This week, we checked in with ACET staff again to find out what we’ve been reading.
Joseph: Why Does the World Exist by Jim Holt: This book is a series of interviews with physicists and philosophers on the old philosophical question of “why is there something rather than nothing?” Put another way, “why is there existence rather than nothing?” Positions vary on this from the question being irrelevant (the state of nothing being impossible) to the principals of quantum mechanics requiring there be something to something being ethically better than nothing. It was a fascinating read (I just finished!) and would appeal to anyone who has ever pondered this or is awe struck by the state of existence.
Kirsten: I recently finished reading Hunting Eichmann by Neal Bascomb. The first half of the book describes Adoph Eichmann’s life during the final days of the war, surviving under false identities immediately after the war, and his escape to and life in Argentina. For example, did you know that Eichmann was arrested and imprisoned in allied POW camps twice, and managed to escape both times? The second half of the book explains how the Israeli government found Eichmann and planned for his capture and transport to Israel, the trial, and final judgment. If you are interested in World War II history, you might want to check it out!
Dan: Lately I’ve been reading up on my professional development resources in preparation to present at the ADARA (formerly known as the American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association) 2013 conference. I’ve become engrossed with articles on survey design and development best practices.
Elizabeth: I am currently reading Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Estes discusses the instinctual nature of women, which is illustrated through the book with bits of folklore, myths, and fairy tales. Estes believes that women’s instinctual nature has been repressed, and in order for women to become whole, they must embark on a path of self-discovery to examine their preferences and shortcomings, especially as these traits relate to societal norms and expectations. I haven’t gotten far enough into the narrative to really issue an opinion yet, but I enjoy the storytelling of the author and the examination of feminine myths.
Mary: Once again, I’m reading a graphic novel – this time it’s Volume 2 of Genshiken Second Season by Kio Shimoku. Short for Gendai Shikaku Bunka Kenkyuukai (or, the Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture), Genshiken is a fictional collegiate student club that overlaps other, more respectable clubs for video games, animation, and comics by focusing on the fan culture for those mediums, especially the production of fan works. The new characters introduced at the beginning of this new series remain true to the depth, humor, and humanity of the first series, but I think it’s still taking off. The new central character seems to be an underclassman named Hato, a boy using media and fan works to navigate personal issues of gender, identity, and presentation.
Stella: I just started reading Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, PhD. It was recommended by a colleague of mine.
What have you been reading lately? Join the discussion in the comments.