All taken from here [soylentnews.org]. Conveniently, there were 8 suggestions, and a maximum of 8 options for a poll.
Snow Crash by Neal Stephensonhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_Crash [wikipedia.org]
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) (Bobiverse Book 1) by Dennis Taylorhttps://www.amazon.com/Are-Legion-Bob-Bobiverse-Book-ebook/dp/B01LWAESYQ [amazon.com]
Dawn (Xenogenesis #1 or Lilith's Brood #1) by Octavia Butlerhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilith%27s_Brood [wikipedia.org]
The Metropolitan Man by Alexander Waleshttps://www.fanfiction.net/s/10360716/1/The-Metropolitan-Man [fanfiction.net]
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahnemanhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thinking,_Fast_and_Slow [wikipedia.org]
Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardnerhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superforecasting [wikipedia.org]
(This is about the Good Judgment Project [wikipedia.org].)
Makers by Cory Doctorowhttps://craphound.com/makers/download/ [craphound.com]
(Free to download.)
Rip Foster in Ride the Gray Planet by Harold L. Goodwinhttp://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/18139 [gutenberg.org]
I participated in GJP for a while. Mainly 2-option questions are posed with a slider. You get lots of points for a correct answer made with strong confidence, less points for a correct answer made with low confidence/high uncertainty, less points lost for wrong answer made with low confidence/high uncertainty, and more points lost for a confident/certain wrong answer. The service tries to get you to consider your biases and confidence level, and you have to balance them.
There are a broad range of topics you can make predictions about, likely to include topics you know little about or topics on which your guess is as good as anybody's. They say GJP is more accurate than "experts", but that may be overstating the value of predictions (predicting the future correctly is still hard, who would have guessed). At the end of the day, you are probably relying primarily on the mainstream media to make your guesses. Theoretically, you could act as a one man (or multiple participant) intelligence agency, finding out shit, calling people, or whatever, to get an edge. bellingcat [bellingcat.com] comes to mind.
Read the Bobiverse at the beginning of this year on my Kindle. I was very good as well as quite funny and creative. I'd also recommend anyone check out Michael Anderle and friends. The joint Kutherian Universe they've put out is nothing short of fantastic.
Makers is a fictional story.
You could let us know which of the authors are politically correct, so we know which books we should read. We're supposed to figure this out for ourselves? What if I read a politically incorrect book, and it interferes with my enthusiasm at the next BLM rally? I should risk my membership in Antifa?
HELP US ARISTARCHUS!!!
As you know, we don't very much like our comrades to read. Reading is wasted time. But, if you must read, confine yourself to those volumes found on our recommended reading list.
Further - your "Aristarchus" is not an especially good Socialist. You put your good standing with the party in jeopardy by asking his advice.
I usually suggest starting out with Plato, perhaps his Timaeus is the closest to what you moderns call "sci-fi", but it is not on the list, so I can hardly do so.
Along the lines of "free interesting content" it might be interesting to seriously suggest a January book topic thats a classical book, or a non-recent book anyway.
Some decades ago, as a teenage boy, Timaeus might have been a hard sell; on the other hand The Anabasis kind of sold itself and was quite a page turner, I think I read the whole thing in about two sittings, couldn't put it down.
Plutarch's Parallel Lives in total is too much to ask for a month; Just the specific Alexander vs Caesar vs Trump (just kidding about the last... or am I?) would be realistic.
Herodotus is a weird mix of real scholarship and fake news (giant ants? come on...) so that would be cool, but again, would also be too large for a one month discussion.
VLM has read a book? I am impressed. Now if only he would give up the Nazi positions, to prove that the lessons of antiquity have not gone for naught. (BTW, giant ants are real in the desert of the Sind. They are called "camel spiders" by some.)
When the SN Book Club was announced I was finishing The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle. It is free and beautifully formatted [standardebooks.org] by Standard Ebooks [standardebooks.org].
I look forward to nominate it for the January club pick.
Print a hard copy of the blog of Michael David Crawford, drop the book in a toilet, and shit on it.
These are all interesting choices, based on what I see looking them up online and seeing both the good and the bad reviews without checking Amazon's site. I think I probably would enjoy any of them but I voted non-fiction this time, trying to break out of my usual reading pattern. I hope there is enough lead time to order whichever one is chosen without dealing with Amazon.
A New York Times Bestseller! Praise for Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again:
".......if the chattering class fears Trump’s recent surge in the polls, they will go into panic-filled paroxysms when they read Trump’s SMART and serious bestseller, Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again.
Among Trump’s MANY bestselling, anecdote-filled books, Time to Get Tough (originally published in 2011) stands out as his most penetrating, serious, and detailed enunciation of his political philosophy and policy views." Breitbart News.
"For the record, I did read Time to Get Tough and came away thinking he wrote it HIMSELF or dictated it. The Trump voice, in all its bravado, is unmistakable." Chicago Magazine.
"Blunt, straightforward, and HONEST, it’s all trademark Trump, setting out a common sense agenda to restore American prosperity and make our nation RESPECTED once again." Conservative Book Club.
"In my opinion, EVERYBODY interested in American politics should read this. Those on the left should read this so that they can better understand who they are up against, while those on the right can learn a lot more about what Trump really stands for. This book is educational to all, irrespective of your politics. It also makes you realize just how false the news media has been reporting on him." Peter W.
"He points out the whys and the hows of making changes that will put the nation back on the road to STRENGTH and PROSPERITY. Don’t think for a moment that all of his critiques are one sided. He is just as tough on the Republicans as he is on the Democrats." APreachasKid.
"It includes everything from tax reform to trade deals and foreign policy. He has his ducks in a row, as everything is cited and footnoted to support his policies.
The book is EASY and quick to read, since the font is LARGE and the lines are one-and-a-half or double spaced." K.J. Gillenwater.
As a fashion insultant, allow me to offer a free word of fashion advice.The president's natural colors would be complimented nicely by a bright orange jumpsuit.
A few years ago I read the Parable series by Octavia Butler and found it to be a well written story set in an all too plausible distopia of America in a declining slow apocalypse. She had planned more books in this series, but stopped when the research became too depressing for her to continue.
I don't know how I missed it but the xenogenesis series is now on my list of things to read.
research became too depressing
You mean, the data/truth was worse than her stories?
Hopefully her stories were more interesting to read than the telephone directory.
Stephenson's writing is technically brilliant, and he has a good sense of humor, but he is a proto-SJW.
His books are like those old magical alignment books in D&D, if you read one of them and your alignment isn't SJW, you will take a minus 5% hit to your accumulated experience points.
Ask me how I know :(
Alternatively, you are seeing things that aren't there.
I have only read Snow Crash so have a limited say. I would not call it SJW-writing but I definitely was pushed away by the values communicated, maybe something GP felt similarly. To me it was his complete adherence to mainstream thinking (the cool sword fighter, the noble wild man, the Mafia with integrity) that I disliked. Also his unimaginative development of the action scenes that remembered me of very cheap action movies were weak points.
You just inspired me to vote for snowcrash, thanks for the helpful tips!
... regardless of book club or whatever, always on the look out for a good book (so "book suggestions" is a good poll)
I'm reading Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace" and I recommend this book to the group, although it will take more than a month to read!
Second this, I was caught off guard by how much I enjoyed War and Peace. Seeing the history come to life was a lot of fun. And the personal stories are well done. One suggestion, check out the historical critiques of the book once you're finished. Some of his points are hotly debated.
I think I misvoted.
I selected Snow Crash because its old enough to have been super influential, some meme-opportunity, and maybe some debate about exactly how the author's predictions fit reality. For example I'd say the authors racial creationist worldview made the book world of the future diverge from our future world we're living in now. But the well's pretty dry, I'm having trouble thinking of what to debate. We can argue over who virtue signals the book is teh greatest!!!! AOL me tooooo! but other than "its a great book" I'm having trouble specifying why THE DISCUSSION would be great.
Likewise, my current favorite exercise book is named "The Barbell Prescription" and its a pretty good book, but being relatively non-controversial non-fiction I don't think we can discuss much about it. "Nah fuck it I'd rather be fat, weak, and die young" vs "yeah that a good book, lots of great references and citations too". That's kinda boring to discuss, no matter how good of a book it is to read. So much as I'd suggest everyone read that fine tome, I just can't suggest reading it as a book club discussion.
Anyway if someone who's read more than one of those books in the list would enumerate why book X would be a better discussion topic than book Y, that would be helpful. Note this is completely distinct from which book is better. An awful book that is none the less more interesting to discuss, would be a better discussion topic.
For example "Kren of the Mitchegai" is a crappy distasteful book that makes you want to wash your eyeballs after you read it, a world-building novel about a really shitty dude who's of a really shitty alien race. The author is actually pretty appealing aside from that awful book, I guess he just had to get "anti-hero" out of his system. But, despite it not being ... recreational in nature, its at least a good topic to shitpost about. For example, Kren is a parody of the Democratic Politician Hillary Clinton. Or if you'd prefer somewhat less politics, but still some, there's a lot to say about multiculturalism such that if you don't love Kren (the main character) more than your own race, especially if you're white, then you're a filthy racist. Or if you want no politics at all, there's some pure "WTF" in that story that doesn't make sense, like the whole brain thing has never been invented in the past seems unlikely like trying to pull my leg that evolution never invented that sex thing until Eve ate an apple, which doesn't really seem to match any science at all; such that the story of Kren seems simply ridiculous that "being an asshole" was invented by a biological planet after space travel, yeah right...
Or going the opposite direction, oh hell I had a blast reading "The Posleen Series" of books, but there's not much to discuss there. Or the "Troy Rising" series, holy cow loved that series worth every minute. But those aren't really "literary criticism" compatible, they're kinda like the book equivalent of an action flick with special effects, but maybe a little better. So in the "Troy Rising" series (the maple syrup dude) how much of Tyler Vernon (the main character, mostly) is a thinly disguised love story to Elon Musk? Or since this paragraph is turning into a John Ringo love-fest, how about a book like "The Last Centurion" which was pretty good, but there's not much to talk about other than how its a deadly accurate fictional representation of CNN, or how its a thinly ripped off remaking of Xenophon's Anabasis from 2500 years ago? Or "The March Upcountry" series is cool but I can't think of anything to say about it as a discussion point.
Snow Crash appears to be the winner by far, so the misvote doesn't mean much.
For the next poll I'm working out if we can change the code to allow more than 8 options. I might shuffle them randomly too. Point being that I could take in a bunch of suggestions, and include some of the books from the older polls, like this Rip Foster one that is doing well.
RIP Foster? Rest in Peace, Foster? So, it's a book about Killery?
Both non-fiction options are great for improving your decision making ability and discussion could be useful, but probably less interesting. If you liked The Black Swan, then you'd probably also like these.
Makers was an entertaining read and might be interesting to contrast its near-future projections with current reality and where we think tech and society will go.
The Metropolitan Man is one of the better examples of rationalist fiction and probably would be the first exposure to such storytelling for many here. It might rub some people the wrong way, but they could still have fun attacking the "smart" character's reasoning. The free audio version is very good and the length is reasonable enough that many could probably finish it with just their commute.
I'd suggest reading or listing to the first chapters of The Metropolitan Man and Makers, since they're free, and see if you like the style.
I am a millenial and fuck this guy, the e-pit-o-me of the worst douche baggery.
Blame the Russians.
or blame Canada
I'm going through this series right now. It's surprisingly good and well thought out for a fiction trilogy.
Plato's account of Socrates making his case in the Athenian courts. Unlike the Sophists he was critical of, Socrates made his case with reason, evidence, and thought provoking questions. Socrates is one of my favorite people because questioning assumptions and beliefs is something we should all do regularly. Socrates was executed in the end. This tragedy, along with Milgram's experiments and numerous real life examples show the danger in not doing so.
Influence: Robert Cialdini
How governments, salesmen, and other influencers get people to do what they want.
Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits: Phil Fisher
Phil Fisher is considered the founder of growth investing principles. His 15 points can be applied to running your own business as well as stock suggestions.
Your Money or Your Life: Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
A book that walks you through transforming your life to be more in line with your values. Highly respected by the FIRE community.
Early Retirement Extreme: Jacob Fisker
The principles and mental framework used be a physicist that was able to retire after a short 5 years of working by replacing money with skills and rejecting conventional "needs".