Summer reading (belated)
My summer reading list in no particular order:
I’d listened to the audio book before, but I decided to give Stranger in a Strange Land a read. Jubal Harshaw is the main attraction. I kept a log of his colorful analogies in an effort to incoporate them into my vernacular. Highlights include:
- You’re as used to ___ as a bride is to kisses
- ___ has more aspects than a cat has hair
- I have as much use for ___ as a snake has for shoes
- ___ is as tight as a tent pole in the rain
- ___ is as weird as snake suspenders
Slaughter House Five is on just about every book recommendation list on the Internet. Vonnegut’s style is neat, but I didn’t love the book. There’s so many WWII books, movies, and video games that they’ve lost some of their punch for me. I acknowledge the historical/political/cultural significance of WWII probably legitimates its prominent position in these works, but that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy them repetitiously.
I picked up Dragons of Eden on a lark, because it’s Carl Sagan so it must be pretty good. I ended up loving the book. Multiple times I read a passage and then had to read it aloud to my wife. I’ll never forget “Please machine, tickle Lana,” a “message” typed by a chimpanzee. Some of the neurology might be outdated, but I find myself thinking of some tidbit of the book on almost a daily basis. I enjoy the idea that since many of the more evolutionarily recent parts of the human brain are inactive during sleep, and the more primitive are active, dreams might give us a glimpse into what it’d be like to have the brain of a reasonably smart animal.