Early Rack. Book Recommendations
In the past few years, I have been focused on gettng a lot better sleep. Common wisdom is that we are massively sleep deprived in our culture, so this has been my impetus (plus I like sleep).
A friend mentioned a book called "The Promise of Sleep" which is the seminal work on sleep research. It is a very interesting read written by a passionate pioneer. Though its tone is sometimes polemical, I highly recommend it. I am more committed to sleeping properly after reading it.
I also picked up a copy of "1066: The Year of Conquest" from my anglophile father-in-law. This is a wonderful book. Kind of like reading Barbara Tuchman but a much tighter format. The first chapter does a superb job of describing the life in the English village. Wonderful picture of the William the Conquerer who probably should be known instead as William the Ambitious Lucky Sonofabitch Whose Ill-Considered Plan Worked. Perhaps harsh though seeing as I haven't finished the book yet.
I do occasionally read fiction. Picked up an entertaining read "The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-time". It is written from the point of view of an autistic boy who discovers a murdered dog in his neighborhood. It is funnny wgile being enlightening about the nature of autism. Highly recommended. Dave, I think Holly would really like this one, though I can't say exactly why.
In the science fiction world, I have been reading a collection of short stories called "Giant Bones". I have only read the first two, but I liked them very much. The author appears to be one of those rare sci fi writers who is actually a writer as well. The author is no Orson Scott Card but he's still good.
Also read "The Free Lunch" by Spider Robinson a few weeks back. Was not impressed. I like Spider Robinson but he has a tendency to make all of his characters the same person. Gets tiresome after a bit.
Finally, I have been reading the "Tales of the Arabian Nights" which are a lot of fun. I know a 9 year old boy who lives down the street (and a ten year old girl who lives across the hall) who is often spoiling for a story, and these are providing great ammo. I think it is also giving me a fuzzy introduction to Islamic culture. Unless you are feeling ambitious, I'd stick with a popular rendering as the stories can be quite long. However the bombastic version I am currently reading has provided me with a quote for my cube wall. "For the author of the proverb saith, O thou benefactor of him who hath done evil, the action that he hath done is sufficient for him".
Did I mention I've been reading a lot lately?