Saturday, February 7, 2009

Best Seller



I'm slogging my way through Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. Did anyone else find it slow going?

He makes some interesting points, to be sure, so it's worth the slogging. True, too, is that I believe this and other social history phenomena books (like fairytales) reflect the unconscious group mind of society and culture. According to the cosmology of Reya, it's important to know what's happening just beneath the surface of the society I live within. And so I slog onwards.

Maybe what I'm struggling with in the case of this book is academic writing style. Though I also watched the National Geographic documentary based on the book, and found it just as turgid.

It's going to be lovely in DC today, a perfect excuse to put the book down, oh yeah!

27 comments:

Lynne said...

Love the second pic. It could be a painting! I am hoping for some warmth today too. Right now tho it's still very cold out ... 10 degrees F!

Take that Gold Puppy for a walk!

Coffee Messiah said...

The shadow looks like a door ; )

Warmer here too and snow finally melting some ; )

Auntie, aka cagny said...

Hello Golden Pup,
Thank you for visiting Auntie today. I feel very honored to see you on my Follow List.
This week I endeavor to post a very funny story about reflections on car windows. I've been meaning to do it, but I suffer from NET and TMI (Not Enough Time and Too Much Information).

So you have been to southern India too? I went there for the sole purpose of seeing the brightly-colored sculptures. I was not disappointed.
Bye for now.
I hear my BF's grandson waking up and quickly approaching my door...

tut-tut said...

That book sits on a table here. I haven't attempted it. Lately, I can read only very light fiction or travel books.

Adrianne said...

I think *you* should write a book called "The Cosmology of Reya." I would be the first to buy it! (: )

That second picture is so very gorgeous. Where did you take it?

Last but not least, for some reason I love the word turgid -- always have -- and was pleased to see someone use it.

Reya Mellicker said...

I love the word "turgid" too. So rarely do I remember to use it!

The second pic ... ummmm ... somewhere on the Hill, maybe 10th Street just south of E. Capitol? Gosh, I don't remember. Thanks though!

e said...

Good Morning Reya, I hope you and Jake enjoy beautiful weather. I also like the second photo and almost never think about the word turgid. Based on my attempted reading of that book, turgid is an apt description...

Joanne said...

It sounds like maybe the type of book you pick up and read in bits and pieces? Love the reflection photo, enjoy your day.

Gary said...

Seems like you need to step away from the book and enjoy a little outside stimulation instead. For me the day will be spent inside writing one of those hard to get into academic pieces. At least that is the plan, we'll see how that pans out.

Janelle said...

yeah the second pic is so lovely and white and snowy with a hint of spring because of the sunshine...never heard of that book. its hard when you start a book and then it proves to be a slog...have been cursed with a bizarre catholic urge to press onto the end though instead of just starting something more inspirational...trying to work on this....humph. good luck! xxx lots love janelle

Meri Arnett-Kremian said...

Haven't read the book, love the word turgid, not sure I have the fortitude to read the book after your comments. But then I have about twenty new books in line before I have to choose again.

Ronda Laveen said...

Go. Play in the sunshine. Smile and walk with the puppy. Celebrate El Sol. We are celebrating rain, FINALLY, on the left coast. We have wonderful warmth for a month now but our lakes are drying, our tress and plants are prematurely budding and The Mother will soon take them all with her Deep Freeze.

Carolyn said...

The second photo is a piece of art.
Carpe diem!
Smiles

fush and chips said...

Guns, Germs, and Steel was a hard slog for me too.

Try The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, by Paul Kennedy.

runmotman said...

i commend you for slogging through, but hope you take time to revel in more enjoyable , and less effortable , endeavors . Also grand weather in the Midwest ; it is a daily joy to read your words and see your photo-art !

ArtSparker said...

I like that second photo, which seems to reflect the post, on the left we have the constrained right-angled dead wood, and on the right the vine which is curving off on its own adventures.

willow said...

I totally agree with Adrianne. You should write a book!

It's a slushy old day here. Everything's melting.

Delwyn said...

I think its the ladder the prince placed there for Rapunzel after the witch cut her hair...

Steve Ballmer said...

I like your blog!
Keep it up!

Merle Sneed said...

You have a wonderful eye, my friend.

Mrsupole said...

Your pictures are so extrordinary! Your eyes see things in a way that we the average person would not even notice. We are blessed that you share!

I have a stack of books that I started and just somehow never finished, so you are a brave soul to slug on and finish. I obviously have not been able to do that with these books. Oh well, maybe someday, well probably not.

Two days of rain here in California and all we can do is pray for more. Raindrops refilling our lakes and watering our crops, a great thing for the country. Water, the source of life.

Take care and God Bless.

sciencegirl said...

Guns Germs and Steel was sometimes a slog. In his later books Diamond does have an increasing tendency to hammer points too hard and too often. Perhaps his students just weren't getting it, and repetition seemed to be the answer.
I do think the core ideas are very worth discussing, though, and hope that the overly academic style will not put off general readers for his next book.

Wonderful photography! I wish I could do that!

Peggy said...

Killer reflection. Just love it! It's been beautiful here. Put the book down (sounds like it needs to be consumed in small bites anyway!) and go for a walk. :)

mouse (aka kimy) said...

despite all the recommendations g,g, and s I have yet to tackle the book... now with reading your experience I don't think it will be moving up the list anytime soon. I like my non-fiction reading to fly by - like tom standage book a history of the world in 6 glasses or just about any book by mark kurlansky ....

Karen said...

Coming out of lurkage to recommend a book: LeAnne Howe's The Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story. It's fiction (a perfect novel, in my opinion), but it has a glimmering hint of an alternate world view in it (vis-a-vis native vs. Anglo/Euro) that I'm reaching towards more every day...

Enjoy!
Karen P. in Ohio

Alissa said...

Ah, yes! I read that book (GG&S I mean) and I 100% agree, it took me forever and I was very interested and it was good but I just couldn't stay in the flow of reading it for very long at a time. Also, the author does a lot of previewing and summarizing, which caused me to glaze over at a few points. Anyway, if you're a fan of reading (and really, who isn't?) you should check out my sister's blog abookaday09.blogspot.com She is reading a book a day every day in 2009. I actually found your blog through a follower of her blog if that makes any sense! Anyway, I enjoyed the post and I'm happy I wasn't the only one who took awhile to finish that book!

Barbara Martin said...

Love the building in the top photo; with its angles and squares.