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Leo’s Books

Wednesday, 12 September 2007, 12:59 pm
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Ten books picked at random from my shelves – press refresh to see more…


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: The Commodore (Aubrey-Maturin Series)
Author: Patrick O\’Brian

The 17th in Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series, it’s the tale of 19th century British naval captain (now Commodore) Jack Aubrey and his particular friend (and spy) Dr. Maturin. Read them in order starting with Master and Commander, and if you listen to them make sure to get the Patrick Tull versions. You’ll practically smell the sea air and feel the grapeshot whizzing by you.

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: Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss
Author: Joel Fuhrman

I’ve been working out for years, the last two with a trainer, but I never have been able to make any headway with my weight. This book is the first I’ve read that really makes sense about nutrition. The principal is simple: maximize the nutritional density of your food. Avoid empty calories. That means lots of fruit and vegetables, and so far it’s been easy and delicious. Everyone should read this.


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: 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: 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: 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: Anathem
Author: Neal Stephenson

Don’t think – just buy.

Audible Version


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.