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
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.
(started and finished) Arguably by Christopher Hitchens. A collection of essays from the first 10 years of this century. Hitchens was very knowledgable and he wrote very well. The interest of these essays for me varied, but most are well done (even when infuriating).
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.
nothing this week (but see above)