Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Books I am Reading, or Finished Reading Recently

I've been doing a lot of reading lately. It feels like more than I had been doing in recent years... although that's not necessarily true.

One of the things I have read, is that leaders should be readers, and should read everything. Fiction, non-fiction, literature. That fiction helps people to understand other perspectives, it helps one person understand another. Meanwhile, nonfiction teaches about the world - past, present, the potentials for the future.

Non-Fiction:

  • Rhea Seddon's, "Go For Orbit" An excellent book, and highly recommended particularly for women interested in the space industry. It's made me even more interested in Marianne Dyson's biography.
  • We Could Not Fail . Again, highly recommend, particularly for those in Alabama. While it touches on KSC and JSC, there seem to be more Huntsville / MSFC stories. The historians also tie in the actions of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and some further insight into Wernher Von Braun. 
  • Digital Apollo. This was loaned to me, and is now on my list of books to buy.
  • Lies My Teacher Told Me. I have an older edition. This is one book that I've been slowly working on for about a year, part of my #WhiteFolkWork.
  • The Challenger Launch Decision, Diane Vaughan's classic work, I think I've finished chapter 3. This had been recommended to me more than a decade ago, but I'm just getting to it. It goes along well with a Great Course I listened to in the car, "Peoples and Culture."
  • Pushback, which discusses integrative negotiation, particularly for women. This is an excellent companion for "Getting to Yes" and "Getting Past No". Everybody at the SWE conference seemed to be talking about this book a few years ago. I'm pretty far in, but not quite done with it, and I am learning from it.
  • Headstrong, by Rachel Swaby. Some of the accounts of the 52 women who changed science and the world are so short that I might read 2 stories in a week, but for the most part I am trying to keep this to my once-a-week inspiration. That means I'm just getting out of the Medicine group and into Biology and Ecology. There are several accounts further into the book that I am eager to read, but trying to pace myself.
  • Welcome To Mars, by Buzz Aldrin and Marianne Dyson. This is more of a science book for kids. I hope I can plan to do some of these activities with him while I'm home.

Fiction:

  • A.C. Crispin, Starbridge volumes 6 and 7. I didn't even know these existed until we went to Con*Stellation one of our first years in Alabama. I saw them at a vendor, but wasn't in a position to buy them yet. Now I have, and for the most part I enjoyed them.
  • S.M. Stirling, "The Desert and the Blade", from the library. I've been reading the Change series for several years now, and still enjoy every novel.
  • Mercedes Lackey, "Blood Red," another library book from her Elemental Masters series.
  • Mercedes Lackey, "From A High Tower," another library book in her Elemental Masters series. I really enjoyed this novel. The first phase of this series was largely set in England, but with these books she changes location to Germany and Eastern Europe, and I'm fascinated by the new settings.
  • Harper Lee's "Go Set a Watchman." Another library book, I read it the Saturday after she passed away. It's... a complicated novel, about the complicated South. There are aspects of Scout's struggles, coming home, that I can identify with from my own move to Alabama. And there are aspects that I don't know if I could ever understand.
  • Octavia Butler, "Blood Child."  I saw her work featured at the library during Black History Month a few weeks ago, and I had been hearing a lot about her on Tumblr and sometimes Twitter. So this past weekend I checked out some of her books, and just finished this collection of short stories and essays this evening. It has been a long time since I've specifically read books about the art of writing, but I think I want to take notes from this.
  • Marianne Dyson, "Fly Me to the Moon," another collection of short stories that I thoroughly enjoyed.
  • "Eat My Martian Dust," a collection of short stories about God and science from a Christian (primarily Protestant) perspective. I enjoyed Marianne Dyson's two or three stories in the collection (especially her "Kuk Sool on the moon" one). There were two stories I did not like (neither one by Dyson): one argued for young-Earth Creationism, and the other attempts to justify Colonialist evangelism. Most of the other stories are well-written and thought-provoking, and yet I also found the collection leaned more preachy. For examining religious themes within a science fiction context, I like Sacred Visions better.