I usually read nonfiction.  Most of my books I download onto a kindle app, or listen via audible.  The audiobooks are in the background when I work online, and when driving. Sometimes at bedtime  I usually listen 2 or 3 times, since I miss parts when I am doing other tasks.

For some reason I'm starting to read fiction again. 

Most recent nonfiction:

Dugard's Into Africa. The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingston.  Mid 1800s, exploration of Africa was one of the last frontiers for Europeans.  Slavery was depleting the continent, to the East (Arabs) and to the West (Americas).   The West was fascinated by stories of Africa, and the source of the Nile was almost a Holy Grail.  The explorers were imperfect by modern standards - as are most modern people - but had incredible experiences, dedication, failure, triumph, disease, injury, hardship, degradation, pride, and more.  I've previously read other books about the exploitation of Africa - most notably, the enslavement and genocide of millions of people in the Congo  (Hochschild's  King Leopold's Ghost) - a story that includes Stanley's role in that atrocity.  In Into Africa, the tales of adventure and exploration are well told, the psychologies of the main characters are described, and the context is illuminated.  Stanley reinvented himself as much as a modern politician, and Livingston was driven by religion, lust, science, and adventure. 

Most recent fiction:

I just finished James Lee Burke's "The Tin Roof Blowdown", a story of crime during and following the Katrina disaster in New Orleans.  The story was complicated, with multiple bad guy characters and flawed good guys.  I like stories about the South, and New Orleans, and enjoyed this one enough that I bought another book in Burke's series.

Currently reading Walter Mosely "Devil in a Blue Dress", another crime story.  This time, set in 1940s post war Watts in Los Angeles.  To me, this has a noir feel, and I'm enjoying it thoroughly.

I need to be reminded to to use the amazon link, to support Nexus.

Anyone else reading any good books?

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At fifteen hours per week in the car, I go through audiobooks like nobody's business. Currently I'm in the middle of Bart Ehrman's latest, How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. It's good, but I notice that he tends to repeat a lot of the same material throughout his many books.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0061778184?pc_redir=1404101688&ro...

Does he say things about Jesus' magic tricks?  They presumably involved deliberate deception. 

Does God deliberately deceive people?

No, I'm referring to his references to the methods which one can use in attempting to determine what elements of scripture may be determined to be original. If you're unaware, Bart is a former fundamentalist/evangelical who finally saw the light and lost all faith. His advanced theological education and knowledge of Greek, Hebrew and Aremaic got him access to some of the most ancient versions of scripture, when it occurred to him that modern versions the bible bear little resemblance to their roots.

Presumably he writes about the historical Jesus though?  Jesus' magic tricks contradict the idealized image. 

He treats the magic as little more than sensationalistic embellishments to loosely translated stories over time. For instance, it is far more likely to him that Jesus was just a good leader than a magician. When hundreds of followers set out to follow Jesus to hear him speak, it's highly unlikely that every one of them left their homes with their families, yet didn't bring food with them for the journey. The crowd got hungry, some didn't come prepared, and Jesus came up with the bright idea to collect all the food onto one table and feed all the people from it. That story eventually morphed into Jesus feeding the multitudes by multiplying fish and bread.

Personally, I'm not even convinced that Jesus was a real person in history, but I like hearing sensible explanations for the obtuse bullshit that is derived from ancient dogma.

He treats the magic as little more than sensationalistic embellishments to loosely translated stories over time.

That's an interesting and believable idea, and it's kinder to Jesus than the charlatan image. 

But perhaps the "lost years" between Jesus as a teenager and Jesus as a preacher, were spent learning magic in India or something like that ;)

That's kinda what Jesus does in Christopher Moore's awesome book 'Lamb', although he goes by the name Joshua in that book. One of my all time favorite books. It's basically a novel that loosely parallels the life and times of Jesus, as narrated by his best friend Biff. It's hysterical.

Future, you spend more time in the car than I do, but we both benefit from audiobooks.  They make the ride go a lot better, and eliminate annoying radio DJs and ads.  Your choice sounds interesting.

I hate long commutes, commercials, and having shitty songs stuck in my head - but I love the library! My commute sucks, but free audiobooks make it bearable. I would recommend one of Bart's books, but seeing as he has authored about 30 of them, it would be better to review them and find one that sounds interesting to you, if that topic interests you.

http://www.bartdehrman.com/books.htm

I normally read non fiction, personal development, science related and psychology.

Right now I am going through,
Games People Play - Eric Berne
Psychology of human relationship covered in the form of various games. More technical, needs more attention but worth the time.

Have you read the old Dale Carnegie book "How to make friends snd influence prople". That had a big effect on me. nInitially I thought from the title it was manipulative, but when I read it, it was sincere. I changed how I interacted with others, snd overcame some of the lack of social skill from my upbringing. The Survivor Personality was also influential for me, ans 7 habits of highly effective people.

I have read all of them except the 'The Survival Personality' and I am curious about it.

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