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Posts Tagged ‘Reading’

A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.
    —    Madeleine L’Engle
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On This Day In:
2017 Fear Instead Of Convictions
2016 Memorial Day – 2016
2015 A Handful Of Reviews
And You Can Quote Me
2014 Get Wisdom
2013 Enjoying The View?
2012 Adam’s Rib
2011 I’m Sure I Remember That…
Memorial Day, 2011

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We read to know we’re not alone.
    ―    William Nicholson
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On This Day In:
2017 Or Revisiting A Blog Site
2016 Alas, Too Often The Latter
2015 Either / Or
2014 Memorial Day – 2014
Perfection
2013 Memorial Day Video
Equal = Equal
2012 Congrats, Nephew!!
Doggie Vision Networks
The Flash: Omnibus
JLI: vol 1
Flash: Rebirth
Burning Images
What Do You Believe?
2011 Are We Still At War With The Poor?

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That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed with profit.
     ––    Amos Bronson Alcott
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On This Day In:
2017 In Spite Of The President
2016 And Sets
And My God For His Graces
2015 About Character
2014 Your Gain
2013 Look Up
2012 Count Me In
2011 Pirates Four, Three Songs
Sir Charles
Look First, Not Last
2010 Par-a-diddle

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I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.
     ―    Ralph Waldo Emerson
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On This Day In:
2017 Creating Reality
2016 Come, Read To Me Some Poem
2015 Exceeding Service
2014 Still Learning
Hospitality
2013 Execution Not Intensity
2012 Charles Carroll Of Carrollton (The Only Catholic Founder)
2011 Life Works
Pay Like Hell
Prosperity Finds Its Way Up

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I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
   ―  Jorge Luis Borges
Do not be afraid to fail.  Be afraid to accept that who you are right now is all you are going to be.
   ―  John Bingham
From his book: “Running for Mortals: A Commonsense Plan for Changing Your Life With Running
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
   ―  Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
From his novel: “Mother Night
I am nothing special, of this I am sure.  I am a common man with common thoughts and I’ve led a common life.  There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough…
   ―  Nicholas Sparks
From his novel: “The Notebook
[Happy New Year’s Day to all!  The years are beginning to run together (pun intended).  This year, my resolutions are (in addition to yesterday’s post) to read more books and to try to be more consistent in my working out so I can (hopefully) grow my mind as I shed my waist.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2017 Happy New Year — 2017!
2016 Happy New Year — 2016!
Remembering My Brother
2015 Happy New Year — 2015!
2014 Happy New Year – 2014!
2013 Another New Year’s Thought (In Case It Rains)
Happy New Year – 2013!
2012 Best Wishes For 2012!
Where Did You Spend New Year’s Eve?
2011 Happy New Year (2011)!!

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I’ve read the words of men who walk where understanding grows: who’ve passed beneath the tree of wisdom and had its shadow grant them peace, briefly though it be.
Look in their eyes and you will discover glimpses of eternity.  With them you sense the present is infinite, and events the actors which provide a change of scenery.  In life there are many theories but few explanations.  With time I discovered that we will know more than we can say, and understand beyond our powers of expression.
   —   Peter Wells
From his blog: countingducks   at:  http://countingducks.wordpress.com/
The specific post is: Beneath The Tree Of Life  at:  http://countingducks.wordpress.com/2017/06/26/beneath-the-tree-of-life/
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On This Day In:
2016 Something Authentic Happened
2015 Back On The Bricks
On, Rocinante!!
2014 Changing Frequently
2013 Trifles
2012 Simple, Ordinary And Wonderous
2011 Humane Writers

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Walden Two”  (1948©, 1976©)  —  book review
This is another “classic” book (novel) I’ve wanted to read for some time.  No, it’s not the original “Walden Or Life In The Woods“, by Thoreau, or its sequel.  It is the fictional description of a “scientifically” created utopian community used by the author (B. F. Skinner) to promote his theories about (what is now known as) applied behavioral analysis.  It was Skinner’s belief that most of an individual’s actions (and cultural preferences) are determined by the environmental factors / variables / cultural norms one is exposed to.  While Skinner did not start the nature vs. nurture debate, he did go some distance in promoting his side (nurture) of the argument.
Basically, the novel revolves around an academic who is approached by two students to find out if stories about Utopia’s are real or even possible.  They have heard of one (in the professor’s class) and wonder if the professor would approach the person who organized it (the utopian society) so they could visit it.  The professor writes to his old friend who agrees to host them (the visitors) for a time.  The group of visitors ends up being the original professor, another academic / current friend, the two students and their two girl-friends.  The visit is to “Walden Two” – a play on Thoreau’s Walden which uses the sequence / numeric (two) instead of the “also” (too).  In other words, “we follow, but we are not the same.”
The “visit” allows the author to present his theories about how to “properly” arrange a society so it can maximize leisure time as well as efficient productivity to generate just enough to cover more than what the society needs, but never to exceed requirements so much that people do not have time to be and to become themselves.  As an example, everyone is “expected” to do a certain amount of work / chores, and you receive “credits” for the time spent doing them.  The “jobs” average to four hours per day and the remainder of the time is yours to use any way you see fit – eat, sleep, art, play, whatever…  The job credits are scored based on the number of staff who want to do the job, which presumes fewer folks want to do “harder”, “more tedious”, or “dirtier” jobs.  This, in turn, means you can earn your four hours of credit in less than four hours of work.  The “science” comes from the statistical analysis of how many folks ask to do the job.  Of course, the majority of jobs are also shifted periodically (again using analysis) to even out the more favorable jobs, too.  For those, you have to work more than four hours to get the four hours of credit.  The “surplus” generated by efficient productivity is used to deal with external entities – to pay taxes and for buying supplies which cannot be generated within the society.
This pretty much covers the general economics of the utopia.  The social engineering and politics are also covered and they are what was found so objectionable about the book that it was banned in some places.
Can man play God?  Can we make life so pleasant that free will becomes a lost / legacy concept?  Can we eliminate greed and/or the desire to rule others?  I don’t know.  My instinct is to say “no”.  And if we could do any of these things, is it a society I would want to live in?  Again, I don’t know…  But the book sure did make it sound appealing.  What happens to the six visitors?  I’m afraid  that would be telling, so you have to read the book to find out…
Final recommendation:  highly recommended!  This is a book which made me think about my own values and what I’d be willing to give up in my “society” to have a civilization where wealth was not the “be-all / end-all”.  If nothing else, that (“it made me think”) is a pretty good description of a “classic”.  …And, of course, quotes / excerpts will follow in good time.  (LOL)
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On This Day In:
2016 Learning Subtle Differences
2015 Dog Eat Dog World?
2014 And Sometimes Blogs About It
2013 Outside-In
2012 They Are All Perfect
2011 Delegation – The “How-To’s”
2009 Diet Update and Other Bits & Bobs…

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Don’t underestimate the real cost of a book, as it is not found in its price, but in the investment of your most precious commodity — time.
Never underestimate the power of a good book to soothe your soul and inspire you.  Reading books is like recharging batteries, giving you new life with which to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.
   —  Peter Cawdron
[Found on one of the blogs I follow:  “THINKING SCI-FI”  located at:  http://thinkingscifi.wordpress.com/
The specific post is at: https://thinkingscifi.wordpress.com/2017/10/05/the-value-of-books/
Well worth a visit.   —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2016 Aren’t We?
2015 Cold Embrace
2014 Delightful
2013 Apprenticeship
2012 Curtain Rods
2011 A Living Force
2010 BART Rides – A Tipping Point

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Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.
   ―  Maya Angelou
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On This Day In:
2016 The Minds Of Trumpism
2015 Expressing Nonsense
2014 A Real Fight
2013 Unravelling
2012 I Resolve
2011 Practice, Practice, Practice
2009 Phoenix Trip (July ’09)

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There’s nothing wrong with reading a book you love over and over.
    ––    Gail Carson Levine
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On This Day In:
2016 Alas, Too Often The Latter
2015 Either / Or
2014 Memorial Day – 2014
Perfection
2013 Memorial Day Video
Equal = Equal
2012 Congrats, Nephew!!
Doggie Vision Networks
The Flash: Omnibus
JLI: vol 1
Flash: Rebirth
Burning Images
What Do You Believe?
2011 Are We Still At War With The Poor?

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Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
   –  P.J. O’Rourke
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On This Day In:
2016 Beyond The Foundation
2015 Become An Affliction
2014 Just Setting Out
2013 Scott’s Inscription
2012 Good Knowledge
2011 Social Safety Nets

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I’ve lived a thousand lives and I’ve loved a thousand loves.  I’ve walked on distant worlds and seen the end of time.  Because I read.
    —    George R.R. Martin
[Quote found at one of the blogs I follow:  http://professionsforpeace.com/
 The specific post was at:  http://professionsforpeace.com/2017/02/18/just-sit-and-read/      —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2016 On What Matters…
2015 Social Security
2014 Bewitching
2013 Visiting Joy
2012 Dedication To Today
2011 Project Second Chance – Adult Literacy
Turning Coal Into Diamonds

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Tripwire  (1999©) —  Book Review
Tripwire” is book three in the Jack Reacher novel series which I began reading earlier this year after seeing the movie starring Tom Cruise.  I enjoyed the flic, so I wanted to see what the books were about.  You can never be sure just from watching a movie if the character is “really” the same or simply an interpretation by the director or star actor.  Although this is the third book in the series, it’s actually the fourth book I’ve read.  I was looking at summaries and found one of the books was a throw-back to before the “series” began, so I wanted to “start” the series at the chronological beginning even if it wasn’t the first book in the series.  Since I haven’t read all of them, I’m not sure I have started in the right place, but I feel as if I made the effort anyway.
So, the book (and series) is written by Lee Child.  At this point, the series is beginning to follow a formula: Reacher is out minding his business, something happens, he goes to be a hero – because he’s the only one who can work outside the law and get “it” done, whatever “it” happens to be.  This book finds Reacher in Florida, but quickly moves to New York.  He meets a past acquaintance who becomes a lover.  She gets in danger.  Hero time!
The book is solidly entertaining.  It’s well paced and (of course) has a twist ending.  The author accomplishes this with two tricks, misdirected first person narration and then failing to tell the reader what the main character knows until the author is ready for the “twist” ending.  The problem is, this trick is blatantly obvious when the author does it and as a reader you just stop and say (to yourself) “just tell me what Reacher knows!”  Does it spoil the book?  No.  Does it make it less enjoyable…?  Yeah, for me, it did.
Final recommendation: strong recommendation.  I will continue to read the series and see what happens.  I don’t remember the earlier books having the problem discussed above and hopefully, it’s just a one off in this particular book.  Anyway, as I stated, I still enjoyed it.  Action.  Mystery / detective / procedural.  Heroics.  What’s not to like?
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On This Day In:
2015 I’d Settle For Interesting
2014 Old Math
2013 Adequate Explanation
2012 Superior Discovery
2011 Welcome Home And Thank You!!
Two Heritages

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Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.
   –  Abraham Lincoln
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On This Day In:
2015 If They’re Good Enough
2014 Three…
2013 Uncle Joe’s Song
Live, Then, As If…
2012 Still Trying
2011 Not Deserving

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Fight not because you are told to fight, but because you are free to fight.  Then you are answerable only to yourself and to the world you cherish most highly.
   —  John Phoenix (Mack Bolan), from his journal
[Mack Bolan is a fictional character from the “men’s” action/adventure series: “The Executioner” written by Don Pendleton.  Bolan is an American vigilante who goes around the country killing Mafiosi because he feels they are beyond the law.  The series is sometimes credited with being the foundation of the 70s/80s genre of male action/adventure novels.  It was also the inspiration for Marvel’s character: “The Punisher“.  The series ran about forty volumes and then Bolan switched to a “war” on terrorists.  I bought and read the entire original series and started on the Phoenix line, but got bored and lost interest.  The series was sold to a different publisher and they hired a team of writers to take over.  The series didn’t have the same flavor for me.  Wikipedia reports the series is still going and has over 600 (!!) volumes.
Forty years ago, I’d have thought the words “answerable only to yourself” were the most significant.  Now, with age, and hopefully a bit more wisdom, I’d put more emphasis on the “and to the world you cherish most highly“.  We may all be actors in a play, but none of us are an island.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2015 Verbal Fluency
2014 Familiar
2013 Unbending
2012 Simple Sayings
2011 Wupped Again?
2010 3 and 1…
Musical Notes…
Doubt Tries…
Northwest Passages – Evening Two
The Beierly’s Web Site

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