Books! What are you currently reading or just finished?


Apologies if already posted, I took the kids to New Scientist Live this weekend and in reward for managing a long but very fun outing, I bought a few books there. Felt they might be interesting to the Lines massive.


very funny so far. like the books in the preceding post, I would consider this of interest here.



Just started Emergent Strategy and am really appreciating it. Finding myself in a new position of traditional authority at work at a time the organization is confronting some of our worst habits. interesting to read this as we engage in tough, important conversations.

Inspired by Octavia Butler’s explorations of our human relationship to change, Emergent Strategy is radical self-help, society-help, and planet-help designed to shape the futures we want to live. Change is constant. The world is in a continual state of flux. It is a stream of ever-mutating, emergent patterns. Rather than steel ourselves against such change, this book invites us to feel, map, assess, and learn from the swirling patterns around us in order to better understand and influence them as they happen. This is a resolutely materialist “spirituality” based equally on science and science fiction, a visionary incantation to transform that which ultimately transforms us.


out of curiosity, do we have any authors on lines? it’d be fun to consume some community text!


I think Robin Sloan posted a few times in the Disquiet thread, apart from that I don’t know…


well, future author of a PhD thesis that absolutely no one here will want to nor should read here! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


. . . challenge accepted?


Latest book - re-reading The Night in Lisbon by Erich Maria Remarque (my favorite writer). I have read this during flight.


Finished Mathias Énard’s Compass on a recent trip – lovely and frustrating in equal measure, I have to say. An interesting reflection on the complicated relationship between European Orientalists and the countries, histories and traditions they inhabit (or colonize, one could say) in their studies.

There are some stunning passages on the history of Iranian and Syrian music in here, with - of course - deeply melancholy connections to current day events, but overall I felt like the incessant display of erudition struggled to find its place in the overall shape of the novel. Honestly, it made me miss Sebald, especially The Rings of Saturn.


Quite an usual book to read but would definitely recommand if you like PKD.
One hell of a ride through his thoughts/letters/…


Thank you to who it was that was reading this



Oh, I just got this out of the library, but I may not get to it immediately. I’m reading something about yellow fever right now (The American Plague is the title).



I constantly have a stack of 3-4 books that I’m reading. One for the evening, one for the morning, and then a wildcard or two. Does anyone else read like that??

Anyway, I recently finished Yuval Noah Harari’s Homo Deus, the “sequel” to Sapiens. Harari is VERY smart, and it’s nice how often he concludes chapters with “We just don’t know.” I appreciate that level of pragmatism regarding ancient history AND future soothsaying. I don’t agree with all he lays out in Homo Deus, but it was hard to put down and definitely worth the read.

I’m currently reading Falling Upward by Richard Rohr, who is a Franciscan monk and a very wise old Christian. I try to always have a book approaching spirituality in my line up to read in the morning, and it’s interesting to read a book steeped in the teachings of Jesus, rather than my usual Buddha dharma, especially when so many of the messages are essentially the same. This book is a guide towards the two halves of life… the discovery, building, and defining of the world around you in the first half, and the necessary fall and rebuilding towards a deeper spiritual truth in the second half. His point is that not everyone gets to the second half, and many spend their lives struggling to find meaning, thinking the first half is all there is.

I also just started Where The Heart Beats by Kay Larson, a book about John Cage’s life and intersection with Zen Buddhism, based off of recommendations from the Influence of Zen thread. It is so far a very enjoyable read. Larson has a really interesting voice.

And my third book in the pile is The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz. It’s a resource book about fermentation, but I’ve been reading it like a novel because it’s so interesting and well written. I love it. Something about it makes me feel good about being a human and makes me want to be a better one. Katz doesn’t deny the subtle radical politics of fermentation.

As is apparent, 90% of what I read is non-fiction… although earlier this year I read the Three Body trilogy, immediately followed by Lonesome Dove. That was a ride.


Memorial of God’s Friends: Lives & Sayings of Sufis.

Giant, gossipy book of anecdotes and aphorisms on how best to live in a world where the Real Most High is ever-present.

Lately, I’ll read a few passages each night. Makes me glad I do not serve an incorporeal god.


I read like that as well, though I’ve been much more focused on one-at-a-time this year for whatever reason. I probably owe some of that to my arbitrary 2018 goodreads goal, and some to the fact that I’m usually too tired to read before bed now (infant). before this though I would often be reading ~5 books at a time.

The Art of Fermentation is a wonderful guide. Sandor Katz was responsible for my initial foray into fermentation w/ Wild Fermentation so it’s great he’s still able to expand on that. looking forward to checking this out too (out next week):


I’m a three book man. One for the journey on the tube one for quiet time one for education


Wow, a Noma guide! That’s exciting… I’ll have to see if my bookstore is getting a copy.