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The Great Leveler

26 Feb 2018

Continuing in my reading trend of all things about inequality, The Great Leveler is a history book attempting to find causes for how income and wealth inequality have been reduced in the past. Ideally this would be some noble cause that leads to a policy recommendation for how we can address the current state of increasing inequality. But alas he finds that the only consistent causes of reduced inequality of any noticable scale were the result of violence. The more violent the compression.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Down Girl

07 Feb 2018

I added this book to my list some months ago after I believe seeing a review in a newspaper. I bought it in the last batch of books along with Between the World and Me, not fully aware of the potential for overlapping themes. But after reading the former, I decided why not continue in the spirit of understanding bigotry and continue on to reading Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny. A modern take on the foundational philosophical foundations of mysogyny. This book is fantastic. I highly recommend it, although I will have a few caveats below.

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Between the World and Me

29 Jan 2018

A letter from a father to his son, Between the World and Me is something that got inside my brain. I had a lot of thoughts while reading this, mostly around trying to comprehend the reality of how different life can be. There is much to say, most of it feels cliche or naive. I've come to the conclusion that I can have knowledge about certain things but never truly feel them. Empathy can only extend so far when the fabric of society dictates so much of our unconscious perceptions.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The War of Art

21 Jan 2018

Another book made it onto my list for a reason I can no longer remember. I decided to pick up The War of Art and power through it because otherwise I should remove it from my list. Luckily it was a short read, but beyond that I found it to be quite good. I'm not a big fan of the self-help genre, but when someone verbalizes certain things that I have felt but couldn't quite put my finger on I am apt to pay attention.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Annihilation

18 Jan 2018

Part of being married is experiencing new things that you would otherwise have not because of your partner. I can't say that I always skipped the previews at the theater when I would go to see movies, but my wife makes seeing the previews part of her theater going experience. During the previews recently, I saw one for a movie called Annihilation which looked pretty interesting. Digging into it a bit, it turns out it is a book and part of a trilogy. So I added Annihilation to my reading list and I'm really happy that I did. It is a short and quite good read.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Two Years of Skydiving

15 Jan 2018

On July 13, 2013 I did a tandem skydive. It took me two and a half years to finally get around to signing up for a first jump course, the first step on the way to getting a skydiving license and being able to skydive without being strapped to someone else. A long series of events led me to be staying at my brother's house in Gilbert, AZ during the winter of 2015/2016. I made the decision that it was now or never to get into skydiving, so I went to the internet and found out that there was a dropzone in Arizona about an hour from my brother's house in Eloy. The website was not great and looked like it was mostly for tandems. I had a bit of trouble figuring out exactly what I needed to do to sign up to learn how to jump solo. At the time, I thought this place didn't really have its shit together considering they only offer first jump courses once a month and to sign up you have to call and hope someone is there who can help you out. I managed to schedule myself into the course on January 14th, 2016. I rode my motorcycle out in the freezing desert morning to arrive at 8am for my course.

Reading Time: 11 minutes

11/22/63

15 Jan 2018

A recommendation from Taya led me to pick up 11/22/63, yet another Stephen King book that she said I would enjoy. It turns out that I should have started reading King a long time ago because he has so many books and I have thoroughly enjoyed each one that I have read so far. This book is part sci-fi, part historical fiction, part thriller. Definitely not in the standard horror genre that many of his other books fit in to.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The First Commandment

31 Dec 2017

Yet another Scot Harvath book from Brad Thor, The First Commandment was just as good as the rest. These books are a bit of my guilty reading pleasure so there is not much to say about it.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Hillbilly Elegy

24 Dec 2017

When one gets married, there is an expectation of a gift or favor given to the attendees by the bride and groom. Taya and I had both been to many weddings in the past where we were less than enthused with the party favor. Not that we expected something better as in we wanted a gift, but rather that we would prefer nothing over a forced cliche. Some people have done better, in particular, she told me of a wedding where in lieu of individual gifts, the whole wedding had adopted a rhino. Thinking about our wedding, and are desire to make it true to who we are, we put some thought into this wedding favor. This long process eventually led us to decide to buy each wedding guest a book. We decided to get a unique book for each person, one that represented something about us as well as matched the person we were giving it to. This was a bit of an undertaking, but 60+ books later and now that the whole process is over, we both think it was a great idea. One book that we decdied to get was Hillbilly Elegy. Granted most of the books we gave people we had a connection with, a handful were selected more for the particular individual along with our own desire for the book. This one neither of us had read before giving it away, but I finally got around to reading it and I am really happy with our choice.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Nausea

08 Dec 2017

Nausea was not that good. In some sense I feel bad saying that, especially when the Amazon tagline is "Sartre's greatest novel — and existentialism's key text." Geez, who am I to say that it was not that good? Well I am me, I exist, and I didn't like it.

Reading Time: 1 minute