I get a lot of interesting comments that don't get posted in the comments section. My favorite was the suggestion that the reason women don't run as fast as men is that, if they did, the human race would've died out long ago.
I get asked about my reading list a lot. The answers to the questions: I have about 2500 books left on my list to read and the list was compiled from lists various "experts" have made about books one should read some day. I'm reading a lot of non-fiction just because I've already read a lot of the fiction and I tend to read things in groups. I do read current books, not just classics, but I haven't listed everything I've been reading.
Last week, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Randy Pausch died and I felt I should do some review of their works. Pausch is just a guy who wrote a book ("The Last Lecture"), not an author and his book is just platitudes and unoriginal platitudes at that. I don't think one can learn anything about life from a man who's had nothing but easy successes. It's a best-seller, so I guess I'm in the minority in this opinion.
I've read all of Solzhenitsyn's works except "August 1914," which is on my list (about 2000 books down). "The Gulag Archipelago" is his most famous work and it is an important work, though not especially well-written; it's hard to judge the quality of Russian works, though, as it's hard to translate the nuances and style of Russian into English. "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" is generally regarded as his best work and it's won many awards, but it left me a little flat. "Cancer Ward" is my personal favorite; it was surprisingly hopeful and uplifting - perhaps, given his other works and the title, I was expecting a depressing work.
When reading some of the more dense books, I have to intersperse other things. Leibniz' commentary on Kant's ponderous works, "New Essays on Human Hunderstanding," is especially dull. So, I read an Elmore Leonard novel, among other things.
I'm reading Adam Smith's "Theory of Moral Sentiments." He takes for granted that we will forgive a rich man for being foolish and immoral, but won't forgive a man who's wise and good for being poor. I really want to argue that point - but can't. It happens to be true. His explanation for why this is does not make me feel optimistic for society.
Now for an actual review. "The Surrealist Manifesto" of Tristan Tzara is an imaginary cluster of planets. She used to be the number 7. Cluck!
Aid Station: Eugene Curnow
3 days ago