Thursday, April 10, 2008

Book List

Here are some of the books that I have just finished reading:

1. The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant.

I bought this paper back brand new. I removed the price tag because I don’t want my wife to see how much it costs. I feel guilty buying brand new books because a brand new paperback here is equivalent to almost fifteen kilos of rice, enough rice for us for two weeks but the book is worth it.

Dr. Durant described Kant as, “…like and unlike Jehovah. He speaks through clouds, but without the illumination of the lightning flash.” I have tried reading Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” and after a few pages I gave up. I was confused, discouraged and sick (all those abstract words!). But after reading that Kant’s friend, Herz, a man versed in speculation according to Dr. Durant, returned the book half read saying he feared insanity if he went on with it I am challenged to reread it again, maybe for…hmm…fun or torture.” Maybe next year I will reread the book again, or next decade...he,he,he…

I love Nietzsche for his honesty and bravery and Dr. Durant has this to say about him: “Nietzsche has been refuted by every aspirant to respectability; and yet he stands as a milestone in modern thought and a mountain peak in German prose…He spoke with bitterness, but with valuable sincerity; and his thoughts went through the clouds and cobwebs of the modern man like cleansing lightning and a rushing wind. The air of European philosophy is clearer and fresher now because Nietzsche wrote.”

Rating: Very Good!

2. Battlestar Galactica by Glen A. Larson and Robert Thurston

I am an avid Sci-fi fan Hmmmm…Battlestar Glactica was one of all my time TV sci-fi favorites. I was ten years old when the series was first shown in the Philippines. The special effects were outstanding. This was where I first saw Dirk Benedict, a matinee idol then. Then I saw him again on the series A-Team. But after A-Team, Dirk “the Face” disappeared on Philippine Television. I don’t know what happened to him.

I dreamed of owning a model of the battlestar after my father brought home an AAFE (US Army-Airforce Catalog) catalog showing models of Galactica, Enterprise, Eagle (from Space 1999) and other spacecraft from classic sci-fi series.

It was fun reading the book version of the TV series.

Rating: Fun!

3. Walden and Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

I love the outdoors. I was a former boy scout patrol leader during my grade school and high school days. But going on outdoor activities and reading other people’s outdoor activities are very, very different things. Walden is a bore with a super duper capital letter “B.” I bought the book because I have read a lot of good things about it. I started reading it about a couple of months ago and to tell the truth I didn’t finish Walden but I did finish reading “On Civil Disobedience.”

It’s a classic and sometimes one has to read a classic for stock knowledge (definitely not stimulation for the classics are, in reality, soporific literatures).

Reading this classic is like riding in a classic car. Upon riding a classic car one expects to feel the atmosphere of the era of the car, but sooner disappointed to find out that the car has poor suspension, no air-conditioning, the space cramped and the engine noisy…so instead of enjoying the trip the passenger develops calluses on his butt.

Rating: Call me a caveman but this book is “Booooriiiiiiiinnngggggggg!!!

4. The Elements of Preaching by Wiersbe and Wiersbe.

This little book is patterned after Strunk and White’s “Element of Style” and it’s a very good guide for lay preachers. But…hmmm…. Anyway, the book is like those books I hated, grammar books, lots of rules and suggestions etc. Reading it feels like my hand was being tied behind my back. The book is an old book from my brother's book shelf.

Rating: Hmmmmm….Good.

I have a lot of catching up to do with my reading.

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