Friday, February 24, 2006

Reading update

So what have I been reading (or listening to via Audible) lately? And, do you even care what I think about it? Probably not. But in case you do...

Himalaya - Michael Palin's account of travelling the Himalayan mountain range from end to end. On Audible, Michael narrates this one himself, and does a fabulous job. Some of his accents are worth the listen alone. I tend to prefer Bill Bryson's travel stories more, but this one was good. 4/5.

The Search - John Battelle's account of Google and how the rise of search technology is changing business, society, and just about everything else. There's a lot of thought provoking stuff in here if you really consider the implications. Highly recommended. 5/5.

Lost Discoveries - by Dick Teresi. In this book Teresi traces the history of many supposed "western" ideas in science to show how many of them were independantly developed in Mesopotamia, China, India, or South America. I'm sure some scholars would debate some of Teresi's conclusions, but many of the facts he presents are very interesting. 3.5/5.

A Walk In The Woods - Bill Bryson's tale of his attempt to walk the entire length of the Appalachian Trail. This is gut-splittingly funny, and incredibly fascinating as well. I love how Bill managed to make you feel like you're there with him. Plus, the occassional digression into history, science, or sociology is wonderful. I think I prefer his book "In a Sunburned Country" about Austrialia, but just barely. 5/5.

Mental Floss Presents: Condensed Knowledge - From the publishers of Mental Floss magazine. This is a fascinating compendium of intro-level information about nearly any subject you can imagine. Want to know more about art, or history, or geography? It's in here. It may not be an in depth treatment of any topic, but it will leave you with as much information as you'd remember ten years after studying any of these topics in depth anyway. There's more useless trivia here than you could ever make use of - I loved it. 4.5/5.