Posts Tagged ‘Book Recommendation’

Here are the books I am reading this summer

July 16, 2019

This summer I have been fortunate to have stumbled across some wonderful books. Here’s what I am reading:

  1. So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport. I enjoy reading books that challenge my beliefs, especially beliefs that I never consciously formed and were unconsciously inherited from my culture, family, and friends. This book does just that – it challenges a long-held belief. The book says, “Follow your passion” is bad advice. Wow! The whole book explains why. The author’s premise is that you master something, almost anything at all, and then you use that mastery to move you into a place where you can control your work. To have rare, valuable work you must have rare, valuable skills.
  2. Why We Sleep by Mathew Walker. Fascinating insights into sleep. See my last post. Every human needs to read this book.
  3. Cool Tools by Kevin Kelly. A large book containing interesting info about lots and lots of things. This is the kind of book that you open to any arbitrary page and learn something new.
  4. Infinite Powers by Steven Strogatz. Here’s a neat story at the beginning of the book: Novelist Herman Wouk was doing research for a big novel he hoped to write about World War II, and he went to Caltech to interview physicists who had worked on the bomb, one of whom was Richard Feynman. After the interview, as they were parting, Feynman asked Wouk if he knew calculus. No, Wouk admitted, he didn’t. “You had better learn it,” said Feynman. “It’s the language God talks.”

What books are you reading this summer?

Four phenomenal books

June 26, 2010

There are four books that I have read which I have found to be phenomenal. Until recently I have not been able to put my finger on why I found them so phenomenal. Now I know why: they start with simple concepts and gradually build on top of them. Each step adds a tiny bit of knowledge on top of the preceding steps. Each step logically follows from the preceding steps. Here are the four books:

  1. An Introduction to Mathematics by Alfred North Whitehead.
  2. Economics by Boyes/Melvin.
  3. Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith.
  4. Elements by Euclid.

Do you know of other books which follow this approach of starting with basic concepts and gradually, incrementally building up a vast body of knowledge?

Seek clarity of thought? Here’s how

September 8, 2009

Are you struggling with a problem, but are unable to obtain clarity on a solution? Here’s an approach to get clarity that has worked for me: read a book with great clarity; that is, a book that expresses fundamental ideas in a simple, clear way.

I am on my fifth read of An Introduction to Mathematics by Alfred Whitehead. Every time I feel my thoughts getting muddied I pull out this book and read it. This book takes the complex subject of mathematics and describes its fundamental ideas with brilliant clarity. Reading this book brings clarity to my mind, in all of my thoughts.

Do you have a book that you enjoy reading because of its clarity of thought?