Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Books, Books, and More Books

I was just updating my wish list on Amazon and I realized that I can add comments to the list that allow people to have more insight to why I'm after certain books. Now it is not just an empty shopping list. This makes me much happier about it than before as now I feel there is a little more connection between me and the person who might potentially have a book sent my way. (If anyone is interested, you can go to Amazon, click on Wish List and type in my name [Phillip Tesner]. My list will pop up. If you decide to get me a book, all you have to do is purchass it, it will ship directly to me, and I will be forever grateful. I am, by most standards, not in a position to spend money on books, so I could use any help I can get to maintain a state of being well read.)

Today, I attempted entering a German course at a new school. All the courses were full so they could not accept me, but I am the first on the list for the next course sometime in January. This is an important step in my new plan which involves grad school in a foreign language.

I spent many hours in the library today. I organized all my notes, list, sketches, and other scraps of information on paper, a hefty pile I might add. I also explored the shelves and picked out a nice stack of books to read through. Today's selection:

-Introduction to the Physics of Music
-Clockwork Music (music machines throughout history)
-Summer Crossing (Truman Capote's first novel)
-John Cage, Writings '73-'78 (Empty Words)
-John Cage, Writings '79-82 (X)
-A Man Without a Country, Kurt Vonnegut
-Die Gro├če Musikschule (a huge school book about music and music instruments in german so I can learn all the names and words I need)
-Western Stories, Mark Twain*
-Modern American Short Stories*, Anderson, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, Faulkner, and Porter
(*Fremdsprachentexte, which means foreign language text. They are for Germans learning English, but i'm going to use them in reverse. At the end of every page they translate all the slang, phrases, idioms, and etc. that we use in everyday speak.)

Speaking of books, Sarah and Rene, got me an excellent book on the Berlin Wall. With all the excitement with the 20th year celebration of it's fall, it is very relevant and informative. This book has a very comprehensive presentation of many different aspects of the wall, including where it stood, the political situation over the years it stood, and much more.

Update on the puzzle: I have the whole border together and have the entire skyline connecting from one side to the other. I am trying to knock out ths sky first, because I believe that it will be the most difficult part (it is all the same blue and makes up about one third of the puzzle).

I spent a large portion of the weekend reading about M-theory, String Theory, and related topics. I even watched a documentary! I really pushed my brain on this. It was funny, because some detail would click and I would run and try to explain it to Mandie. I would generally get mixed up and then retreat for more reading. I understand it much better now, even though the math and some of the concepts, naturally, are way over my head.

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