Continuing an ongoing tradition, avid reader and book fan Bill Gates has posted his recommend reading. Every summer he tries to do extra reading, and this time here’s a few books he loved.
“What makes this book so good and unusual is how effortlessly Biss moves around different topics. Her father is an oncologist and her mother a poet, which probably helps to explain how Biss so easily navigates the worlds of science and literature. And she’s just as good when she draws on insights from psychology, sociology, women’s studies, history, and philosophy.”
“He starts by trying to define meat, then explores its role in human evolution, various countries’ annual consumption (the United States leads the way with roughly 117 kilograms of carcass weight per person), and the health and environmental risks. He also touches on ethical questions about raising animals for slaughter and covers some simple ways to eliminate the needless cruelty involved.”
“Darrell Huff runs the gamut of every popularly used type of statistic, probes such things as the sample study, the tabulation method, the interview technique, or the way the results are derived from the figures, and points up the countless number of dodges which are used to fool rather than to inform.”
“Honest-to-goodness summer read. You will rip through it in three hours, tops. But you’ll wish it went on longer, because it’s funny and smart as hell. I must have interrupted Melinda a dozen times to read to her passages that made me laugh out loud.”
“You don’t have to be a kid to get a lot out of this series. In science, we’re all kids. A good scientist is somebody who has redeveloped from scratch many times the chain of reasoning of how we know what we know, just to see where there are holes. So it can never hurt to revisit great scientific explanations like the ones Tyson shares. “
“What If? may not be quite as funny as XKCD, but it’s a lot more interesting. The subtitle of the book is “Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions,” and that’s exactly what it is. People write Munroe with questions that range over all fields of science: physics, chemistry, biology.”