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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Book meme

I am not a big fan of Meme's, because i don't like to talk about myself..wait..who am i kidding? I love talking about myself! Ehh, anyway, so i guess since i got tagged to do this Meme post by both Hellme and Orientalism, that i have to do it! You two are twisting my arms here (Yeah right!). Anyway, let's get this started! Total number of books owned:Okay, like both Hellme and O, i have no clue. I have bought way too many in my lifetime, so many that my family took the chance that i was out of the country and sold like half of them by the Kilo. I also left half of my Library in the states, since when i came back i had 5 bags that were nothing but books. I would say currently i have somewhere between 80 and 100 books, besides the ones i keep in the attic, which are mostly puplfiction books i sued to read when i was little ( Ragol el mosta7eel we mashaweer khaybah kedah). Last book bought: Hmm. That was The Restaurant at the end of the Universe by Douglas Adams, the second Book in The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy of Five, which i bought At Diwan last week. I can't believe i did not pick up those books earlier, they are too good and too damn funny. Favorite excerpt from this Book so far: " In the beginning the Universe was created. This had made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. Many races believe it was created by some sort of a God, though the Jatravartid people of Viltvodle Six believe that the entire Universe was in fact sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure and they live in prepetual fear of the time they call the Coming of the Great White Handkerchief." How can you just not love that? LoL Last book read: I have finally finished reading The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. I highly recommend it, and i also highly recommend his second book The Art of Seduction. This man is a Genius! Five books that mean a lot to you (not in any particular order): 1. Beyond Good and Evil - Nietzche 2. Less then Zero- Bret Easton Ellis 3. The Devil's Dictionary- Ambrose Bierce 4. Atlas Shrugged- Ayn Rand 5. Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West- John Ralston Saul Tag five people to continue this meme: 1. Nadz 2. Wolfie 3. Beth 4. Kat 5. Josie (PS: Twosret, you will get tagged when you have your own blog.)


At 6/11/2005 08:33:00 AM, Blogger Highlander said...

Thank you SM :) it's online now . I love Atlas Shrugged as well, and I'm gonna check the Art of Seduction ( sounds interesting)

At 6/11/2005 09:58:00 AM, Blogger Nadz said...

aargh! i've been tagged! ok, i better get on it now...

At 6/11/2005 10:39:00 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Bah. I ordered 3 of the books you mentioned. You have wierd taste, Sandmonkey. I'm gonna become some kind of psycho con-man now.

At 6/11/2005 10:52:00 AM, Blogger Orientalism said...

out of the five books, which do you recomend I go out and buy now?

At 6/11/2005 10:52:00 AM, Blogger Orientalism said...

out of the five books, which do you recomend I go out and buy or order now?

At 6/11/2005 11:22:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

Programmer craig,

First of all: LOL

Second of all: which 3 books did you order?

At 6/11/2005 11:35:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...


I would recommend, naturally, Atlas shrugged! Altough i have to warn you, it's one of those books which will either chnage your life, or you will eternally hate.Either way it's thought provoking.

As for ordering, i would say the John Ralston Saul one. That man has such a grasp of history that he can methodically break it down and explain to you everything that went wrong in the western culture of Reason.

I remember one of my favorite parts of the book is when he talks about religion, and why the western world i.e. europe, is so confused with Islam and muslims and what theya re willing to do in the name of their religions (this was written in 1991, mind u). I rememebr he said that the main reason for that confusion and sense of uncomfortableness, is due to the fact that for the majority of europe, God has been dead for a while now, and people who call themself christian have very little to do with christianity and would do very little for their faith, which isn;t the case with Muslims, who truly truly believe and have faith and follow their religion's rules. Part of the reason of the west's discomfort, is that it sees in the muslim world the way they once were, a long time ago, when they used to truly believe and have faith. They no longer have that, because they subtituted faith with reason and you know how logic and religion are not very good friends. However, neither reason nor logic evoke the kind of passion, comfort or sense of comradery that religion does, which is the downside of being part of the european western world: the hollowness and emptiness of it all ( hence high suicide rates). The muslims dont have that: They have faith, they have passion, and they have a purpose.

(notice i say european, cause america is a whole different ballgame)

At 6/11/2005 11:58:00 AM, Anonymous highlander said...

I'm ordering the Saul book now !

At 6/11/2005 11:59:00 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Sm, I picked Atlas Shrugged, the 48 Laws of Power, and the Art of Seduction.

I'm baffled by my selections. Ayn Rand was recommended to me many times in the 90s but this will be my first exposure. The other two... dunno why I picked them. Self-defense, maybe :)

I read the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in... 1980 maybe... sometime when I was in highschool. Loved it then, but it'd be way too silly for me now, I'm sure.

Interesting comments about the conflict between faith and reason. Lack of spiritual well being is a major problem in West. Even in the United States. Things started to turn around in the late 80s, in the US... in my opinion. I grew up in the 70s and was a young man in the early 80s (I'm 41) and I rarely met anybody back in those days who would admit to believing in God. Now, most people say the words, but they lack anything like a true faith. But, they try. Most Americans now understand that they cannot have true happiness when they exist ina spiritual void. My generation has achieved much in terms of material success, but most of us have found that material success is not enough. Perhaps the Europeans will come to that understanding too.

At 6/11/2005 12:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best fiction I've read in recent years is "The Horseman on the Roof" by Jean Giono. For readability and fun, try the "The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series by A M Smith. __For non-fiction, I think biographies are best. Of almost anybody. There is a very good one of Matisse (by Spurling), one of Walter Richard Sickert, a great one of Nollekens - to mention just a few artists.

At 6/11/2005 12:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Craig - who says you can expect "true happiness"? Maybe the spiritual void is how things are, and you have to learn to live in it. Is there any point in faking "happiness" by picking some arbitrary fiction to believe in? And then despising anyone who picked some other fiction?

At 6/11/2005 01:18:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Anonymous, you just illustrated the dilemma most people in the West are living with :)

If you choose to answer the big questions like "what does it all mean?" and "Why am I here?" with a blind assertion that life is meaningless and the only reason you live is so you can die, that's your business.

I believe my purpose for existing is to learn and to grow, to become a better human being. I admit, I'm struggling with it. What does it mean to be a better human being? What am I supposed to be learning? How do I achieve spiritual growth?

These are hard questions, but there are answers. Science and reason do not offer them, however. You ever wonder why Psychologists are generally so unhappy and mentally screwed up?

You choose your own path, and I'll choose mine :)

At 6/11/2005 03:46:00 PM, Blogger gatorbait said...

Victor David Hanson's 'Ripples of Battle" and re reading "This kind of War" Sam, the last mentioned is about Korea, but I'll lay odds you'll se a hell of a lot that is pertinent now.

By the way, Tuesday is the day. Let's hope good things happen. Inchallah,right?

At 6/12/2005 04:08:00 AM, Anonymous Jeff said...

I second that ladies detective rec.

At 7/30/2005 05:52:00 AM, Blogger Josie said...

Well I finally did my book meme... although I didn't do a very good job!


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