Sunday, February 15, 2009
Friday, February 06, 2009
I had these grand plans for my sabbatical. I imagined a reading odyssey, where I would chew voraciously through my book backlog. Imagine how much you could read if you had no job, right?
It didn't quite work out that way. Back in late October I listed 24 unread books waiting for my attention. In early November I'd read one but three more had been added to the pile. Turns out that this is my downfall: getting books faster than I can read them. And OK, yes the weather was much nicer during my sabbatical than I expected, meaning less time inside reading than I was imagining, but really the problem boils down to the fact that I tend to read the books I most recently acquired, and I tend to read books slower than I acquire them. I'm operating a LIFO queue with a mean arrival rate greater than the mean depletion rate.
So here I am, three months later, and how many of the 24 have I read? Actually, just the one. Here's what I've actually got through:
- Nonplussed!; fun and timeless exploration into Gardner-esque mathematical oddities. Very enjoyable.
- Group Theory in the Bedroom; more mathematical fun. Includes an interesting chapter on algorithmic determination of a continental divide
- Mindset; recommended by my boss, an OK read but not really my cup of tea
- Inside Steve's Brain; not any less interesting for the fact that it's basically a compendium of anecdotes
- The Goal; as previously asserted: despite the moronic and desperately tacky marketing and cover, actually a good book full of allegorically packaged business insights
- In a Father's Place; this is the second Tilghman bought for me by my mother. I liked both.
- The Black Swan; very disappointing. Others have called this book "superficial and self-aggrandizing". I would add "pompous".
- The Road Home; a present from my mother, herself an author, and very good. Sue has a gift for choosing fiction I enjoy. She's much better at it than I am.
- Marketing That Works; would probably be a great high-school textbook. Nuff said.
- The Light Of Day; another of my mother's picks, and another good one. Achingly slow, rich, touching, tantalizing and suspenseful.
- Grimble; if you know Grimble then you know. If not, I can't explain.
- Gang Leader for a Day; an autobiography in disguise. Interesting enough, but not what I'd hoped for.
This young lady I met the other day on Shotwell Street. It was her birthday.