What are you reading? (with blogs)!

Just the usual list today; next week, I’ll try to do a ‘year in review’.

If you like to trade books, try BookMooch.

What are you reading? is crossposted to docudharma

Been a while since I did a ‘regular list’….

Bruce Sterling  The Zenith Angle…. A lot of fun – geeks and stuff.

David Ruelle The mathematician’s brain: A personal tour through the essentials of mathematics and some of the great minds behind them A very eclectic, personal book.  Really a set of short essays, loosely connected; all about math in one way or another, but very varied.  Mostly not technical.

Brian Ripley Pattern recognition and neural networks

I just got Jack Vance’s Araminta station through Bookmooch, I will start it soon.

I am re-reading Heinlein’s the Moon is a Harsh Mistress.  OK, Heinlein’s political views aren’tm mine, but dang, that man could write a story.



Political Arithmetik Charles Franklin (who also writes for pollster) presents thoughtful and graphically interesting analysis of polls. Not updated that often.

pollster.com a really good source of data, nicely if simply presented

polling report including the subscriber only state polls.  All sorts of interesting polls, not just elections

good math bad math Mark Chu-Carroll is a progressive and a mathematician and a computer scientist.  Funny and interesting looks at the beauty of good math and the horror of bad math.  Fun stuff.

statistical science, causal inference and social modeling  Andrew Gelman is a statistician at Columbia.  Tons of interesting things about politics and statistics.

Some site called Daily Kos, which is kinda like this site, only different… πŸ™‚

and, of course docudharma!


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    • plf515 on December 21, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    I will be in and out….my wife is away, so things are a little chaotic

    • RiaD on December 21, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to you & yours!

    I’ve read nothing this week πŸ™

    I have some Vance in a box somewhere…

    after the holidays i plan to organize all those boxes & start shedding stuff… i’ll let you know if i find them & what their titles are…

  1. My kids must be completely grown.  At this time of the year I am no longer reading assembly instructions.

    Two great, short books as gifts to loved ones:

    *Juan Rulfo’s novel Pedro Paramo.  This book was a huge favorite of Garcia Marquez, and it’s said he could quote large sections of it from memory.  Some think it was the inspiration for 100 Years of Solitude.

    *Alejo Carpentier, The Harp and The Shadow.  This book made a moderate splash in 1992, the 500th year of Columbus’s arrival in this hemisphere, and now seems to have been mostly forgotten.  It’s Carpentier’s story of an extremely unfamiliar, unimpressive, exploitative Columbus.

    And a happy holiday to you, plf.  Thanks for all you do.

    • kj on December 21, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    interesting choices!  not for me, but my husband might like a few of those math/computer/neural networks reads.  Thanks!

    • oculus on December 21, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    by Anthony Doerr (and it is not a very thick book!).

    Next:  the new Paul Theroux novel, Elephanta Suite.

  2. RiaD’s comment about posting this on the essay list also I keep missing it. I’m breaking my dual habits of political books and hard boiled fiction and enjoying it:

    decided I need to read more fictious women so I just finished  The robber bride by Margret Atwood, and am halfway through The Infinite Plan by Isabel Allende. Enjoyed the first, and the Allende is strange as the main character is a man and it’s set in the US.

    Non fiction I am reading a really strange for me book. At the recommendation of my sister in law who thinks I’m to angry about the world I’m reading When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron, it was in the Tibetan Buddhist section at Powells and is actually helping me politically LOL. I recommend it as it is not religious or self help but a nontheist book about compassion, dhrama, chaos and change.

    Lastly I went through mystery withdrawal and slipped in a Swedish Mystery by Henning Mankell, this one The Man Who smiled. I recommend his series to those who like mysteries of the urban modern ennui type.  

  3. Liprap’s Lament – the line – a very personal response from someone living in NOLA.

    w3 – geek stuff

    and a lot of emails from Veterans

    • pico on December 21, 2007 at 11:08 pm

    apart from heavy work-related reading.  I’m doing a future literature installment on Fernando Pessoa, so I’m reading his Book of Disquiet, which is outstanding in smaller doses, and I just re-finished (for the third time) E. E. Cummings’ The Enormous Room (another plea for people to pick it up!)

    I’ll be traveling a lot over the next week, so I think my travel book will be Thomas Pynchon’s Against the Day, which I’ve been itching to dive into but haven’t had the time.  Pynchon takes a lot of investment, and I haven’t had much to give lately.  Travel is a good excuse.  

    I’m picking up some Edwidge Danticat on a strong recommendation: has anyone here read her?

  4. It’s one of those great books that people take for granted, but if you read it in a good translation (mine is an old one but a good one, by Ann Dunnagin) you gradually realize that it’s an even greater book than “everybody” says it is!  A vast labyrinthine plot, hundreds upon hundreds of characters–and yet there’s not a single character or scene in it that’s a clichΓ©.  Nothing is “stock.”  Every character, no matter how major or minor, seems newly invented and freshly minted, with unexpected facets, surprising self-contradictions.

    I’ve reached Book Two (of four), and am up to just past p. 400 (of 1,455) in my edition.  I started in late November, and it will probably keep me busy until February, but I’m loving it.

  5. Winston Churchill during the run-up to WWII.  Excellent.  Just finished Churchill’s outstanding book on WWI called The World Crisis.  A devastating work on the follies of the Generals and their willingness to sacrifice the blood of their nations, not just for victory, but rather than admit they needed to change strategy.  Highly recc it.

  6. …in part because what I’ve been reading has been crap.  But one particularly tasty snickerdoodle came my way this week.

    I recall the Heinlein juveniles fondly, faults and all; and I recall Spider Robinson fondly, from back when he was writing Stardance and I was young enough to appreciate it.  Based on seven pages of RAH notes, he produced a juvenile called Variable Star, in bookstores near you, and damn if he didn’t pull it off.  It is flawed and blah blah caveat caveat and so on but it is also very clearly the product of no small love and skill.  If you liked the originals but are much more liberal and sophisticated now, you’ll probably like this.  For some reason I had a huge grin when I finished it which lasted all day, and since I’m unusually wandering around these days thinking I’m unemployable scum, that’s no small accomplishment…


  7. I read a fascinating account by Errol Morris as he tried to figure out which of two civil war photographs was taken first.

    Part One

    Part Three

    That was one of the most intriguing things I’ve read all year.  Thanks.

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