Thursday, December 6, 2012

books

Pnin, by Vladimir Nabokov - So good! (As of course it must be, given the author.) Hilarious, and every page contains a sentence that makes you stop and gleefully re-read it four times because no one ever has or ever will again describe something more perfectly. It's only 184 pages but I savored it as long as a normal length novel. The story barely even has a plot (it's basically a long character sketch) and it doesn't even matter. And as a bonus, the character, an endearingly socially oblivious academic, is wonderfully lovable and relatable to... people like me.

Liars and Outliers, by Bruce Schneier - He intended to write a book about cybersecurity, but instead wrote a book about behavioral economics, because, well, behavioral economics is the actual driving force in most things :) It seems to be neglected by economists, since it wasn't written by an economist, but it was good (a little light on content, but very well organized/written), and I found it really entertaining to read a book on behavioral economics written by a computer scientist who stumbled on behavioral economics and felt the need to write a book about it. Somehow it's more credible that these things are really important when written about by someone other than the primary researchers.

The Lives of Christopher Chant, by Diana Wynne Jones - Dumb kids book I read for book club. Maybe I would've liked it as a little kid. As an adult, the operations of the fantasy world and magic were irritating and the book got worse and worse as it went on. Prying your way through "strands" of magic spells? Really..?

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