What I’m Reading 10/15
In the middle of a research binge for Robert Greene. I’ve never read this many books in my life. 6 in one week was my previous record and yesterday finished my 10th since the previous Tuesday.
Hurricane: The Miraculous Journey of Rubin Carter by James Hirsch
Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson (reread)
The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry by Harold Bloom (looks at why poets write the way they do, has a premise that with the exception of Shakespeare, no poet has ever completely surpassed their predecessor)
Black Boy by Richard Wright
Socrates by A.E Taylor (short, very good. was Socrates the wisest because he knew that he knew nothing?)
American Courage by Herbert Warden (inaccurate, basic. might be worth it from the bargain section)
Mark Twain: A Life by Ron Powers (stopped halfway, decent)
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn (good, no reason it had to be so dense though)
The Big Sea: An Autobiography by Langston Hughes (spectacularly simple and well written)
My Life and Battles: By Jack Johnson (the boxer. great book)
American Legend: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett by Buddy Levy
Joe Louis, Man and Super-Fighter by Edward Van Every (Louis’s strategy in the ring is fantastic)
Commodore: The Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by Edward J. Renehan (‘always be an owner, never be a minion‘ too bad he was also crazy from syphilis)
The Camera My Mother Gave Me by Susanna Kaysen
Joe Louis as a Key Functionary: White Reactions Toward a Black Champion Evans, Art Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Sep., 1985) (great example of an academic completely missing the point)
So Robert’s a boxing fan now? Seriously though, Does he have plans to update his blog on Rudius at all? I thought with the election coming up he might have some observations.
I can’t believe you thought Kuhn was dense. Of course when I read it for a great class I had, Kuhn’s work was by far the least technical of the work we did have to read – so maybe I am just thinking in relative terms.
If you have time – what were your thoughts on Kuhn, aside from it being good, but dense?
In an older post of yours, Tyler Cowen mentions that he’s read so much that there isn’t anything left to offer him a “view quake.”
Do you think you’ve reached that point yet? And/or: When?
I haven’t read “American Courage” but are you saying that the stories in it are false/inaccurate? I was thinking about getting it for my Dad(he loves that stuff) but if its a bunch of bunk then its not worth it, bargain section or not.
I’m just saying that one of the chapters is a “diary entry” of Crockett’s time at the Alamo which has long been known to be a fake.
Ryan – Have you ever bothered to see what your reading speed is? I was just wondering.
This is almost totally unrelated to anything but: my favorite idea I’ve found on this site was sort of a throwaway phrase of yours in a post from a while ago (don’t remember which one). I think it was from when you were prone to longer, more philosophical posts. Anyway-you said that sometimes life weeds out/defeats/is hostile to the sane. I’d be very interested to read your expanded thoughts about that.
That is an amazing accomplishment. I was only able to complete 2 in one week. I will see if I can push that up to 4. Great Blog, keep us posted with your reading.
Leon, you’re completely missing the point. It’s not about how many books you read per a week.
It’s about the quality of books and most particularly, the quality of your comprehension and analysis.
Ryan, if you’re going into boxing, pick up A.J. Liebling’s A Neutral Corner and The Sweet Science. There’s nuggets of strategy in there, particularly about Jersey Joe Walcott and Sugar Ray Robinson, as well as racial, boxing and crowd observations and generally good writing.
I got an A+ for an essay I wrote using your Sparta technique thing. Thanks!
I got an F- for an essay I wrote using your Sparta technique thing. Jerk.
I understand that it’s about the quality of books you read. That was not my point. My point was, I am reading 4 books a week that are worth reading. Thanks for clearing that up, however.
Never confuse literary sensitivity for sophistication.