Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Free Play

Subtitled: Improvisation in Life and Art. An engaging book about collaborative improvisation. Collaborating with others, with Nature, with your unconscious. A gifted teacher improvises within a framework that involves herself, the students, and their environment - to great effect! Musicians will delight in his descriptions of creating wondrous music; the author is a violinist and makes many a point with his stringed journeys.If only simplicity weren't the most difficult thing in the world...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Empires of Trust

I thought I knew something about the Roman Empire and how the United States is following the same path. I didn't. And before you think you've got it all down, too, I'd suggest reading this book. There have not been many "empires of trust," find out the stuff they're made of and the good they do for the world.

Jamie

The Elegant Universe

This book is so well written that I actually began to understand some of the more complex topics of cosmology: superstrings, hidden dimensions, etc. It's about String Theory, and while maybe a little outdated at this point (10 years old), it's so clearly written as to remain extremely valuable. I've read many books on cosmology; this is the best so far.

Jamie

Broke

An excellent summary of what our forefathers tried to do, how we've let the government take us astray, and how to get freedom and prosperity (they go together) back. An open-minded American of any party persuasion can benefit from this read.

Jamie

Lone Survivor

An amazing story of how a Navy Seal trained and went into battle outnumbered hundreds to four - and became the one of the four to survive. It's the survivor's story told in his own words. It was hard to put down...

Jamie

The Man Who Found Time

Having an affinity for geology, this one readily caught my attention. James Hutton never really received the well-known-ness that Galileo, Copernicus, and Darwin did; but he should have. Hutton discovered that time went back much farther than was held in that day, and found the geological proof for that. An image of the unconformity at Siccar Point is often my computer's wallpaper. Great, quick read.

Jamie

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ecological Sanity

Ecological Sanity
This books was written in 1977 and is now out of print. You can find used copies here and there, including through Amazon at the link above. This book more than any of the other hundreds read by Lynn's stepfather and myself started us realizing what the "environmental movement" was really all about. It's not an easy read, but neither are other scientific books worth reading. You can borrow the copy I have with a $1000 deposit.

Jamie

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Physics of Christmas

Those who know me will recognize two of my passions blended here into one book, The Physics of Christmas. Fascinating stuff from the science of snow flakes, to the search for the Star of Bethlehem, to the thermodynamics of turkey cooking (and of other holiday treats)! The author does a great job of sharing a great deal of information with just enough tongue firmly planted in his rosy cheeks so as to not upset your sensibilities too much.

Jamie

Monday, November 8, 2010

The True Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas is something of an enigma. Is he for real or not? What do we know about him, for sure? What exactly is his status as a saint? Is it from Saint Nicholas that Santa Claus evolved?  This is the matter of the book, and Mr. Bennett does an appealing job of fairly reviewing what is known or thought about Saint Nicholas and explaining why it matters to Christmas. It's a wonderful, quick read.

Jamie

This Train is Bound for Glory


Did you know that chapel cars ran on the rails of this country from the late 1800s into the early 1900s?! Chapel cars were sponsored primarily by the Baptists and the Catholics to spread the word across the untamed west. I've been a railfan all my life, and grew up a PK (Preacher's Kid), but it wasn't until a few years ago that I discovered this connection between those two worlds. I got so into it that I developed an experience for our local Methodist church that involved a presentation on the subject followed by a ride on a "chapel car" (well, we turned it into one for the day) on the Santa Maria Valley Railroad, onboard worship service and all. Here are some photos from that event: http://www.worshipweekly.com/090606.html. If you'd like to have one book on the subject, it's the one shown here.

Jamie