Weekend Reader Appreciation | Sound off!

Alex suggested that I ask the readers a question each weekend. He felt it could become quite popular. I love the idea, because I value every one of you and I want to learn more about you. I will post questions for readers each Friday. Feel free to post answers in the comments or on your blog. I will start this weekend by asking you two questions:

1. I love to read. It is my biggest obstacle to writing more. When I have some free time, I have a hard time deciding whether to read or write and usually end up reading. Right now I am reading Hell Angels – A Strange and Terrible Saga by Hunter S. Thompson and Dancing Barefoot by Wil Wheaton. What are you reading right now and what are your thoughts about the book and its author? Do you recommend it?

2. What do you think of the weekend reader appreciation idea? Any further suggestions?

16 thoughts on “Weekend Reader Appreciation | Sound off!”

  1. I like the idea, Steve. I’m currently reading Human Anatomy and Physiology, 7th Edition by Marieb and Hoehn, but that’s because I’m preparing for classes that I’m taking this fall as part of an RN program that I’m enrolled in. With an almost-2-year-old, a 2-month-old, and the internet; I wish I had more time to read more.

    I didn’t know Wil Wheaton was a writer; I hope you’ll give us a brief review of the book. He was pretty decent on TNG among a cast of greats. I also remember him on a very good episode of The Outer Limits.

  2. 1. I’m currently reading The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach by Howard Gardner.

    I’m not too far into it yet, but the basic premise is that there are three types of learners – intuitive (infants/toddlers), scholastic (rote learning) and disciplinary (people with true understanding of a subject) – and large gaps exist between them all. While our ultimate goal should be the disciplinary learner, our school system raises and rewards the scholastic learner. Most of the concepts probably align well with your readership, so they’d probably enjoy it.

    2. I think asking questions is a great way to get your readers involved.

  3. Steve,

    1. I am currently reading a blog for people persuing freedom 🙂 Before that I was reading (listening to) “The Success Principles” by Jack Canfield (for the third time, at least). It is great to keep reminding myself of these universal themes that everyone can use.

    2. We love to answer questions about ourselves, this is an awesome idea! Way to go Alex!!

  4. I’m a new fan here.

    I am reading 2 books, both in order to review. One for personal reasons, one because I’ve been asked by the publisher.

    Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by by David Johnson & Jeff VanVonderen. This is a great book for anyone who has felt the heavy hand of religion snuff the spirit of God right out of them.

    Everything Must Change by Brian McLaren. Just getting into this one, and this is one I am reading for the publisher. I am finding it a fascinating read. I would recommend ANYTHING by B. McLaren.

    I like the idea of you asking your readers questions!

  5. Ooooooooooo, books! Always a favorite topic of mine.

    Well as with you, I have two (among dozens) on the table. I am reading the diet book “The Shangri-La Diet” by Seth Roberts which has in the course of two days has absolutely transformed my life. Seriously. I started a quickie blog about it here if you don’t believe me:

    But the fun stuff is that I am starting, from the begining, the entire Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian, also known as the “Master and Commander” series (due to the movie with Russell Crowe). I have read all 20 books at least once, and I can’t wait to dive back in. What incredible writing! What delightful characters! What amazing stories! If there is ONE 20th century writer (other than Hemingway) who will be read 200 years from now, Patrick O’Brian is it. His books are not only great literature, they are fantastic tales of adventure. If you grew up with Robert Louis Stevenson and Jack London (as I did) then you MUST read Patrick O’Brian!

    And oh yes, I like “ask a question” idea a lot! Enjoy reading everyone’s comments.


  6. @ Joy: Will definitely have to check out that first book on your list.

    1. I read so many books it is insane. I often choose to read rather than sleep. The best book I’ve read this summer is by Sen. Byron Dorgan. I wish everyone would read this book. If we don’t listen to this wake-up call, eventually we will all be working at our Walmart jobs wondering why our degrees are worthless and our currency devalued.

    I just finished reading A Spot of Bother, written by Mark Haddon, the same dude who wrote The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Any author who can get inside people’s heads this insightfully has my respect. It is one of those books where you keep flipping to the back, trying to determine which of the characters the author himself is, because no way could he have made them up–they’re just tooo good. But then you realize that, yes, somehow he does indeed have that degree of insight. So, yeah, I recommend that one too.

    I could write a hundred thousand words on books I recommend, so I’ll stop here instead.

    Yes, I think this is a great idea.

  7. LOL, I’m not ashamed to say I’m reading the Harry Potter series… again! After being online all day and into the night I enjoy entertainment. And no I’m not a teenager… not by a long shot 🙂

    Actually I have a Sylvia Browne series a friend of mine highly recommended, but I haven’t quite found myself “in the mood” yet to tackle them.

    I love your book reading idea, but I guess I need to pull out a few “brainier” volumes lol!

  8. hi Steve, I’m new here too, but really love this idea! It’s a great way of getting to know other people, but also of learning about (in this case) great other new books!
    One other blog that is doing these weekly questions (A nice place in the sun) this week asked for ‘favorite opening lines’, which was really inspiring too!

    As for my books, I have this really annoying habit of reading multiple books at the same time; depending on my state of mind.. At this moment I’m reading the really inspiring books:
    – Nelson Mandela: No easy walk to freedom
    – a book on Mindfulness
    – and from my favorite writer Paulo Coelho: the witch of Portobello. Coelho has (to me in any case) a brilliant writing style that combines inspiration with making you think. Which is the best a book can do.. Some of his books are a bit too spiritual, but most are really incredibly good!

  9. 1: Right now I’m not one of the people who reads any printed literature. I can’t recommend anything.

    2: I think it’s a good idea. It’ll help you learn much more about what kind of people read the things you write.

  10. It’s seem like a lot of good books recommendation in this posts. I thought that I love and read a lot of books but it’s nothing compare to you guys:) My scope of reading is just too narrow at this time, and also need to work on my writing:) This post really inspire me to try to check out those “out of my scope” books. Start to like it here.

  11. 1. I’ve just finished reading two books by Chip Ward, whom I’d never heard of until I read an article he wrote on TomDispatch.com I enjoyed his writing so much I ordered a couple of books by him: Canaries on the Rim, and Hope’s Horizon. Chip Ward is a librarian who lives in Utah, and soon after moving there became involved in environmental activism. How and why is told is “Canaries on the Rim”, a rather rambling book that tested my patience at times but that contained enough gems for me to continue and feel it was worth holding on to (rather than sending back to Amazon for a refund). It’s at once a very depressing and also a hopeful book, describing absolutely horrendous criminal negligence in environmental health in Utah and across the country, while also depicting both extraordinary and ordinary people doing remarkable things in the face of quite depressing odds. If you appreciate Steve’s blog entries of the “scales falling from my eyes” type (e.g. his story about how he changed his mind about mandatory sentencing for drug offences), then you might appreciate (“enjoy” is not the word) this book.

    Hope’s Horizons is the more recent book (2004) and focusses on 3 environmental issues: conservation biology, dams in general and the Glen Canyon Dam in particular; nuclear weapons and nuclear power in general and the nuclear and hazardous waste industry in Utah in particular. Personally, I didn’t find much of hope in this book, tho again it does quite a good job of documenting the struggles and the people who make them. Chip Ward is a kind of Studs Terkel of the (Utah) environmental movement.

    The big lessons I took away from these books are:
    1) things are much, much worse in the US than I had thought, principally at the level of democratic government – basically, there isn’t any; the big decisions that affect people most deeply have already been made and the control has been handed over to private, unaccountable, corporations by government (the “representatives” of the people) on a silver platter;

    2) despite the consistent, long-term, ongoing and accelerating sidelining of citizens in their own communities, there are ways for ordinary folks to fight back but it takes guts, organization, networking, communication and a willingness to question authority (in “Canaries on the Rim”, Ward tells the story of his own growth from someone who believed in the essential reasonableness and humanity of those in government and authority to someone who believed in his own senses and trusted his own intuitions and knowledge).

    3) the environmental issues are not just environmental issues, they are bound up with economic and financial and democratic issues, and to fight to protect the environment involves an understanding of how all these things are tied together (hint: follow the money); indeed they are bound up with people’s belief systems and ways of life, in other words, people are complicit in their own destruction, they actually want the very things that are causing them, and will continue to cause them increasing, harm, believing that there is no other choice or that the harm is nonexistent or exaggerated.

    I personally found some gems of information on how to organize and fight against corrupt government and anonymous, secretive, private corporations; I found Ward’s preference for story-telling over straightforward facts rather annoying, but in that regard both books get “better” as they go along.

    2) Great idea! Thanks for the opportunity.

  12. Just finished Pour your heart into by Howard Schultz – a bit rambling, but a very interesting story.

    Also reading The 80/20 principle by Koch – slow going, but big ideas.

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