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The following are mini-reviews of books I read in 2008.
Also see the full index of books I've read.

  [Book cover]

Things A Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About

by Donald E. Knuth

I read the foreword and never read any further. From the foreword, I learned that computer scientists don't talk about religion much at work. If I remember correctly—I'm writing this in 2015—Anne Foerst, who wrote the foreword, was given a grant to study this "problem". My immediate response was that, well, in most fields and jobs, in my experience, colleagues don't have deep from-the-heart discussions about religion. It's just not appropriate and, in most cases, it's not relevant to your job and your colleagues' jobs.

I probably should have continued reading to hear what Donald Knuth had to say, but I wasn't in the mood. Speaking of moods ...

  [Book cover]

Depression, The Mood Disease (Third Edition)

by Francis Mark Mondimore, M.D.


  [Book cover]

The Cruise of the Cachalot Round the World After Sperm Whales

by Frank T. Bullen (1857-1915) (Wikipedia) (pub. 1898)

Essentially a Two Years Before the Mast for whaling boats and just as interesting. Bullen's use of flowery language seemed a bit forced for my taste; consequently, his book doesn't compare quite as favorably to Dana's plain-spoken work as it could have. Still, The Cruise of the Cachalot succeeds admirably in its purpose of detailing the life of a sailor on a whaling ship.

Project Gutenberg eBook: The Cruise of the Cachalot Round the World After Sperm Whales

  [Book cover]

The Red House Mystery

by A. A. Milne (1882-1956) (Wikipedia) (pub. 1922)


Project Gutenberg eBook: The Red House Mystery

  [Book cover]

Montezuma's Daughter

by H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925) (Wikipedia) (pub. 1893)


Project Gutenberg eBook: Montezuma's Daughter


The Upper Berth

by F. Marion Crawford (1854-1909) (Wikipedia) (pub. 1894)


Project Gutenberg eBook: The Upper Berth


Saint Michael's Gold

by H. Bedford-Jones (James O'Brien) (1887-1949) (Wikipedia)


H. Bedford-Jones eBooks are available at Project Gutenberg Australia (public domain in Australia).

  [Book cover]

The World's Desire

by H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925) (Wikipedia) and Andrew Lang (1844-1912) (Wikipedia) (pub. 1890)


Project Gutenberg eBook: The World's Desire



by Webb Chiles


The book can be downloaded in PDF format from Chiles' fiction page.

  [Book cover]

The Plausibility of Life: Resolving Darwin's Dilemma

by Marc W. Kirschner and John C. Gerhart

The book's title promises an interesting read for the scientific layman - instead, I gave up about a third of the way into it. You really need a knowledge of and interest in the intricacies of cell biology to wade your way through the book. Try The New York Review of Books article linked below for a readable overview of Kirschner's and Gerhart's ideas.

Also see:

  [Book cover]

50 Mathematical Ideas You Really Need to Know

by Tony Crilly

(2015: I never finished reading this; I should probably get back to it!)

Alex Measday  /  E-mail