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Nominations for our Sept. & Oct. '04 book selection poll 
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Post Nominations for our Sept. & Oct. '04 book selection poll
This thread is for making nominations for our September & October 2004 book selection poll. Please, please, please include an explanation for why you think your suggestion would be ideal for a BookTalk selection. Do not just post a book title. By doing so you are expecting people to do research when you should have done it yourself.

You can simply copy and paste a description of the book from Amazon.com if you like. Do NOT just post a link to the book on Amazon.com. You don't have to type an essay as to why the book is so wonderful. Just do something to educate us on what the book is about. Please limit your suggestions to a handful at best. The more you tell us about the book the higher the probability we will be convinced it is ideal for a BookTalk selection. Thanks!

Chris O'Connor

"For Every Winner, There Are Dozens Of Losers. Odds Are You're One Of Them"

Edited by: Chris OConnor  at: 7/3/04 10:12 am



Sat Jul 03, 2004 8:51 am
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Post Re: Nominations for our Sept. & Oct. '04 book selection
As promised we'll be adding, What is Good? to the September & October 2004 book selection poll, due to the fact that it tied with Civilization and Its Enemies in the July & August 2004 book poll. To new members that weren't a part of the polling process last time, we had a tie between those two books, and one had to be selected.

Civilization and Its Enemies was chosen because What is Good? has yet to be released within the United States, where the vast majority of BookTalk members reside. We're hoping it will be released some time in the next few months.

Book nomination #1:

What Is Good? by A.C. Grayling

This book was suggested and reviewed by BookTalk.org member, PeterDF. And Peter - if you can get me the authors email address I'd greatly appreciate it. Send it to me via email please. Thanks. :)

Review by PeterDF of BookTalk.org...




Secular ethics is a subject that we don't often discuss in Booktalk, maybe this book will inspire us to explore it in more detail.

Anthony Grayling may not be known very well across "the pond". We first came across him at a recent literary festival near where we live. He writes a column in "The Times" in which he reviews books. He was a judge in this year's "Mann Booker Prize for Fiction" and he frequently appears on radio and television over here. He was a charming, witty, approachable and urbane speaker and very well informed about science and its recent impact on philosophical thought.

Here are a couple of quotes from the book:

Quote:

(some) "take it that the essence of religion is faith, and faith is a commitment made in direct opposition to reason, in the very teeth of the evidence. Such irrationalism has a purely emotional basis, which no doubt might prompt some to say that it therefore requires not argument but therapy."

Quote:

"One main opponent" (to enlightenment rationalism) " - as a matter of historical fact - the main opponent - is religion, which claims that revelation in any form from mystical experience to dictation of scriptures by a deity, conveys from outside the world of ordinary experience truths undiscoverable by human enquiry within it."

Quote:

"...if there is indeed conscious design in the universe, the most that its presence entails is a designer of designers; it tells us nothing about how many, who or what they were and certainly not that it or they fit the notions of a particular religious tradition. Moreover, since suffering and death, the preying of animal upon animal, natural disasters and plagues, deformities, pain and anguish seem to be part of the design, it is not as good as it might be, so if there were indeed a designer, it's clear it could have done with more practice..."


But this book is more than a polemic against religion - it is an exploration of humanistic thought and how it has developed in the three great enlightenments of Classical Greece, the renaissance and the more recent enlightenment in the 18th and 19th Century.

There are some fascinating revelations in this book. I found his description of stoicism as a powerful, intelligent, mature, thoughtful and insightful philosophy, informed as it was by the ancient wisdom of Socrates to be compelling. And I found the Christians' dismissal of it with one word - paganism - shocking.

Grayling's vocabulary is extensive and he uses it with considerable relish so you might want to keep a dictionary near when you read it. But don't be put off. I found this to be the most enjoyable book I have read for years.




Please post your nominations folks!

Chris O'Connor

"For Every Winner, There Are Dozens Of Losers. Odds Are You're One Of Them"




Sat Jul 03, 2004 10:24 am
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Post EO Wilson
The Future of Life

One of the world's most important scientists, Edward O. Wilson is also an abundantly talented writer who has twice won the Pulitzer Prize. In this, his most personal and timely book to date, he assesses the precarious state of our environment, examining the mass extinctions occurring in our time and the natural treasures we are about to lose forever. Yet, rather than eschewing doomsday prophesies, he spells out a specific plan to save our world while there is still time. His vision is a hopeful one, as economically sound as it is environmentally necessary. Eloquent, practical and wise, this book should be read and studied by anyone concerned with the fate of the natural world.

Edited by: Chris OConnor  at: 7/5/04 8:50 am



Sun Jul 04, 2004 10:05 pm
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Post Re: EO Wilson
Zach

Excellent choice! I've been wanting to read that one after it was suggested in our last book nomination thread. Actually, Richard Leakey's, "The Sixth Extinction," was the book suggested, if I recall, and I found this book by Larson to be a more updated version of a similar message.

Chris

"For Every Winner, There Are Dozens Of Losers. Odds Are You're One Of Them"




Mon Jul 05, 2004 8:52 am
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Post Thouless and Thouless, Straight and Crooked Thinking
I would like to re-nominate Thouless and Thouless, Straight and Crooked Thinking, , originally recommended by Tiarella. It is a very practical book about how to approach arguments, one's own as well as others', in a clearer and more concise manner. I think this book would make a wonderful substrate for all the other things we talk about.

Since I finished it I find myself using the ideas in this book almost continually, here on the board, in chat rooms, reading political statements and speeches, even sales proposals at work.

I'm one who loves to know things for the sake of knowing, but in this case I've found a book both intensely practical as well as interesting.


If you make yourself really small, you can externalize virtually everything. Daniel Dennett, 1984

Edited by: Jeremy1952  at: 7/13/04 7:50 am



Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:47 am
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Post DeBecker, "The Gift of Fear"
This is another practical, non-fiction, life altering book. It is my honest opinion that every single person should read this book.

DeBecker is a security expert with many scientific and practical credentials. What he has done is analyzed the place of intuition in our personal safety, not in some mystical/touchy-feeely way, but in terms of the evolution of an essential survival tool.

Not only does he give credible explanations for what intuition is and how it works, but also useful, practical suggestions on how to help your own intuion work better... sometimes with life and death consequences.


If you make yourself really small, you can externalize virtually everything. Daniel Dennett, 1984




Tue Jul 13, 2004 7:54 am
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Post Re: DeBecker, "The Gift of Fear"
Well I would really love to read What Is Good? by A.C. Grayling.

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Tue Jul 13, 2004 5:57 pm
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Post What is Good
Me too.... I think it's already got a slot on the poll.


If you make yourself really small, you can externalize virtually everything. Daniel Dennett, 1984




Tue Jul 13, 2004 9:07 pm
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Post Re: What is Good
Quote:
Me too.... I think it's already got a slot on the poll.


Note to self: Actually read threads.
;)

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Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:57 pm
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Post Re: What is Good
Peter

Any info on the release date of What is Good? in the US?

Chris

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Sun Jul 25, 2004 5:32 pm
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Post Re: What is Good
Why does it matter? A deep and prevading distrust of the Royal Post?


If you make yourself really small, you can externalize virtually everything. Daniel Dennett, 1984




Sun Jul 25, 2004 7:49 pm
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Post Re: Nominations for our Sept. & Oct. '04 book selection
Let's go w/ a rationalist classic...Atlas shrugged or Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

In Vino Veritas




Tue Aug 10, 2004 4:05 pm
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Post Re: Nominations for our Sept. & Oct. '04 book selection
I made it halfway through Atlas Shrugged and then moved on. It was interesting and perhaps i shall finish it one day.

Mr. P.

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Post Re: Nominations for our Sept. & Oct. '04 book selection
I hope u will...I don't think you have even reached john galt's speach

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Tue Aug 10, 2004 5:48 pm
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Post Re: Nominations for our Sept. & Oct. '04 book selection
No I have not...I think I left off with Reardon's (sp?) trial.

Mr. P.

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

I came to get down, I came to get down. So get out ya seat and jump around - House of Pain




Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:09 pm
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