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A Man On the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts
4.45
it was ok
The Apollo project was the culmination of the Soviet-American space race, the magnificently mad endeavor with no purpose other than national prestige, ...more
not set
Aug 12, 2012
 
Hacker's Delight
4.21
it was ok
Imagine a minicomputer programmer in 1972 or a microcomputer programmer in 1982 who needed to implement more integer operations than the standard plus ...more
not set
Mar 28, 2013
 
Islam: A Short History
4.02
did not like it
Karen Armstrong is a former Roman Catholic nun who writes popular books about history of religion. Here she tells the conventional story of Islam from ...more
not set
Sep 23, 2011
 
The Myth of the Rational Market: Wall Street's Impossible Quest for Predictable Markets
3.85
liked it
Stock exchanges appeared at about the same time as joint stock companies, in the early 17th century. Mathematical analysis of the stock market had to ...more
not set
Nov 04, 2011
 
Little Failure
3.64
it was ok
By age 40 George Orwell has been a colonial policeman in Burma, a hop picker in England, a patient in a Parisian charity hospital, and a volunteer fig ...more
not set
May 10, 2014
 
Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe
3.56
it was ok
This book covers essentially the same material as William Aspray's 1990 John von Neumann and the Origin of Modern Computing, the life and times of Joh ...more
not set
May 27, 2012
 
The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex
3.84
it was ok
People make positive statements more often than negative ones and want to clearly distinguish between the two; therefore, it makes sense for a languag ...more
not set
Jan 30, 2013
 
The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization
3.75
did not like it
My wife reads some Russian nationalist blogs, and one of the bloggers recommended this book to her; I read it for company. The idea is that low birth ...more
not set
Dec 26, 2010
 
Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal About the Mind
4.10
liked it
A car is usually a self-powered four-wheel vehicle 3-5 meters long that encloses a driver and one to four passengers. This definition is not exhaustiv ...more
not set
Nov 19, 2011
 
Metaphors We Live By
4.09
liked it
In a science fiction story by Ursula Le Guin a nonconformist ant writes, "Up with the Queen!" The fictional translators add an annotation that the pro ...more
not set
Mar 06, 2012
 
Why Orwell Matters
3.94
really liked it
The late Christopher Hitchens made a career of bashing things and people the bien pensant hold dear, from Mother Theresa to religion to opposition to ...more
not set
Feb 11, 2012
 
Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its Moods
3.60
really liked it
The Yiddish language is alive and well in Kiryas Joel, New York, materially the poorest but presumably spiritually the richest town in the United Stat ...more
not set
Apr 22, 2012
 
Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety
4.25
really liked it
Around 6:30pm on September 18, 1980, two missile technicians were servicing a Titan II ICBM in a silo in rural Arkansas. As one of them was unscrewing ...more
not set
Nov 19, 2013
 
Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery
4.23
really liked it
There are many books on American slavery; this book is about how it ended. It ended with the American Civil War. Thousands of Southern slaves ran away ...more
not set
May 21, 2011
 
Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas
3.69
did not like it
Profiles of approximately 15 people, all but two lefties and greens, who Flynn claims were made stupid by the ideologies they followed. I must say tha ...more
not set
Dec 25, 2010
 
Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages
3.84
liked it
A Canadian poet and journalist goes around the world visiting speakers of moribund languages. Aborigines of Northern Australia progressed within a few ...more
not set
Dec 27, 2010
 
The Anthropic Cosmological Principle
3.91
really liked it
This review was not written by a one-year-old human child because a one-year-old human child's mind is too simple to write this review. Douglas Hofsta ...more
not set
Dec 26, 2010
 
Camouflage
3.63
did not like it
A shape-shifting alien who can masquerade as a human but is different from humans on the cellular level (John W. Campbell's "Who Goes There?") spends ...more
not set
Jan 06, 2013
 
To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918
4.15
really liked it
Unlike World War II and the Cold War, World War I was not about any principles an individual could support or reject. Closer to our time, if the Cuban ...more
not set
May 06, 2012
 
White Slaves of Maquinna: John R. Jewitt's Narrative of Capture and Confinement at Nootka
3.79
it was amazing
In 1802, a trading ship left Boston, England, with the intent of buying furs from the natives of the Pacific coast of North America and selling them i ...more
not set
Dec 26, 2010
 
Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin
3.74
really liked it
Latin was an IE language spoken in a small area in Central Italy in mid-first millennium BCE. It shared certain features with other IE languages of It ...more
not set
Dec 27, 2010
 
More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite
4.02
liked it
In 1949, an American sociologist and a former diplomat and anti-Nazi operative decided to get rich. He organized a "hedged [sic] fund" that bought sha ...more
not set
Jul 23, 2011
 
Angle of Attack: Harrison Storms and the Race to the Moon
4.40
liked it
This is an analogue of Tracy Kidder's The Soul of a New Machine applied to the Apollo project, specifically to the aerospace engineers at North Americ ...more
not set
Oct 11, 2013
 
The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War
4.14
it was ok
I want to read Winston Churchill's six-volume history of World War II, and before doing that, decided to go through a modern British one-volume popula ...more
not set
Aug 03, 2011
 
We Almost Lost Detroit
3.67
liked it
I knew this story from Charles Perrow's Normal Accidents, mentioned it in a conversation with a coworker, and decided to read a book about it. Almost ...more
not set
Feb 13, 2012
 
The Word for World is Forest
3.95
did not like it
An Earth-like planet 27 light-years from Earth is mostly ocean, but it has a forested archipelago inhabited by 3 million (who counted them?) humanoids ...more
not set
Nov 05, 2012
 
The Sirens of Titan
4.16
it was amazing
When I was 13 years old, in 1986, another boy lent me an anthology of Anglo-American antiwar fiction (mostly science fiction) in Russian translation. ...more
not set
Apr 07, 2014
 
No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939-1945
4.13
did not like it
This is an overview of the European Theater of World War II from a Polonocentric perspective. Every page I looked at has a claim that made me go: WTF? ...more
not set
Dec 24, 2010
 
Words on the Move: Why English Won't - And Can't - Sit Still (Like, Literally)
4.13
really liked it
In 2012 I was in Ukraine and saw a sign in English that said that some office is "totally closed". Dude, like, totally. Why wouldn't a native English ...more
Oct 08, 2017
Oct 07, 2017
 
Last and First Men/Star Maker
4.01
really liked it
The first novel is a truly long-term history of humanity, on the scale of millions of years, as imagined by a British philosopher between the world wa ...more
not set
May 05, 2014
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