Devil’s Advocate: Smiling Dave, you seem to spend a lot of time debunking theories and articles. How about a change of pace, and tell us what things you think are good?
SD: Sure thang, Devil. I leave out some of the more spiritual stuff, it being very private. What follows is pure gold, stuff that I found 100% reliable. In no particular order:
1. Theodore Isaac Rubin’s books. I’m talking about Compassion and Self Hate, and The Angry Book. Both tell it like it is.
For many years, I would read fiction by great authors, and always my reaction was, “Yes, you ask all the right questions, but what about the answers?” Rubin’s books give the answers.
2. The Beast In The Jungle, by Henry James. When I first read this novella, I was constantly saying, “Finish the sentence, already!” Talk about long, involved, convoluted sentences. But the story gripped me from the start. When I reached the last page, I was so struck by the author’s message that I felt a knife ripping through my guts. I ran out of the house, desperately looking for relief. Didn’t find any.
3. Starting Strength, by Marc Rippetoe. A well known book, it teaches one how to get very strong very quickly. Chock full of info, no baloney.
4. A Mathematical Introduction to Logic, by Herbert Enderton. Does what it says. Clear, good problems, everyone in my class loved it.
5. Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt. Lays it all out in a way anyone can understand.
6. Interpretation of Dreams, by Freud. Awesome book, discovered something no one else knew, tells you how to do it also. Gestalt Therapy Verbatim by Fritz Perls continues where Freud left off.
7. Russian Problem books. Proskuryakov on Linear Algebra, Minorsky, Demidovitch on beginner’s higher math. I find I need lots of drill, and they provide it in an interesting way. Look around for a Mir Titles website.
8. Books by Mises. These are of varying difficulty. I find the shorter, more popular works, meaning transcripts of lectures and reprints of short articles, very good.
9. Redirecting Self Therapy, by Elnora van Winkle. Not a book, but a website and a method for getting rid of suppressed anger.
10. Two Dimensional Calculus, by Osserman. A good transition from Calculus to Advanced Calculus. Advanced Calculus, by Widder. Somehow he always has the perfect exercises, in quantity and quality.
11. Old Editions of Thomas’s Calculus. I’m talking about really old, like the third edition.
12. D.H. Lawrence’s short stories. No porn, no grass and trees and bubbling brooks, just good, good telling it like it is.
13. D. H. Lawrence’s Studies in Classic American Literature. Never a dull moment, and surprising insights.
That’s it for now. Would love to see stuff you like, dear reader, and why.