Thursday, March 11, 2010

Try Reading Something Different

Readers all have their favorite genres or topics that they gravitate towards. I think it is a good idea to step outside your "reading" comfort zone from time to time and find somethng "else" to read.

Recently, I picked up Flotsametics and the Floating World which discusses the career of a oceanographer. The book Flotsametics gives insight into beachcoming, gyre patterns and a variety of other interesting topics around ocean drift patterns and floating objects. I also read The American Leonardo, the true story of the legal battles around a painting that may or may not be a Leonardo da Vinci. The book and tale reminds me of the fictional Dickensian novel, Bleak House and the endless legal case - going on and on, with no one being better off at the end.  Perhaps my favorite recent "outside my reading box" book was The Island of Lost Maps, a true story of cartographic crime. I found this an amazingly fascinating true tale.

By stepping out of our reading comfort zone, we may discover new things, explore new ideas, and look at the world with a different perspective.

What are you reading?


Cindy G said...

I'm reading an absolutely fantastic book called The Empathic Civilization by Jeremy Rifkin. It's a 700-page history of empathy, showing how the human race has become more empathic over time and how that relates to entropy, i.e., energy being used up and chaos increasing. Rifkin shows how whenever new technologies and new forms of communication are developed, an "empathic surge" takes place, but this also results in more entropy. The book reads like a novel and is absolutely fascinating.

transitionyourlife said...

Thanks, Cindy - that book is on my "to Read" list. Thanks for the recommendation.

Fred said...

I recently finished reading the complete set of 8 books in the Tom Corbett: Space Cadet series by Carey Rockwell. I had the whole set since I collect children's books. It's a boy's series written in the 1950s. They are extremely exciting and well-written with strong characterizations and plot development; I simply couldn't put them down, and by the 8th and final book, I went into mourning that Rockwell (perhaps a pseudonym?) hadn't written more. I am also fascinated by life-after-death books, and just read Dannion Brinkley's Secrets of the Light about his 3 near-death experiences. What he claims to have seen on the other side is fascinating, especially the blue gray zone, which he never addressed in his other books such as Saved by the Light. It's a kind of purgatory. After reading its enthralling prequel, The Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam, I'm reading the Coalwood Way. Hickam is a retired NASA engineer, and his books describe how he and boyhood friends started a revolutionary rocket club in a West Virgina coal-mining town of Coalwood in response to the Russians' Sputnik launch in 1957. He is a tremendous, world-class writer who has captured the lost small town life of the 1940s and 1950s. These were large print books I got for my 94 year old mother, then got around to reading myself after she finished them. Lastly I have two friends who are published authors, Jim Haviland and Steve Propp. I read their works as they write them and provide feedback and reviews. I recommend any of their books and am usually reading something they wrote, namely Haviland's "The Open Gates of Hell" and "The Anti-Vigilante" which have highly unusual twists in the plot, plus Propp's Three Perspectives: Jewish Christian an Muslim which addresses a Jewish man who is simultaneously a Christian, and Saved by Philosophy, about how a low-income African-American mom becomes a most unlikely philosophy professor.