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Never Read Passively

Currently reading

The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers
Ayn Rand, Tore Boeckmann, Leonard Peikoff
The Name of the Rose
Umberto Eco
David Mitchell
To the Lighthouse
Virginia Woolf
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Edward Gibbon, Daniel J. Boorstin, Gian Battista Piranesi, Hans-Friedrich Mueller
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Douglas R. Hofstadter
Perfect Wrong Note - Learning to Trust Your Musical Self
William Westney
The Prince
Niccolò Machiavelli
The Varieties of Religious Experience
William James
Twenty Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy
G. Lee Bowie, Robert C. Solomon


Mindfulness - Ellen J. Langer The main gist of this book is that it's better to be aware of what you're doing and avoid the automatic categorizing of situations and people that your mind naturally does when making decisions for yourself or when dealing with others. There are also sections on learned helplessness, especially in the context of old age, creativity and workplace efficiency. While it's interesting how many of her original studies have gone on to be included in other books over the years, the content of this book lacks a certain oomph. The content is solid, but the presentation is not nearly as compelling as other, more broad-reaching, books on positive psychology.One interesting study she includes in her section on the placebo affect, that I had never heard of, is the use of hypnosis for wart removal. Apparently it works... you're hypnotized, told that you should cure yourself of warts and 9 times out of 14 the warts go away. Not that I would ever need it, of course.