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The War on Normal People

25 Aug 2018

I have been thinking about universal basic income (UBI) a lot lately, and luckily enough so have a lot of other people. The New York Times book review had a review of two books about UBI, so I decided to pick up one of them to further my interest. The War on Normal People has a subtitle of "The Truth About America's Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future" which made me think it was going to be heavy on the justification for UBI. The book instead is more an argument for why the author thinks "automation" is finally going to hit the economy in the next decade or two and result in so much unemployment that a UBI, among other things, is necessary.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Flow (again)

20 Aug 2018

I had this book Flow (again) on my Kindle and couldn't remember whether I had read it yet or not, so I decided to read it. Just now as I sat down to write this I realized I coud have checked this blog to find out if I had read it before and lo and behold I read it in 2015. This is somewhat disheartening as while reading it this time I had a lot of profound thoughts about it being meaningful and how I want to change some things, but clearly I had some of these thoughts before and here I am.

Reading Time: 10 minutes

A Brief History of Seven Killings

11 Aug 2018

A Brief History of Seven Killings, winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize, is a challenging read spanning several decades centered on the attempted assassination of Bob Marley. Each chapter is told from a different point of view, and these points of view vary wildly. A large portion of the book is in Patois which made the reading a struggle at times.

Reading Time: 1 minute

The Shining

12 Jul 2018

The Shining is yet another Stephen King book that made it on to my list. I have seen the movie more than a few times over my life but never got around to reading the book. I am so glad that I finally did because yet again the book is much more nuanced and, I hate saying it, better than the movie. I don't hate saying it as if I expect the movie to be better, I am just as annoyed as everyone else when someone has to say "oh the book is better" when someone mentions liking a movie. I really enjoyed The Shining the movie, in fact it is one of my favorites because Kubrick is my favorite director and horror is my favorite genre.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Danish Way of Parenting

04 Jul 2018

The last in the batch of parenting books that I bought, The Danish Way of Parenting turns to Denmark as a bastion of happiness to explain why the country is so generally happy by placing the blame on their unique parenting style. Obviously the authors don't claim this is the only reason, but it stands to reason that a homogenous country might have developed a relatively homogenous parenting style.

Reading Time: 1 minute

The Harvard Psychedelic Club

01 Jul 2018

The Harvard Psychedelic Club was recommended to me by Taya as she was surprised I had not read it already. I had a decent understanding of the major events the book covers, but less so the specific details of the lives of the major players. The book is probably best understood if you have experienced some psychedelics, but the history is interesting regardless.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Bringing Up Bébé

29 Jun 2018

Bringing Up Bébé is a book memoir combined with a book on parenting advice. The main point is that the culture of parenting in Paris is different than in America. She does a good job of distilling the differences down to something digestable and beyond anecdote from her personal experience. There are reasons for why the cultures have developed certain attitudes towards child rearing and these differences have an impact on the lives of both parents and children. Most of it is driving a narrative that the French system is better, but there are some tempering points about why things are not always "better".

Reading Time: 2 minutes

American Gods

14 Jun 2018

American Gods made its way on to my reading list again for some unknown reason. I think someone asked me if I liked Neil Gaiman and as usual I said "Who?" This is a road trip book at its core as well as a book about American culture.

Reading Time: 1 minute

NOS4A2

18 May 2018

After reading Horns, I put NOS4A2 on my list and was excited to get to it. The dark comedy genre really fits my personality for some reason, and NOS4A2 fits right into that. One might say reasonably that this book is actually horror, but a little horror with a bit of comedy usually is more of a comedy to me.

Reading Time: 1 minute

The Dispossessed

30 Apr 2018

Taya recommend another Ursula K. Le Guin book, The Dispossessed, which is set roughly in the same scifi universe as The Left Hand of Darkness. The planet is different, the characters and story are different, but there is a feeling of similarity to everything that is comforting. Overall the book was fantastic, both in execution and idea.

Reading Time: 2 minutes