Josh's Blog

Month: July 2020

Quarantine Books

Christopher Hitchens: God is not Great – How Religion Spoils Everything – Religion through the view of one of its greatest contemporary critics, Christopher Hitchens. As an ever developing non-believer myself, I stumbled across Mr. Hitchens through one of his many YouTube debates, where he can be seen systematically dismantling the views of several religious prominents, especially within the three Abrahamic faiths. Rating: 7.5/10 – Thoroughly well written, but at times perhaps a bit self-indulgent at the sake of meaningful objectivity.

Steven Pressfield:  Gates of Fire – a fictional and largely militarist recounting of ancient Spartan civilization up to its famous clash with the Persian Empire in the Battle of Thermopylae. This was recommended to be by my Father after discussing the film, 300. Rating: 8/10 – I thoroughly enjoyed this ride with Xeo, and his journey with the Spartans.

Sam Harris: Lying – a psychologist view on lying and its profound effects on both the deceiver and the deceived, even in the case of the small white lies we tell our children. It also examines the cathartic benefits of always telling the truth under (almost) any circumstance. I stumbled upon Sam Harris as recommended viewing on YouTube after watching several C. Hitchens interviews and debates. Rating 8/10 – there were several aspects of this essay that I wish were expanded upon, namely, techniques to implement a 100 percent truth principle 100 percent of the time, when we live in a world that operates around a multitude of multifaceted deceptions.

Guitar Head: Guitar Fretboard – Master the Guitar Fretboard in less than 24 hours – Short and sweet guide to memorizing the guitar fretboard through the use of mnemonics and visuals. Rating: NA Although I’ve completed this book, I have not yet given its lessons the required attention.

Gordon R. Dickson: The Dragon & The George – This book was recommended by none other than legendary metal icon Ronnie James Dio (may he rest in peace), in a random interview I saw of him on YouTube. When a science experiment goes wrong, a man and his fiancé are transported into a fairytale world of dragons, knights, and castles. The man, who now actually has taken the over the body of an existing dragon, must rescue his fiancé, who has been captured by an evil knight. Along the way he makes friends, who join him on his journey. Rating: 7.5/10 – an easily accessible and fun escape from the maladies of quarantine. Thank you Ronnie!