14 June 2010

Summer break

It'll be very quiet here for the next few weeks.  Even though I'm not in school, summer break is not a bad idea.

Not sure what I'll be doing for my break reading.  Thoughts about good summer reading, for me or others, welcome.


Alastair said...

I still thing the best book I have read recently is The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, friend of Benoit Mandelbrot. Every scientist with a mathematical training should read it.

Another good read is a classic that you may not have heard of - Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds" by Charles Mackay (1840).

It begins "The personal character and career of one man are so intimately connected with the great scheme of the years 1719 and 1720, that a history of the Mississippi madness can have no fitter introduction than a sketch of the life of its great author John Law."

John Law introduced paper money into France, with similar results to those that occurred later when plastic money was introduced into the Western World.

Will we never learn :-(


Robert Grumbine said...

Thanks Alastair. I have read Mackay's Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds". I'll definitely second the recommendation to others as well.

One of these days, I'll get the Black Swan read.

I've been meaning to write a proper review, but will give mention now to Greg Craven's What's the worst that could happen?

Anonymous said...

UK - centered I know, but Silent Summer from Cambridge University Press may be of interest:


Enjoy your break.

Chris S.

Anonymous said...

if you like lighter reading, been reading Reynolds recently. pretty hard, but still quite operatic scifi. not very many inconsistensies with the real world.


jyyh said...

a long time favorite of mine is 'definitely maybe' by strugatski brothers.

G-Man said...

If you're a politics junkie, I recommend "Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime" by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin.

Alastair said...

"The Emerald Planet" by David Beerling, Professor of Paleoclimatology at Sheffield University and Scholar at Yale would make a light summer read, and the 60 pages of scholarly notes could be studied on a second winter reading.

He shows how the evolution of plants fit into the new paradigm of Earth System Science.

Cheers, Alastair.