Personal Reading Recommendations
I spend more a than fair amount of time reading. With a wide range of interests
I tried to break out my reading lists between business development and personal interests. This is the latter.
Fiction is a broad category and my favorites are as eclectic just as one would expect.
From old plays to modern science fiction and thrillers, there are a lot of great
works that I have enjoyed.
- Cyrano de Bergerac can be found on the Project Gutenberg but you can find
better translations in the commercial publications. My favorite play for some of
the steep irony and poetic play involved. The irony of an "ugly man" in love with
a beautiful woman - wanting to be loved for his wit, but driven by her beauty. But
it gives a stage for asking for the nature of beauty and the value of valor and
character. Famous for the balcony scene which is repeated in every thing from the
Steve Martin movie "Roxanne" to a "The Brady Bunch" episode, I found more powerful
the opening play scene and the "20 Something betters" and the closing garden scene.
- Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton resides on the opposite end of the spectrum
of fiction I have enjoyed. I recommend this book not because of the fair movie
adaption, but for the meticulous detail the author gives to his fiction. Debate
sparked as to how plausible the fiction could be. This is not necessary to
make a great fiction read, but for me it gives the story credibility. Rather
than slapping together a cute story with some contrived dinosaur connection, Crichton
constructs a reality carefully around near science. He is masterful in building
enough details to not strain credibility. In some ways, there is enough real
information spark further interest in the science.
- Biblical Archaeology Review is a great
magazine for the bible scholar, the history buff, or just the curious. Some may
take offense as either too liberal on Bible history or too conservative. I will
leave this to the readers to decide, but I found it a very scholarly work and the
individual articles stand or fall on their own merits and the editors do a fair
job of balancing where it would be easy to offend.
Personally, I find it helpful to give context to the Bible to know the conditions
of people of that time. When Jesus healed the blind man in the pool - the discovery
of what may have been the actual pool is interesting. But the insight provided in
the explanations why the pool may (or may not) be the right one. Authors and subsequent
letters discuss the cultural aspects of the pool culture (who was there and why).