The Empedocles' Suggested Reading List
By no means an exhaustive list, but some books that everyone's favorite
Paratwa has been known to enjoy....
Math-y, Geeky Stuff
Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid,
Douglas R. Hofstadter
You'll probably see this recommended by others as well, and you
should listen to us. We only have your best interests at heart. A
really wonderful book of mathematics, logic, art, music, and generally
cool thinking stuff. I also enjoyed Hofstadter's
so be sure to check that out as well.
by Nachum Dershowitz and Edward
Very cool treatment of gobs of different calendar systems, with
source-code for computing them (in LISP). Amazing how many ways there
are of marking time, and how accurate they can be.
What is the Name of this Book?,
This Book Needs No Title, et al.,
Great books of logic puzzles, anything you can find by Smullyan
Will be wonderful if you like logic puzzles. But in particular try
This Book Needs No Title if you can. It's not so much logic
puzzles as philosophy puzzles. Questions of philosophy and thought
that really make you say Hmm! It does for your centers of higher
thought what logic puzzles do for your logic centers.
The Elements of Typographic Style,
A new addition, but something not to be missed. You'll never look at a book
the same way, once you read this one. Strange that a book on typography
of all things could be so cool. Yes, it sounds dry, and you do need a bit of
prior interest, but you'd be amazed how much goes into making a book. The
details of the typeface, the proportions of the page, just how to set text...
there's a lot to look at in a book you didn't necessarily know about before.
The author of this book happens to be a published poet in his spare time, so
the writing is very interesting and clear.
Assorted books by Larry Niven:
The Ringworld Engineers,
All the Myriad Ways,
... basically just about anything you can find by this guy. I haven't
read all his books, and I hear some of the ones I haven't gotten to
are among his best work. He's a great writer, if you like "hard"
science fiction. He's very good at starting with a hypothesis and
working out "what would the world be like if THIS had happened/were
possible/had not happened."
by Richard Adams
You might have heard of this one; there was a movie of it a while
back. You know, with the rabbits. It's a good book. Must be something
when you can say that about a book about rabbits. Better than the
movie. Lovely writing, interesting story and characters... puts you
in the minds of the rabbits, how they live. Also some wonderful literary
tricks. Watch for the paragraph-length sentence somewhere along the line,
or the sentences that seem (to me) to have nothing to do with their context.
Make no mistake, it's a readable story, and a page-turner. Try it out!
I just heard there's a
Tales from Watership Down, a sort
of collection of other lapine stories, but I haven't read it (yet)
so can't tell you much. Gimme a sec, I'll get a copy and read it....
OK, I'm back. I read it. It's nowhere near as good as the original; it
reads like mediocre fan-fiction. It's really strikingly lacking. Bummer.
Classics by J. R. R. Tolkien.
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers
The Return of the King,
Yes, you probably didn't need to be told about these, but they
bear mentioning anyway. Don't neglect
or for that matter Tolkien's other, non-Middle-Earth-related works.
The man had a bad case of hypergraphia and an imagination to die for.
Take advantage of it.
The Klingon Dictionary
The Klingon Way
Klingon for the Galactic Traveler, by Marc Okrand
Hey, learning obscure languages is cool; I recommend it
Klingon for the Galactic Traveler I
thought particular good.
The Sandman (series), by Neil Gaiman
Watchmen, by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, by Frank Miller
What Sketch said. Some real favorites.
by Wendy and Richard Pini
I haven't kept up with the very latest and greatest turns and twists
of this series, but at least I like what I've read.
At least to start with, it's fairly light fantasy, but engaging and a good
read. Wendy Pini's artwork adds a distinctive style.
And the guy in charge
of their website is cool.