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Old 11-21-2017, 02:59 PM   #21
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Great thread!
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Old 11-21-2017, 04:05 PM   #22
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1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

Fascinating mix of history and archeological detective work - very well written. Unsurprisingly blows up all we thought we learned about the Americas in the time of Columbus.
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:01 PM   #23
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:31 AM   #24
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Guns of August describes the weeks prior to WWI throughout the first battles. A bit amazing how the personalities of two people, all but forgotten, edged Britain (and ultimately the U.S.) to fight alongside France. It inspired my imagination for months to think what might’ve been.
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:13 AM   #25
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Maybe the other thread should be re-named "What Fiction have you read recently?" Or start a new one for fiction-only in 2018, like they did with the "What did you do..." thread?

I have near zero interest in fiction, so there's a lot to read through in the other thread to get to some non-fiction titles.

And I always though the "non" prefix was weird - why should "made up" be the reference point, and true-to-life be "non"-something?


Two contributions that I've mentioned along the way...

"The Code Book" by Simon Singh https://www.amazon.com/Code-Book-Sci.../dp/0385495323

Very readable history/tech combined about secret codes through the ages. We had a discussion here, and the author personally replied to a question I had emailed him, which I thought was pretty cool.

"Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Fast...+Think+Slow%22

By a Nobel Prize winning Behavioral Economist. The basic tenet is that humans by necessity must apply "fast thinking" in many of our interactions, to avoid analysis paralysis. If we see something that matches our previous experience and expectations, we go with it, without analyzing it in depth. But this creates a trap, there are times when our initial thoughts are wrong, and we don;t stop to apply the "slow thinking" process, and just continue in our belief that we are right.

The book got long on examples, I skimmed after a while (saying to myself, "OK, I get it"!), but I found it to be a very worthwhile read, and I often see examples of "fast thinking" when "slow thinking" should be applied in real life.

-ERD50
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:55 AM   #26
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If you like history, anything by David McCullough. So far I've read "Path Between the Seas" on the , building of the Panama Canal"The Johnstown Flood" and "The Wright Brothers".He's also written "Mornings on Horseback", a bio of Teddy Roosevelt, "1776" and "John Adams". He's a great storyteller and his works are well-researched.
Another vote for McCullough, one of my favorite historians.

I particulary enjoyed John Adams, Truman, 1776, and The Johnstown Flood.

Except for The Wright Brothers, which I thought was a bust, his other books are worth reading too.
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Old 11-29-2017, 05:22 PM   #27
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I've read a lot of books about financial literacy, healthy eating and psychology. I find that I tend to learn a lot more from the first one or two books on a new subject than from the next 20. For 2018, one of my goals is to read a dozen books about new non-fiction subjects. Could you please recommend good starter books and describe what subject they cover? I'm looking for introductory kind of books on pretty much any subject. (For instance, what's the equivalent of Bogle's "The Little Book of Common Sense Investing" but for subjects like science, culture, music or whatever?) Thanks.

I enjoy looking through my library for..... Idiot's guide... The books are usually good and start from scratch. You can learn about many things. They assume you know nothing.
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Old 11-29-2017, 06:51 PM   #28
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Great thread!

John McPhee's geology books. They are not so much about learning geology but more about why you would want to be a geologist. Page turners.
I have read Basin and Range and The Control of Nature years ago.

This thread got me remembering him. I looked him up. He has written on many varied subjects. Who knew?

Genetics Overview

DNA The Secret of Life by James Watson

The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:08 PM   #29
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"The Code Book" by Simon Singh https://www.amazon.com/Code-Book-Sci.../dp/0385495323

Very readable history/tech combined about secret codes through the ages. We had a discussion here, and the author personally replied to a question I had emailed him, which I thought was pretty cool.
A couple of years ago, I read a very interesting account of the Stuxnet virus, Countdown to Zero Day, by Kim Zetter. How Stuxnet was infiltrated into Iran’s nuclear program, how it set back the program, and how it was detected.

It was pretty “tech heavy”, but I still found it a fascinating story.
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Old 11-30-2017, 12:46 AM   #30
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Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters by Matt Ridley,
The Moral Animal by Robert -aspects of everyday life seen through evolutionary biology
The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life by Richard Dawkins a cool walk backwards thru humans evolutionary heritage.
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
The Emotional Life of Your Brain by Richard Davidson
Any book by Dan Ariely (books about the psychology of irrationality and deceit)
Nudge by Cass Sunstein Richard Thaler - About psychology of motivations
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:15 AM   #31
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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee / Empire of Summer Moon / Indian Giver. Here are a few Native American books I enjoyed.
+1 I just re-read Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and was even more outraged than I was when I first read it at age 18. This is a must read for any thinking person in the US. It is spurring me to find some worthy individual action to take in response.

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Old 11-30-2017, 07:53 PM   #32
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I’m in the middle of Nomadland. It is about older folks who are squeezed out of the middle class by bad luck, bad decisions, or bad health and live in RVs and vans, traveling around the country for work.
I have found it interesting thus far, and the spirit of some of these folks to make the most of their financial situations is inspiring.
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