Thursday, December 08, 2005

  • Thursday, December 08, 2005
  • Elder of Ziyon
The J-Blogosphere has been buzzing with the "meme" asking people to write what random songs show up on their iPod. WHen I saw it, I didn't expect to be tagged (no one has ever tagged me for anything anyway) but I had it in the back of my mind, wondering if I would embarrass myself by revealing what songs would come up on my iPod Nano that I got as a gift from work and have been playing with for a month or so.

Then Ze'ev from Israel Perspectives raised the stakes and changed the meme into 15 books people have read recently, are currently reading or really like. And then he tagged me, as if I was a literate person!

If he would have asked for 5 books, maybe I could have scraped something together quickly. But, here goes, in no particular order:
  • Contemporary Halakhic Problems, volumes 1-3, J. David Bleich - I love the subject of halacha in today's society, moral and ethical perspectives. This was the series that started it all. Other similar books by Basil Herring and Fred Rosner are good. I have not yet read the more recent volumes, though.
  • Six Days of War, Michael Oren - the definitive history of the 1967 Six Day War, with a very good overview of 1948-67 as well in the first chapter.
  • Bringing Down the House, Ben Mezrich - a fun true story of some MIT kids who beat the system in Las Vegas playing blackjack.
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, JK Rowling - My review was here. The entire series really is great.
  • Year's Best SF 10, Hartwell and Cramer - I don't have the patience for long SF stories but I love anthologies, and this is one of many I have read, usually on planes during business trips. But if I recall correctly, it included the novella "Sergeant Chip" which was a fantastic story, one of the best SF stories I ever read.
  • New Voices in Science Fiction, Resnick - Similar to the other SF anthologies but much more variety, and at least two Jewish themed stories including a very cool ba'al teshuva/vampire story called "Lifeblood" by Michael Burstein.
  • Artscroll Eruvin volumes 1 and 2 - I am trying to make time to at least do the English of the Daf Yomi this cycle, and so far (bli ayin hora" I've been mostly successful. Eruvin is hard though and needs more time than I am giving it. (I know Ze'ev wasn't including sifrei kodesh, but, he didn't explicitly exclude them.)
  • Bodyguard of Lies, Anthony Cave Brown - an exhaustive yet mostly entertaining description of the British use of deception in World War II, climaxing in the amazing story of how they fooled Hitler into misplacing his troops for D-Day.
  • Secrets and Lies, Bruce Schneier - a good book to place the problems of computer security in context, with applications beyond the digital world.
This is all I have time for right now, and I am not going to burden anyone else with this meme (since Ze'ev already tagged many others.) I can also claim that if you add the many volumes of books I mentioned it is way more than 15.

Perhaps I'll try to add more later.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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