Book Review (for recreational reading)

  • #151
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I actually picked this up at the swap meet a couple weeks ago and cannot recommend it. There are NUMEROUS typos, and, in the extended quote from the Principia they fail to include all the geometric diagrams that are in the original. As Newton tries to lead you through complicated geometric reasoning you have no diagrams to refer to.

It's an attractive coffee table book that, apparently, wasn't meant to actually be read.
Have you read God Created the Integers? I own it but haven't read it since the maths is currently (or maybe perpetually) beyond me at the moment. I was wondering if it was one day worth attempting (I really dislike starting books and not finishing them).
I bought The emperor of all maladies: The biography of Cancer recently and it looks pretty awesome.
 
  • #152
arildno
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Currently I am reading A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin and have the next three books after it in the series. I watched the tv series and decided I did not want to wait for season two to come out to find out what happens.
Varys sires a daughter.
 
  • #153
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Have you read God Created the Integers? I own it but haven't read it since the maths is currently (or maybe perpetually) beyond me at the moment. I was wondering if it was one day worth attempting (I really dislike starting books and not finishing them).
Sorry, no, I haven't read it.
 
  • #154
Varys sires a daughter.
Well that would certainly be an interesting twist. Now I am wondering if you are just messing with me or if I should start looking for clues that he is not what he seems to be, which would certainly fit his character. ;-)
 
  • #155
arildno
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Well that would certainly be an interesting twist. Now I am wondering if you are just messing with me or if I should start looking for clues that he is not what he seems to be, which would certainly fit his character. ;-)
I won't tell.
I've read all but the newest one; guess I'll save that one for Christmas.
 
  • #156
Dembadon
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I've been steadily gaining an appreciation for history. I just finished the autobiography of Frederick Douglass; what an amazing person! I'm impressed with his intelligence and resourcefulness.

It helps give me some perspective. I feel pretty silly, when I think about some of the things that turn my boat over, after reading about the treatment to which he and other slaves were subjected. Many of his experiences are difficult to read, but they are an important part of the foundations of our current system.

It's a quick read, only a couple hundred pages or so, and I highly recommend it.
 
  • #157
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I've been steadily gaining an appreciation for history. I just finished the autobiography of Frederick Douglass; what an amazing person! I'm impressed with his intelligence and resourcefulness.
If I recall correctly, he has two or three autobiographies, which one did you read? If you want a good history book, Rubicon by Tom Holland is reaalllllllly good.
 
  • #158
Astronuc
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I've been steadily gaining an appreciation for history. I just finished the autobiography of Frederick Douglass; what an amazing person! I'm impressed with his intelligence and resourcefulness.

It helps give me some perspective. I feel pretty silly, when I think about some of the things that turn my boat over, after reading about the treatment to which he and other slaves were subjected. Many of his experiences are difficult to read, but they are an important part of the foundations of our current system.

It's a quick read, only a couple hundred pages or so, and I highly recommend it.
David McCullough is an excellent writer and has written a number of biographies and history books.
 
  • #159
Moonbear
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I'm going to be applying to teach a summer program for next year that is themed on the "between the wars" period (1919 to 1939). This includes the jazz age/prohibition era in the US, so I've been gathering up reading material on that time period.

Last weekend, I finished reading "The Poisoner's Handbook" by Deborah Blum. It's a light read (finished in less than a weekend), but very entertaining. It's an interesting blend of stories about criminal cases, politics, speakeasies, and the development of forensic toxicology in NYC. It seems to be a very popular book, because when I try to Google "Jazz age medicine" to find other sources, I can't find anything but book reviews for this book for the first 40 pages of search results.

It's worth picking up from your local library, but too quick of a read to be worth buying (except in my case I bought a copy because I'm planning to have my students read it next summer, so I need to make notes in it about the lessons that will accompany each chapter).
 
  • #160
Update:

I have read George RR Martin's A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. I am currently working on A Storm of Swords.

Despite having watched the first season of the Game of Thrones tv series, and it being fairly faithful to the novel, I still enjoyed reading the book. There is much in the novel that could not really be shown on the screen so reading the book one finds more information about back story and the thoughts of the characters through their narratives and reminiscences. Besides that I would have to say that George RR Martin is just a damned good writer. If anyone has seen the tv series and is unsure if they should read the books I would suggest reading them... unless perhaps you are concerned about not liking the continuation of the tv series as much due to having read the books.

The second book was rather good despite it being more of a story bridge where nothing seems to really be resolved and those resolutions that do occur tend to only set up for further issues that require resolution. The characters of Catelyn and Sansa both get some fleshing out and I like the way he does so seeming to take the relatively dimensionless character concepts from the first novel and showing what depth can lie in them without resorting to adding quirks and new streaks of personality that did not exist previously. Tyrion gets developed further with a lot of page time and Snow as well. Unfortunately the character who becomes rather important, Robb Stark, is left in the dust and we see little through his own eyes. I think this is primarily to keep the sense of anticipation and unknowing as he becomes rather central to the over all plot and theme of the novel. I hope it will change in this next novel.

Due to Arildno I was paying perhaps too much attention to Verys. He tells of his past and how he became a eunuch and it seems rather out of character for him to reveal such personal information about himself. It seemed to me more a story he told to attempt to gain someone's confidence. I guess I will have to keep reading and see who is messing with my head more.
 
  • #161
Jasongreat
I just started The Pleasure of Finding Things Out by Richard Feynman, I am only 50 or so pages in but so far it has been a very entertaining read.

I just finished books 1-4 of Dumas Malone's biography of Thomas Jefferson, which is a very in depth look, well over 2000 pages total, into the life of my favorite founding father.

Before that was The Metaphysical Club by Louis Menand which follows Oliver Wendell Holmes, William James, and Charles Pierce. I thought it was well written and I enjoyed learning more about the subjects.

Finishing up my list of most recently read books, A Peoples History of the Supreme Court by Peter Irons. It is a look into some of the courts biggest decisions by looking at the people whos cases they were and how they ended up before the highest court in the land. The Invention of Air by Steven Johnson, an informative look into the life of Joseph Priestley and his accomplishments, one of which was the discovery of oxygen, and The Boy who Invented TV by Paul Schatzkin, which is a look at Philo T. Farnsworth and goes along nicely with The Last Lone Inventor by Evin Schwartz, a look at the battle between RCA and Philo over the rights to TV.
 
  • #162
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I'm reading Jem by John Little. It's a father's biography of his son who was an (Australian) sound recordist working with a US TV crew in Iraq, and was killed in a rocket attack in Fallujah, 2003.

I've not read anything from this perspective before. The writing is simple and straightforward, and the father's pain is palpable, but it's a nice book.
 
  • #163
Astronuc
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:rofl:

I'm tempted! I'll add it to my list to acquire.

So there are series on Ancient History and Medieval History.

There's only 19 volumes in the Ancient History series, which are available for a mere $3500. http://www.cambridge.org/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521850735
Perhaps in time. Apparently the entire set is unavailable, so I'll have to collect them individually.

And then the The New Cambridge Medieval History Hardback Set
http://www.cambridge.org/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521853605
A bargain at $1600 :biggrin:

I have to find the reference for a book on Central Asian tribes and their migrations. There is one book which apparently provides a comprehensive treatment of the various tribes, including Huns.
Well, I found and acquired "The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia" by Denis Sinor. It's a bit pricey, as one would expect for a textbook, but it is densely informative.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0521243041/?tag=pfamazon01-20

Unfortunately, Sinor passed away last January at the age of 85.
http://www.allenfuneralhome.org/obituaries/denis-sinor.aspx
http://altaist.org/node/32
http://www.indiana.edu/~ovpia/blog/?p=196


Sinor was a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Central Asian Studies at the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University and a tenured lecturer at Cambridge University between 1948 and 1962, and was one of the world's leading scholars for the history of Central Asia. Sinor wrote eight books and edited an additional thirteen. He authored more than 160 articles in several languages. . . . Sinor also served as editor of the Journal of Asian History starting with the publication's inception in 1967.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denis_Sinor

http://www.deremilitari.org/resources/articles/sinor1.htm


Uralic and Altaic studies is one of my keen interests.
 
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