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What are you reading?

Discussion in 'Community Off Topic' started by North Star, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    I suspect many of you are avid readers like I am. I thought it would be fun to hear what everyone's reading lately or what their favorite genre is.

    Right now, I'm listening to "The Creature From Jekyll Island" (on the creation of the Federal Reserve), John O'Donohue's "On Love and Belonging" and a smattering of non fiction with a few fluffy reads thrown in just for fun. (Sue Grafton's one of my favorite fiction writers. I also love Louis L'Amour. I never liked westerns until we lived in AZ a few years ago.) A bit of Dr. Sarno and SteveO most days too.

    I love learning about mind/body and oh gosh…so many different things! Science, geography, writing, psych, etc...

    What are you reading?
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oooh, great question! Right now I'm watching The Forsyte Saga with Jen on Netflix. I'd like to understand it a bit better, though, so I've been dipping into the book that it is based on, which you can download for free from Project Gutenberg. Aside from being a collection of love stories and basically a Victorian-era soap opera, the books were originally intended as a satire of Victoria-era upper-middle class society, so I'm hoping to read the Wikipedia articles on Victorian and Edwardian England. I'm also a fan of Downton Abbey, and I hope that this will be a nice complement to that. Downton Abbey occurs only a little later and focuses on nobility rather than rich "commoners," but it is interesting how different the two are.

    I listen to Cider House rules on tape sometimes when I go to bed early and need something to put me to sleep. I've watched the movie made from the book, so I already know much of what happens, and it is a nice way to lull me to sleep.

    I recently listened to The Help, and really loved it. Very powerful, emotionally.

    In terms of nonfiction, I read whatever the Tuesday night book group is doing. I'm also reading an introductory neuroscience textbook and may read an introductory computational neuroscience textbook. One of my exes is an applied mathematician studying computational neuroscience and I learned enough about that from her that I am eager to learn more about that. I have a background in math, so it's always fun to be able to use that.

    I'm also slowly reading a book called Buzzing Communities, where a very smart consultant applies science and data analytics to study how to run communities like this one. It may be a while before those ideas will be applicable here, but I like keeping mind mind fresh.

    Finally, I recently read Steve Conenna's TMS book and just bought The Body Bears the Burden, by Robert Scaer. (Funny that a trauma expert has a last name of Scaer.)
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  3. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Forest, Right after I read your posted, I trotted over to Netflix and put The Forsyte Saga and the Cider House Rules into my queue. I, too, am a fan of Downton Abbey and the Forsyte Saga just might help soften the mourning of another DA season ended too soon. ;) Thank you!

    The Help was a fabulous read and the movie did not disappoint either. (Something I rarely say after reading a book and then seeing the movie.)

    Your other reads would be way beyond a Bear of Little Brain such as myself but I love TED talks and the ability of these brilliant people to break down their fields of study into bite sized pieces. Neuroscience is a fascinating subject but I only enjoy it from a general perspective.

    Buzzing Communities sounds interesting. You may be interested in any of Seth Godin's material. He's not a science dude….well, more like social science anyway. I think his blog is the most widely read one in the world. He's also been very successful with business start up and online communities. He's got tons of books out.

    I have Conenna's TMS book on my Amazon list and now I can see I'll have to add Scaer's too. I love reading different perspectives on MindBody.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great question, North Star. I'm usually reading a least 3 books at once (fiction, and a couple of non-fiction). Lately, my non-fiction books have all been TMS related. I just finished Conenna's book, and am now almost finished with James Alexander's The Hidden Psychology of Pain. (I'll review this on the book sub-forum when I'm done).

    I participate in a couple of local book clubs, so my fiction has been coming from these. Just finished an excellent book called Canada by Richard Ford about two kids living in Montana (yes!) whose parents decide to rob a bank and the consequences of that action. I'm currently reading the Orphan Train which is a fictionalized account of how orphans were treated in the U.S. around the time of the depression--basically they were given to families as indentured servants.

    I read Scaer's other book on trauma (I'm forgetting the name of it). Really good. I also enjoyed Cider House Rules and the Help. I think the audio version of the Help is the best audiobook I've listened to--ever.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  5. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ellen, you sound like me. At least three books at a time. And now I will have to add more titles to my Amazon list. :) I love fictionalized history. Wait a minute…did that sound right? You know what I mean, right? ;)

    It is amazing how a good narrator can take a book to new heights. I absolutely LOVE my Audible subscription.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  6. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I couldn't agree more on the The Help audiobook. It really blew me away. I think it's great that we're all Audible fans. Great minds think alike. :)

    I'm actually working on another "book" right now. It's Mind-Body Medicine: The New Science of Optimal Healthby UCSF professor Jason Satterfield. I got the downloadable videos, and it feels like I'm sitting in on college level course on mind-body medicine with an amazing lecturer and no homework. There are 32 half hour lectures covering a variety of topics from basic mind-body physiology (the ANS, the endocrine system, etc.), to basic mind body psychology and specific diseases. I also got the CDs, but the videos are better because they have animations and bullet points on the screen that make things easier to follow and help me focus. It's definitely the type of thing where you need to focus completely, because it's basically a survey course and a lot of information is coming at you.

    Really good stuff....
  7. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Forest, that course sounds amazing. I'll have to put in on my "one day" list. One day meaning…I have to have a house free of "mmmmoooom? Where's my shoes?" requests. I'm hoping the blessed time of empty next will mean a few brain cells can regenerate. (Hmmmm, is there a lecture on the neural shrinkage that occurs with motherhood?)

    PS I looked up that course. The Great Courses is just awesome. I used some of them in homeschooling my kids. I'm going to see if my local library carries this one.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  8. Becca

    Becca Well known member

    Yes, it is incredible! My family had/has a fantastic tradition of renting at least 3 books on tape on ALL our car trips. We'd all get so into them that sometimes we'd end up driving around for extra miles so we could finish the chapter. I remember getting really confused the first time I heard a non-British voice reading the book we chose. Up until that point (I think I was 9?) they were always British. I wish I remember what book it was. Anyhow - the inflections, the difference in voice for each character without making it cartoonish...it's all amazing to me. A whole other realm of acting.

    As for me: I truly wish I read more right now. Being in school takes away that sort of energy. I will say, we're reading a fascinating book in my government class (Leadership in War and Peace - one of THE BEST courses I've EVER taken) called Why Nations Go to War by John Stoessinger. @BruceMC , I think you'd love it. It's fascinating stuff.

    For pleasure, though, I'm mostly a fiction gal (though Common Ground, the nonfiction book about the Boston busing crisis, is a favorite, as is Tracy Kidder's Among Schoolchildren. I think that's my love for social policy coming out to say hello!). Overall, I tend to like books that have some sort of social commentary. Favorites include To Kill a Mockingbird by the incomparable Harper Lee, Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi, and Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen .

    @Forest , @North Star, & @Ellen : I also loved The Help. I couldn't put it down. Agreed on the movie living up to the book. I liked To Kill a Mockingbird as a movie on its own, but it focused far too much on the trial. Sure, it was a good focus for a film, but it really disregarded the marvelous and unique sort of coming of age story Harper Lee created in the book. (I say unique in that most coming of age stories, I find, focus on teen years, and Scout was what, eight at the most when the book ended?)

    Anyway. I love books. I just wish I had the energy at the end of the day to read them - or at least, the ones I really enjoy and love to discuss! I have Bossypants by my bed. Oh, Tina Fey...

    ...confession: I also enjoy a Jodi Picoult novel every now and then. My Sister's Keeper, anyone? :rolleyes:
  9. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wow, this is awesome. I love audible too -- even the text to read is awesome.:) Although when theirs a professional narrator that is even better. And as you guys I too love reading 3 or 4 books at a time. I have Stephen Kings -- Full Dark, No Stars. For my fiction that I read at night often. I have been reading " Self Help Therapy " by Jay Early. I understand parts therapy a lot better that way.
    For my research I have been reading " Trance and Treatment " by Herbert and David Spiegel M.D. Those two know a lot about pain control for sure. I could go on forever really, my taste for good books never wavers like Steven Andreas " Heart of the Mind " He actually teaches how to imagine a place that's not healing into it healing. He calls it Encoding and I think it's superb.
    I have one more that talks a lot about the brain that I'm half way through and I can't get enough of it. " The user's Manuel for the Brain " By Bob G. Bodenhamer and L. Michael Hall.

    This is just some of my reads for now. I'll catch you all up on my other books later.

    Thanks. This is a great thread
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
    Ellen and North Star like this.
  10. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    WOW! I suspected I was among great readers and you guys have more than confirmed my suspicions. When I hear fellow book-worms telling me about what they like to read I feel like a glutton at a gourmet food bar…eager to go back and try a new dish. ;)

    Becca, what are you studying? It's ironic that school can detract from reading so much. ;) (Yeah, I know one does a lot of reading in school…just not the fun stuff.) On a trip to Arizona a few years ago, we all listened to "Unbroken" (the memoirs of a WWII survivor shot down over the ocean.) I don't think my kids would ever pick that book up on their own and read it but lemme tell you…they paid rapt attention to it!

    Herbie, my kids know that have to give me a minute so I can hit "pause" when I'm puttering around the house working. I usually have ear buds in with Audible playing or my text to speech on my Kindle.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  11. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Text to Speech, that's it. I always have my audible going. It is the new music to my ears. I love it North Star. Awesome
    Forest and North Star like this.
  12. Becca

    Becca Well known member

    I know EXACTLY what you mean! Though sometimes I go back and get the same dish...you know you're reading a truly spectacular book when you find something new and wonderful about it the third time you're reading it...and the fourth...and the fifth... ;)

    What am I studying? I haven't quite decided yet. I have too many interests!! I'm lucky to be part of a really great undergrad program at Harvard that doesn't require me to have a designated major (though to be honest, it's probably a good idea), just a broader concentration (mine is social sciences, since that's where most of my interests fall). It allows me to take courses I truly want to take, not ones I'm required to take, which is a huge plus!
    Ellen and North Star like this.
  13. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh, yes…I have some favorite books that I re-read regularly.

    I majored in indecision so I understand your dilemma. I never even finished a BS…graduated with a diploma in nursing…and quit nursing a few years later. It wasn't until much later that I decided I wanted to write. So I hit the library and learned how to write for magazines and newspapers. (This was in the dark ages before Google.) After having enough rejection replies to wallpaper a home, I actually started getting assignments. I've written on a variety of topics and love learning and interviewing really cool people.

    I sometimes toy with finishing my degree and then I wonder…why? I get to learn about whatever tickles my fancy and look ma! No student loans! ;) (Between hubby and me…we had plenty already.)

    Enjoy your time at Harvard! If I could get paid to be a student, I would be one happy girl. I love the collegiate environment.
    Becca, Ellen and Forest like this.
  14. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've been looking for a paid position as a student too. I loved going to school and @Becca your program sounds wonderful.

    And @North Star, I loved the book Unbroken too. Did you know that the author, Laura Hildebrand, has been severely disabled by chronic fatigue syndrome for many years? Still she managed to write two bestsellers (Seabiscuit is the other one). I've thought of her since discovering TMS and wonder if she has ever considered it.
  15. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    I didn't know that about Laura Hildebrand, Ellen. Wow. I hope she has learned about TMS and is willing to consider embracing Dr. Sarno's approach.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  16. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, North Star. I loved THE FORSYTE SAGA and saw it when it first ran on Masterpiece Theater.
    Three of us watched it religiously every night it was on.

    I also loved UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS, also available on dvd from Netflix.

    I'm so busy writing new books and reading TMS books everyone knows about and has read,
    I haven't had time to read much else.

    A list of my books is at www.walteroleksybooks.com
  17. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Walt, I am TOTALLY hooked by The Forsyte Saga! LOVE it! A thousand thank you's.

    I have also watched Upstairs, Downstairs, that too is great.
  18. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    I love really old annuals and magazines. At present I am dipping into 'The Girl's Own Paper' annual from 1898 and it is just a marvellous window onto the past. The Fashion pages!!!The Household Hints pages!Best of all are the answers to miscellaneous question.The questions themselves are not printed but here's a reply which gives you a flavour:
    PRIMROSE-It would be more seemly and self-respecting to refrain from sending cards to a man who has left your neighbourhood without proposing to you.

    I can't help wondering how that turned out for Primrose.

    I just love getting a flavour of life for girls and young women at that time and also the handling of an original book. I have a few of these books and the ones which are inscribed are particularly special although I'll never know anything about the girl herself.

    I just read through Sylvia Townsend Warner's selected poems and enjoyed that and am reading'The Hanged Man Rises', a rather grisly children's book chosen by my son for me to read to him, about a Victorian murderer.
  19. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    OK, now I'm hooked on the Forsyte Saga! Love it!
    North Star likes this.
  20. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sniff, sniff, Ellen…I've watched the last one. It's not quite as bad as the Downton Abbey withdrawals…but bad enough!

    Oh, Solange, those sound like WONDERFUL reads! I used to check out old National Geographics when we lived in a little town where the library allowed you take several month's worth. I especially enjoyed reading the car ads. (I've done some ad copy writing so I love seeing the different styles used.)

    I will look that up and hope I can find some! Oh goody! I DID find some. What fun! Thank you.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.

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