What are you reading?

Over at big Orange, I regularly (Friday mornings) post a diary called What Are You Reading?

I’m gonna try it out, over here, as well.  Perhaps here, with the smaller more (ahem) select audience, and with diaries spending more time up on the lists, we can get into more in-depth discussion.  OTOH, perhaps it will work just like at daily Kos. OTOOH, maybe it will sink like a stone.

Use the comments to tell us what you are reading

If you like to trade books, there’s [Book Mooch www.bookmoch.com]

John Adams by David McCullough.  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.

Classification and Regression Trees by Leo Breiman et al.  The seminal work on a fascinating statistical methodology.

Making Money by Terry Pratchett  – a new Discworld novel!  Enough said!  And, if it isn’t enough, then you need to start reading Pratchett!

The Indian Clerk – by David Leavitt.  Absolutely wonderful.  A novel, a history, a math book.  A primer on sexual mores in the era of WWI in Britain.  A love story (several).  And a dual biography of two fascinating people: GH Hardy and Ramanujan. 
I can’t recommend it highly enough.

How Mathematicians Think by William Byers.  Fascinating ideas about ambiguity, paradox, and math.

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.

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    • plf515 on September 28, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    I have a feeling that buhdy’s buddies are a well-read bunch of bloggers.

  1. 😉

    i had picked up a copy of richard llewellyn’s ‘green, green my valley now’, but re-read the first 3 of the series before starting it, as it had been years since reading (and loving) the first three…

    so, technically im not reading anything right now, but ill be starting ‘green green my valley now’ this weekend!!

    im also reading ‘god knows’ by joseph heller.  that’s my ‘car book’, so its been pretty slow going…

  2. The God of Animals which is supposed to be good a fictional piece about horses, class and families or so the blurb says.

  3. A Panorama of Europe, East and West, From the Ice Age to the Cold War, From the Urals to Gibraltar–only 1365 pages thin, with lots of charts, and maps, by Norman Davies.  I’m on page 523, a good way into the Renaissance chapter, which is hiply titled with the plural: Renaissances and Reformations, because it is not all about Italy.  Which could be the real subtitle of this book:  It is not all about Italy.  No seriously I am enjoying the “quick” breeze through the continent(s?) because Asia, Africa, and even colonial America is not completely ignored.  He spends an awful lot of time on the Slavs, which I just know nothing about, except that they tend not to have freckles.  So far I am most fascinated to learn about old Novgorod, with its umpty-ump layers of wooden sidewalks that have been uncovered by archeologists.  Sounds like it was a paradise of peace and harmony, with great wealth based on timber trade all around the Baltic-Caspian-Black Sea triangle.  The 28 layers of wooden streets are said to date from between AD 953 to 1462.  At some point, Novgorod was pretty much wiped out by the Russian up-and-comer, Moscow.

    • Robyn on September 28, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    Making Money yesterday.

  4. just finished Giving by Bill Clinton, which I liked and was a very quick read.

    Also reading:

    No More Prisons by William Upski Wimsatt

    Battle for the Soul of Capitalism by John Bogle

    Barack Obama’s latest book

    The Making of the President 1960

  5. An entertaining writer of aviation and ships…

    We remember the movies, though, “Twilight for the Gods,” starring Rock hudson, “The High and the Mighty (No, it isn’t about W),” starring John Wayne, “Island in the Sky”, another Wayne film.

    but the books… enjoyable.

    • fatdave on September 28, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    The Great Anglers by John Bailey on my bedside table and a biography of Billy Connolly by his wife Pamela on my chairside table. Neither are being given the attention they deserve due to my propensity to fall asleep when I occupy either location.

  6. Harry Turtledove’s alternate histories right now.

    Just finished the Hornblower books–I’d heard about them for a long time and finally read them–Wow.  Talk about engrossing.

    • Nate1787 on September 28, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, and I’ve just started “The Assault on Reason” by Al Gore.

    • toys on September 28, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    Speak Cantonese Book I, Parker Po-fei Huang and Gerard R. Kok.  I bet no one here has read that one!  I’m also re-reading The Republic and next up is the new Robert Reich book.

    • nocatz on September 28, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    ‘War with the Newts’ by Karel Capek and liked it so much a line became my sig.  I guess I should add his name to it too…oops.  Published in 1936, it sounds like it was written last year. Kind of a dark, sci-fi dystopia scenario. 

    • Shahryar on September 28, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    “Nuncle and other Stories” by the English writer, John Wain. This must date from the ’50s.

    Before that it was “The Dream of Scipio” by Iain Pears.

    What I’m looking for now is my copy of “Purgatorio”, the second book in Dante’s “Divine Comedy”. I must have lost it on the train. I’m reading the Sandow Birk version which is ….cough…cough…not Dante but yet it is…sort of. It’s a very modern version!

  7. political stack for now too depressing, with the exception of Democracy in America by de Tocqueville which is somehow not depressing. Turned to escapist fiction just finished The Book of Daniel by EL Doctorow and The Loon another of his earlier works. Also began rereading The Myth of Sisyphus by Camus a series of essays, which are great, which somehow lead to another old friend The Way of Zen, Allen Watts.

    • kredwyn on September 28, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    Totally for fun: Tombs of Endearment

    The Diary of Elizabeth Drinker and The Pirate Hunter for Nano research.

    Am avoiding other books/articles related to a paper I have to write…

  8. I got through over half of The Culture of Make Believe by Derrick Jensen. I had to put it down because I was having trouble functioning in my daily life due to the depression I was feeling as he chronicles the foundation of violence and destruction on which our culture is built. But I am ready to continue now, so I started again a couple of days ago. I knew from the get-go that this book was going to change my life…and it has.

    Here’s what one reviewer at Barnes and Noble says about the book:

    But most poignantly and effectively, what Jensen emphasizes is the meaning of Ecocide — that this hatred and destruction, this ongoing Holocaust, this annihilation of Life itself, is ultimately against ourselves. And the question is: whether the cultural urge to convert living things to dollars is stronger than the will to survive. This question dangles precariously over our conscience like a rope left tied for hanging ourselves, as we blindly and deafly go about our daily lives of consumption and alienation from the Other. Ultimately, Jensen asks us to question our own obedience to this cultural dysfunctionality, to speak out vehemently against it. And the reader cannot ignore this call.

      • plf515 on September 28, 2007 at 8:34 pm

      novels by Patrick O’Brian?

      If you like Horatio Hornblower, you will probably love these. 

  9. . . . The Way Some People Die (1951) and The Zebra-Striped Hearse (1962), classic LA-noir detective stories featuring private eye Lew Archer.  Macdonald’s books have been long out of print (I got these two from the library), but Random House is going to be re-issuing a bunch of them this fall.  Great stuff for detective fans.

    The best books I’ve read lately were by David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas and Number Nine Dream), and Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle).  I also got great enjoyment out of Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Trilogy–but you’d better have a good three months of free time in front of you if you want to get all the way through its 3,000 pages!

  10. I’m reading The Earth’s Blanket: Traditional Teachings For Sustainable Living (Culture, Place, and Nature: Studies in Anthropology and Environment). It’s specifically a study of traditional native ecological practices in BC, and the connection between a cultural tradition and the sustainability of its ecological practices. I’m reading it for more than that though. I’ve been absorbed lately with how story is used to drive cultural practices, and it’s full of examples of how that worked in fairly straightforward concrete ways.

    Strangely, I’ve also started reading my way through Philip K. Dick. He never really resonated much to me before, but he sure is now.

    • Temmoku on September 29, 2007 at 4:22 am

    or so…has it been that long since I picked up a book?????? I’ve got so many on my list. Ishmael, Stiff, This Moment on Earth, From Promise to Power….I hope I can finish  a couple by next week…I have been bad…not reading any books!

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