OT: ECW Readers’ Book Recommendations

Saturdays have been quiet days for news here recently, and today is no exception, so I thought I would throw out a question to the readers here about books they might recommend.

With Christmas around the corner I have been thinking about books I might like to request as gifts, or maybe give to others and wonder if people here might have some recommendations for good reading. These days I tend to be an omnivore of items on the web rather than books, but over the holidays I tend to have more time for reading longer works and it’s a good time to read a good book. Also, my dad’s a voracious reader and I’m always on the lookout for a good book to give him for a Christmas present — something he hasn’t already read.

You all know the kinds of topics we discuss here, so book ideas in those subject areas would be interesting, but I’m open to recommendations on any topic — fiction, even. Publication date doesn’t matter either — old or new is fine. Just so long as you think it’s profitable reading.

Anyway, if anyone could post some recommendations, I’d be grateful — and I hope others might find it interesting.

  • Glen

    The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World

  • nightcreature3

    “Engines of creation” in which K.Eric Drexler first introduced the concept of molecular manufacturing. And “Nano” by Ed Regis as a more casual introduction to this field.

  • GreenWin

    “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat” – Oliver Sacks
    “Dogmatism in Science and Medicine,” – Dr. Henry Bauer
    “The God Delusion” – Richard Dawkins
    “The Science Delusion” – Dr. Rupert Sheldrake.
    “Fingerprints of the Gods” – Graham Hancock
    “Life: Keith Richards” – Keith Richards
    “Fahrenheit 451” – Ray Bradbury
    “The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill Visions of Glory,” – William Manchester
    “The Story of My Experiments with Truth” – Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi
    “Steal This Book” – Abbie Hoffman
    “Chaos, Creativity, and Cosmic Consciousness” – McKenna, Sheldrake, Abraham
    “Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge” – Edward O. Wilson
    “Creative Evolution” – Henry Louis Bergson

    • Fortyniner

      One further non-fiction offering;

      “The Edge of the Universe” – Prof. Paul Halpern


      • GreenWin

        Thanks Fortyniner. Just downloaded the e-book from my library! One addition to my list: “On Creativity” – David Bohm. A great read and influence.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    In his insightful book, Autonomy and Rigid Character, http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Autonomy-and-Rigid-Character/David-Shapiro/e/9780465005680/ the psychiatrist David Shapiro points out
    that sadists almost always presents themselves as just being “helpful”. Reading
    this may help us better understand how the “philanthropists” who control the world manipulate us.

    • nightcreature3

      And George Orwell’s novel “1984” gives us an idea how they maintain that manipulation.

      • as a corporate executive, I observe that “Brazil” film is much more realist than 1984 and Brave New World. Those books show the dreams of dictators, Malthusians, and others people who desire a better world despite the people. “Brazil” shows what happen really.

        • GreenWin

          True Alain. From the fertile imagination of Terry Gilliam!! Also, in the same vein: “THX-1138” from George Lucas, 1971.

  • Bruce Williams

    The two funniest books I have ever read are : “Clochemerle”, and “The good soldier Schweik”.These are NOT techie books and they were both published around the 1920’s.

  • In French, on cold fusion, “La fusion dans tout ses états”, which is more than a personal history of cold fusion, but also the personal history of JP Biberian, the son of an Armenian immigrant. Interesting beyond LENR.

    On science and epistemology, Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb,
    and “Structure of Scientific Revolutions” by Thomas Kuhn.

    on economy : the Next Convergence, from Michael Spence.

    Does anyone can confirm the the boog of Eugene Mallove (Fire from Ice?) and Jed Rothwell, is worth reading ? is there anyone from Ed Storms? McKubre?
    does anyone can advice the best historical book on cold fusion?

    • I remind of
      “Betrayers of the truth” alias “La souris truquée” in French, by Wade&Broad.
      A key book about scientific fraud

      in the old time, as teen, I remind
      The world of Non-A by AE Van Vogt and all his books
      -> the occasion to remind what is science, beside the SciFi fun.
      Of course
      Asimov, his Foundation trilogy, Robots collection, and many minor books and novels….

      “Slan” by AE van vogt (good for teen).

      Taï-Pan by James Clavell

      “Freakonomics”, and “Logic of life” as funny books about real life economy.
      Reading Benabou does not surprise you after you read those books.

      • A friend of mine advises “the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy”

        I advise too
        “Beyond fear ” by Bruce Schneier (look for his blog), on of the greatest expert on computer and here real life security.
        Here he push rational way to manage security (terrorism,…) beyond the “security theater” that is practiced today.

        Of course for the funny guys:
        “Applied Cryptography” by Bruce Schneier. a must to read .

        Some people advise “Liars and Outliers” of Schneier, which might give us hint about cold fusion, because it talk about the fact that some trust is needed (not too much) in real life or nothing can be done.