Sunday, December 8, 2013

It Snowed in the Desert Last Night

It snows in Arizona, at least in the high desert it does...

We got maybe an inch of dry snow and a light ice glaze last night.  The locals are fond of assuring us newcomers "As soon as the sun comes up it will all melt."

No TV, No WiFi

Means I have time to catch up on my reading...

Since my arrival in Prescott my book list has been about half serious, half SF.

Ancient Angkor, by Michael Freeman and Claude Jacques

A Layman's Guide to Protestant Theology, by William E. Hordern

The Black Swan: TheImpact of the Highly Improbable, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Original Sin: Origins, Developments, Contemporary Meanings, by Tatha Wiley, is very readable book about a pretty inscrutable topic. Author Wiley is erudite and even-handed in her examination of topics Christians have killed each other over.

In Deep, by Damon Knight, is a collection of short stories. The first, "Four in One" is an absolute hoot!

The Upanishads, translated by the late Eknath Easwaran, is delightful and rich.

The Black Death, by Phillip Zeigler, is an eminently readable history of one of the turning points of Western civilization.

Downtiming the Night Side, by Jack Chalker is intricately paradoxical and deftly plotted. It's among the very few time travel stories I've read or seen that didn't make me roll my eyes and shake my head. I haven't read any Jack Chalker before but I will be happy to try him again.

Modern Man in Search of a Soul, by Carl Jung, is an interesting time capsule from the interwar years when Freudian and Adlerian methods were still in play. Chapters 9, 10, & 11 were the best in a very chewy read.

The Eye of the Monster, by Andre Norton, is a quick and unspectacular read. About the first time I didn't get my money's worth from the dollar shelf.

Pebble in the Sky, by Isaac Asimov, was an example of his early work. He got much better as the years progressed.

Calculated Risks: How to Know When Numbers Deceive You, by Gerd Gigerenzer, is thought provoking stuff that demands close attention and critical thinking.

To the Stars, by Harry Harrison, is three novels rolled up into a single volume. Turns out I'd read two of the three stories in their solo iterations. Oh well.

I have not made time to read or listen to the Quran, but I'll get back to it after the Solstice...

Seriously, having no TV and no internet is fine inducement to appropriate literary habits. Try it.