Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What book should I be reading?

I've yet another gift card to Amazon -- what should I be reading? I like to read (surprise, surprise), so feel free to suggest any topic. 


  1. "The Great Influenza" by John Barry. In addition to telling the story of the worst pandemic in history, it discusses the origins of US medical education, 20th century wartime politics, and how the fruitless search for a cure for the flu led to one of most important scientific discoveries of our time.

  2. I really enjoyed

    Hell's Cartel: IG Farben and the Making of Hitler's War Machine.

    It tells the story of the German chemical consortium and its connection to Nazi Germany. The consortium included a bunch of companies still around today including Bayer, Agfa and BASF.

  3. Gaiman's "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" is good so far (god help Unstable Isotope if it doesn't stay good!) although it's super short. I'll probably finish it tonight and I just started it late last night. On the other side you could try the new Oppenheimer bio by Ray Monk. It's 800+ pages, but supposed to be good. I'll read it when I get a chance.

  4. John LaMattina's "Devalued and Distrusted: Can the Pharmaceutical Industry Restore its Broken Image".

    Eric Lax's "Radiation: What It is, What you Need to Know".

    Richard Panek's "The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality".

    Rick Atkinson's "The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (Liberation Trilogy)" (if you're interested in history)

  5. Tamas Bartfai and Graham V. Lees, The Future of Drug Discovery: Who Decides Which Diseases to Treat? Elsevier, Academic Press, San Diego. 2013

  6. If you like science fiction, I would recommend Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi, and his full length book (based on some of those shorts) The Windup Girl.

    I've also recently enjoyed some stuff from China Mieville, including The City & the City, and Perdido Street Station (along with the sequels The Scar and Iron Council).

  7. Hmmm... I don't read that much anymore, but I used to read a lot before. Others will be better than me at suggesting science fiction or non-fiction, so I'll just recommend some chemistry unrelated books that I liked recently.

    Although it seems to be a philosophical treatise about the difference between the West and Muslim East, Orhan Pamuk's 'The White Castle' and 'My name is Red' are excellent books on the human condition and are well researched and well written. I also really liked his books 'The Black Book' and 'Snow', but I'd rather recommend one of the first two. Probably 'White Castle' is tops since it's short.

  8. Stewie Griffin:

    No idea if they are good, but the are on my current list.
    Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
    The 33 Strategies of war by Robert Greene

  9. I second the Great Influenza... Just got done reading this book though if you like books on science history:

    Generation: The Seventeenth-Century Scientists Who Unraveled the Secrets of Sex, Life, and Growth by Cobb

  10. Solzhenitsyn's "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich". It's short (~120 pp.), it reads quickly, and it is compelling in an understated way.

  11. I strongly recommend Ben Carson's book: America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great. http://goo.gl/Y0DWYt


  12. Gaiman + Pratchett's "Good Omens". Silly, brilliant, insightful.
    Siddhartha Mukherjee's "Emperor of all Maladies"; a thoroughly researched, yet eminently readable study of cancer.
    Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" because it really is a short history of nearly everything, but one that you enjoy reading. And you can read it in sections without really losing your place.