Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

What are you reading? May 29, 2013

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.

If you like to trade books, try bookmooch

I’ve written some book reviews on Yahoo Voices:

Book reviews on Yahoo

Just finished

Visions of Infinity by Ian Stewart. A relatively nontechnical look at 11 famous problems of math. I found some chapters more interesting than others. Stewart is a very good popularizer of math, so if you like math, you will probably like this.

Now reading

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.

On politics: A history of political thought from Herodotus to the present by Alan Ryan. What the subtitle says – a history of political thought.  

Woodrow Wilson by John Cooper, Jr. A fairly admiring look at Wilson.

Lake Views: The world and the universe by Steven Weinberg. Essays by this leading physicist.

Algorithms Unlocked  by Thomas Corman  A gentle introduction to computer algorithms

Robert Oppenheimer: A life in the center by Ray Monk  Oppenheimer was one of the most interesting people of the 20th century. In this biography Monk (a wonderful writer) attempts to cover both his physics and his many other interests.

Just started

Heechee Rendezvous by Fred Pohl. The third book in the Heechee series. This is a re-read for me


  1. DeniseVelez

    I am enthralled. Language/linguistics as the uniting theme in science fiction absorbs me.

    Haven’t been so engaged in a sci-fi book since Suzette Haden Elgin wrote her Native Tongue series.

    Now that school is out, I’m getting to do some non-academic reading for a change.

  2. Diana in NoVa

    It’s not quite as well-written as the critics would have one believe because this type of sentence construction is repeated all the way through it:  “Combing her hair, she read the article in The Straits Times.

    It’s a gloomy book and I can tell it’s going to get gloomier. What keeps me reading is that I lived in Singapore during three yeas of The Emergency (communist guerrilla war in Malaysia during the 1950s). The dialogue is authentic, so much so it’s bringing back all kinds of memories.

    Just finished The Dovekeepers–the only book I’ve ever read that made me feel like a worse person after reading it. Given the fact it’s about Masada, I didn’t expect it to be a barrel of laughs, but I also didn’t expect to feel so altogether revolted, discouraged, and full of other negative emotions.

  3. princesspat

    The setting is England before, during and after WWI, and the main character is a complex young woman working as a psychologist and private investigator. Each book has a mystery to solve, but the enduring interest for me are the themes of education, class differences, the economic, political and personal impact of the war, and the historical setting in London and the English countryside.

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