Books! What are you currently reading or just finished?

Seconding this one. I found it impressively coherent, and the tone is just kind of a great mix of fun and cool and smart.

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Thanks so much for the recommendations!

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thoughtful and generous interviews w/ some great artists. highly recommended.


Just finished Kenneth Brower’s The Starship and the Canoe. I don’t know if it’s come up in this thread previously, but its themes speak to various ideas wending their way through lines of conversation in other threads e.g. the crypto, climate collapse and building the world. (And I suppose the hydrophone thread…) The 2020 Mountaineers Books edition I have includes a nice (and uncharacteristically brief) foreward by Neal Stephenson.

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Recent reads:

  • ‘Three Parts Dead’ by Max Gladstone. Really really good fantasy. Kind of a crime thing where all the law is done with magic, which sounds a bit dull, but isn’t at all. For some reason the rest of series seems to be really hard to come by, but managed to snag most of them on ebay so that’s my next few books sorted!
  • ‘Dark Intelligence’ by Neal Asher. Always think he’s a bit Iain-M-Banks-but-not-as-good. Fun read tho.
  • ‘Helgoland’ by Carlo Rovelli. For some reason I seem to end up with loads of popular physics books and the lack of proper explanation (since they all avoid the maths) annoys the hell out of me. And then I go and buy another one. Sigh. One day I’ll manage to stop.
  • The Ragnarok series by John Meaney. Had the first two lying around on a shelf, read them years ago and for some reason kept them, so got around to buying the third and re-reading them all. They’re ok, no idea why I kept them around for so long tho. And the ending is crap.
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I recently finished Stuff by Daniel Miller as suggested by @otaro in this thread and it definitely was an interesting read. I’ll probably get something else by him in the near future as I really enjoyed the subject.
Now I’m reading The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway and so far it has been a lot of fun.

I never read anything by Iain Banks but he’s one of the authors I want to get to know, any suggestion about where to start from?


He published under two names - Ian Banks for his non-sci-fi works and Ian M Banks for sci-fi. I’ve only read his sci-fi books. He created a universe called ‘The Culture’ and it’s absolutely enticing - powerful AIs, different races, compelling characters and so well written. Each novel exists in the same universe but are equally readable as standalone works. I’ve read around 6 or so of them and they were all uniformly excellent. I’d find it hard to choose one over the other. I did like ‘The State of the Art’ a lot as it had several short stories/novellas and was a good introduction.


Yeah, the Culture series is just very, very good. You can’t go wrong with any of them (well, I haven’t read them all yet myself, I’m trying to make them last a while as sadly there won’t be any new ones).


I just finished Curtis Roads’s Microsound. It was an interesting read and super informative, even though I probably understood maybe 10% of it, and that’s being generous, haha.


I just gave the first of two lectures on Microsound and Curtis Roads and that book featured in much of it - brilliant book!


I’m currently delving deep into environmental apocalypse sci-fi, reading Diane Cook’s The New Wilderness and MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood.

Suitable reading for post-COP25 depression!

It’s a great book! I just wish I had to intellect to understand most of it, haha.

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“A good traveler has no fixed plans
and is not intent upon arriving.
A good artist lets his intuition
lead him wherever it wants.
A good scientist has freed himself of concepts
and keeps his mind open to what is.”
Lao Tzu


Thanks for the recommendation - In the middle of a climate collapse book binge and reading this one right now.

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I hope it’s ok to post this here, as I think some Lines folk may find it interesting.

I’m happy to say that my wife’s new book “Your Inner Zoo” has just been released. Here’s the info on her Facebook page.

And the Amazon link

Product Description

What might we learn about our own human natures from the friskiness of a young goat, the focus of a hawk, the transformation of a butterfly, or the hibernation of a bear?

How can animals—through their natural and cultural histories—offer us ideas that could help us better understand ourselves, navigate a relationship, or change an aspect of our lives? Do the animals that we admire or fear reveal something about us? What about the animals who appear in our dreams, visions, and creative inspirations? These are some of the questions addressed in The Inner Zoo: A Field Guide to the Meaning of Animals & the Insights They Offer Us.

You can use The Inner Zoo:

• to explore yourself through animals
• to approach animals as teachers and guides
• to explore the possible meaning of animal encounters
• to connect with animals through their natural and cultural histories
• as an animal symbolism dictionary
• as an idea generator and creativity tool

By exploring animal biology and behavior, as well as the cultural roles that animals play in symbolism, mythology, and traditions, The Inner Zoo invites you to approach animals as a source of provocative ideas that can lead to self-discovery and a deeper sense of connection with the more-than-human world.


Finally decided to take on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit.

So far (60-ish pages in) I’m getting strong Neoplatonic vibes. I’ll probably read Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition after this. In any case, determinate negation is a damn useful concept.


congratulation… Hegel is on my reading list, but still reading Münklers " Marx, Wagner, Nietzsche" … A very well written book


One of my very very favourite books! You are in for such a wild ride.

I’ve written a lot about Hegel, as well as taught this text to undergraduates–if you want any resources or have any questions please feel free to send me a dm!


Just finished this 750 page monster tonight, An Adventure in Statistics. The Reality Enigma by Andy Field (SAGE, 2016).

We teach all but the last two of the 17 chapters plus the epilogue, but I could not help myself from finishing it, esp since everything is built around a science fiction narrative.


Thank you! I’ll keep that in mind…I have Fredric Jameson’s Hegel Variations on my shelf, but hoping to save that until I’ve finished.