March 30, 2013
Tonight, I finished reading Thomas King’s The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America (Kindle edition, on my phone).
I strongly recommend it. King is primarily a fiction writer and a humorist and he brings that sensibility to this very serious nonfiction topic. Not everyone could make that work but I think he does it.
I’ve started reading The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris. I’m still in the first section (I’m using it as bedtime reading), in which he lays out what it is that he’s going to talk about, but I’m inclined to like it so far. I don’t know. Maybe the amount of negative reaction I’ve heard about inclines me to be biased in favour of the book. I’m a bit perverse that way.
Harris has written a response to his many critics but I’m going to wait to read that until I’ve finished reading the book and have discussed it with a few friends.
I like to read before going to bed. It usually relaxes me and gets me ready to sleep. This doesn’t work well, of course, if the book is either too interesting or not interesting enough. If the book is too interesting, I’m going to find it difficult to put it away for the sake of something so seemingly wasteful as sleep. If the book is not interesting enough, I’ll be annoyed at the author and publisher for putting out such boring drivel and at myself for selecting it. Either way, sleep is going to be difficult.
The last couple of nights, I’ve been reading The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. After spending a little more than half the book presenting a sketch of the history of human knowledge about the universe, from ancient times to the present, they get into the question of the origin of it all.
I’m finding it highly readable and, as you may have guessed from the title of this post, not very good for making me sleepy. As I write this, I’ve been up all night and I blame you, Professor Hawking!
My recommendation is that you do read it but perhaps not when you’re hoping to nod off quickly.