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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: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
Author: Douglas Adams

A TWiT recommendation by Andy Ihnatko. The Audible version is the BBC dramatization. Andy says this is a must listen, even before Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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: 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: 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: 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: 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.

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: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Author: David Allen

Finally a system that really works. Techies really love this system because you can find all sorts of programs and/or hardware that supports it, but the core of the system is really dead simple. Remove the stress from your life by creating a reliable place you can store your to-do items so you don’t have to think about them any more.

Audible Version

Rating: 0
Title: Confessions of an Economic Hitman (Unabridged)
Author: John Perkins

Dvorak says this blows the lid of the US’s interference with other nations. It’s my next read.

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.