What's on John's Kindle?

A few years ago I made a New Year's Resolution to only buy a new book after I had finished the current book sitting on my nightstand. I had gradually accumulated a couple dozen books each of which I had read some portion. Occasionally the book pile would spill over and it was generally a cluttery mess. Hence the resolution. And I've been able to maintain that resolution thanks to Amazon's Kindle. That is, there is just the one, nice, clean Kindle on my nightstand. Never mind the even more dozens of books and magazines residing in its tidy memory. Below is an assortment of books in progress, books read, books I want to read, and a smattering of reviews. Enjoy!

The Political Brain, by Drew Westen

Drew Westen's book The Political Brain is a few years old now. It was written before Barack Obama won his first presidential election. But this book is a current and relevant as ever. Those wondering why the gun debate is going the way it is going MUST read this book. Westen, a liberal, pulls no punches describing the Democrats failure to control emotionally charged issue debates. Abortion, Guns, Death and Taxes, and so on. In a nutshell, Westen provides valuable insight into recent research on the brain, how we react to information, and then make decisions. Turns out, we mostly make our decisions on emotions, not facts and data. Democrats have tended to rely on research and facts and data to win the argument. But the reality is that these have little affect in swaying opinions. So, in fact, if Democrats want to use contemporary research, then the contemporary research says to use emotions, not research!

In the Absence of God, Dwelling in the Presence of the Sacred, by Sam Keen

In July of 2012 I had the distinct pleasure of attending a workshop led by Sam Keen at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. The workshop was about creating and envisioning our individual futures through the development of our life story. Our mythology. It was a wonderful experience. And since I had just read his book, In the Absense of God, Dwelling in the Presence of the Sacred, even more so. Keen's book is timely as many are searching for their own god or are seeking something in exchange for a god which they've given up on. Rather than the angry, no-holds-barred atheism like some, Keen offers another option. One that still has awe and mystery and grandeur, and one that comes with responsibilities and ethics. 

Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe, by Robert Lanza with Bob Berman

 If you want to completely confuse yourself about the nature of reality and consciousness, read this book! And I mean that in a good way. Weaving together strands from quantum physics, psychology, and philosophy, Biocentrism, whether you buy into the premise or not, is a fun read. Author Lanza weaves a compelling narrative pulling from personal experiences growing up, takes us through logic and philosophical musings, and provides nearly understandable descriptions of quantum physics. I say "nearly" because no one really understands it.


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