Profile

penlessej: (Default)
PenlessEJ

October 2017

S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031    

Most Popular Tags

Bathroom Book

Michel Foucault, On The Government of the Living: Lectures at the College de France 1979-1980 and Oedipal Knowledge - Michel Senellart (editor)

Periodical

Foreign Affairs September/October 2017 - Trump and the Allies: The View from Abroad

Evening Read

The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors: Canada at 150 - David E. Smith

Still plugging away at the Smith book. I will have a review up shortly once I am all done on my Parliament.Blog site. Also, I picked up the Foucault book at the local library. I am not fond of Foucault and I place him on the top of a group of people who propagate a broken philosophy, but know thy enemy and all of that jazz. Plus it is interesting and takes my mind away from real life things.
Tags:
Bathroom Book

Building the Canadian Nation - George W. Brown

The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors: Canada at 150 - David E. Smith

Periodical

Foreign Affairs September/October 2017 - Trump and the Allies: The View from Abroad

Evening Read

The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors: Canada at 150 - David E. Smith

Smith's latest book came in the mail via Amazon this week so it has taken up most of my reading time. The book is very heavy subject wise and makes me wish that I had a vast library of political science and constitutional law books to follow-up on the citations.
Tags:
 

I came home from work today with an Amazon delivery at my door. There were two items actually, one is a birthday present for Meganne (which immediately triggered the "oh my gawd, what I am going to do about her birthday in two days" fear, more on that later) and the second was a book that I totally forgot that I had ordered. The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors: Canada At 150 by David E. Smith. This will be the third book of Smith's that I own, each one (and I am sure that this one will be no exception) has earned a special place on my bookshelf; no one writes about the Canadian parliament like Professor Smith!

I just finished the forward and had to share the last paragraphs in it because I think it is a beautiful way to open a book on the Canadian constitution:

In April 1660, as he was about to depart France, where for nearly a decade he had sought refuge during the Interregnum, Charles II proclaimed his faith in parliamentary government. A wise commitment in light of past events, the king's pronouncement signalled more than self-interest, for it acknowledged the central importance of the Crown and Parliament-- even more, the Crown-in-Parliament-- to the future governing of the United Kingdom and, as was to transpire, the settler colonies, including Canada. "We do assure you ... that none of our predecessors have had a greater esteem of parliaments than we have ... we do believe them to be so vital a part of the constitution of the kingdom and so necessary for the government of it that we ever know neither prince nor people can be in any tolerable degree happy without them."

Echoing that royal testament, I have dedicated this book to senators and members of Parliament, upon whose support and service the people of Canada depend in the era of politics now unfolding.
Bathroom Book

Building the Canadian Nation - George W. Brown

Periodical

Foreign Affairs July/August 2017 - What Now? Trump's Next Steps

Evening Read

Nothing significant to report.

Reading generally has taken a back seat to self loathing and research about my new disease. So there is that. I am on the hunt for a good non-fiction book however, so suggestions are welcome. Building the Canadian Nation is a great little book. It is hailed as the first national history textbook in Canada and was widely used from mid 1950s to early 1970s in Canadian schools. Each chapter has a long list of further reading that has generated a whole new list of historical books and sources for me to track down and read. In particular I am looking for Readings in Canadian History by George W. Brown which is supposed to be read alongside the textbook I currently have, if anyone has any leads (unlikely), I have chocolate!
Tags:
Bathroom Book

Death of the Liberal Class - Chris Hedges

Periodical

The Economist: Trumponomics What it is, and why its dangerous (May 13th - 19th, 2017)
The Economist 1843: Teaching robots right from wrong (June & July 2017)

Evening Read

Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to Globalization of Democracy - Francis Fukuyama

Death of the Liberal Class by Peter Hedges has moved from being my evening read to my bathroom read. It is a quick book that I have already picked up the theme from in the opening introduction. Sadly, I am reading it now just to finish it and make sure that I do not miss any points. The Economist is on my hit list this week for the periodical. I should mention that I hold subsciptions for four periodicals that I read on a regular basis: The Economist, Foreign Affairs, Maclean's and Lapham's Quarterly. You will see issues of particular note rotate weekly through this post. If robotics is an interest of yours, I recommend tracking down the most recent issue of The Economist 1843 magazine. Trump continues to dominate my periodicals. And lastly, I am re-reading Political Order and Political Decay by my favourite social scientist Francis Fukyama. This is just because I love reading this stuff and maybe I am feeling a little more decay these days among our political institutions.
Tags:
Bathroom Book

Nil (what's wrong with me, oh yeah hernia makes reading in the heads too painful to read concurrently)

Periodical


Foriegn Affairs May/June 2017 - Present at the Destruction

Evening Read


Death of the Liberal Class - Chris Hedges

I finished Through the Eye of a Needle by Peter Brown while nursing a hangover on Saturday. It was okay. It would have been better had I not been exposed to the wonderful historical writings of Mary Beard, but then I also would have not understood most of what is assumed to be known by Brown in his book. I found it to be your typical historical book, dry with puncutations of interesting events that get drawn out too far for too long. Beard on the other hand was a refreshing read and that I think is what makes her popular with the masses. Also, still working on the most recent issue of FA, very interesting reads on the Trump administration and the future of the US as the leader of the liberal order on the international stage. Again, if this stuff interests/concerns you I suggest you find a copy for yourself.

Unrelated information: I did not post a Fitbit update today because I was too busy Sunday evening to download the information. Next week I will provide double information. But to be honest, I am debating dropping that particular weekly post.

Now tell me, what is the largest book you have ever read and how long did it take you to get through it?
Tags:

What I'm Reading Wednesday II

Wednesday, 3 May 2017 10:20 am
penlessej: (Books)
Bathroom Book

Canada's National Security in the Post-9/11 World: Strategy, Interests and Threats - David S. McDonough (editor)

Periodical

Foriegn Affairs May/June 2017 - Present at the Destruction

Evening Read

Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome and the Making of Christianity in the West, 230 - 550 AD - Peter Brown

McDonough's book is good. It is a collection of essays from various subject matter experts on Canada's national security. I enjoy it as a bathroom book because I can usually get in an essay with each major visit. Still working through Brown's book, I am not advancing through this as quickly as I would like to because of work, but such is life. And if this whole Trump as President thing is still terrifying to you, I suggest you go out and purchase the current edition of Foreign Affairs because so far the articles on the topic (note the headline article, fitting if you as me) are on point and very informative.
Tags:
I figured that I will join the bandwagon and start a regular post each week with what I am reading (warning, I have a very broad taste in books, and I usually have more than one on the go at any time.) I tend to read certain books at certain periods in my day (hence the breakdown in this post).

Bathroom Book
(yes, the book I keep in the washroom and read through as I do my business)

Wisdom of the Popes: A collection of statements by the Popes since Peter on a Variety of Social and Religious Issues - Thomas J. Craughwell (editor)

Periodical

Lapham's Quarterly Volume X, Number 2 (Spring 2017) "Discovery"

Evening Read

Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome and the Making of Christianity in the West, 230 - 550 AD - Peter Brown

This is my second go at finishing Peter Brown's book. I started reading it last summer after some strong reviews here on DW but was side tracked when I realized that I was not up on my Roman history enough to fully appreciate what I was reading. A friend here recommended SPQR by Mary Beard to catch up, and I ended up eating that whole book up in the span of a week at sea. I honestly completely forgot about picking the Brown book back up, but alas I have it now and I am working through it.

Lapham's Quarterly, if you are not already aware of the publication, is an amazing periodical that is published four times each year. The periodical itself has a theme for each publication that is simple and yet extremely complex. For Spring 2017 the theme is Discovery. The magazine (it really is more like a book), is full of historical stories, biographies, letters, extracts from historical writings, etc that are all curated by the good people at Lapham's around the particular theme. In this issue, I was particularly moved by a piece written by Galileo Galilei about reaching for the stars.

Tags: