Mark Rants & Raves

Digressions into a variety of topics about the world.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

My best books list

This is of course an impossible task, but I'm going to dive in anyway and hope others join in. So, here goes:

What are some of the best books you've read?

I don't care if they're fiction, science fiction, or whatever. Here are some that come to mind for me:

  • State of Fear by Michael Crichton - a lot of the "global warming" crowd won't like this book, but it was very well-written and made a compelling argument. Do yourself a favor and read a counterposition to the mainstream media.

  • Coping with Difficult People by Robert Bramson - you've dealt with them, can't avoid them. Meet the bulldozer, the sniper, the clam, and other "fun" types at work and play.

  • Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein - a scifi classic. Learn what people mean when they say they grok something.

  • Timeline by Michael Crichton - what an interesting book, especially if you like chaos theory. I think I like a lot of Crichton's books because he does his research to make a book seem so real and interesting.

  • The FairTax Book by Boortz and Linder - such an interesting and important book. It's amazing to me how much we don't know about an important topic like our money. I wish more people would read it or at least one page of information at

  • The Positronic Man by Isaac Asimov - I've always been enthralled by the idea of a robot that becomes sentient. This was one of my first forays into this realm, to be followed by Mr. Data and others.

  • Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch - I know a lot of people view this book as blasphemous, but I found that it has some real interesting ways to think about spirituality. It reminds me of the way of life that Buddhism encourages.

  • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell - This book fascinated me. I never thought about "viral" shifts in perceptions in the marketplace. Of course, these days social sites are all about viral...

  • Prey by Michael Crichton - Crichton again brings enough reality into his science fiction to capture my imagination. That's why I've always like scifi over fantasy. In this case, it's nanotechnology that has gotten out of hand. I like where Crichton went with this one.

  • Disclosure by (yes, again!) Michael Crichton - I can't seem to help myself. I stop to think of a book I really liked and voila, it's a Crichton book. This one was helped because I am a software developer, so I can relate. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it...

So, what do you think? I know I'm missing a lot of good books, so join in and let me know what I've missed.

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We're so sorry to have reacted badly to your kidnapping

Ahmadinejad says that Britain should be grateful that Iran released the hostages. I looked up the term hostage. It said:

"A prisoner who is held by one party to insure that another party will meet specified terms"

So lets see if I've got this straight...
  • Iran illegally grabs British sailors and marines in Iraqi waters
  • Iran illegally parades them on television (where are those precious Geneva conventions when you need them?)
  • Iran decides to release them without requiring Britain to apologize
Apologize?! Apologize?! Are you frickin' kidding me?!

This Theocratic dictatorship and sponsor of terrorists that it's own people want to overthrow has one big set of cajones, I'll give them that. The sad, sad fact is that the democracies of the world will not come together to fight for what's right.

Germany wants to trade with Iran, so won't stand with us.
Russia wants to sell nuclear capabilities (and also wants to be more powerful) and won't stand with us.
France is ticked off that they are not a great power and so won't stand with us.

Western democracies that act like democracies are the USA, Australia, Britain, Japan and a few others. Why does it take something terrible to get people to do what's right? Doesn't Europe remember what happened in the 1930s? Do we have to go through that kind of mess to wake up? If we do, I fear that it may be the end, because I am convinced that the Islamofascists are much worse than the German fascists...if for no other reason than access to nuclear weapons and a willingness to strap bombs onto themselves.

I fear for our civilization and way of life...