What are you reading?

Today, I give you the usual list.

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What are you reading?  is crossposted to DailyKos

Just finished:
Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett.  I’d read this before, it’s one of my favorite Discworld novels.  Outstanding.

John Adams by David McCullough.

Last week:
An excellent book about a fascinating man.  The more I read about this era, the more I am impressed by the fathers, but the less I understand the Jefferson cult.  I like Adams more. 

Continuing with
How Mathematicians Think by William Byers.

Last week:
Fascinating ideas about ambiguity, paradox, and math.
Really quite an amazing work, and relatively accessible.  I recommend it to anyone interested in math. Some of the later chapters get into some less accessible math, but I think they can be skipped around, without losing too much. 

This week: I’ve read about 10 explanations of what exactly Euler’s formula (e ^ i*pi = -1) actually means.  I understand the arguments, but I still don’t really get it, intuitively.  On the other hand, this book has one of  the clearest explanations of the roots of unity that I’ve seen. 

Causality by Judea Pearl.  Fascinating but deep.

Intro to Probability Theory by Hoel, Port, and Stone.  A good text.

The Elements of Statistical Learning by Trevor Hastie and Robert Tibshirani.  An in-depth look at a wide range of statistical techniques.  Beautifully produced.

Just started
The Politics of Congressional Elections by Gary Jacobson

The light fantastic by Terry Pratchett.  More Discworld fun.

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    • plf515 on October 26, 2007 at 1:05 pm
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    • RiaD on October 26, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    & getting published. Swordsmith did an excellent 16 part series last year: http://www.dailykos….
    I’ve gotten stuck in my story, so I thought I’d go see how it’s really done. Now I’m screwing up my courage to write him & ask the coupla questions I have.

    oh…and waaay too many blog essays 🙂

  1. by Steven Pressfield.  I don’t much care for books on war but I did read “Killer Angels” and though it is historical fiction Michael Shaara doesn’t color a whole lot outside the lines of known fact.  I’m attempting to read “Gates of Fire” because it is what the officers at Fort Rucker are reading right now for Officer Professional Development.  I just got the book yesterday and the front of the cover says that it is an Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae.  The back of the book has a New York Times review quote that the book is “Gripping and swashbuckling….an exciting romantic star-crossed story” and I’m not impressed with that quote because it hints that this book probably isn’t a very accurate depiction of a war and I’m sort of wondering why anyone thinks our soldiers need to read romantic war fiction right now.  Probably because reality sucks but I don’t think reading material will fix that and pumping officers minds full of B.S. cannot lead to good things for enlisted but I have digressed terribly and haven’t even read the book so I suppose I ought to just read the book first huh before I go off on tangents?  Just for the record though I really can’t believe that anyone would assign a work of war fiction for Officer Professional Development right now but they did.

  2. Blackwater by Scahill and
    Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein.

    I bought a used copy of No Logo by Naomi Klein for my teenage son who likes Nike shoes. I hope he reads it, but regardless it is going on my list. I will also read a biography of John Kenneth Galbraith by Parker.

    • Alma on October 26, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    because I read mainly fantasy and fiction now. (I used to read political books like crazy until it got to be too much)
    I just had to mention the new Patricia Cornwell book, Book of the Dead.  It has lots of shots at Bush, and the way they do things.  PTSD from Iraq seems to be playing a big part in the story.

  3. This is from the Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series.  The series is just great, no stereotypical poor farm boy gets sword and saves world thing, and Erikson is truly a great writer.

    I’ve never read any of the Discworld series but will get around to them eventually. 

    I recently read Animal’s People by Indra Sinha, based on the after effects of a nasty chemical disaster in an Indian town.  Brilliant, hilarious and tragic.

    And Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling from Ross King.  My non-fiction is usually political, but not lately.  I guess I need a break.

  4. Unbowed by Wangari Maathai. Here’s a synopsis:

    In Unbowed, Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai recounts her extraordinary journey from her childhood in rural Kenya to the world stage. When Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, she began a vital poor people’s environmental movement, focused on the empowerment of women, that soon spread across Africa. Persevering through run-ins with the Kenyan government and personal losses, and jailed and beaten on numerous occasions, Maathai continued to fight tirelessly to save Kenya’s forests and to restore democracy to her beloved country. Infused with her unique luminosity of spirit, Wangari Maathai’s remarkable story of courage, faith, and the power of persistence is destined to inspire generations to come.

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