It's an Exciting World

The life and times of David Geisert



Book Club: The Anatomy of Story

While there was expressed interest in the book, this was a poor showing for book club.  I think a lot of it was due to the book having more of a textbook nature than many of the others we’ve read in the past.  Even other highly informative books have had more story to them. It was also didn’t have an Audible version, so it was more difficult for many, including myself, to get through in a timely manner.

There were only two people who came to book club having read the book.  Debby and Andrew were nice enough to call in and marginally participate, but since they hadn’t read the book some of the more specific examples had them tuning out.  I can understand where people were coming from with the book choice, and the not reading it.  I think I’ll avoid these styles of books from now on.

Book Club: The Three Christs of Ypsilanti

This was an odd book.  The true account of a research experiment of three schizophrenic patients who believed themselves to be Christ/God.  They were put together for daily discussion sessions over the period of a little over 2 years.  This was one of the shortest discussions we’ve had on a book, and the person who wanted to read it originally didn’t show up to the meeting.

There were some major ethical issues with the research.  The biggest one in my opinion was when the researchers wrote letters to one of the men pretending to be his wife.  The man had never married and clearly had major problems around women.  The then manipulated him into doing things by having his wife ask him to do it.  They also had him wait around for the wife’s visits and had the wife write she was disappointed he didn’t show when he did show up and the wife didn’t show up.  It was a horrible situation.

There were plenty of other odd things they did, but nothing quite as bad as that.  It was a strange book, with a strange format.  I wouldn’t recommend it, but I would say reading the wikipedia on it is worthwhile.

Book Club: Hillbilly Elegy

People were mixed about this book.  A lot of the messages he was giving were mixed, and he contradicted himself a lot.  The representation of his background was put in a certain light, and his current wealth was downplayed a lot.  There was also no reason thoughts around how things could get better, just a statement of how they weren’t going well.  We had a pretty full house, and I might need to rethink the seating arrangements a bit.


Book Club: Starship Troopers

The discussion for Starship troopers was a good one.  Heinlein is a great author, and this is one of his more unique works.  The book is a platform for him to talk about his philosophical and political beliefs, which are pretty interesting.  We didn’t agree with most of them, but they got us talking about all sorts of interesting topics.

Book Club: Disrupted

We had a great discussion on the book Disrupted, with all the startup war stories coming out.  Most people at the discussion group could identify with at least one of the many horror stories from the book.  Nobody said they had been at a company quite as bad as the one described by the Disrupted book.  We got far off topic several times, but the discussion was still interesting and lively.

Book Club: Doomsday Book

This was a very contentious book.  I liked what it implied in the way of technology not changing the human condition of being superstitious and irrational.  The mirroring of the past and present was well done, and figuring out which bits were supposed to relate to each other was fun.  This did make the characters more of caricatures in many instances, so the people who didn’t really pick up on the mirroring hated the book with a passion.  To be fair I didn’t really pick up on the mirroring until the second read through.  There were also a lot of characters that were supposed to be irrational and portray the worst parts of human nature.  Those characters annoyed the hell out of most of the people who read the book.  There were also a few that got annoyed by the main characters because of their blind spots.  Another complaint was the trope of someone going unconscious just when they needed to do or say something.  This was a bit overused throughout the book.  The last complaint was the miss on technology, in that there were no cell phones.

Book Club – Hyperion

We had a great time discussing Hyperion.  It was in an odd spot since the 4th of July was the first Tuesday of the month.  We instead did the second Wednesday, and Paul was able to join for the first time.

The book itself touched only lightly on a lot of subjects, but we were able to get some good discussions going and had a fun time about it.  The individual stories weren’t as interesting to me as the overall world that was constructed by them.

American Gods

I found this somewhat derivative of Small Gods, but it had enough of a twist that it was good unto itself.  I really liked it.  The end was a good twist, and I do wonder where the world goes after the end of that book, so it could be interesting.

Audible Link

Great Discussion at Book Club

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress has become one of my favorite books and I really liked being able to talk about it with a group of friends because of all the great philosophical points in it.  Heinlein was really ahead of his time, and ahead of now, with all the topics he covers.  Some of the tech is obviously dated, but it seems very plausible despite that, and given it was written in the 60’s it is absolutely phenomenal.

Audible Link

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