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Category Archives: Books


I've just read two books back-to-back that largely teach about intuition. This wasn't intentional; I picked one ebook up while it happened to be free, and I just happened to be reading at it the same time I visited the library and picked out another book based solely on its title. They both happened to […]


Lessons in relativity

Last year, I did some reading in physics, notably enjoying Einstein's plain-English explanation of his Special Theory of Relativity. I'm a little scattered in my reading this year, but one thing I've come across is Bertrand Russell's ABCs of Relativity (free: PDF - audio). Here are a couple of take-aways we can apply to everyday […]

Simplifying: A lesson in beauty from The Art of War

Sun Tzu's The Art of War has long been a manual for field battle, and, for not quite as long, a manual for management in the business world and even sales. But reading it recently, this is what stood out to me: 7. There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of […]

About a book: Crime, by Irvine Welsh

I'm an occasional admirer of Irvine Welsh's work. Not occasional as in, "some of his stuff's OK;" more like occasional as in, "OK, it's been a while. I think it's time to read another Irvine Welsh novel." Our protagonist, Ray Lennox, is a cop on vacation in Miami Beach after finally helping bring down a […]

About a book: Larceny In My Blood by Matthew Parker

I may have said this before, but I judge books by their covers. Literally. I walk through the library and just yank stuff off shelves if it looks interesting. That's how I came by Larceny In My Blood: A Memoir of Heroin, Handcuffs, and Higher Education. I didn't even know until I got home it […]

About a book: Savannah, or, A Gift for Mr. Lincoln by John Jakes

If you've not been to the city of Savannah, Georgia, I can't recommend it enough. It's antebellum south – that is, it was built before the Civil War, and it's progressing in the small business and craft movement. The original city was built on a grid around a series of squares – in-neighborhood parks – […]

Books I read in 2013

Need some reading recommendations? These are the books I read in 2013. • Origin of Species, Charles Darwin • Damned, Chuck Palahniuk • High Fidelity, Nick Hornby • Republic, Plato • The Holy or the Broken, Alan Light • A Day in the Life of a Minimalist, Joshua Fields Millburn • Triburbia, Karl Taro Greenfield […]

Learning about the world

It's been an interesting year for me. Mostly because I'm learning stuff again. Not going to school, doing stuff in a structured way. I don't particularly have the patience for that anymore. I have what I feel I need in the way of credentials. With a little better preparation, I could have been in that […]

Reading Richard Feynman: On curiosity, learning and selfishness

Richard Feynman was a problem-solver. He got to be a problem solver by tinkering, and he tinkered because he was curious. Moreover, his parents encouraged his curiosity. In that video up there (it's well worth 50 minutes of your time, by the way), he discusses learning about inertia. He noticed the funny way a ball […]

What if that thing you’ve been putting off would save the world?

Simon Rich is a 30-ish comedy writer (maybe not quite yet, since his bar mitzvah was in 1997). Two weeks ago, I'd never heard of him. I grabbed some David Sedaris off the shelf at the library and perused the new fiction racks, and picked up Rich's novel What in God's Name. It has an […]