A New Reading List . . .

Someone knows me well.

My wife was at work yesterday when something came up.  They have been working very hard for a couple of months on a massive project to delete older materials from their collection, so when they got a donation of materials, the first thing they did was look at what they didn’t need.  Most of the donation was foreign language (she thought they were German) – which wouldn’t help any program on this campus.

Five of them were not suitable for the campus curriculum, but were still in English.  They also stood out as books she thought I’d want to read.  She was right.

So, last night when she got home, I got handed 5 new (to me) books to read.  Here is the list:

AN ALCHEMY OF MIND by Diane Ackerman

WITCHCRAFT IN THE THAMES VALLEY by Tony Barham

THE TEMPLARS by Piers Paul Read

THE LITTLE BOOK OF FREEMASONRY by Sangeet Duchane

MYTHS OF THE WORLD by Padraic Colum (original title: ORPHEUS)

Wishlist fail . . .

I’ve mentioned several times before that my wife and I are avid readers.  One of the sites that I use for building my library is Alibris.com – generally a very well designed and informative website.

One area that they excel at, for example, is flexibility of ordering books.  When you search for a specific title, or titles by a specific author, you get relevant search results from both new and used book sellers, whether they are individuals or massive corporations.   A+

Where they totally fail is privacy.  If I wanted to share my wishlist with friends, the ONLY option they offer is for me to manually enter each friend’s email address into a form on their website.  The result isn’t only that I share the wishlist with my friend, but my friend is also added to their corporate database – without their knowledge.  I would love to share my wishlist, to inspire your choices for reading materials, or so you would have an idea what I’m reading these days and so anyone who wanted to help me get reading materials could pick from what I’m currently interested in – but I absolutely refuse to do something so backhanded as that.  If they would give me a widget that I can post here on my blog’s sidebar, I would use that.  Alas, no such thing is currently available.

Although, a clever person who knows my email addresses could probably find it by searching the Alibris.com website, if they wanted to.  Oh, if you do, please ignore the leather-bound volumes on the list.  Those are only there in case I can someday make a large donation to a library that can care for archives likely to last over 500 years.

Three books . . .

After lengthy and careful consideration, I’d like to suggest that there are three books which should be mandatory reading before anyone, at any level, would be allowed to run for an elected office.

Those three books are:

1984 by George Orwell

Animal Farm (also by Orwell)

and finally

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Alright, that probably requires some explanation. Basically, I can summarize my thoughts this way: Orwell builds a good case against big government and tyrants – whereas Ayn Rand builds the case against social leaches. IMHO, both are valid considerations that are needed in our society today.