Author Topic: Books to make me think  (Read 4431 times)

mattc

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Books to make me think
« on: October 24, 2008, 07:39:59 pm »
I would like to draw on the collective wisdom of the forum to provide with me some reading that will make me think. I am a Bear of Little Brain, so anything high brow will be wasted on me. Here are some examples of books I would recommend to others in this category – they're all very readable, but gave me plenty of food for thought.

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Over to you!

M
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mattc

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Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2008, 10:33:54 am »
Hopeful BUMP to catch the Mon-Fri crowd ...
Has never ridden RAAM
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No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

tiermat

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Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2008, 10:44:35 am »
Depends what you want to think about, but a few suggestions from me (might be right off target):

A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini

The Welsh Girl - Peter Ho Davies

PS I Love You - Cecelia Ahern

A Beautiful Mind - Sylvia Nasar

I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2008, 11:46:03 am »
Fermat’s Last Theorem - Simon Singh

You don't need advanced maths to follow the story and anyone should be able to follow some of the simple proofs used to illustrate points in the book.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Charlotte

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Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2008, 11:57:18 am »
+1 to The Simon Singh Book.  Very good indeed.  My recommendations (some science/maths stuff, some political/religion):

Longitude - Dava Sobel

Infidel - Ayaan Hirsi Ali

The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins

Nickel and Dimed: Undercover in Low-wage America - Barbara Ehrenreich

Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid - Douglas R. Hofstadter
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Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2008, 12:08:21 pm »

Really Ancien

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2008, 12:09:51 pm »
The Social Construction of Reality, Berger and Luckman.
But see if you can penetrate the language first. This article gives a feel.
Social constructionism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Damon.

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2008, 12:15:41 pm »
Turbulence by M. Lesieur. And similar books. That gets me thinking hard.

Simon Singh's book is a very good read. It reads like a novel in fact.
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Mrs Pingu

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Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2008, 12:23:20 pm »
If you're after fiction, Birds Without Wings by Louis De Bernieres is quite good.
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border-rider

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2008, 12:34:25 pm »
Jeremy Paxman's The English and Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain are both fascinating and well-written books.

Paxo's I don't always agree with :);  Marr's is pretty good.

nicknack

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Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2008, 01:02:10 pm »
I am a Bear of Little Brain, so anything high brow will be wasted on me.

Quote from: Charlotte
Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid - Douglas R. Hofstadter

I really would have thought that would count as high brow. I didn't manage to finish it.

I'd go for Sophie's World -  Jostein Gaarder. It's a bit (lot?) more readable.
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Julian

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Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2008, 01:51:25 pm »
Sophie's World is one of the very few books that I gave up on.  It's more boring than a boring thing trying to be boring.

I'd add

Bloody Foreigners - Robert Winder

Deer Hunting with Jesus - Joe Bageant

nicknack

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Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2008, 03:07:11 pm »
Sophie's World is one of the very few books that I gave up on.  It's more boring than a boring thing trying to be boring.

Hmm... I guess you didn't think much of it then? I quite liked it, so there, ner!

Dunno about thinking material, but educational definitely - anything by Richard Fortey (The Earth, Life, Trilobite, etc.). All about geological matters - a very readable chap.
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Flying_Monkey

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2008, 03:19:23 pm »
The Road - Cormac McCarthy

A couple of the most thoughtful recent SF books I have come across (which happen to be damn good reads too):

Air by Geoff Ryman
Brasyl by Ian Macdonald


mattc

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Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2008, 03:58:14 pm »
Well, already there are too many suggestions here for me to comment on, so
Thanks all, and
I'll report back on any i get my hands on.

M

Except ...
Sophie's World is one of the very few books that I gave up on.

Me too. I think I find pure philosophy very dull. I'm more interested in modern applications of it. Probably like some people find physics boring, but guns and cars exciting. Sorry nicknack!
Has never ridden RAAM
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Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2008, 04:19:13 pm »

Charlotte

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Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2008, 04:21:17 pm »
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Regulator

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Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2008, 04:29:19 pm »
The Social Construction of Reality, Berger and Luckman.
But see if you can penetrate the language first. This article gives a feel.
Social constructionism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Damon.

I had the delight of reading Berger & Luckman when I was doing social psychology at Oxford.  It gave me a headache...  :-\
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I completely agree with Reg.

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Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2008, 06:17:11 pm »
'Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance' by Robert M Pirsig is a good one IMHO. Also 'Catch 22' by Joseph Heller.

I'm reading 'The English' at the moment, very interesting but a bit of a downer as Paxman seems pretty contemptuous of most of the English traits he lists!

Mr Larrington

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Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2008, 09:29:45 am »
'Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance' by Robert M Pirsig is a good one IMHO.

And if you like it, try "Zen And Now" by Mark Richardson.  Only out in hardback at the moment, but an interesting read.
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bikenerd

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2008, 09:54:02 am »
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
Also, The Simulacra by PKD is good, if not as tightly structured as The Man In The High Castle.
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.
More "seriously": Guns, germs and steel by Jared Diamond, although not perfect, is a pretty good read.

clarion

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Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2008, 10:05:41 am »
If on a winter's night a traveller... by Italo Calvino

If This Is A Man by Primo Levi
Getting there...

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2008, 10:09:29 am »
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Really Ancien

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2008, 10:12:05 am »
The Social Construction of Reality, Berger and Luckman.
But see if you can penetrate the language first. This article gives a feel.
Social constructionism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Damon.

I had the delight of reading Berger & Luckman when I was doing social psychology at Oxford.  It gave me a headache...  :-\

I've still got the headache, it was a set book for a law course when I was 18, taught by a youngish Frank Furedi. At least 'Social Psychology, a cognitive approach' by Stotland and Canon had pretty pictures. That was for 'Social Cybernetics', I don't like to think about that at all, the pain just gets worse.

Damon.

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2008, 12:48:12 pm »
Wayne Rooney: My Story So Far :P

'by Wayne Rooney (Author)' :o