Book Blog

The date next to the book name is when i read the book prices were of the books when i purchased them and don't mean anything other then that (im not selling them :)

Here is a picture of some books from a list of titles that i have read recently (click on image below for bigger view) also if you want more from a style perspective see my page titled Anti Scenario Resistance Organisation (for people who hate the words Scenario , Closure and other stupid, inappropriate, overused and poorly selected words)

 Lizard Cage ( Karen Connolly )

Life in a terrible dictatorship of Burma is graphically told in this powerful book of fiction. ( what more can i say read it and weep but also be uplifted ).

Little Daughter (Zoya Phan basement bookshop price 4.95) for a factual account this is a gripping book about the life of Zoya Phan and her life in Burma and its tyranny over the Karen people. See also my rights page for Burma

The Rights Of Man ( Thomas Paine ) publisher Penguin Classics

A book i wouldn't probably have bought new but it was second hand for 5 dollars aus from the Rational Bookshop in Regent Street Sydney (first time i have ever bought a book there but i have probably walked past it a 1000 times or more on my walks to the city) It is a description of the revolution in the Americas and he was also involved in the revolution in France.  One point that comes to mind is it is very dry after reading rev road (see below) but has good analysis of democracy and the representative system of government.  The historical element is there as i have also read recently Thoreau and his time in prison for tax refusal......... in his work Civil Disobedience "That government is best which governs least"

Revolutionary Road ( Richard Yates ) publisher Vintage

This book recently made into a movie (why doesn't my local video store stock anything more highbrow then Iron Man 2?...........) It is a forensic analysis of the motivations behind the average US family in the 50s very hard hitting for its time and the book definitely doesn't loose any of the kick it had back then.......... perhaps even more relevant now ........... can't believe it has been out of print and I haven't read it before ............ one of those books where you think of at least one personal relationship  that may of benefited from a reading of it during before we parted alas ................ read this one while the program Madmen was  on ABC a nice segway into that show from the book during the nights entertainment for me and helped me imagine the times and the clothing of the period must see series too for people with a antropological bent.

Grapes of Wrath

Half way through this book its about the struggles of sharecroppers and their travel to the new promised land of California and the terrible conditions faced by people who are being abused by power structure out of their control (sociopolitical) what happens when capitalism fails. Are there any solutions to the excesses of materialism/greed? and how to fight them here  um finished it the final scene is very moving.  PS The terrible violence regularly shown to people in these situations ie Refugees makes it very contemporary in tone also the Depression era. Other related searchs (Dogville with Nicold Kidman) hmm maybe its a person in serious situations that are put there by others lack of empathy hmm feel like i should mention that movie don't know exactly why.

Consumer culture

Fighting the Banana Wars and other Free Trade battles by Harriet Lamb also titled (How we took on the corporate giants to change the world) Its about making sure the food on our plates and shirts on our backs don't rob people in poorer countries.

We-Think by  Charles Leadbeater (Mass innovation not mass production) Linux, The world wide web,the Sims, clunker bikes, text messaging,barefoot engineers, Rap music,Craigslist,YouTube,the Samaritans, Wikipedia, Doing It For Love Not Money, Mapping the Human Genome,, The Grameen Bank, Women's Royal Volunteers. Book on how we consume and to change production to local techniques and small scale processes. This is contrasted with large scale manufacturing and top down control. (Basement Bookshop price 6.95 original price 32.95 most books on this page were bought there its the best bookshop in Sydney for prices and close to me i don't have any relationship to this shop other then being a purchaser of book now and then :)

Evolution and Intelligent Design (I am a Buddhist so believe in evolution but i like the books and no theory in my view should be discounted without some consideration)

Saving Darwin by Karl W. Giberson

Great book its a critique of the Intelligent Design debate

Biocosm by James N. Gardner (not read yet) um i read it now, its ok the idea is that consciousness creates the universe hmmm haven't we been here before in Buddhism? this idea was played about with a thousand years ago. A attempt to replace Brahma (the universal being in Hindu mythology) with a scientist created image of consiousness. It says that this consicousness wants to be alive? Hmm do we need a universal being anyway? hmm perhaps not see Buddhism again as they already have addressed this idea and proves that it leads to more suffering ...... interesting to read a rational intelligent design theory though. It has many implecations for science too. A lot of the ideas for pattern continuation are revealed in Chaos theory. Also the idea that such vast complexity of life needs to have some reason and couldn't be produced at random. Once again Buddhism trumps idea by saying does the mind/complexity need to have a reason for becomming other than its own craving? Can this trail of investigation ever reach a end or is it more suffering?

Chaos (21st of August 2009) by Jame Gleick

This is a great book i have had for about 5 years or more so can't remember where i got it but its about Chaos theory, Fractals, Mandelbrots Julia sets etc and their evolution as a ideas in pattern reproduction also turbulence in fluids/air streams. I deliberately read this again after reading the book before this in the list. A good history of the ideas of Chaos.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbcck (not read yet) bought for 5.95 Aus

The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger 21 Aug 2009 (not read yet but half way through) 9.95 Aus quite funny i like the dystopian vision of society,sex, etc as a commodity in the consumer world that doesn't deliver for Holden Caulfield in his search for happiness. The description of his parents touchiness strike a cord too. Like the book Revolutionary Road above its very accurate and piercing in its descriptions of the things we dislike about ourselves and others. A classic.

The Empty Mirror: Experiences in a Japanese Zen Monastery (Paperback)

by Janwillem van de Wetering  its a good book about his time in a Buddhist monastery in Kyoto in Japan it has some funny parts and is very open and descriptive of practise and its pitfalls and joys. I read this for a bit of a break from science reading above and to chill  out in general with some lovely descriptions of people in monastic settings :)

The Clash of Fundamentalisms by Tariq Ali (aprox 50 aus from Abbey Books picture above)

I bought this awe inspiring book a few days after sept 11 2001 at the time really penetrating reviews of the current situation in Islamic countries was pretty scarce so i shelled out about 50 AUS which i thought expensive but the quality of the writing is great and its very relevant now that Pakistan is moving closer to collapse. This is a island of sanity in a morass of western misinformation and spin at the time of publishing i remember this book took up most of the window at Abbey Books in the city. The history of US support of dictatorships in Afghanistan and Pakistan is detailed and acidic in its disolving of myths about US involvement in the region. The history of the treachery of the US and Pakistan towards its people shows how evil ruling elites can be. Recently i heard that the size of the people of Pakistan is decreasing due to starvation. I can say no more but ....... is it too little too late for these countries to recover ......... only history can tell

Turning Back the Clock by Umberto Eco (9.95 AUS Basement Books picture above)

This is a great work of philosophy ranging from topics such as Mel Gibson's Passion of Christ to Silvio Berlesconi's media tyranny and the circus of illusion that is democracy in Italy .............. Well worth reading before books start being burned and the clock goes even further backwards .......

Lamarck's Evolution by Ross Honeywill (9.95 AUS Basement Books pictured above)

This is a great work showing the history of evolution and WHAT DO YOU KNOW !!!! Darwin was wrong !!!! the main person to promote the idea of evolution is somebody else !!! (not creationism hee hee ) ........ there was a earlier and correct version by 50 years Jean Baptiste De Lamarck and he got the permiable sex cell idea correct that Darwin was mistaken about ........ (the idea that the bodies or somatic cells can influence the sex cells in the body)....... (proven by the fact that some sexual virus are transfered into the DNA of the bodies germline (sex cells) like in the case of AIDS transmission ) ........... well worth reading and a good companion to the books Saving Darwin and Biocosm reviewed above. Oh and I almost forgot the evidence was collected by Ted Steele a great example of a Aussie battler in the true sense of the word (not in John Howards idea) who should be up there with Bradman in the peoples psyche in Australia but is virtually unkown outside of scientific circles. I bestow upon him the Order of Anarchism for contributions to society and knowledge against the odds and corporate media. Oh and i read it in combination with that great program on ABC television in Australia called "Darwins Dangerous Idea" that compares the original evolutionists idea with the "Social Darwinism" of the right wing political groups (such as  the Nazi party idology and the eugenics program in the US to sterilise disabled people) to prove that a idea in biological science shouldn't be transferred into social policy programs and the University of Wooloongongs continued campaign to shut him up because he was also a wistleblower for the marking fiasco of that university or is there some other agenda being sponsored by the Christian fundamentalists to shut up free speech here?.


Hmm back to main page