What I’m Reading

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs by Harold Abelson and Gerald Jay Sussman

I’m reading this in pace with the MIT lectures. I’m still in chapter 1, but I think this book could be titled How to Think Like a Computer Scientist.

Rex Barks: Diagramming Sentences Made Easy by Phyllis Davenport

This is to fill a glaring hole in my education that I’ve been meaning to fill for years. I’ve tried a couple of other grammar books, but either they didn’t explain the fundamentals, or they weren’t adequate for self-study. Rex Barks assumes no previous knowledge and provides answers to every problem in the back of the book. It is the perfect self-study grammar book.

I plan to write a sentence diagramming app once I’ve completed the book. Expect to see a few blog posts on that. I’m currently at chapter 3.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow is the state of complete immersion in some activity. This book introduces the concept of flow, how one achieves it, and why it is important. Wikipedia has an good overview of the book.

I’ve just started chapter 6. I’ll write a review with a few criticisms once I finish it.

He has also written Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, which I plan to read next.

Study in Power by Allan Nevins

This is a biography of John D. Rockefeller. I had to check it out from the library since it is very hard to find. The link above is to Amazon.com search results.

I’m reading this book on the recommendation of Alex Epstein in his Triumph and Tragedy of the Oil Industry lectures.

I’m at chapter 4.

Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

This is Steve Martin’s autobiography. I’m about three quarters of the way through. I find him remarkable for two reasons. One, his thoughtful experimenting and theorizing. Two, his constant, purposeful progress towards becoming a comedian.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind

I decided to read this after seeing the movie. I think that both book and movie are excellent, but I wish I would have read the book first. The main character in the movie doesn’t quite match the description in the book, but I can’t help seeing the movie version in my mind.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

I’m reading this in preparation for the Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest. I think this is my third reading, but it is even better than I remember. I’m following along with Diana Hsieh’s podcasts.

I’m at chapter 6.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

I’m making slow progress through this book. I started it as an escape from the terrible prose of Larry Niven.

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