to post I'm going to share that for the time being:

What I have read for the year so far:

1. The Path Between the Seas (David McCullough)- A solid, popular history of the conception and building of the Panama canal.

2. The Man in the High Castle (Philip K. Dick)- I'm a fan of Philip K. Dick's work but only recently got around to reading this intriguing counter-factual historical fiction set in an alternate past in which Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were the victors of WWII.

3. The Coming of the Revolution (L.H. Gipson)- A study in the origins of the American Revolution with an emphasis on the British side of the conflict.

4. Death of a Salesman (Arthur Miller)-A classic American play worth reading (and seeing!). However, do not read it in a depressed or melancholy state.

5. Undisputed (Chris Jericho)- The second part of Chris Jericho's autobiography. Not quite as funny as his first A Lion's Tale but still quite entertaining.

6. The Naked Ape (Desmond Morris)- A blunt, zoological and evolutionary take on the human animal. My evolutionary fix for the month.

7. The Varieties of Religious Experience (William James)- A classic psychological study of the various characteristics of religious phenomena; an easier read than one might initially suspect.

8. The Jewish Mind (Raphael Patai)- An intellectual history of the Jewish mind. A little on the verbose and pedantic side but informative nonetheless.

9. Racism: A Brief History (George Fredrickson)- One of the best introductions to this topic I've read so far. A great place to start for the uninitiated.

10. A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin)-I reluctantly jumped on this bandwagon and am very glad that I did. Though I found the initial reading difficult and a bit boring at first it eventually found its rhythm and by the end of the book I was immensely satisfied. I've started watching the HBO series that is based on this book and so far it has been an excellent adaptation.

In progress:

1. A Brief History of the Jewish People (Raymond Scheindlin)- Treads ground that I've covered many times over so a bit tedious of a read. Plus, the author accepts certain things as factual that scholars have long since declared other wise such as the myth that Rabbinic Judaism began at the Council of Yavneh just after the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple.

2. The Wealth of Nations (Adam Smith)- A classic economic work. My on and off read that I've mentioned before.

3. Origins of the American Revolution (John C. Miller)- An older but fairly comprehensive study of the origins of the American rebellion.

4. Empires in World History (Burbank et al)- A study of world empires from a macro historical perspective.

5. A History of Ancient Israel and Judah (Maxwell and Hayes)- A study of the origins of Israelite society up to the Persian period. The approach here is a historical-critical one and not a confessional and/or faith one.

6. Before European Hegemony: The World System AD 1250-1350 (Janet L. Abu-Lugold)- I just started this one so I don't have anything to say about it yet.

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