'Self Help' Books
- National Geographic Traveler, Great Britian - 2nd edition.
Good and I should see again for the hotels in Scotland.
- Britain from the Air - great pictures from the air.
- Back Roads Great Britian - DK Eyewitness Travel, 2010. Got as a gift in 2010. Neat itineraries, but we found that Great Britian has so much to offer on the main track, that to take these trips off the beaten path would have required staying well beyond our available time.
- Costa Rica - DK Eyewitness Travel Guides 2005, definitely
- Costa Rica, Traveler's Companion - Third edition, Maribeth
Mellin, revised and updated by Christopher Baker. Not meant to be
your standard travel guide, which attempts to focus lighly on every
place. Found it to be useful, but would get a typical guide also.
- Oaxaca - Moon Handbooks - Bruce Whipperman.
This is the 2nd Edition which I found to be very informative and useful. I've heard that more recent editions have outdated information regarding services such as lodging, eating, etc.
- Off The Beaten Path Vermont - 9th Edition, 2014. Full of information on out of the way places. Used it for a nice trip in 2017 and jotted down some information regarding the Northeast Kingdom that was in the book and new to me.
Books from 2017
- Nolo's Simple Will Book - 7th edition. Used this to write my will. If your situation is not overly complex, the Nolo books can be very useful, allowing you to do things on your own, and correctly of course.
- Awaken The Giant Within - Anthony Robbins. I once dealt with a very successful lawyer and he sent me his e-mail newsletters which included books he was reading. This one came up and I checked it out and found it to be very useful.
Books from 2016
- Borderlines -
Archer Mayor, 1990. This book was mentioned in the book 'Off the beaten path Vermont'. The author of that book mentions an actual 'cult' in the Island Pond area of Vermont which figures into this mystery by Mayor. I must admit, I really enjoyed this book. Of course, I've gotten to know New England, including Vermont, since I last read Mayor and maybe my recollection of Mayor's other books I've read is a bit harsh.
- Death and a Penguin -
A. Kurkov, 2001. Nice black-comedy a friend loaned to me.
- Robert B. Parker's Wonderland -
A. Atkins, 2013. Robert Parker passed away in 2010 and A. Atkins is keeping the flame alive. Wonderland was a dog track north of Boston and I'm familiar with the area. Atkins does an excellent job of carrying the torch. Great read.
- Now & Then -
R. Parker, 2007. A mystery featuring Spenser, taking place in and around Boston. Good read.
- Night and Day -
R. Parker, 2009. A mystery featuring Police Chief Jess Stone. Takes place north of Boston. Good read.
- Kennedy Babylon -
H. Carr, 2017. Stopped by a local Market Basket, met the author and got a signed copy. Knew beforehand that the Kennedy family had been involved in a lot of scandals, but this book was eye-opening nevertheless and, at times, depressing. Passed it off to my sister.
- Into the Wilderness Dream: Exploration Narratives of the American West, 1500-1805 - Ed. D. Barclay, et al., 1994. Great read. Over 30 accounts of exploration across the western United States.
- Ancient Peoples of the American Southwest -
S. Plog, second edition, 2008, reprinted 2014. Very nice book. Starts off about 9500 BC and looks at the people who have lived in the Southwest. Lots of photos and drawings. Not an easy place to live in and this book gives a sense of how it was done and who was doing it.
- Einstein and the Quantum -
A. Douglas Stone, Princeton University Press, 2013. Superb book by a distinguished physicist, providing an entertaining look at how much Einstein contributed to the quantum.
- I am Brian Wilson, a memoir with Ben Greenman -
Center Point Large Print, Maine, 2016. An intimate look into Brian Wilson's life. The famous Beach Boys member let's it all hang out. Lots of details and a great read. One gets the feel that writing this book was another step in helping the author deal with the many issues he has had in his life.
- Dr. Thorwald, Kinderarzt, Ein heller Stern scheint nur fur dich -
Bastei Verlag, probably before 2007. First 'full book' I read in German. A 65 page 'novel'. Short enough to make it through and maintain an overall sense of the story.
- The Infant of Prague -
B. Granger, Warner, 1987. Mystery book that my family had laying around for some time. Was fine, not as good as I hoped. Would look into other of his books if I had the time.
- Zorba the Greek -
N. Kazantzakis, Scribner 1996; seems original is from 1952. This book had been recommended to me and it was apparent it was a wonderful book. But I grew a bit tired of it after the midway point. I am glad I stuck it out for the ending was very powerful. It is a book which makes the reader ask themselves questions about life, in addition to being an entertaining story. There was a card in the book the last reader had left as a bookmark, to the Perivoli restaurant near Platanos Square in Greece. Perhaps one day I'll follow in the readers steps and visit this intriguing country.
- Breakfast of Champions -
K. Vonnegut, 1973, Delacorte Press. This book was recommended and while waiting for it to arrive to the library I first read the collection of short stories While Mortals Slept. While I enjoyed the short stories, I really enjoyed this book. Really a different kind of read than I am used to; a very realistic yet not so realistic portrayal of some individuals going through tough times.
- While Mortals Sleep -
K. Vonnegut, 2011, Delacorte Press. Collection of 'unpublished' short stories. First time I read Vonnegut and it was great. All the stories were a treat to read and some were real gems.
Books from 2015
- A Song of Shadows -
J. Connolly, 2015, Atria Books. I came across Connolly when I confused his name with Connelly. Another great thriller, set in Maine and involving some ex-Nazis.
- The Wolf in Winter -
J. Connolly, 2014, Atria Books. Another engrossing thriller. Takes place primarily in Maine.
- A Time of Torment -
J. Connolly, 2016, Atria Books. Another page turner by Connolly. Takes place in Maine and West Virginia.
- The Great Penguin Rescue -
D. DeNapoli, 2011, Free Press; winner of Nautilus Book Award. Went to a talk given by the author and picked up the book there. Surpassing my expectations, it was a great read. All about a devastating oil spill and the largest penguin rescue ever conducted. I would have never imagined the effort, ingenuity and hope that went into this rescue.
- The Quiet Earth -
J. H. Mitchell, 2015, Mass Audubon. A wonderful collection of essays on nature and humanity, put together by Mass Audubon.
- Stray Leaves -
J. H. Mitchell, 2015, Mass Audubon. Mass Audubon published Sanctuary Magazine for years and recently stopped. This book is a collection of nature writings drawn from that magazine and written by John Hanson Mitchell. Mitchell has a real knack for writing wonderful short and poignant nature writings.
- Hearts of Sand -
J. Haddam, Minotaur Books, 2013. A mystery featuring the character Gregor Demarkian and set largely in Connecticut. Was alright, but not as intriguing as most mysteries I have read lately.
- How Children Succeed -
P. Tough, Tantor Media, 2012. An audio book. Enjoyed hearing many ideas and theories regarding children and learning and was lead to a couple references I will read latter. Towards the end adopts some extreme ideas regarding how society/government should go about implementing the ideas.
- Nantucket Sawbuck -
S. Axelrod, Poisoned Pen Press, 2014. First book I read from Axelrod, who lives on Nantucket. Nice mystery.
- The Burning Room -
M. Connelly, Little, Brown and Company, 2014. Another enjoyable read, taking place in the Los Angeles area and San Diego.
- The Black Box -
M. Connelly, Little, Brown and Company, 2012. Enjoyable read, taking place in the Los Angeles area and the Central Valley.
- Clinton Cash -
P. Schweizer, Harper, 2015. Mind blowing. One friend of mine found the material so depressing he had to put it down. Every wonder why Bill Clinton is paid 10,000 dollars a minute in his speeches? Who is paying him and what are they getting in return? This books tells you this and other facts that will ensure you never look at the Clintons the same way again.
- Relentless Strike: The Secret History of Joint Special Operations Command -
S. Naylor, St. Martin's Press, 2015. Interesting and detailed read, but so detailed that it was quite dry. I stopped at page 184 and may get back to it.
Books from 2014
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe -
book two of C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia, 1950. Recommended by my daughter, a wonderful read. Years ago read Lewis's That Hideous Strength which was fantastic.
- Legend -
Marie Lu, speak, 2011. Recommended by my daughter, a good read.
- Covert Radar and Signals Interception: The Secret Career of Eric Ackermann -
Jackson and Haysom, Pen and Sword Aviation, 2014. Read only up to page 84 before the library recalled for another patron. Fascinating individual who did a lot of significant things militarily.
- The Agony and the Ecstasy -
Irving Stone, Signet, originally 1961. The life of Michelangelo; a wonderful read. My favorite book for 2015. Visited northern Italy this year and saw this book in more than a few places. Picked it up when I got back home and was very happy I did so. Filled with history and an in depth look at a genius of art.
- Adios America -
Ann Coulter, Regnery, 2015. I thought Ann was one of those talking heads who just spewed out what the major news outlets wanted the public to hear and believe. Absolutely the contrary, she's a dedicated researcher who speaks her own mind. I also thought, growing up in southern California and living two years in Mexico, that I knew something about illegal aliens. Again, very wrong. This was an eye opening book filled with facts and written in an almost light hearted manner, though some of the material is gut wrenching to say the least.
- The Second Machine Age -
Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee, Brilliance Audio. An audio book, 2013. Gives a nice recounting of the evolution of recent technological advances and speculates where things may go. Also delves into societal issues, including education, work and life in general. Doesn't hesitate to attribute some woes to technological in addition to all the wonders. In discussing issues related with society puts forth a number of socialist ideas as solutions; not too surprising given the authors reside in Cambridge, MA, referred to as the People's Republic of Cambridge.
- Leadership -
Rudolph Giuliani, Hyperion Audio Books. My first Audio Book which I saw at the library and thought I'd give it a try. Rudy has been through a lot and has some experience-based and natural instinct-based insights on leadership which were nice to hear.
- Sphere -
Michael Crichton, Ballantine Books, 1988. Had seen movie quite a while back and found it not to be very good. A friend reassured me the book is much better and I do agree. First Crichton book I've read and I'll likely read another.
- Hoot -
Carl Hiaasen, 2002. Had heard some good things about this author. Picked this book as my first read since it was at the local library. Written for youths, it was a fun read about some kids out to do good for some owls.
- Moonraker -
Ian Fleming, Pan Books, 1964. Really neat read. Having seen a number of Bond movies I was very surprised at how different the tone of the book is compared to the movies.
- The Life of Ian Fleming: creator of James Bond -
John Pearson, 1989. Bought this book for 1 pound in London on my first trip ever to the UK. Fantastic read. A little spooky as I felt as though I knew more about Ian Fleming than most other people I know by the time I finished the book. Kudos to Pearson for an excellent read.
- Life Expectancy -
D. Koontz, 2004. Another enjoyable read from Koontz.
Books from 2013
- Breaking the Maya Code - Revised -
Michael Coe, 1999. Coe is an expert on the Maya and has put out a great book. This is my second time through. He explains not only the rudiments of the Maya written language but why it took so long to begin cracking it. A lot of colorful real-life characters add interest to the story.
- The Decameron -
Giovanni Boccaccio, Penguin Classics, 1995. Boccaccio's classic written during the time of the Black Death and one of the few works depicting life at that time. The book consists of one hundred short stories, 10 a day for 10 days. I read the first part of the translator's introduction regarding Boccaccio and the first four days of stories. It's a lengthy book and I may get back to it as it's a wonderful read, but thought I'd put it down for a while.
- Odd Apocalypse -
D. Koontz, 2012. Enjoyed this mystery, thriller with a sci-fi undercurrent. First of the Odd series I've read. Strange happenings at the estate of a billionaire, with some guest appearances of some famous persons from history.
- The Land of Stories - The Enchantress Returns -
Chris Colfer, 2013. Second in the series, another good read.
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking -
S. Cain, 2012, CenterPoint Large Print. Excellent read, with a large number of resonance with feelings and experiences I've had. Well worth the read and glad my Dr. recommended it. (pp. 214, 218, 235, 237, 242, 244, 357, 391, 400)
- Innocence -
D. Koontz, 2013. Mystery, thriller with a sci-fi undercurrent. Enjoyable read. Certain individuals are born free of original sin. While this makes them hated by most, it provides them with immunity to a plague that wipes out the rest of humanity.
- California -
Tamra B. Orr, 2008. A children's book, part of the America The Beautiful series. Lot's of facts with some great photos, along with some suggested itineraries. Regarding the historical contents, the author naturally presents only a subset of what Kevin Starr presents in his California, A History. However, there seems to be a bias towards presenting more of the negative historical facts while leaving out positive ones.
- Cannery Row -
John Steinbeck. A good read about a number of characters living in the Monterey, CA, area. Not of the same format as the Grapes of Wrath, which I prefer.
- The Grapes of Wrath -
John Steinbeck, 2002 Steinbeck Centennial Edition. I remember reading the Pearl as a youngster and had not read any other works by Steinbeck. This was a wonderful surprise from this Nobel laureate. Gripping story with a deep depiction of the characters. At one point I had to pause and realize the Joad family never actually existed. Aside from the entertainment value, the depiction of the historical event about which the book is centered is wonderfully done.
- The Land of Stories -
Chris Colfer, 2012. My daughter got me to read this one. Extremely entertaining read!
- Guilt -
Jonathan Kellerman, 2013. Nice read. Takes place in LA County. The primary case involves
a pair of famous celebrities.
Books from 2012
- California, A History -
Kevin Starr, 2005. Superb.
- Red Herring -
Archer Mayor, 2010. Mystery. Good read, set in Vermont.
- Tag Man -
Archer Mayor, 2011. Mystery. Much better read than his only other book I've read, Paradise City. While he does slip into Massachusetts a bit, most of the story takes place in Vermont. A fun and exciting read.
- Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone -
J.K. Rowlings, fiction, 1997. Read this book after my daughter did. Very entertaining story. Had seen the movie and in my opinion the book is better, as is often the case.
- Hitman: The Untold Story of Johnny Martorano -
Howie Carr, nonfiction, 2011. Mind opening account of the major mob figures in the greater Boston area, or even New England, written by a long time Herald contributor and well known radio host Howie Carr. In this book you become familiar with a number of hideous men. While the focus is on Johnny Martorano, a pig who murdered innocent people as readily as he did his mob competitors, to Whitey Bulger who started as a homosexual prostitute and moved on to killing men and women who he viewed as possible threats to himself. The major killers amongst these persons murdered over 20 persons. Nearly all of the major players were rats: telling law officials about one another, with no loyalty to anyone but themselves. As I write this, they are exhuming the body of the purported Boston Strangler to consider new evidence: he killed 13 persons for comparison. Also as I write this, Whitey Bulger is on trial. You'll see how local law officials, state officials and even the FBI helped these thugs. An obvious example of the lingering effects of these individuals is the MBTA. This bloated bureaucracy runs a very inefficient transportation system. No surprise as many of the ways in which the MBTA functions, including whopping pensions for its employees, were put in place when the agency was riddled with thugs and run by Whitey Bulger's brother (Mr. Bulger's Transportation Agency is what it was often called). This book strikes 'home' as it describes these criminals having dumped bodies in neighboring towns and in my own town, including one which is still to be found (pgs. 211, 258, 274). I moved to the greater Boston area with my family in 2004 and continue to be amazed by what I see. State Police sleeping in their cars, seven municipal policeman watching a road crew dig holes, the governors unwillingness to disclose the exorbitant pensions of MBTA and other government agencies. Corruption from the smallest city officials to the very top of the government. The influence of these persons and their families for so many decades is readily felt after spending any length of time in Boston.
- Paradise City -
Archer Mayor, 2012. Mystery. My wife saw Archer Mayor when he came to town to speak and I thought I would give him a shot. His mysteries are centered in Vermont. This particular story also goes into Massachusetts. I noted a couple of reviews complaining about the complexity of the story. I believe if you are familiar with the areas covered you can keep things in line but if you are not at all familiar with New England it could be a little confusing without consulting a map. All in all, a good entertaining read and look forward to checking some of his other books.
- The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico -
Bernal Diaz del Castillo, Conquistador, translated by A. P. Maudslay, Da Capo Press, 1996. Phew!!! First read this book in 1997. After going to Mexico a number of times since then I decided to read it again. Real mind blower. Castillo was a conquistador with Cortez. He interacted directly with Cortez, Moctezuma and other incredible figures from the conquest. The story is simply fascinating!
- The Magician's Elephant -
K. DiCamillo, 2009. Youth. My daughter recommended this book, by the author of The Tale of Despereaux. Very entertaining story and, yes, it involves a magician and an elephant.
- Gone Baby Gone -
D. Lehane, 1998. Mystery. Great read but near the end it kids a little overly complicated. About kidnapping. Was made into a terrible movie with poor acting and various changes from the story, including locations of major events
Books from 2011
- First Stop In The New World: Mexico City, The Capital Of The 21st Century -
D. Lida, 2009. A look at Mexico City, now and the future, by a journalist who's spent 20 years living there. Excellent read. I've spent a couple years living in Mexico and visit regularly, including Mexico City, and this book not only brought me back to things I'm familiar with but revealed many things I was ignorant of.
- Last Night At The Lobster -
S. O'Nan, 2007. It's the last night of operations for a Red Lobster restaurant in Maine and the reader spends the day with the manager. Very entertaining. Learned of it by it being mentioned in Moonlight Mile.
- Moonlight Mile -
D. Lehane, 2010. Mystery. Russian mob and babies figure into this entertaining yarn. Rough characters reflective of your typical bay stater.
- Brazilian Style -
A. Limnander, 2011. NonFiction. Beautiful picture book of Brazil. Wonderful photos and captains full of interesting information regarding this country.
- Prayers For Rain -
D. Lehane, 1999. Mystery. Lehane comes from south of Boston and his mysteries often take place around the Boston and New England area. This was the first such book I've read, a fiction book from a Massachusetts writer about contemporary events taking place in Massachusetts. True to form, the characters are rough and bullyish, much as I've found Bay Staters. It was a good read, about a wealthy family with some severely screwed up members.
- The Drop -
M. Connelly, 2011. Mystery. Great read about two fictional cases: One involves the son of an LA politician who takes a fall from a hotel balcony to his death. The other is about a sadistic killer who focuses on kids and is caught in Los Alamitos.
- Tiger Trap -
David Wise, 2011. NonFiction. Mind expanding account of Chinese espionage in the United States. From theft of nuclear weapon and space shuttle technology to cyberspying. Wise is an expert writer regarding espionage and really provided an eye opener in this book.
- California Girl -
T. Jefferson Parker, 2004. Mystery. Focuses on an abused girl who is
murdered and three brothers: a policeman seeking out her killer, a
reporter who is helping in the hunt, and a preacher who had spent
time with the girl before her murder. Takes place in Tustin and
Laguna Beach, CA.
- Emotional Intelligence - Why it can matter more than IQ -
Daniel Goleman, 1995. Real eye opener. First book about emotions I
had read and was looking forward to it as I had read some articles
regarding emotions. Sometimes a bit academic, but chock full of
information. (pp. 27, 35, 36, 102, 117, 119, 120, 192, 201, 216,
233, 240, 250, 254, 256, 259, 267, 268, 275, 283)
- True Detectives -
Jonathan Kellerman, 2009. Enjoyed it. Wealthy persons, drugs, murder
of women, LA County. Typical story material, but Kellerman has a skill for writing in an
- Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and its Quest
to Spread Peace, Love, and Acid to the World -
Nicholas Shou, 2010. Phew! Mind opening story about a major
international drug-smuggling operation centered around Laguna
Beach. Loved the parts about traveling to Afghanistan to get huge
quantities of hash. Also, the tales of corrupt Mexican police
tied into drug smuggling, way back in the 70s!
Mentions various celebreties who came into
contact with these folks.
- Spray Paint The Walls - The Story Of Black Flag -
Stevie Chick, 2011 Edition. Wow! Stevie did a great job writing
about the group and the events surrounding it, from before the
formation to after the end. I was a teenager when Black Flag were
peaking and, though I didn't delve too deeply into the punk world, I
did listen to their music and attend some of their events. Great
Books from 2010
- Velocity -
D. Koontz, 2005. Set in Napa Valley, CA., a bar keep starts getting
messages asking him to decide whom a psychopath will kill next.
Fast-paced, as usual.
- The Horizon Book of Great Historic Places of Europe -
1974. Nice black and white picture book. Shows great places and
has some history, but is not a guide book. Looked at Austria and
- Relentless -
D. Koontz, 2009. Mystery, thriller with a sci-fi undercurrent.
The main character is an author who begins to be hunted by a book
critic who reviewed his book. Very entertaining.
place in coastal Orange County and northern California.
- Black Water -
T. Jefferson Parker, 2003. Mystery. Enjoyable tale of a frameup of a
policeman in coastal Orange County.
- L.A. Outlaws -
T. Jefferson Parker, 2008. Mystery. Nice story about a lightweight
criminal who gets tangled up with some heavyweight criminals while
having a relationship with a police officer. Visits many places in
the L.A. area I'm familiar with, making all the more entertaining
to me. Boxford Library.
- Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands -
V. W. Von Hagen, 1949. Wonderful read that I got from the Boxford
Library in anticipation of our trip to Ecuador this summer. Written
in 1949 and you'll probably never see another like this these days.
The author has first hand experience with Ecuador before this period
and it has changed considerably since then, not to mention the
political correctness that makes it's way into books nowadays,
resulting in a watering down of the truth. Read Chapters 1-5,
7-10 and 11; the ones most relevant to where we are going.
- Here's the Church, here's the Steeple -
Tempa Pagel, 2006. The author's first book, a mystery revolving
around a present day person who becomes interested in a mystery
centered around the Great Fire of 1811 in Newburyport, MA. Interesting
book, especially in light of the fact that I currently live a few miles from Newburyport.
- Francis Bacon, The Temper of a Man -
Catherine Drinker Bowen, 1963. History. Looks fascinating. I
stopped at page 16 as I got sidetracked.
- Laguna Heat -
T. Jefferson Parker, 1985. Mystery. Liked it very much.
Takes place in Orange County, CA. Includes Laguna Beach, Newport
Beach, etc. Boxford Library.
- Silent Joe -
T. Jefferson Parker, 2001. Mystery. Liked it very much.
Takes place in Orange County, CA. Includes Newport Beach,
etc. Boxford Library.
- Lightning -
D. Koontz, 1988. Mystery, thriller with a sci-fi undercurrent. Like
it considerably, in part as it's set in Southern California, an area I'm familiar
with. There is a time machine involved here and even Hitler and
Churchill make appearances. Boxford Library.
- The story of New England -
Monroe Stearns, 1967. Library card
has signatures from back in 1967. Great book. Politically incorrect
by today's standards,
and necessarily so in order to be faithful to the truth. Boxford Library.
- Tick Tock -
D. Koontz, 1997. Mystery, thriller with a sci-fi undercurrent. Like
it considerably, in part as it's set in Southern California, an area I'm familiar
with. A young Vietnamese man has to contend with a 'monster' that his
mother's friend created to punish him because he doesn't care enough
for tradition. Boxford Library.
- Orange County -
G. Arellano, 2008. Gustavo informs about many aspects of Orange
County, Ca., while mixing in (every other chapter) tales of his
family. I liked it. Boxford Library.
- A Darkness More Than Night -
M. Connelly, Mystery-Thriller. Liked it a lot, in part because it
covers areas near where I grew up: Hollywood & Catalina. Came upon
this book at a B&B in York, UK. A wealthy Hollywood-type is being
investigated for murder and an investigator, H. Bosch, also appears to
be in trouble. Boxford Library.
- American Assassin -
V. Flynn, Borrowed from a friend. Good read. Thriller.
Books from 2009
- The Green House -
Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel Prize Laureate. Interesting story but
- Pedro Paramo - Juan Rulfo. Read in Spanish. A bit of a
complex read, but interesting
- The Rebellion of the Hanged; General from the Jungle -
B. Traven, Wonderful last two books of the six book series about the cruel
life many lead in southern Mexico during the Porfirio Diaz period,
written in the 1930s.
- More Mortgage Meltdown - Heard good reviews about this book
and got a copy. The beginning has a lot of interesting information
regarding the mortgage meltdown. However, later chapters cover how to
invest in the aftermath. I stopped after finishing Chapter 8, leaving
Chapters 9 through 13 unread. I don't like to not finish a book, but
their case studies were not keeping my attention.
Books from 2008
- Beethoven as I Knew Him - Anton Felix Schindler,
translated by Constance Jolly, the University of North Carolina Press,
Chapel Hill; this is the third edition (1860). Fantastic account of
Beethoven, filled with details of the genius, his times and his contemporaries.
- Gandhi - Amy Pastan, DK Biography, 2006. Nice bio,
wonderful human being. This particular series of biographies is
filled with pictures.
- Disturbing the Peace - Vaclav Havel - This is a detailed
interview with Havel and is quite interesting in many aspects. It
takes place before he is the leader of Czechoslovakia. He writes of
many details of his life. Alfred A. Knopf publishing, 1990.
- The Labyrinth Of The World And The Paradise Of The Heart -
John Comenius. Translated by Howard Louthan and Andrea Sterk, The
of Western Spirituality series, 1998.
A fabulous book by John Comenius (1592-1670). The first half examines
the humanity in the world and the second espouses Christianity as a
to the problems.
- Money -
Martin Amis. Purported big author in the UK now. Got up to pg 130
and don't think I'll bother to return to it. Story about a guy, a
genuine pig, who is travelling back and forth between London and New
York trying to make a movie. If it wasn't for the wit of the author,
I don't know what would be worthy of it.
- Glue -
Irvine Welsh. Purported big author in the UK. About childhood
friends in Edinburgh as/when they grown up. Got to pg 25. May return
to it, but wasn't into it at the time.
Books I read around 2007 and before
- Fooled by Randomness - The hidden roles of chance in life and
in the markets - Nassim Taleb, interesting read. While Taleb
makes much mention of the virtues of not overdoing it in using and
making schedules, it's not clear that he appreciates that the
successes he has had were made possible in a society which would never
have come to the level it has had not the use of schedules been
heavily emphasized. First came across Taleb reading some great
criticisms he had written of modern mathematical finance.
- Off the Map - Tales of Endurance and Exploration - Fergus
Fleming, great book if you like reading of explorers. Dozens of
explorers tales told, including the hisorical context.
- Insisting on the Impossible - the life of Edwin Land - good
book but at page 64 felt a bit overwhelmed by the details and stopped.
- Faust - Goethe, with illustrations by Delacroix, Alice
Raphael translation, copyrighted 1930. Fantastic story.
- Anne of Green Gables, Three Volumes in One - Lucy Maud
left off on page 84.
Great book but not finding time to read it.
Books I read probably around 2005
- Trozas - B. Traven, Great read, one of the six book series
about life in southern Mexico during the P. Diaz period. Got it in
- Twisted - Jonathan Kellerman, Got this book from my sister and enjoyed it. Some years later started checking out Kellerman books from the library but did not recall that I had read this book of his previously.
- Failed States - Noam Chomsky, Got this book after moving to
Massachusetts, probably around 2005. Tried to read it but couldn't
get far. Noam sits in his office at MIT ranting and raving about the
problems with the world and the US in particular and does nothing
about it except that. He's become my poster child for an ineffectual
- Sailing Alone around the World - Joshua Slocum, leaving
in 1895, Slocum sailed alone 46,000 miles in three years. Great story
by the man himself; the part regarding going around the tip of South
America is superb by itself. And he didn't know how to swim!
- El Rey de los Pleitos - John Grisham, read some years ago, in Spanish.
- Oaxaca Journal - Oliver Sacks, fascinating account of a
collecting trip to the Mexico state of Oaxaca.
- Giantkillers: The Team and the Law That Help Whistle-blowers
Recover America's Stolen Billions - Henry Scammell,
very intersting read about how the defense, finance and medical
have stolen billions of dollars from the U.S. government and the
brave individuals who fought against it.
- The Search for the Pink-Headed Duck: A Journey into the
and Down the Brahmaputra - Rory Nugent,
neat tale of the authors travels around north-east India and above.
With details you probably won't find in travel guides.
- A Neotropical Companion - John Kricher, 2nd Edition, great
intro to neotropics with some fascinating details.
- Cross Creek - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, great read of
Marjories years in Cross Creek, Florida before WWII.
- Government; The Carreta; March to the Monteria, Trozas -
B. Traven, Fabulous four books of the six book series about the cruel
life many lead in southern Mexico during the Porfirio Diaz period,
written in the 1930s.
- The Angel of Darkness -
C. Carr, Entertaining, probably read in mid 1990s, when I lived on Long
Island, New York. The story takes places in New York City
- The Education of a Speculator - by Victor Niederhoffer, 1997. Victor is an eccentric who has gotten quite wealthy via the financial market. He writes of his youth, tells many anecdotes, draws many connections, such as music and finance, and generally shares a lot of information. Good read.
- Soros on Soros: Staying Ahead of the Curve - by George Soros, 1995. Touches on many topics, reasonable read.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, the Universe and Everything, a trilogy by Douglas Adams that I read in 1995. This is a wonderful sci-fi/comedy read. Lot's of great humor and an exciting sci-fi story line.
Books I read probably around 1995-2004
- The Perfect Storm - Sebastian Junger, 1999.
Books I read probably around 1994-1995
- The Civilization of the Renaissance - Jacob Burckhardt, 1960. Apparently a classic and filled with information. I read part of it. It's one of those books that references so many things that, if you knew what you needed to know about those things in order to understand the book, then you wouldn't need to read the book.
- Dude, Where's My Country - Michael Moore, 2003.
- Stupid White Men - Michael Moore, 2001.
- Facility Layout and Location, an analytical approach - Francis, R., White, J., 1974. Professor Klein gave this to me while I was at Columbia University. Did not read it, but glanced at it.
Books I read probably around 1990s
- Element 79 - F. Hoyle, science fiction.
- Needle in a Haystack - R. Silverberg, science fiction.
- Triax - R. Silverberg, science fiction.
- Enquiry - D. Francis, mystery. D. Francis is an ex horse racer from the UK and his background figures into his entertaining reads.
- The Merman's Children - P. Anderson, science fiction.
- Search The Sky - F. Pohl and C. Kornbluth, science fiction.
- Mission to the Stars - A.E. von Vogt, science fiction.
- The Universe Maker - A.E. von Vogt, science fiction.
- The Players of Null-A - A.E. von Vogt, science fiction.
- The Dirty Duck - M. Grimes, mystery.
- Help the Poor Struggler - M. Grimes, mystery.
- Rogue in Space - F. Brown, science fiction.
- The Earth Tripper - L. Kelley, science fiction.
- Farmer in the Sky - R. Heinlein, science fiction.
- Beyond the Horizon - R. Heinlein, science fiction.
- The Number of the Beast - R. Heinlein, science fiction.
- Bedlam Planet - J. Brunner, science fiction.
Books I read probably around 1980s
- Descartes' error: emotion, reason, and the human brain - A. Damasio. Contends that thinking and reasoning do benefit from emotions.
- All the little live things - W. Stegner. Penguin, 1991. Enjoyable read. Believe it takes place in the hills above Palo Alto.
- Order out of chaos - I. Prigogine, I. Stengers. Bantam, 1988. First author is a nobel laurete. Contention is that things are not nice and orderly as, for example, Newton, would contend, but rather there is a lot of disorder taking place also. Not clear I finished this book as it gets quite dry.
- Quantum philosophy - R. Omnes, 1999. Very dry presentation. Believe I did not actually complete the entire book.
- The man who knew infinity: A life of the genius Ramanujan - 1991. Bought in 1992. Great read of a fascinating person.
- My Childhood - Maxim Gorky, bought this in 1991, gripping true story.
- Algebra - T. Hungerford, 1987. The book I used in my abstract algebra course at Texas A&M. Was touted as 'the' book to get for abstract algebra. While I am not familiar with many others, I do recall it was written very well.
- Chaos: Making a New Science - J. Gleick, 1987. Enjoyable read.
- Who got Einstein's office - E. Regis. Addison Wesley, 1988. Filled with a lot of interesting tales.
- Engines of creation: The coming era of nanotechnology - Eric Drexler, 1986. Neat read.
- From Today Onward 11 - 1989. Consists of some of the Collected Guidance of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda. SGI was, and maybe still is, an international Buddhist organization which produced some very nice writings.
- The Forgotten War: America in Korea - Clay Blair, 1987. Quite the book, at over 1000 pages. Got it when was a member of the military book club. Not sure if I even started the book.
- Lines and Shadows - Joseph Wambaugh. Always find his books entertaining. JW is an ex police officer and it shows in his writing.
- Fundamentals of Classical Thermodynamics - SI Version 2e, revised printing, 2nd edition, John Wiley 1978. G. Van Wylen, R. Sonntag. Used for course while at University of Utah. Believe was a very good text.
- Engineering fluid mechanics - 2nd edition. J. Roberson, C. Crowe. Houghton Mifflin, 1980. Not the book I used for my course, but seems a good one.
- The Great Fear in Latin America - John Gerassi, bought used and actually never really read.
- Disturbing the Universe - Freeman Dyson, 1979. While Dyson's name is not at the top of the list of 20th century physicists, he was involved with a number of the greatest and a number of very significant physics programs/projects. In this book he reflects on his experiences and the future. Enjoyed it quite a bit.
Books I would like to get
- Every Landlord's Tax Deduction Guide, by Nolo
- California Crack Up
- Make: Electronics
- Bernstein, Quantum Proviles
- Cook: The Extraordinary Voyages of Captain James Cook
- How I Became a Quant: Insights from 25 of Wall Street's Elite
- Disasters Evermore? Our Vulnerability to Natural, Industrial and
- The Ghosts of Evolution
- Rare and Elusive Birds