Monday, May 08, 2006

Book Recommendations

I like to read books. Mostly history, particularly biographies, these give great insight into historic periods and allow the reader to understand human nature that much more.

Recently I have read two books and I am in the middle of one book that I think are fantastic. Two of the books are science books. But they are not school books they are fun reading for those who are interested in scientific work and history.

The first is a book about “Five Equations That Changed the World : The Power and Poetry of Mathematics,” written by Michael Guillen. This book takes the reader into the basic understanding of science in the time of the scientist being discussed. The book talks about Isaac Newton and the Universal Law of Gravity, Daniel Bernoulli and the Law of Hydrodynamic Pressure, Michael Faraday and the Law of Electromagnetic Induction, Rudolf Clausius and the Second Law of Thermodynamics and Albert Einstein and the Theory of Special Relativity. We learn how and why these people became scientist. How they came to discover the laws that they did and how these laws affected the scientific world. I am actually on my second reading of this book because it is so well written. Yes I am a nerd, just ask my wife.

The second science book is by Bill Bryson. It is called ”A Short History of Nearly Everything.” This book traces the many different scientific thoughts and discoveries throughout history. It starts with Greek scientific thought and works its way through modern times. It is fun to read and it is written for the non-scientific person. After you read this you will walk away with a much better understanding of the physical world around you. I can not recommend this book enough.

The last book is a non-fictional journey into Iran in the 1990s. It is written by Azar Nafisi. ”Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books.” This is a powerful book written from the point of view of the writer. She was a Professor of Western Literature at the University of Tehran, I too was amazed that they actually have a course in Western Literature in Iran. The book is about her and seven of her students and their lives in post-Revolutionary Iran. It is an amazing insight into an Islamic Republic. For all those who think they understand the theory and practice of such a place this is a must reading. The subtleties of the oppression and violence of their homeland is much more perverse than I imagined. The yearning to be individual woman with simple choices that are taken for granted in the West is heart wrenching. This is a difficult book to read, it is harder to put down.
Locations of visitors to this page