Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Little Library

Time to share a book list.

All of my life, I've been a pretty heavy reader. Some people think it's a problem when they pick up a book, and can't put it down, so they just keep reading until the middle of the night when they finish it. I've done that countless numbers of times, and fairly often, I'll even start another book once the first one is finished.

I'm a huge fan of real, paper books that you can hold in your hand. But despite that, I'm not one of these pretentious people who completely eschews technology. I have a couple of e-book readers (the Nexus 7 is my preferred reader). Most of the time, I'd prefer a paper version of a book, but the e-book reader is handy to carry around when I'm travelling and I don't want to carry an armload of real books. It's also good because I can keep a number of reference books on it that I don't refer to very often, but they're handy when I'm working on music or computer projects and I don't have internet access.

My physical library at home is getting to be pretty big, but I've been trying to build an electronic library too. I'm going to print a directory listing from that library in a minute, because I've been talking about books with a couple of people and this will be an easy way to share. Of course, it's not as extensive as my paper library, but it's getting to be more comprehensive every week.

Most of what I read can be grouped into major categories. In order, from the stuff I read the most to the least, they'd be:

     - Science Fiction/Fantasy (more emphasis on the SF, ie. Asimov, Heinlein)
     - Mysteries/Crime/Legal (ie. Agatha Christie, John Grisham, Sue Grafton)
     - Drama (ie. Tom Clancy)
     - Classic Literature
     - Modern Bestsellers
     - Computers/Technology
     - Cooking/Food
     - Children’s Books
     - Miscellaneous

Edit:  By the way, if you didn't know, I'm also an author.  Here's a link to a couple of the books that I've written about tree planting, and you can get a free digital download of "Step By Step" if you follow the links through to the digital downloads page:

Remember that the listing I paste here in a minute is just my electronic library. There are a lot of notable omissions from this list that I actually do own at home in hard copy. I haven't read all of the books on the list below. I'd guess that I've read a bit over eighty-five percent of them so far, so there are still sixty or seventy in the list below that are on my short-term "to read" list. One of my problems is that once I read a book once, if I like it, I'll often read it again the following year. Of the books on the following list that I've read, about half are volumes that I've read once, and the other half I've probably read about three times each on average. I'm sure that I've read quite a few of them (like Lord of the Rings, the John Carter of Mars series, and many of the Grisham and Agatha Christie and Asimov books) at least half a dozen times each. I'm a fairly fast reader, by the way.

Anyway, so here's my current eBook library listing, for those of you who like to recommend books to me:

Adrian Johns - Piracy, The Intellectual Property
Aesop -
Agatha Christie - 450 From Paddington.lit
Agatha Christie - A Caribbean Mystery.lit
Agatha Christie - A Murder Is Announced.lit
Agatha Christie - A Pocket Full Of Rye.lit
Agatha Christie - At Betram's Hotel.lit
Agatha Christie - Best Detective Stories Of Agatha Christie.lit
Agatha Christie - Body In The Library.lit
Agatha Christie - Burden.lit
Agatha Christie - Complete Short Stories Of Miss Marple.lit
Agatha Christie - Death On The Nile.lit
Agatha Christie - Elephants Can Remember.lit
Agatha Christie - Evil Under The Sun.lit
Agatha Christie - Hercule Poirot's Christmas.lit
Agatha Christie - Hickory Dickory Death.lit
Agatha Christie - Lord Edgware Dies.lit
Agatha Christie - Murder At The Vicarage.lit
Agatha Christie - Murder In Mesopotamia.lit
Agatha Christie - Murder In Retrospect.lit
Agatha Christie - Murder Of Roger Ackroyd.lit
Agatha Christie - Murder On The Links.lit
Agatha Christie - Murder On The Orient Express.lit
Agatha Christie - Mysterious Affair At Styles.lit
Agatha Christie - Mysterious Mr Quin.lit
Agatha Christie - Partners In Crime.lit
Agatha Christie - Poirot Loses A Client.lit
Agatha Christie - Poirot's Early Cases.lit
Agatha Christie - Pricking Of My Thumbs.lit
Agatha Christie - Secret Adversary.lit
Agatha Christie - Sleeping Murder.lit
Agatha Christie - The Circular Staircase.lit
Agatha Christie - The Clocks.lit
Agatha Christie - The Man In Lower Ten.lit
Agatha Christie - The Moving Finger.lit
Agatha Christie - The Murder At The Vicarage.lit
Agatha Christie - The Mysterious Affair At Styles.lit
Agatha Christie - The Secret Adversary.lit
Agatha Christie - They Do It With Mirrors.lit
Agatha Christie - Third Girl.lit
Agatha Christie - Why Didn't They Ask Evans.lit
AJ Jacobs - The Year Of Living
Alain De Botton - A Week At The
Alan Paul - Big In China, My Unlikely
Alan Weisman - The World Without
Aldous Huxley - Brave New
Alessandro Alciato - The Beautiful Games Of An Ordinary
Alex Haley -
Alexandra Horowitz - Inside Of A
Alexandre Dumas - The Three
Alice Munro - Too Much
Amelia Jeanroy - Canning & Preserving For
Amy Tan - The Joy Luck
Anne Frank - Diary Of A Young
Anne McCaffrey - The Dragonriders Of
Anthony Bourdain - Kitchen
Anthony Bourdin - In Search Of The Perfect
Anthony Burgess - A Clockwork
Arthur C Clarke - Childhood's
Arthur C Clarke - Rendezvous With
Arthur Golden - Memoirs Of A
Asimov & Bear - Foundation And Chaos [2F2].lit
Asimov & Benford - Foundation's Fear [2F1].lit
Asimov & Brin - Foundation's Triumph [2F3].lit
Audrey Niffenegger - The Time Traveller's
Ayn Rand - Atlas
Ayn Rand - The
Barbara Kingsolver - The Poisonwood
Barbara Obermier - Photoshop CS5 For Dummies.pdf
Ben H Winters - Sense And Sensibility And Sea
Bill Buford -
Bill Jamison - Around The World In 80
Bobby Flay -
Boris Pasternak - Doctor
Bret Easton Ellis - American
Bryce Courtenay - Brother
Bryce Courtenay - Smoky Joe's
Bryce Courtenay - The Power Of
Carl E Walter - Red
Carl Sagan -
Carl Sagan -
Carl Sagan - Pale Blue
Charles Dickens - David
Charles Dickens - Great
Charles Dickens - Ye Olde Curiousity
Charles Dickins - A Tale Of Two
Charlie Nardozzi - Vegetable Gardening For
Chelsea Handler - Are You There,
Chelsea Handler - Chelsea Chelsea Bang
Chelsea Handler - My Horizontal
Christine Freehan - Dark
Christopher Hadnagy - Social
Chuck Klosterman - On Film And
Chuck Klosterman - On Media And
Chuck Klosterman - On
Chuck Klosterman - On
Chuck Klosterman - Sex, Drugs, And Cocoa
Ciril Hitz - Baking Artisan
CS Lewis - Prince Caspian [CN4].mobi
CS Lewis - The Horse And His Boy [CN3].mobi
CS Lewis - The Last Battle [CN7].lit
CS Lewis - The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe [CN1].mobi
CS Lewis - The Magician's Nephew [CN2].mobi
CS Lewis - The Silver Chair [CN6].mobi
CS Lewis - The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader [CN5].mobi
Dale Carson - Arrest Proof Yourself.opf
Dan Brown - Angels &
Dan Brown - Deception
Dan Brown - Digital Fortress.lrf
Dan Brown - The Da Vinci
Dan Brown - The Lost
Daniel Halpern - Not For Bread
Daniel Keyes - Flowers For
Daniel Yergin - The Prize.epub
Dante Alighieri - The Divine Comedy.lit
Darrell L Bock - Breaking The Da Vinci Code.lit
David Thorne - The Internet Is A
DH Lawrence - Lady Chatterley's
DH Lawrence - Sons And Lovers.txt
Dominique Adair - Last Kiss.lit
Douglas Adams - Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy [HHGG1].lit
Douglas Adams - Life, The Universe, And Everything [HHGG3].lit
Douglas Adams - Mostly Harmless [HHGG5].lit
Douglas Adams - So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish [HHGG4].lit
Douglas Adams - The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe [HHGG2].lit
E L James - Fifty Shades Darker [FS2].epub
E L James - Fifty Shades Freed [FS3].epub
E L James - Fifty Shades Of Grey [FS1].epub
Edgar Rice Burroughs - A Fighting Man Of Mars [JCM07].lit
Edgar Rice Burroughs - A Princess Of Mars [JCM01].lit
Edgar Rice Burroughs - John Carter Of Mars [JCM11].lit
Edgar Rice Burroughs - Llana Of Gathol [JCM10].lit
Edgar Rice Burroughs - Master Mind Of Mars [JCM06].lit
Edgar Rice Burroughs - Swords Of Mars [JCM08].lit
Edgar Rice Burroughs - Synthetic Men Of Mars [JCM09].lit
Edgar Rice Burroughs - The Gods Of Mars [JCM02].lit
Edgar Rice Burroughs - The Warlord of Mars [JCM03].lit
Edgar Rice Burroughs - Thuvia Maid Of Mars [JCM04].lit
Emeril Lagasse - Farm To
Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights.lit
Eric Schlosser - Fast Food
Erica Bauermeister - The Monday Night Cooking
Erich Maria Remarque - All's Quiet On The Western
Ernest Hemingway - For Whom The Bell
Ernest Hemingway - The Old Man And The
Ernest Hemingway - The Sun Also
Evan Mandery - First
F Scott Fitzgerald - The Curious Case Of Benjamin
F Scott Fitzgerald - The Great
Frank Herbert -
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Crime And Punishment.lit
Gabriel Cousens - Conscious
Gabriel Garcia Marquez - One Hundred Years Of
Gabrielle Hamilton - Blood, Bones, And
Garrison Keillor - Leaving Home.lit
Garry Poole - The Complete Book Of Questions.pdf
Gary Small - The Naked Lady Who Stood On Her
Gary Taubes - Good Calories, Bad
George Carlin - Napalm And Silly
George Carlin - When Will Jesus Bring The Pork
George Orwell - 1984.lrf
George Orwell - Animal Farm.lrf
George Orwell - Nineteen Eighty
George RR Martin - A Clash of Kings [GOT 02].mobi
George RR Martin - A Feast for Crows [GOT 04].mobi
George RR Martin - A Game Of Thrones [SOIF 01].mobi
George RR Martin - A Storm of Swords [SOIF 03].mobi
Gordon Ramsay - Cooking For
Harold McGee - On Food And
Harper Lee - To Kill A
Harriet Beecher Stowe - Uncle Tom's
Heidi Murkoff - What To Expect When You're
Hervé This - Kitchen
Herve This - The Science Of The
HG Wells - The War Of The
Hunter S Thompson - Fear And Loathing In Las
Hunter S Thompson - Hell's
Hunter S Thompson - The Great Shark
Hunter S Thompson - The Rum Diary.lit
Irvine Welsh -
Isaac Asimov - Azazel.epub
Isaac Asimov - Best Of Isaac Asimov.epub
Isaac Asimov - Buy Jupiter And Other Stories.epub
Isaac Asimov - Complete Robot.epub
Isaac Asimov - Earth Is Room Enough.epub
Isaac Asimov - Forward The Foundation [1F10].lit
Isaac Asimov - Forward the Foundation [1F2].epub
Isaac Asimov - Foundation [1F3].epub
Isaac Asimov - Foundation And Earth [1F6].lit
Isaac Asimov - Foundation's Edge [1F5].lit
Isaac Asimov - Foundation's Friends Short Story Collection.lit
Isaac Asimov - Gold, The Final Science Fiction Collection.epub
Isaac Asimov - I, Robot.epub
Isaac Asimov - Mysteries.epub
Isaac Asimov - Nightfall & Other Stories.epub
Isaac Asimov - Nightfall Two.epub
Isaac Asimov - Nine Tomorrows.epub
Isaac Asimov - Pebble In The Sky.epub
Isaac Asimov - Prelude to Foundation [1F1].epub
Isaac Asimov - Robot Dreams.epub
Isaac Asimov - Robot Visions.epub
Isaac Asimov - Robots & Empire.epub
Isaac Asimov - Robots Of Dawn.epub
Isaac Asimov - Second Foundation [1F4].lit
Isaac Asimov - Stars, Like Dust.epub
Isaac Asimov - The Bicentennial Man & Other Stories.epub
Isaac Asimov - The Caves of Steel.epub
Isaac Asimov - The Complete Stories.epub
Isaac Asimov - The Currents of Space.epub
Isaac Asimov - The Martian Way.epub
Isaac Asimov - The Naked Sun.epub
Isaac Asimov - The Positronic Man.epub
Isaac Asimov - The Rest Of The Robots.epub
Isaac Asimov - The Union Club Mysteries.epub
Isak Dinesen - Out Of Africa.lit
Jack Kerouac - On the Road.lit
Jack Kerouac - On The
Jack Kerouac - The Dharma
Jack London - Call Of The Wild.lit
Jack London - The Call of the Wild, White
James Cain - The Postman Always Rings Twice.lit
James Fenimore Cooper - Last Of The
James Fenimore Cooper - The
James Herriott - All Creatures Great And Small.lit
Jane Austen - Pride And Prejudice.lit
Jane Eyre - Charlotte
Jared M Diamond - Guns, Germs, And
JD Salinger - Catcher In The
Jeff Potter - Cooking For
Jesse Ventura - 63 Documents The Government Doesn't Want You To
Jessica Amason - This Is Why You're
John Allen Paulos -
John Brunner - The Sheep Look Up.lit
John Erickson - Hacking, The Art of
John Gray - Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.lit
John Grisham - A Painted
John Grisham - A Time To
John Grisham - The
John Grisham - The
John Grisham - The
John Grisham - The
John Grisham - The
John Grisham - The
John Grisham - The
John Grisham - The
John Grisham - The Innocent
John Grisham - The King Of
John Grisham - The Last
John Grisham - The
John Grisham - The Pelican
John Grisham - The
John Grisham - The Runaway
John Grisham - The Street
John Grisham - The
John Grisham - The
John Grogan - Marley And
John Irving - A Prayer For Owen Meany.lit
John Le Carre - Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.lit
John Steinbeck - Cannery
John Steinbeck - East Of
John Steinbeck - Of Mice And
John Steinbeck - Once There Was A
John Steinbeck - The Grapes Of
John Steinbeck - The Harvest
John Steinbeck - The Log From The Sea Of
John Steinbeck - The Moon Is
John Steinbeck - The
John Steinbeck - The Red
John Steinbeck - To A God
John Steinbeck - Tortilla
John Truby - The Anatomy Of
John Wyndham - The
Joseph Conrad - The Heart Of Darkness.lit
Joseph Heller - Catch 22.lit
JRR Tolkien - Lord Of The
JRR Tolkien - The Fellowship Of The
JRR Tolkien - The
JRR Tolkien - The Return Of The
JRR Tolkien - The Two
Judy Allen - Confessions Of An Event
Justin Halpern - Shit My Dad
Keith Richards -
Ken Kesey - One Flew Over The Cuckoo's
Kenneth Grahame - The Wind In The
Kevin Poulsen -
Kurt Vonnegut - Breakfast Of
Kurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse
Laney Salisbury -
Larsson Steig - The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest.lrf
Larsson Steig - The Girl Who Played With Fire.lrf
Larsson Steig - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.lrf
Learning Python - Mark
Lewis Carroll - Alice's Adventures In Wonderland.lit
Lewis Carroll - Through The Looking Glass.lit
Linda West Eckhardt - The High Protein
Louis Debernieres - Captain Corelli's Mandolin.lit
Madeleine L'Engle - A Wrinkle In
Margaret Atwood - Oryx and
Margaret Atwood - The Blind Assassin.lit
Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale.lrf
Margaret Atwood - The Year of the
Margaret Mitchell - Gone With The
Marian Keyes - Sushi For
Mario Livio - The Golden
Mario Puzo - The
Mark Bittman - Food
Mark Haddon - The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time.lit
Martin Jacques - What To Expect When China Rules The
Masanobu Fukuoka - The One Straw
Melissa Bank - The Girl's Guide To Hunting And Fishing.lit
Michael Crichton - Airframe.lit
Michael Crichton - Andromeda Strain.lit
Michael Crichton - Binary.lit
Michael Crichton - Congo.lit
Michael Crichton - Disclosure.lit
Michael Crichton - Eaters Of The Dead.lit
Michael Crichton - Endstation.lit
Michael Crichton - Jurassic Park.lit
Michael Crichton - Prey.lit
Michael Crichton - Sphere.lit
Michael Crichton - State Of Fear.lit
Michael Crichton - The Lost World.lit
Michael Crichton - Timeline.lit
Michael Ende - The Neverending Story.lit
Michael Pollan - The Omnivore's
Michael Ruhlman - The Reach Of A
Michael Schrenk - Webbots, Spiders, And Screen
Miguel De Cervantes - Don Quixote.lit
Mike Ashley - The Mammoth Book Of Apocalyptic Science
Mike Riley - Programming Your Home.epub
Mitch Albom - Tuesdays With Morrie.lit
Moby Dick - Herman
Mockingjay - Suzanne
Mykle Hansen - Help, A Bear Is Eating
Nancie McDermott - Quick And Easy
Nathaniel Hawthorne - The Scarlett Letter.lit
Neil deGrasse Tyson - Death By Black
Neil Jackson - The
Nick Douglas - Twitter
Nick Hornby - High Fidelity.lit
Nicole Mones - Lost In
Nikki Sixx - The Heroin
Nitesh Dhanjani - Hacking, The Next
Norton Juster - The Phantom
Novella Carpenter - Farm
Ode Ogebe - Achebe's Things Fall
Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian
Patricia Cornwall - The Last Precinct.lrf
Patricia Cornwall - Trace.lrf
Patricia Cornwell - All That Remains.lit
Patricia Cornwell - Black Notice.lit
Patricia Cornwell - Blow Fly.lrf
Patricia Cornwell - Body Farm.lit
Patricia Cornwell - Body Of Evidence.lit
Patricia Cornwell - Cause Of Death.lit
Patricia Cornwell - Cruel And Unusual.lit
Patricia Cornwell - From Potter's Field.lit
Patricia Cornwell - Hornets Nest.lit
Patricia Cornwell - Isle Of Dogs.lit
Patricia Cornwell - Last Precinct.lit
Patricia Cornwell - Point Of Origin.lit
Patricia Cornwell - Postmortem.lit
Patricia Cornwell - Predator.lrf
Patricia Cornwell - Scarpetta.lrf
Patricia Cornwell - Scarpetta's Winter Table.lit
Patricia Cornwell - Southern Cross.lit
Patricia Cornwell - The Body Farm.lit
Patricia Cornwell - The Scarpetta Factor.lrf
Patricia Cornwell - Unnatural Exposure.lit
Patricia Cornwell - Unnatural Exposure.lrf
Peter Hessler - Country Driving, A Journey Through
Peter Hessler - River Town, Two Years On The
Ray Bradbury - Death Is A Lonely Business.lit
Ray Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451.lit
Ray Bradbury - Something Wicked This Way Comes.lit
Ray Bradbury - The Martian Chronicles.lit
Raymond Charles Barrett - Short Story
Richard Adams - Watership
Richard Neer - FM, The Rise And Fall Of Rock
Roald Dahl - Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.lit
Roald Dahl - Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator.lit
Roald Dahl - James And The Giant Peach.lrf
Robert Anton Wilson - Schrodinger's Cat
Robert Ludlum - The Bourne Identity [B1].lit
Robert Ludlum - The Bourne Supremacy [B2].lit
Robert Ludlum - The Bourne Ultimatum [B3].lit
Robert M Pirsig - Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle
Robert Sullivan - Rats, New York's Most
Robertson Davies - Fifth Business.lit
Robertson Davies - The Manticore.lit
Robertson Davies - World Of Wonders.lit
Robin Cook - Acceptable Risk.lit
Robin Cook - Blindsight.lit
Robin Cook - Brain.lit
Robin Cook - Chromosome 6.lit
Robin Cook - Coma.lit
Robin Cook - Contagion.lit
Robin Cook - Fatal Cure.lit
Robin Cook - Godplayer.lit
Robin Cook - Harmful Intent.lit
Robin Cook - Outbreak.lit
Robin Cook - Toxin.lit
Robin Cook - Vital Signs.lit
Roni Sarig - The Secret History Of
Roy Peter Clark - Writing
Rudyard Kipling - The Jungle Book.lit
Russell Aiuto - Lizzie Borden Took An Axe.lit
Samuel Beckett - Waiting For Godot.lit
Sean Wilentz - Bob Dylan In
Sharon Moalem - Survival Of The
Sonny Barger - Let's
Stan Berenstain - Old Hat, New
Stan Berenstain - The Berenstain Bears And The Spooky Old
Stan Berenstain - The Big Honey
Stan Berenstain - The Bike
Stephen Crane - The Red Badge Of
Stephen Hawking - A Brief History of Time.lit
Stephen King - 11 22
Stephen King - Cujo.lit
Stephen King - Firestarter.lit
Stephen King - The Dead Zone.lit
Stephen King - The Green Mile.lit
Stephen King - The Stand.lit
Stephen Leacock - Sunshine Sketches Of A Little
Steve Earle - I'll Never Get Out Of This World
Steve Knopper - Appetite For Self
Steven Adler - My Appetite For
Steven D Levitt -
Steven D Levitt -
Stuart McLean - Vinyl Cafe
Sue Grafton - A is for Alibi.lit
Sue Grafton - B is for Burglar.lit
Sue Grafton - C is for Corpse.lit
Sue Grafton - D is for Deadbea.lit
Sue Grafton - E is for Evidence.lit
Sue Grafton - F is for Fugitive.lit
Sue Grafton - G is for Gumshoe.lit
Sue Grafton - H is for Homicide.lit
Sue Grafton - I is for Innocent.lit
Sue Grafton - J is for Judgement.lit
Sue Grafton - K is for Killer.lit
Sue Grafton - L is for Lawless.lit
Sue Grafton - M is for Malice.lit
Sue Grafton - N is for Noose.lit
Sue Grafton - O is for Outlaw.lit
Sue Grafton - Q is for Quarry.lit
Sue Grafton - R is for Ricochet.lit
Sun Tzu - The Art Of
Susan Richards - Lost And Found In
Susie Middleton - Fast, Fresh, And
Suzanne Collins - Catching
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger
Terry Brooks - Sword Of Shannara.lrf
Terry Brooks - The Elfstones Of Shannara.lrf
Terry Brooks - The Wishsong Of Shannara.lrf
Thomas Hardy - Far From The Madding Crowd.lit
Tim Haas - The Herb Garden
Timothy Ferriss - The 4 Hour
Tom Clancy - Clear & Present Danger.lit
Tom Clancy - Debt Of Honor.lit
Tom Clancy - Executive Orders.lit
Tom Clancy - Hunt For Red October.lit
Tom Clancy - Operation Rainbow.lit
Tom Clancy - Patriot Games [JR2].lit
Tom Clancy - Patriot Games.lit
Tom Clancy - Rainbow Six [JR9].lit
Tom Clancy - Red Rabbit.lit
Tom Clancy - Red Storm Rising.lit
Tom Clancy - Teeth Of The Tiger.lit
Tom Clancy - The Bear And The Dragon.lit
Tom Clancy - The Cardinal Of The Kremlin [JR3].lit
Tom Clancy - The Sum Of All Fears [JR5].lit
Tom Clancy - Without Remorse.lit
Tom Holt - Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit of
Tom Wolfe - The Bonfire Of The
Truman Capote - Breakfast At Tiffany'
Various - Golden Age Of Science Fiction Volume
Various - Golden Age Of Science Fiction Volume
Various - Golden Age Of Science Fiction Volume
Various - Golden Age Of Science Fiction Volume
Various - Golden Age Of Science Fiction Volume
Various - Golden Age Of Science Fiction Volume
Various - Golden Age Of Science Fiction Volume
Various - Golden Age Of Science Fiction Volume
Various - Golden Age Of Science Fiction Volume
Various - Golden Age Of Science Fiction Volume
Various - Golden Age Of Science Fiction Volume
Various - Golden Age Of Science Fiction Volume
Various - Golden Age Of Science Fiction Volume
Victoria Boutenko - 12 Steps To Raw
Walter M Miller - A Canticle For
William Dietz - Prison Planet.lit
William Golding - Lord Of The
William S Burroughs - The Naked Lunch.lit
Williams Goldman - The Princess Bride.lit
Yann Martel - Life Of

Here's the cover of my most popular book (more than 10,000 copies distributed):

Monday, October 29, 2012

NYC Subway System

As a student of history and business, one of my natural curiosities is thinking about "what can go wrong" in the world. Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it. The past has lots of lessons about things that can have a pretty negative effect upon civilization. Unfortunately, it often happens that some problems which are in plain view to a few people are only obvious to everyone else in hindsight.

I read a pretty interesting book several years ago, called, The World Without Us. Written by Alan Weisman, the book discusses what would happen to various parts of our civilization if humanity suddenly disappeared tomorrow. It's not a judgemental book, and doesn't attempt to provoke reactions by suggesting how humanity would disappear. It just discusses what would probably happen IF humans magically disappeared from the surface of the planet in a short period of time (something like 24 hours, if I remember correctly).

One of the earlier chapters in the book, if I remember correctly, talked about the New York City subway system, and its vulnerability to flooding. I believe that the background behind the concept was related to the gradual rise of sea levels related to global warming. After all, if you remember "An Inconvenient Truth," you'll know that some humans (only a billion or so) would be significantly affected by a rise in sea levels of only several feet.

But now that Hurricane Sandy is hitting New York City (during a full moon, no less, which increases tidal surges), there is a very real chance that storm surges will produce effects similar to or exceeding the situation described in "The World Without Us."

I can only hope that Sandy will not cause as much damage as could potentially be possible in a worst-case scenario. Looking at articles on the net from earlier today, it appears that people have talked about the potential for the subway system to be non-functional for [possibly] a couple of days. In reality, there is a small chance that the subway could be down for far, far longer than that.

Here's an interesting quotation from Gizmodo:
Most people may not realise it — or never have occasion to think about it — but NYC’s subway system is susceptible to flooding. The possibility is quite real.

What most people don’t know is that we depend on just 700 fragile water pumps to keep the tunnels dry — some a century old.

In fact, if someone powered down all these pumps tomorrow, the entire subway network would be inundated in just a few hours. To give you an idea of how complex and massive this system is, it pulls 50 million litres of water out of the subway on any sunny day. No rain. Not even a single drop of water from the sky. If Sandy manages to kill the power of any of the fragile old pumps protecting the system, there may be some serious problems.

On a rainy day, the pump system is absolute chaos, to the point where the MTA — NYC’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority — lives in permanent panic, fearing events like Sandy, the hurricane system that is approaching the little town right now. “At some point, it would be too much to handle,” said the head of the hydraulics team back in 2006, Peter Velasquez Jr, “you’ve got rain plus wind. It basically would shut down the system. You hope not. You pray that it doesn’t.

“To give you an idea about how bad this could be, some of the oldest pumps in the NYCTA system were bought second-hand from the builders of the Panama Canal. I worked for the TA many years ago and even then the pumps were considered a serious problem. The Panama Canal was finished in 1914.”

One of these days, I'm thinking about writing a series of blog posts about other potential disasters that are surprisingly possible for our modern society. To clarify, I'm not the slightest bit concerned by the Mayan "end of the world" predictions for this December. I think that the "end of the world" is all fear-mongering (although to a small extent, it will probably be somewhat of a self-perpetuating phenomena, at least on a micro scale, for certain people). It is only random chance that nature has produced this hurricane, possibly the strongest in decades on the north-east coast, on the same weekend that Canada experienced its strongest earthquake in fifty years. That earthquake was 7.7 RS, which happened here in BC on Saturday night while I was in the shower (with a follow-up this evening at 6.2 RS).

Anyway, a friend of mine (Drew Dudley) had an interesting conversation with me about "Black Swan" events a few years ago. I think that you'd find some of the scenarios to be interesting, if not always likely. I feel like it would be interesting to make some blog posts along those lines in the weeks leading up to December 21st.

Here's a buy-link to "The World Without Us" if you'd like to check it out:

"The World Without Us" on Amazon

Edit, 24hrs later: Unfortunately, it looks like a worst-case scenario has been realized. See this article from half an hour ago.