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Leo’s Books

Wednesday, 12 September 2007, 12:59 pm

Ten books picked at random from my shelves – press refresh to see more…

Rating: 5
Title: Fallen Dragon
Author: Peter F. Hamilton

Steve Gibson turned me on to Peter Hamilton’s work – it’s classic hard sci-fi with excellent writing, strong characterizations, and detailed and imaginative worlds. We both agree this is his best work, but they’re all worth reading.

Rating: 4
Title: Telecosm: The World After Bandwidth Abundance
Author: George Gilder

Seven years old and still worth reading – the story of fiber and the coming telecom revolution. This is Gilder’s follow-up to Microcosm, the story of the microprocessor revolution, also a must read.

Rating: 4
Title: Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up
Author: James Hollis

What happens when you no longer need to win the approval of parents, spouses, family, and friends? You can begin to live life for yourself. Hollis is a Jungian analyst who writes with insight and clarity. It’s thought-provoking stuff that needs time to digest but it’s well worth the effort for those of us over 40.

Rating: 5
Title: On Intelligence
Author: Jeff Hawkins

A must read introduction to a new theory of artificial intelligence, but don’t read it for that. Hawkins description of how the mind works is mind blowing. You’ll never think about thinking the same way again.

Audible Version

Rating: 4
Title: Blood and Gold (Vampire Chronicles)
Author: Anne Rice

I’ve read all the Vampire Chronicles novels and really love Rice’s style. This is Marius’s story, told entirely in flashback. There’s not as much action as in some of the earlier stories, but it’s well worth listening to (or reading if you must).

Audible Version

Rating: 5
Title: Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II
Author: Robert Kurson

The amazing true story of a pair deep sea divers and a hitherto unknown sunken German U-Boat they discover. Lot’s of interesting information about this crazy hobby. Dramatic, hair-raising, and moving. You won’t be able to stop listening to the audio version.

Audible Version

Rating: 5
Title: Anathem
Author: Neal Stephenson

Don’t think – just buy.

Audible Version

Rating: 5
Title: Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life
Author: Steve Martin

In this memoir (Martin calls it a biography because it feels like he’s writing about someone else) Steve Martin tells about his youth learning magic at Disneyland, and his days as a standup comic. This book shines with Martin’s honesty and sweetness. I just loved it.

Audible Version

Rating: 5
Title: Earth Abides
Author: George R. Stewart

Considered one of the all-time great science fiction books. A disease of unparalleled destructive force has sprung up almost simultaneously in every corner of the globe, all but destroying the human race. One survivor, strangely immune to the effects of the epidemic, ventures forward to experience a world without man. Beautiful, powerful, and inspiring.

Rating: 4
Title: Manifold: Time
Author: Stephen Baxter

I love Stephen Baxter’s hard sci-fi books. The Manifold Trilogy addresses the Fermi Paradox in three different ways, each starring entrepreneur adventurer Reid Malenfant. Fermi’s Paradox, in short, is that given the size of the galaxy there must be other sentient beings, lots of ‘em, but WHERE ARE THEY?? In Manifold: Space we learn they’re everywhere, if you just know where to look. In Manifold: Time Malenfant sends a gen-enged squid to investigate a near-Earth object with surprising results. I can’t wait to read Manifold: Origin. Baxter’s Evolution, Coalescent, and Ring are also great reads. Big ideas and big science.