Read Books This will provide a list of the books I've read with a brief review. Users are blocked, contact me for access. I welcome discussions, but I'm tired of spam.

September 26, 2012

The Law of Superheroes by James Daily, Ryan Davidson

Filed under: Technical — Randolph @ 7:05 pm

The Law of Superheroes by James Daily, Ryan Davidson

The Law of Superheroes is a primer on law. Although it mostly applies to US law, it does touch on international law. The book uses comic book events involving superheroes to discuss points of law, providing an interesting and memorable framework for the discussions.

The authors, James Daily and Ryan Davidson, are lawyers and comic book nerds. They started a blog, Law and the Multiverse (at, which grew and eventually encouraged the authors to write this book.

The first chapter starts with the constitution. It addresses issues such as testimony in costume, identity, psychic powers and addresses the first, fifth, and fourteenth amendments in a little more detail. It then moves into registration, civil rights, immortals, powers as weapons, and government power.

In a similar vein, other chapters address criminal law and procedures, evidence, and tort. Then moves into business law, contracts, administrative laws and intellectual property laws. And finally addressing travel, immigration, international law and non-human intelligence.

The authors are able to make each topic interesting weaving in comic stories and include a few comic excerpts that are discussed in the text, making this an enjoyable book to read.

My complaints are few, some of the comic images were a bit blurry and difficult to read. Some topics seem to be addressed too lightly, but this is just a primer. If you’ve any interest in the law, this is a good book. If you don’t, it still provides basic information you should be familiar with.

September 20, 2012

Imagination and Meaning in Calvin and Hobbes by Jamey Heit

Filed under: Humor,Philosophy,Technical — Randolph @ 8:02 pm

Imagination and Meaning in Calvin and Hobbes
by Jamey Heit

This book is an analysis of the Calivin and Hobbes comic strip through the eyes of philosophy. In some ways it reminds me of the popular culture and philosophy series, but here the focus is on building a better understanding the comic rather than philosophy, philosophy is the tool for the understanding.

At first glance, the book does remind me of more traditional philosophy books. It has a smaller font, dense pages with few breaks, and a serious list of footnotes. On starting to read it the same impression continued, high information density and heavy at times. Sometimes it became difficult to follow, but the focus on the comic brought recurring themes of humor.

Difficult as it may have been, I never considered giving up. The book reveals a lot of information about the comics, calling on specific themes and even individual strips to support its arguments. While reading the book, I gained insights in to the strips, and a great desire to reread the series with my new understanding.

Watterson drew heavily on philosophers for his inspiration, from the very name of the strip and characters. The book discusses themes and how they relate to philosophy, from flying dinosaurs, Spaceman Spiff, Calvin as god of his snow creatures, and Hobbes appears real to the reader so long as an adult isn’t in the strip.

My two issues with the book is that I would have liked some comics included to help break up the book’s text, and having just finished it, I’m already having trouble remembering many portions of it due to its heavy content.

I do recommend the book for anyone who has enjoyed the comic and has any interest in philosophy. I’m going to reread the comics, and my try tacking the book for a second time, some day…

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