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  • LeGault: Think

    LeGault: Think
    A rejoinder to Gladwell's Blink, urging Americans to rediscover the ability to think critically rather than rely on their gut or emotions. Sadly he does not heed his own advice and understand Gladwell's thesis - namely that gut instincts only work in certain circumstance. Also the fact the author kept defending Bush and the non-signature of the Kyoto treaty and the lack of evidence for global warming made me lose patience... (**)

  • John Battelle: The Search

    John Battelle: The Search
    A great synopsis of the history of search from Yahoo to Altavista to Google and beyond (****)

  • Charles Freeman: The Closing of the Western Mind

    Charles Freeman: The Closing of the Western Mind
    Traces the history of how Christianity stifled the Greek intellectual tradition. Clearly relevant to today's culture wars, but ultimately the narrative is too dense and detailed to really spring to life (***)

  • Peter Mayle: A Good Year

    Peter Mayle: A Good Year
    Peter Mayle never disappoints me and this is no exception. A pleasurable romp through the usual backdrop of Provence, but this time focused on the shady dealings of the artisan wine business. (****)

  • Tom Wolfe: I am Charlotte Simmons

    Tom Wolfe: I am Charlotte Simmons
    My third Tom Wolfe novel after Bonfire of the Vanities and a Man in Full. Not overwhelming enjoyable, but captivating nonetheless as he examines the struggle between the mind and the body in today's University culture. (****)

  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb: Fooled by Randomness

    Nassim Nicholas Taleb: Fooled by Randomness
    A book about how we often mistake luck for skill, with a particular focus on financial markets. Promising start but ultimately a little disappointing (***)

  • Stephen Fry: Revenge : A Novel

    Stephen Fry: Revenge : A Novel
    A modern day revised tale of "Count of Monte Cristo" by the polymath Stephen Fry including some commentary on the danger of simplifying complex debates (privacy/protection from pornography) (****)

  • Philip Roth: The Plot Against America: A Novel

    Philip Roth: The Plot Against America: A Novel
    A historical novel of faction, a cautionary tale of how fascism can rear its head; very timely given the PATRIOT act, wiretapping without warrants, loss of habeas corpus. (****)

  • Steven D. Levitt: Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

    Steven D. Levitt: Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
    Economist takes a look at everyday issues such as "do realtors maximize the sale price of your house?". (****)

  • Bill Bryson: I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away

    Bill Bryson: I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away
    Bill Bryson at his insightful, hilarious best. As a Brit sometimes flummoxed by life in the US, this resonated very strongly with me. (****)

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Comments

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There has been a great deal of concern that Google Books would put books online and therefore deprive publishers, authors and retailers of their revenues. The two most interesting comments were from the author and the bookstore owner. The author was actually hopeful that Google would ultimately, if not immediately, benefit him because it would connect new potential readers to his otherwise hard to find.

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