Friday, August 7, 2020

Summer reading

I decided not to take any summer classes because my brain just needed a break.  I finally had some time to catch up on my recreational reading!  Fair warning, I'm a nerd and consider non-fiction recreational.  Here are a few of the books/audiobooks I've enjoyed over the past few months.  Have a book you've really enjoyed recently?  Leave a comment and let us know!

  • Verbal judo: The gentle art of persuasion by George J. Thompson, PhD.  The first few chapters read like a typical business book, continually reiterating why verbal judo is such a great thing and how it was going to change my life.  Okay, I'm already reading the book, you don't have to convince me why I should.  Once I got past that, I enjoyed it.  Very timely read, and it emphasizes the importance of empathy.

  • Seductive poison: a Jonestown survivor's story of life and death in the People's Temple by Deborah Layton.  Maybe it's a little dark for summer reading, but it was a great book.  Layton's first-hand account makes it easier to understand how Jones was able to manipulate his followers.

  • Voodoo vintners: Oregon's astonishing biodynamic wine growers by Katherine Cole.  I first learned about biodynamic farming from a wine class I took in the Before Times.  It sounded like something our teacher had just made up.  Nope.  It's real, and this book is all about the Oregon winemakers using this kind of agriculture.

  • Smoke gets in your eyes and other lessons from the crematory by Caitlyn Doughty.  What can I say, I've always been a little morbid.  We're all going to die eventually, and for me, learning what happens afterwards (at least to our physical form) is reassuring.

  • A god in ruins by Kate Atkinson.  I had a bit of a hard time getting into this one, but I was glad I stuck with it.  Only later I realized it was a "companion" to her earlier novel Life after lifeSo maybe read that one first, and you'll be less confused.

  • Debunk it!  How to stay sane in a world of misinformation.  Fake news edition by John Grant.  Misinformation is EVERYWHERE.  This book helps you learn how to better identify it (and communicate with those who are being fooled by it).  It did indeed help me feel a little saner after spending too much time reading current news.
Here are some further suggestions from the New Yorker.

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