For those who are new … we discuss books. I list what I’m reading, and people comment with what they’re reading. Sometimes, on Sundays, I post a special edition on a particular genre or topic.
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I’ve written some book reviews on Yahoo Voices:
Book reviews on Yahoo
The hard SF renaissance ed. by David G. Hartwell. A large anthology of “hard” SF from the 90’s and 00’s. I think Hartwell takes SF a bit too seriously, but the stories are good.
Protector by Larry Niven Another novel set in the same universe as the Ringworld novels
Cooler Smarter: Practical tips for low carbon living by the scientists at Union of Concerned Scientists, a great group. These folk make sense, concentrating on the changes you can make that have the biggest impact with the least effort.
Thinking, fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman. Kahneman, most famous for his work with the late Amos Tversky, is one of the leading psychologists of the times. Here, he posits that our brains have two systems: A fast one and a slow one. Neither is better, but they are good at different things. This is a brilliant book: Full of insight and very well written, as well.
What hath God wrought? by Daniel Walker Howe. Subtitled “The transformation of America 1815-1848. I am reading this with the History group at GoodReads. This is very well written, and does a good job especially with coverage of the treatment of Blacks and Native Americans.
On politics: A history of political thought from Herodotus to the present by Alan Ryan. What the subtitle says – a history of political thought.
He, she and it by Marge Percy. Near future dystopian SF set on Earth.
Measurement by Paul Lockhart. About mathematics and, especially, how it should be taught and learned. Lockhart is wonderful; his first book A Mathematician’s Lament was, in my view, the best book on teaching math ever written.
Standing in another man’s grave Another in the Rebus series of Scottish noir crime novels. Here, Rebus is investigating a series of girls who have gone missing over a number of years.
Weird Life by David Toomey. Life is weird. But, in this book, Toomey discusses weird living things and even weirder things that might be living somewhere else; that is, unusual life on Earth and the possibilities for life elsewhere. Recent years have seen a great expansion in the regions of Earth that are known to have life: Inside of rocks; far under the sea; in places previously thought too hot, too cold, too dry or too acidic for life to exist. Then Toomey goes farther and discusses life that might not be based on DNA or even on carbon. Fascinating and accessible.
The Butcher’s Boy by Thomas Perry. A hit man and the attempts to find and stop him.
Visions of Infinity by Ian Stewart. A nontechnical look at 11 famous problems of math. So far, it’s a little too nontechnical for my taste.
Woodrow Wilson by John Cooper, Jr. A fairly admiring look at Wilson.