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A little too much assumption of mainstream liberal political orientation, for my taste, but still useful and well-written. Why Buddhism is True: I appreciated this one most for its explanation of the role of emotion in the thought processes that we take for granted. Another entry on the list for "owner's manuals for human brains. Cujo [Wikipedia] , Stephen King: Strangely resistant to coming across as dated, the way many of King's books might to someone who has experienced a few decades of King-influenced books, movies, and TV.

In fact, even upon finishing the book, it wasn't quite clear to me what kind of story I had read, what the book was really about. It was an entirely unique experience, which I decided meant this book was really something special. Actually, maybe what we have here is an existentialist novel trying to fly under the radar as mainstream horror. Thaler and Cass R. Generally hard to argue with! I'm on the fence between rating this one "good" and "great"! It's definitely worth reading more from the author. I'm a sucker for comic magical realism set in Japan.

A philosophical and practical guide to financial independence , Jacob Lund Fisker: Felt like a surprise conversation with an Aspberger's-leaning engineer at a conference, who just doesn't get why his audience wouldn't find his insights fascinating. I often appreciate that communication style, but it didn't work for me here. The conceptual complexity felt way overblown for the subject matter, and the overall level of mathematical rigor didn't strike me as high enough to label the book as "formalizing ideas we take for granted, so that we are better able to make decisions.

People who already buy into early retirement through frugality won't find much new here of value, and people who don't buy in will likely be scared away by the philosophical complexity of the presentation. For me this book is solidly in the "preaching to the choir" mode, but it seems like it could be a good brief introduction to the subject for newcomers.

Based on Tyler Cowen's review, I went into the book expecting more applicability to the life of a tenure-track professor.


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Most of the content, though, is quite specific to the enterprise-software industry. That's not such a big downside, since I'm expecting to devote more of my attention to that industry in the future, but for now my mind has not been blown. It's interesting how much I can buy into the spirit of Wilson's work and still find so many of his later topics facepalm-worthy!

This is a well-written book, in any case, and it was jarring for me to experience that competent style telling the reader that, e. Again like Zones of Thought , this second book in the series is built on rather different fundamental conceits than in the first book, while maintaining the same vibe. Definitely feels like it was written by an engineer who's decently far out on the autistic spectrum. I feel like I've come away with a much better understanding of cultural differences in America, and the history was fascinating in any case. Irrational Exuberance [Wikipedia] , Robert J.

A convincing enough sketch of an argument that psychological factors explain much of variation in stocks and other market-traded assets. I'd have to read some of the academic papers to appreciate the objective, mathematical case, and I'm not feeling motivated enough to do that. Therefore, I leave with the message, "it's complicated" when it comes to global financial markets! The New Annotated H. A nice thick coffee-table book, which I read over the course of about a year. Though the last Lovecraft collection I read in the 20th century turned me off to this body of work, I'm glad I gave it a second chance.

It absolutely deserves its place in popular culture. The part I liked least was At the Mountains of Madness , ironically the centerpiece of the collection I tried before. Ghost Story [Wikipedia] , Peter Straub: Stanley and William D.

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I really like the fast-paced, direct writing style. It made me feel like I was having a conversation with a member of a generation that achieved a level of earnestness that we're not likely to see again anytime soon. The message of the book seems like a good one, but I'm surprised that I found more to quibble with than Mr. Money Mustache's review prepared me for. Basically, the book doesn't go far enough, suggesting a still-too-high level of spending and risky investing. Especially egregious was implying that successful investing involves all sorts of manual stock-picking instead of just buying broad index funds; and it was amazing that, in discussing car expenses, the option of not driving a car wasn't even considered!

Pretty neutral overall feeling, after finishing this book. I was expecting more of a sociological survey of what nonreligious people believe, but it was more of an explanation of certain philosophical and ethical foundations, without any quantitative backing. Perhaps it's most useful to me as a window into what religious folks object to, measured indirectly via what explanation strategies the author has found to work well with them.

I'm not sold on putting humans at the center of an ethical system -- that doesn't follow as the only option when we eliminate supernatural forces. The Evolution of Beauty: More than just a recapitulation of the concept of sexual selection, it presented a number of new for me perspectives on familiar topics.

I will say that the author clearly came at all this from a s countercultural perspective, where we might worry that the scientific conclusions were filtered to match social causes. Cryptonomicon [Wikipedia] , Neal Stephenson: It's the computer-geek version of Gravity's Rainbow! I also enjoyed the Wired article included with the edition I read. Impulse buy in the Harvard Coop , read interleaved with other books over several months. Well put-together, above the standard I assumed for a regional press.

Makes me seriously consider getting into hiking around here. The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger [Wikipedia] , Stephen King: Introduces plenty of dots to be connected later. It Starts With Food: Recommended by Jimmy Koppel , as an introduction to the practices and rationale behind paleo diets. I'd like to understand more how, in principle, the same medical-research literature is being cited here to justify such different conclusions than in, e.

One thing I noticed in this book is a focus on "feeling your best," with minimal argument about long-term health consequences of the diet. Man Without a Shadow , Colin Wilson: My reaction is essentially the same as to Ritual in the Dark ; it makes for a good sequel. The Whole Foods Diet: Rainbows End [Wikipedia] , Vernor Vinge: Mediocre sci-fi has story elements that feel like afterthoughts on top of tours of worlds that the authors have been so darned clever as to invent.

Zones of Thought did a great job of avoiding that syndrome entirely, but Rainbows End leans noticeably in that direction. Danse Macabre [Wikipedia] , Stephen King: There are at least a few good book recommendations in here, but mostly I enjoyed it for the author's discursive style, like I would a conversation with an off-the-wall and well-traveled uncle. Kicking Butt in Computer Science: This was an illuminating look into a program whose early stages I experienced personally as an undergrad.

I liked the refusal to take purported gender differences as the basis for designing a support program. Some fairly thorough evaluation was done to measure progress toward attracting a more diverse student body, seeing them through to graduation, and helping them come to feel that they fit in. What was really telling, though, was the almost complete lack of evaluation of educational effectiveness.

A top program like CMU's CS major should be leading students towards excuse the overblown-sounding phrasing, but I think it fits mastery of a discipline and leadership in the field. My own anecdotal experience leads me to conclude that, concurrently with the start of the programs the book describes there may not be a causal relationship , CMU has slipped significantly in the real intellectual measures of success. I have a feeling it has to do with the party line about diversity of interests, stigmatizing single-minded focus in a way that no one would consider doing for fields like biology or math.

I need more time to digest the sweeping argument of this one. I do feel like there's plenty of complacency to go around, but I had assumed that it was just part of the human condition. Part of the phenomenon seems to be an iterative system approaching a fixed point, which needn't be a bad thing. The first part of the book, about social robots, is full of nearly metaphysical assertions, like that "clearly robots could never feel," without any sort of objective justification.

The author seems to be having a hard time letting go of folk-psychology ideas about the essence of thinking beings.

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The details of the protagonists' careers make me want to root for them more. Here's a very compelling case that the median U. Not to be hyperbolic, but this book should be required reading for pretty much everyone. An intricate interwoven ball of speculative science and plot. Brings out some of the same themes that I enjoyed in Zones of Thought. Interestingly, I've heard that the English translation may be a better read than the Chinese original, even for native speakers of Chinese!

Slapped by the Invisible Hand: The Panic of , Gary B. It assumed a bit more economics background than I have, so I got lost following most of the details. However, the short version of the central theory makes sense, and, conveniently, it dovetails with my feeling of confusion in reading the book, in suggesting that some popular investment products have just gotten too darn hard to understand!

Short enough to be worth giving a try. I understand the main message like this: Best practices for those mechanisms wind up looking a lot like what gets labeled "corruption" by today's mainstream media. There Is Life After College: A nice little gem that summarizes how young people should be reorienting their education and career plans. I might start recommending this to the undergrads I advise! My one pretty big disagreement: Firestarter [Wikipedia] , Stephen King: The basic story seemed very familiar, but then I remembered that King likely co-? How Not to Die: A very thorough and convincing analysis of best practices for healthy diets.

I'm inspired to make some serious changes to what I eat. What a weird mishmash of different content styles: The travelogue content was pretty good, while the rest generally got on my nerves. Paying for the Party: Armstrong and Laura T. A well-executed look into the lives of a segment of the college-going population that I've had minimal interaction with. It's hard for me not to wonder if everyone in scope for this study, namely students who wind up at universities that are nonelite but moderately selective, is doomed anyway, with automation taking over most of the desirable jobs they had shots at.

Memorable and distinctive content and structure. My head hurts from keeping track of all the characters. Ironically, I really enjoyed this book while disagreeing strongly with the top-level point of the title! The book begins with two axioms, one of which is that humans will remain at the center of the economy indefinitely. I don't buy it, but I had no trouble appreciating the rest of the book as a study into how to organize human-based systems efficiently.

I was surprised at how many "obvious-in-retrospect" good human-modeling ideas popped up here that I don't remember from past reading. Primates of Park Avenue: A Memoir , Wednesday Martin: This little corner of our society showcases some horrible incentives miscalibration, with all the diversion of resources to goofy ends. Nice and short, with great density of "huh, why didn't I think of that? Way more heart, artistry, and originality than I expected from my stereotypes of horror movies. Of the King books I've read so far, this one has the strongest element of "life is a bummer" at its core.

My overall rating of this book is a tough call. In the end, I decided that, while reading it, I was too eager for it to end. Not knowing the geography of Los Angeles probably left me unprepared to appreciate it, and I have to say that the book didn't increase my enthusiasm for spending more time there! The prose style was also too overwrought for my taste. It grew on me while reading. In the end, I appreciated the vivid introduction to one of those world political situations that I've been hearing about my whole life but never really looked into in detail before.

I think I figured out the central quality of the DeLillo books that I like the most: The characters all seem to be speaking with essentially the same voice, and much of the dialogue is delivered monologue-style, with the receptive narrator as perhaps the only listener who's really following. Everyone is less concerned with day-to-day earthly matters than they would be in the real world. The Curse of the Good Girl: The Age of Em: An interesting treatment of one scenario within an important space of likely future developments.

The funny thing is that the author admits that technology trends would likely give this style of civilization only a few years of life, before it replaces itself with one driven by much less recognizably human actors. I think the author underestimates the chance that those less human actors are technologically feasible before the human emulations he focuses on; it seems hard to argue that, cognitively speaking, we can't do much better than the human architecture by exploring very different designs.

How to Write a Thesis , Umberto Eco: Numero Zero [Wikipedia] , Umberto Eco: I'm glad I spent the time reading this book to pick up a bit of cultural literacy, but it was a frustrating experience, with most of the space spent on history irrelevant to scientific questions of how heritable and immutable human intelligence is. Three main choices in framing made the book unconvincing to me: Almost no space was spent on critiques, beyond those of the 3 kinds I listed, of relatively recent studies, like The Bell Curve , even though two essays are devoted to criticism of that book, as appendices.

The Stand [Wikipedia] , Stephen King: I was surprised at how much it reminded me of the television show Lost , including my feeling, near the end, that the author hadn't planned out the story very carefully, with a variety of plot elements being thrown under the bus haphazardly, never paying off like I had expected them to. Rise of the Robots: Very well-written; effectively makes many points that I agree with whole-heartedly. I felt like I'd heard most of it before, but this could be a hard-hitting book for someone who is new to this perspective.

Norwegian Wood [Wikipedia] , Haruki Murakami: An interesting similarity in mood to 1Q84 without the magical realism. As much as the central theme came to feel like so much emotional nonsense, the tour through some biographies was engaging enough. The Secret of Our Success: Over and over again, I felt like I was being reminded of something I already knew but that I had never thought of before. This is a really illuminating overview of the human social brain.

Even unfinished, it blew me away. Often more of the feel of a short-story collection than a novel, but that's a form that's worked well before for the author. The IRS has never been more fun. Good stuff, largely hard to disagree with, written well. It would have made a bigger impact on me if I had read it before all those other books on evolutionary psychology. It must be one heck of an author who publishes books like these as rejects under a pseudonym!

I felt like The Long Walk was ironically too long, though it was a worthwhile, eerie experience. The other three were well worth every page. The Rise of the Creative Class--Revisited: Revised and Expanded [Wikipedia] , Richard Florida: An enjoyable read and a compelling theory, though I have to resist the temptation to nod along with a theory that puts my line of work in such an honored place, and in general with an author who promotes so many of my pet causes. Dying Inside [Wikipedia] , Robert Silverberg: Really something unique and compelling.

It's also short enough that there isn't much to lose by giving it a try! I appreciated this book for both its near and far content see term explanations. It was pretty novel to see evolutionary psychology occassionally explained with humor apparently designed explicitly to offend a general audience. I would have preferred a tone closer to what's usual in popular-science books, but really it was just fine as-is. The reviews that describe it as dreamlike are spot-on.

Kudos to the English translators for making such good use of idiomatic expressions. And one of the Little People said "Ho ho. The Computer Boys Take Over: The content was fascinating, though the form was a little weird e. I appreciated both learning more about the history of programming and getting some perspective on how easy it is to take technological systems for granted.

One example is the idea of high-level programming languages introduced in the second half of the s as a scheme by management to take "good, middle-class jobs" away from low-level coders. The whole experience provides some emotional ammunition for people working on new programming technologies that most folks "just don't get," not to mention other kinds of more "out-there" technological progress. I hesitated between tagging this one as "bad" or "good. There's also quite a bit else which was mostly dull. I was surprised that the book, cited for its contribution of one of the main popular arguments for capitalism, is fundamentally arguing for the inevitability of socialism!

It's done in a relatively defensible way, but I'm not convinced, and I didn't have too much fun reading until the end. Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels: A very well-written presentation of an idea that I was already pretty familiar with. It may very well have crossed the line into "great" if I read it 5 years ago.

The core thesis is interesting, but the style of the book was just not my cup of tea. It seemed intentionally obfuscated like I expect to see in a caricature of the humanities. What the Dormouse Said: Some fascinating conclusions, though sometimes the writing style seemed too bombastic. Sundiver [Wikipedia] , David Brin: Clever but not exceptional; a bit pulpy, too.

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Might return to this series eventually. An enjoyable read, but it's hard to come away with any serious conclusions. Is the author just picking and choosing the most entertaining examples of conspicuous consumption, or is there a real, socially important trend here? I enjoyed smirking periodically, considering that the book was published just before the financial collapse, and probably a good fraction of the characters wound up in dire straits shortly.

A pretty good addition to this important field. My two main reservations: Night Shift [Wikipedia] , Stephen King: The Sense of Style , Steven Pinker: I feel emboldened to ignore some of the grammatical "rules" I've learned over the years. Enjoyable enough, but it abandoned the basic format of the previous two books and wasn't nearly as much fun. Ritual in the Dark , Colin Wilson: Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: The Shining [Wikipedia] , Stephen King: It all sounds very plausible and appealing for its simplicity.

It's amazing how close the basic formula here is to A Fire Upon The Deep while keeping the particulars different enough that it's no less of a page turner! Good message, though I think the book could have stood to be quite a bit shorter. A pretty amazing contrast between my impressions 20 pages in and at the end. Started slowly and wound up being extremely inventive and well-executed. Carrie [Wikipedia] , Stephen King: Pretty darned good for a first novel!

Much more practically oriented than my usual reading material, but could come in handy. Americans Against the City: Snow Crash [Wikipedia] , Neal Stephenson: It's the cyberpunk Infinite Jest! The Second Machine Age: I'm so used to this narrative already that I'm not sure what that's new I took away from reading it, but it's probably a good introduction to this line of thought. The Design of Design: Essays from a Computer Scientist , Frederick Brooks: It's hard for me to tell how much I got out of reading it.

The Up Side of Down: Reads like a set of well-written essays longish blog posts? Adrift in Soho [Wikipedia] , Colin Wilson: It's a bit like Rosy Crucifixion in London! The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead: The first half or so was satisfying in the same way as standing around the water cooler complaining about the boss. Ended on a low note with the unqualified disapproval of atheism, absent any kind of convincing argument in favor of religion, for folks who don't already buy into supernatural thinking. Herrnstein and Charles Murray: A contentious analysis of some important issues, which I'd say is worth reading for its unusual perspective.

Generation A [Wikipedia] , Douglas Coupland: Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2. A message that's hard to argue with, conveyed pretty well, but in too many words. I think a shorter account would have been more effective, focusing on the big take-aways. A cross between the subject matter and style of Foucault's Pendulum and Baudolino ; tons of fun!

The Smartest Kids in the World: Now I can see why Amazon reviewers described it as "dry. Very well-written and thought-provoking. Now to read Sex at Dusk and see the counterarguments For a book with one serious downer of a message about free will, this was a fun ride. Recommended for fans of paranoid fiction. An extremely entertaining read!

The focus on folks who had been around longer worked out well, I think. The discussions here got me to thinking about how formal verification really should be an effective replacement for the laborious debugging sessions that interviewees relate here. Binder and Kate Wood: Interesting enough, but just not what I was looking for.

Sociology is weird, and the idea of "conservative" vs. Bleeding Edge [Wikipedia] , Thomas Pynchon: Well, that's a relief; Pynchon seems to be back on track! Stylistically, this one sits somewhere in between Inherent Vice and Gravity's Rainbow. There was a surprising amount of computing inside-joke humor; I don't know how the average reader will react Tyler Cowen couldn't stand the book; maybe this is why?

The retro milieu was lots of fun for me. Not very literary, but for me a fun walk down memory lane. Even though I was never that serious of a gamer, the events described here were part of the context during some of the most fun years of my life. A fun unified projection of what we have coming. It seems pretty plausible that the trends predicted here will be extremely important while simultaneously being appreciated by very few people today.

A bit too much time spent on a computer-chess metaphor, for my tastes. Not too fancy, well put-together, fun retro feel. The "monsters come to small-town New England" idea is tons of fun. What's not to like about sort of crawling inside David Foster Wallace's head? A fascinating look at the development of the social structure that we take for granted in America today.

Some parts felt a bit slow-going, but overall seems like essential reading for anyone interested in pondering ways the social order could be reengineered. A good andidote to the lazy claim that nothing ever changes politically! Back to Blood [Wikipedia] , Tom Wolfe: Planet of Cities , Shlomo Angel: This might be very good economics scholarship, but I found it extremely dull, mostly a parade of data and statistical results. I gave up halfway through. Hard to characterize and not entirely what I expected, but very well-presented and engrossing. Very high value per page count, considering what seems like a central social problem of our time.

Structured as a series of questions with answers, grouped by topic. I probably would have liked a more traditional and opinion-full narrative better. I have mixed feelings about this book. I felt like most of it was "preaching to the choir," repeating standard complaints about abuse of church-state separation and so on. I was really after detailed information on the history of recent secular movements. There was some of that, and it was good enough to make me think about getting involved in related activism. Twilight of the Elites: Many sections were enjoyable enough to read, but in the end I don't really get what is the central argument of the book.

The author takes up economic equality as an "obvious" goal, but I'm not convinced, and so I didn't see the point of most of the proposals near the end. Food, Justice, and Sustainability , Lierre Keith: I haven't yet finished looking into the factual content, but the style is extremely off-putting, with frequent tone transfusions of both Stoned Hippie and Angry Oppressed Person. One chapter spends many too many words arguing against a crazy version of ethical vegetarianism where killing anything is wrong, which I don't think is very common, and which I've never come close to subscribing to.

There are calls for a feminist, anti-corporatist revolution sprinkled throughout. The Better Angels of Our Nature: Could probably have been quite a bit shorter without losing value, but still I found it very thought-provoking apparently enough to keep me reading to the end! This one gets added to my shortlist of must-reads in evolutionary pyschology; another piece of the owner's manual for human brains! Important information presented very well. This is close to what I've been looking for: The part that frustrates me is the inconsistency in, on the one hand, quotes about the importance of minimizing intake of animal products, and, on the other hand, details of how fish ought to be raised for food.

Does the author believe this aquaculture isn't substantially worse environmentally than veganism, or does he just think it's politically impossible to eliminate meat consumption? I'm not sure what to make of this book. I feel like it used way too many words to get across a not-especially-complex message.

The author is a very good wordsmith; it was hard to find complaints with any individual paragraphs. Yet the whole thing was unsatisfying, considering the length. It felt somewhat like a stream-of-consciousness brain dump, albeit by a talented writer, supporting a worthwhile message. The Natural Survival of Work: An Economist Gets Lunch: Reminds me of Henry Miller!

Orwell has quite a way with words. Well-written, but I'm not sure what to make of the conclusions. The 10, Year Explosion: Much less about the narrator than I was expecting. Not quite sure what to think of it. Not as much fun as some economics-inspired books that aren't aimed so much at the general public. Launching The Innovation Renaissance: I agree with what he's saying and somehow didn't learn too much; but I can't complain about such a short essay. You might not guess that a book about working memory would be much fun, but this was fairly informative and enjoyable.

Contrary to my expectations, it really is almost entirely about working memory. Disciplined Minds [Wikipedia] , Jeff Schmidt: Somewhat thought provoking, but mostly unsatisfying. Most all of the author's complaints about PhD programs don't seem to apply to top computer science programs; I don't know how accurate they are elsewhere. I was surprised by this book's tone when I started reading it; somehow, when I first added it to my "to read" list, I hadn't realized that the book is targeted to "radicals" and "activists.

Lots of really interesting stuff in here, but the special education angle didn't appeal to me. Comfortably Unaware , Richard A. This was an aggravating book. However , the core of information in the book seems very worth knowing. The way it is presented leaves me wondering how much I can trust in its accuracy, but I haven't yet seen a reason to doubt it. It would be nice to find a better, less emotional presentation of the same essential facts about the costs of animal-based food production and consumption.

Everyman [Wikipedia] , Philip Roth: I went into this one not realizing that the focus would be aging, illness, and death. Doesn't sound so enjoyable, right? It turned out to be a fun read. However, he wound up pulling it off very well. The usual surreal elements crept in eventually. Triumph of the City: Bowling Alone [Wikipedia] , Robert D. Definitely got me thinking, though the focus on particular archaic-feeling forms of social involvement seemed undermotivated.

The first third or so was great. There's a very meta aspect to the later parts of the book, which was clever at first, but which I started to feel was being abused. I won't spoil the details of what I'm talking about. Thought-provoking, though it was often hard for me to get past the dated elements of the book. The last few chapters were especially unsatisfying, partly for that reason. The Evolution of Cooperation , Robert Axelrod: I've seen the executive summary of this material so many times in other books that it's hard to evaluate the worth of the full version.

A Manifesto [Wikipedia] , Ron Paul: Imperial , William T. Long enough that I often wondered whether it was worth finishing. Overall an enjoyable experience, raising interesting issues about how large populations of people can organize themselves in a modern setting. Interesting ideas that I need to ponder more.

It didn't always hold my interest in the particulars. It's hard to imagine a book written today being so explicit about a search for "moral perfection," but I found the approach really attractive. I wonder how thoroughly the author followed through with it. This was enjoyable enough, but still on the low end of "good. Deconstructing Darwinian Selfishness , Joan Roughgarden: Some interesting stuff, though I kept getting hung up on what exactly was the definition of "truth" of an evolutionary theory that this book was oriented around.

This was really fun and seems like a great extended pep talk for people considering doing the startup thing. City on the Edge: Buffalo, New York, - present , Mark Goldman: I seesawed between liking and not liking it. The not liking came from feeling that it was a "one thing after another" kind of history book without a broader message and also from some poor copyediting and laugh-out-loud bad phrasing.

The liking probably had most to do with the consistent anti-urban-renewal focus. It's unclear how useful this will be, but it was very entertaining. I'm glad I followed Paul Graham's advice and got my hands on an early edition, complete with content that doesn't follow today's rules for political correctness. Well-written; I'm not sure exactly what I took away from it, but I enjoyed the ride.

This was a long one, but it was a lot of fun to read. The Future of Europe: Hierarchy in the Forest: Schooling in Capitalist America: A well-written presentation of an interesting perspective. I got a good chuckle out of the socialist elements, which stayed manageable until the last part of the book, which is entirely skippable.

Like with the last one, I'm not sure if I got much out of reading this. Quite well-written, and short enough that I don't feel bad about not thinking too hard about what I got out of it. From Poverty to Prosperity: Not bad, not great; for me, more like a cheerleading exercise than anything else. Sex and Reason , Richard Posner: Midnight's Children [Wikipedia] , Salman Rushdie: Too long and too much foreshadowing. I forgot to log this book until some weeks after finishing it, so I don't remember details, but it was probably pretty good.

Goodbye, Columbus [Wikipedia] , Philip Roth: Winesburg, Ohio [Wikipedia] , Sherwood Anderson: I read this because Henry Miller seemed to be a fan. It was all right, but somehow didn't quite do it for me. Compared to my expectations, this was a lot more about politics and a lot less about evolutionary psychology. Near the end, though, the author brings in a really interesting message about the origins of morality in social evolution. This book doesn't seem to have much to say about education in highly technical fields. Thus, while I agree with the book's criticisms, I'm not sure the proposed solutions are generally applicable.

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Inherent Vice [Wikipedia] , Thomas Pynchon: I had to bail on this one early on. It was clumsy stylistically and didn't seem to be painting any kind of big picture. The Colossus of Maroussi , Henry Miller: Interesting, though the value per page didn't seem quite high enough. Still, it stands the test of time pretty well. The Center Cannot Hold: Reminds me of Thomas Pynchon without the geek factor. Beito , Peter Gordon, and Alexander Tabarrok: It didn't always have me on the edge of my seat, but there was still plenty of thought-provoking stuff.

Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life , Nick Lane: A really enjoyable and informative read. There's definitely something to be said for the signature British writing style. There was some interesting information and speculation in here, but too much of the book came across as moralizing. The copy-editing was also notably poor. Gross and Norman Levitt: I didn't feel like I learned much from this book.

The authors attacked particular quotations from a hand-picking of authors, so it's hard to tell which points are valid against the whole body of literature that they're dissecting. I don't know how it would be possible to do better, but that doesn't mean that this book is very helpful. The prose was also a little too purple for me. I don't really like Dawkins's over-flowery writing style. Mazel , Rebecca Goldstein: This one ended up being a wild ride. The first few chapters seemed very promising, but the bulk of the book just didn't interest me.

For a light read, I enjoyed this well enough, more for the retro appeal than for the presence of much advice that seems relevant today. The earlier interviews which were with the older programmers I liked substantially more than the later ones. And I thought he couldn't push this footnote stuff any further The Stuff of Thought: As usual, an enjoyable read, though it was often hard to figure out what exactly I had learned from each chapter. Wealth and Our Commonwealth: I can see the germ of the good stuff yet to come, but this one just didn't hang together in the satisfying way of Wallace's later work.

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Intelligence and How to Get It: I was most bothered by ignoring the extremes of intelligence. The World Is Flat: Reading this, I get a sense of what religious folk might feel readin' scripture. Weapons of Mass Instruction: Helen survives the assault and is able to identify her attacker to the police, who believe him to be responsible for the killings attributed to Candyman.

Helen tells Jake that Candyman is a made-up character that isn't real. In a parking garage, Helen is confronted by the real Candyman, who explains that since Helen has discredited his legend, he must "shed innocent blood" to perpetuate belief in himself and continue his existence. Helen blacks out and wakes up in Anne-Marie's apartment, covered in blood.

Anne-Marie, whose dog has been decapitated and whose baby Anthony is missing, attacks Helen; in the midst of defending herself, the police arrest Helen. Trevor, Helen's husband, bails her out of jail, but Candyman appears to Helen again and cuts her neck, causing her to bleed to the point of unconsciousness. Bernadette appears at the apartment and is murdered by Candyman, who frames Helen for the murder.

Helen is sedated and placed in a psychiatric hospital. After a month's stay at the hospital, Helen is interviewed by a psychologist in preparation for her upcoming trial. She attempts to prove her innocence by summoning Candyman, who kills the psychologist and allows Helen to escape. She returns home and briefly confronts Trevor, who is now living with Stacey, one of his female undergraduate students. Helen then flees to Cabrini-Green to confront Candyman and locate Anthony, finding murals depicting Candyman's lynching. Helen tracks down Candyman, who tells her to surrender to him to ensure the baby's safety.

Offering Helen immortality, Candyman opens his coat to reveal a ribcage wreathed in bees and kisses her. After Candyman vanishes with Anthony, Helen finds a mural of Candyman alongside his lover, who bears a striking resemblance to Helen. This and a message left by Candyman imply that Helen's a reincarnation of said lover. Candyman promises to release Anthony if Helen helps him incite fear among Cabrini-Green's residents. However, in order to feed his own legend, Candyman reneges and attempts to immolate them all in a bonfire when it is lit by the residents.

Helen manages to save Anthony while Candyman is destroyed in the fire, but Helen ultimately succumbs to severe burns. The residents, including Anne-Marie and Jake, pay their respects at her funeral, with Jake tossing Candyman's hook into her grave. Afterwards, Trevor faces his bathroom mirror and says Helen's name five times in grief. As a result, Helen's vengeful spirit is summoned and kills Trevor with Candyman's hook, leaving his body to be found by Stacey. In Candyman's former lair, a new mural of Helen with her hair ablaze is seen, showing she has now entered folklore. Although Barker's short story is set in his native Liverpool , Rose decided "that the film would be much better done in the U.

The change of setting necessitated a change to certain elements for the film. According to journalist Steve Bogira, one source of inspiration may have been a pair of articles he wrote for the Chicago Reader in and about the murder of Ruthie Mae McCoy, a resident of Chicago's Abbot Homes housing project. Eddie Murphy was the original choice for the role of Candyman, but the filmmakers could not afford him.

And I've always wanted to find my own personal Phantom of the Opera. Virginia Madsen was friends with director Bernard Rose and his then-wife, Alexandra Pigg , and Madsen was originally to play to role of Helen's friend Bernie while Pigg was to play Helen.


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  4. There was some controversy that the film was depicting racism and racial stereotypes. According to Rose, "I had to go and have a whole set of meetings with the NAACP , because the producers were so worried, and what they said to me when they'd read the script was 'Why are we even having this meeting? You know, this is just good fun. Why shouldn't a black actor play Freddy Krueger or Hannibal Lector? If you're saying that they can't be, it's really perverse. This is a horror movie. I don't think Spike Lee will like this film.

    The film's score was composed by Philip Glass. According to Glass, "It has become a classic, so I still make money from that score, get checks every year. Candyman had its world premiere at the Toronto Festival of Festivals , playing as part of its Midnight Madness line-up. The film was again released again in Australia from Shock Records via their 'Cinema Cult' subsidiary with the only addition being a slipcover. The set will contain a newly remastered 2K restoration from a new 4K scan, as well as a number of new special features including commentaries and featurettes.

    It was announced on July 27, , that the film will be released by Arrow Films in the United Kingdom in a "Limited Edition" Blu-ray set with will include the same scan and special features as the U. The set will also include a collector's booklet, 6 lobby cards, a reversible poster, and reversible cover artwork. The set will be available from October 29, The site's critical consensus reads: What I liked was a horror movie that was scaring me with ideas and gore, instead of simply with gore.

    The film came in at number 75 on Bravo 's Scariest Movie Moments. The film appears in two sections of Filmsite. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.