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
Woodrow Wilson by John Cooper, Jr. A fairly admiring look at Wilson.
Steal the Menu by Raymond Sokolov. Sokolov has loved food all his life and written about it professionally for 40 years for, e.g. the NY Times, the Wall St. Journal, Natural History….. Here he recounts his eating. Not bad, but rather self-congratulatory… He tells us that he was Phi Beta Kappa at Harvard. Later, he tells us again.
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. But he should add the adjective “Western” or something as he doesn’t discuss other traditions or writings.
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.
Eminence: Cardinal Richelieu and the Rise of France by Jean-Vincent Blanchard. Richelieu, best known to many from The Three Musketeers was a master of the dark arts of politics. And 16th and 17th century politics was no place for wusses.
A Question of Blood by Ian Rankin. Another in the Inspector Rebus series of Scottish noir police procedurals. A gunman has killed children in a school and then himself. Rebus and his colleagues are investigating. There’s also a question of how Rebus’ hands got scalded, while at the same time a lowlife who he was talking to burned to death.
Spell it Out by David Crystal. The history of English spelling and why it’s so weird and why “rules” don’t work. Very interesting, but it all sort of blends together.