"Why were we put here, so inclined to love, when end of our story = death? That harsh. That cruel. Do not like. Note to self: try harder, in all things, to be better person." - George Saunders
“You should never read just for "enjoyment." Read to make yourself smarter! Less judgmental. More apt to understand your friends' insane behavior, or better yet, your own. Pick "hard books." Ones you have to concentrate on while reading. And for god's sake, don't let me ever hear you say, "I can't read fiction. I only have time for the truth. Fiction is the truth, fool!" ~ John Waters, Role Models
Although I read fiction from time to time and I especially love science fiction, I am primarily a non fiction guy. My interest and reading in non fiction spans many sections within the Northshire Bookstore including: MBS (mind-body spirit), History, Management-Finance-Economics, Political Science, Current Issues, Science, Nature Literature and Art. Subsections that interest me within those sections include philosophy, religion, spirituality, self help, creative studies, psychology (all in MBS), world history, ancient history, complexity science and chaos theory (Physics), education (Current Issues), China (Current Issues) and futurist studies (Physics). Having said that, my favorite books and authors are usually interdisciplinary and thus tend to defy category. For example some of my favorite books at Northshire include the Tao of Physics by Frijof Capra (in Physics), On Trials by Robert Moor (in Nature Lit), anything by Nassim Taleb (Anti-Fragile and Skin in the Game -- both in Philosophy), The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt (CI) and Out of Your Mind by Alan Watts (Philosophy).
The best thing for being sad," replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake in the middle of the night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world around you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting."
T.H. White (from the Once and Future King)
"The original is unfaithful to the translation."
Jorge Luis Borges
“Read, read, read. Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.” - WIlliam Faulkner
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Published: Spectra Books - May 2nd, 2000
Stephenson literally and figuratively kills the ideas of "cyberpunk" in the first pages. There's no need for the old staples from earlier works like Snow Crash and the writing of William Gibson in this post-cyberpunk, post-scarcity world. But even when humanity wants for nothing, it still needs no excuse to keep causing trouble, as our signature Stephenson multiple protagonists have the misfortune of finding out. ~ Reviewed by Andrew Bugenis