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eBooks: Currently Reading and Recently Read

Books on this page (read or reading)

 

 

Introduction

June 2017: I finally jumped on the band wagon and purchased my first ebook reader - a Sony PRD-300 - (albeit second-hand). I created this page to help keep track of which ebooks I have downloaded, read, and where I found them. I use my ebook reader for free books I have sourced online, keeping to proper books if I'm parting with money or using my local library when it can find what I want. I might also use an ebook version to trial a book, before purchasing a hard-copy.

Update March 2018: I've had some good use out of my eReader. It's handy for putting on those free books I find online, or even essays that are too long for me to read on my computer, and that I can't justify printing off. However, I do struggle with longer books on the device; generally because of maintaining attention which is also hindered by the action of turning pages which can be sluggish for some formats, particularly where formats have been converted. Bookmarking pages, while possible, is not ideal because this only marks the page and not the particular point I want to highlight (typically I would leave a thumbnail indent in a page or a light mark with a pencil so I can refer back to it with relative ease). I find an eReader better suited to the type of book or document that can be dipped in and out of, and particularly those that I'm not going to want to flick back and forth between pages or turn to appendices or indexes, because doing so with digital documents (no just on eReaders) just isn't a smooth way of working. If I can find a cheap copy of an actual book on Amazon then I would prefer to buy and read that instead.

I had a month of access to Amazon's free eBooks in 2017 I believe, and while I was able to download a multitude of titles (and then converting them to .epub without the DRM in place (which also required a month's free trial!)), I only got round to reading one short one, illustrating that "all you can eat" isn't always beneficial.
 

 

 

 

Update 2020: I acquired a Kindle Fire which I have found useful for .mobi files and also better at handling and displaying .pdf files, although for some reason it doesn't remember my progress, therefore I still prefer .epub files on my Sony eReader. I have also dabbled with 'Alexa', getting her to read books to me, although this seemed to only work for those free books I obtained directly from Amazon (see left).

 

 

Calibre ebook manager

Calibre. Free open source "powerful and easy to use e-book manager".
 
I've used it briefly so far to View and Convert ebooks for use on my device. Creating a functioning Table of Contents (TOC) is something on my list of challenges to overcome.
 

 

eBook Websites

You can of course use your search engine of choice to find particular ebooks, and if you too prefer the epub format for your device then include 'epub' in your search.
 
A problem that often arises is that there are many websites that will claim to have a particular book for download, but turns out not to, and you have to be careful about downloading something else. If you are prepared to pay for an ebook then you need to be especially careful that the website is legitimate.
 
Here is a shoutout to some of the free ebook websites I have found and used from time-to-time:
 
gen.lib.rus.ec (I have come to learn that some ISPs block access to this website on 'copyright infringement grounds - you may need to use a VPN to gain access).
 
www.globalgreyebooks.com

www.thevirtuallibrary.org

www.gutenberg.org

www.archive.org

I also sometimes 'download' a lengthy webpage by choosing a 'Print to PDF' option so that I can more comfortably read the text on my eReader of choice.
 

 

Current Reading Pile:

The Ethical Psychic Vampire by Raven Kaldera

 

Read so far in 2021:

Fixed Star, Sign and Constellation Magic by Christopher Warnock

 

Vampires in Their Own Words by Michelle Belanger
 - An Anthology of Vampire Voices

 

Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda

 

Amateur Radio Computing Handbook by Joe Pritchard

 

Life After Death by Damien Echols

 

Egregores by Mark Stavish
 - The Occult Entities That Watch Over Human Destiny

 

 Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Henry Cornelius Agrippa

 

 The Secret Teachings of all ages by Manly P. Hall

 

 A Little Something For Us Tempunauts by Philip K. Dick

It has been a while since I've read anything by PKD (the last was Time Out Of Joint in 2018), but I saw mention of this short story on sciencefictionruminations.com so I found this in Vol.5 of The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick.

 

Read in 2020:



See 2020 main page for details

 

Read in 2019:

Robinson Crusoe

 

Letters on England by Voltaire
 

Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard
Downloaded 16/03/19

buy from Amazon.co.ukAs featured in and inspiring The Matrix.

 

The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley

At only 45 pages, this was a quick read. I can't recall how I came to have it on my eBook Reader. All I can determine is that Huxley was friends with an Edmon Bordeaux Szekely of California (I glean this from the Preface of Book Two of the Essene Gospel of Peace).

Downloaded 02/06/18

 

The Loneliness Cure by Kory Floyd
Downloaded 11/04/19

 

Timaeus by Plato
Downloaded 26/03/18

Read in 2018:

Putting Away Childish Things by Uta Ranke-Heinemann

 

Dracula by Bram Stoker

This ebook was included on my Sony eReader.

You can read my views here.

 

The Gospel of Thomas

"The Gospel According to Thomas is an early Christian non-canonical sayings gospel ... It was discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in December 1945 among a group of books known as the Nag Hammadi library ... [It] is composed of 114 sayings attributed to Jesus." - Wikipedia

Downloaded 02/06/18

For some reason the website for the download includes the title "The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu" also, which is odd since that is something different (see below), although book could be be said to be about reason and virtue.

The download above includes explanations for each of the saying although I'm unsure who provided these; "The Logia are from a translation, made from the Coptic text published by Messrs. Brill of Leiden. English by W. R. Schoedel. The numbering of the sayings is that of the Brill edition." Since interpretation (and translation) are made from a matter of perspective it might be just as well to read each saying and ponder upon it for a time before reading its elucidation; you can do so with the aid of this document.

 

Time Out of Joint by Philip K. Dick

It was suggested to me that this book by the author of the book behind the "Blade Runner" films, was similar to The Truman Show (starring Jim Carrey) and I can only agree. Interestingly, this book's actual date is based in 1998, the same year The Truman Show film was released, although written back in 1959.

Download

 

Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays by Bertrand Russell

I discovered Russell (a philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer amongst much else) from an episode and DVD extras of Young Indiana Jones. Also of interest from the same is poet/writer Siegfried Sassoon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_Russell

Downloaded 12/03/18

Part III of the essay Mysticism and Logic is about Time.

 

The Chronic Argonauts by H. G. Wells
Downloaded 29/05/18

Written before The Time Machine.

 

The Basis of Morality by Annie Besant

Another interesting lecture/essay by Annie Besant, the previous one being An Introduction to Yoga.

 

The Assumption/Testament of Moses

Referred to in The Second Messiah

Downloaded 22/03/18

 

Lost Book of Enki by Zacharia Sitchin

I read Sitchin's End of Days book back in 2010 which I found hard to digest, but I stuck with it and found that what he had to say seemed to fall into place. The Lost Book of Enki is another strange one; I didn't know what to make of it, nor could I remember what lead me to download it a year earlier (it took me that long to get round to reading it). Wikipedia has it listed under Sitchin's novels, rather than it being non-fiction and a genuine historical works that had been translated as others seem to believe.

My suspicion is that it is a work of fiction, albeit one that gives an alternative take on various books in the Bible, such as Noah and the flood and the Tower of Babel. My main reason for this is because of the awkward way that Sitchin arranges each sentence; it's seems like he is trying too hard to make it sound like something it isn't, which makes it seem quirky and irritating to read. Had it been a genuine translation then the sentences could have been formed better.

Downloaded 16/04/17

 

Read in 2017:

The Kingdom of God Is Within You by Leo Tolstoy

I was hearing about the concept that Christ is something within us, and in searching for more information I found this book by Tolstoy... I'd been meaning to read something by him. I found this to be insightful and informative.

Downloaded 09/11/17

 

Du Pont Dynasty by Gerard Colby
 - Behind the Nylon Curtain

I decided to read this as part of Banned Books Week (24th September), although I started it the week before and was still reading it some weeks after.

Downloaded 04/09/17 (.pdf)

 

Protocols Of The [Learned] Elders Of Zion

Downloaded 19/06/17

 

Dialogue In Hell Between Machiavelli And Montesquieu by Maurice Joly

Translated by Not Bored

Downloaded to eReader

Downloaded to eReader (.pdf)

"Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (1469-1527) was an Italian Renaissance historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist, and writer. He has often been called the father of modern political science." - Wikipedia

"Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu (1689-1755) generally referred to as simply Montesquieu, was a French lawyer, man of letters, and political philosopher who lived during the Age of Enlightenment." Wikipedia

The Dialogue in Hell by Maurice Joly is there an imaginary discussion and debate between these two men; Machiavelli has his somewhat megalomaniacal ideas for ultimate political control; ideas that is until the end when he reveals such an institution already exists. It is almost comical throughout with Montesquieu entertaining him and chiding him to "get on with it" as he listens on with disbelief at the seemingly crazy ideas. The term Machiavellianism has been coined as "the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct."

Comical that is until we reflect upon the point that the later Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion was apparently based on it* (I've not read it) and there are those (such as David Icke) that based this on fact and a clear portrayal of our world today, let alone when they were written. Indeed, Osama bin Laden is said to have been a reader of the Protocols. (see The Bin Ladens by Steve Coll)

*some will say the Joly's piece came after the Protocols [link], therefore making the latter authentic rather than a forgery and an act of plagiarism. This coming from a 95 page book 'The Protocols of Zion in Context' (currently unavailable on Amazon.co.uk) by Kerry Bolton, who Wikipedia describes as a "writer and political activist noted for his extremist neo-Nazi ideology. His writings and views have been called pro-Nazi, anti-Jewish, and nationalist." [link]

Notes:

p.15 "Machiavelli: ... In a little while, there will be disorder everywhere: inexhaustible rhetoricians will transform the deliberatory assemblies into oratory jousts; audacious journalists and unbridled pamphleteers will attack the person of the sovereign every day, will discredit the government, the ministers, the men in positions of power. . . .

Montesquieu: I have long known these reproaches that are addressed to free governments. They have no value in my eyes; abuse does not condemn these institutions. I know of many States that have long lived in peace and under such laws: I pity those who cannot.

Machiavelli: Wait: in your calculations, you have only accounted for social minorities. There are gigantic populations riveted to work by poverty, as they were in the past by slavery. What importance do all your parliamentary fictions have to their happiness? In short, your great political movement has only ended in the triumph of a minority privileged by chance, as the ancient nobility triumphed through birth."
 

 

I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon and other stores by Philip K. Dick

Download

I came across a definition of reality by sci-fi author Philip K. Dick, and found it existed in what was labelled as novel by him 'How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later'. The definition states: "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

Since I had recently acquired an eReader I sourced a copy of the book, but found this 'story' to be more a short article, or reflection on novels, by Dick... by Dick, but on the nature of reality nonetheless. Dick had discovered that one or more of his earlier novels, and random situations in his own life had strange correlations with parts of the Bible, namely the book of Acts. Dick comes to the conclusion that time is an illusion and somewhat cyclical it seems, and that the book of Acts, as his example, outlined a sequence of events that are reoccurring.

Youtube: "Philip K Dick - Fascinating Rare Interview"
 

 

An Introduction to Yoga - Annie Besant

Download

I learned a little about Annie Besant after watching an episode of Young Indiana Jones, or rather the extended features included in the DVD set, and since I had been dabbling in the physical art of yoga, this book, or transcript of a speech given by Besant, seemed like it might be interesting to me. However, it turned out to be nothing about downward-facing-dogs, but quite enlightening indeed.
 

 

Downloaded but not yet read:

 

This Perfect Day by Ira Levin
Downloaded 09/03/19

A dystopic novel featuring in and inspiring the sci-fi series on Netflix: Travelers.

 

Looking Backward by David Bellamy
Downloaded 29/05/18

A utopian science fiction novel about time travel published in 1888 but set in the year 2000.

 

A Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
Downloaded 29/05/18

A novel featuring a time travel adventure.

 

 

Ecclesiasticus / The Wisdom of Sirach
Downloaded and converted 29/05/18

The phrase "Son, Observe the Time and Fly from Evil" is quoted from the Book of Ecclesiasticus (4:24) on Old Saint Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco, USA. This was observed in the time travel film Time After Time. This is said to be the largest book of wisdom/ethical teachings.

 

 

The Secret Instructions of the Jesuits
Downloaded 25/05/18

An overview can be found here: Youtube. It reminds me of both The Protocols Of The [Learned] Elders Of Zion and Dialogue In Hell Between Machiavelli And Montesquieu by Maurice Joly, see above.

 

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