Requests for books
I'm always looking for book recommendations. Please reach out with suggestions of books you've liked. I'm particularly interested in:
- Pre-colonial histories of North America. I'm utterly fascinated by the idea of what North America was like before Columbus, particularly Canada.
- Stories of people/companies that have transferred cutting edge research into actual companies.
- Stories of investors who've made contrarian bets and done (very) well.
I'm currently reading:
- David Deutsch's The Beginning of Infinity.
- 1491 and 1493 are two of my favourite books. I am utterly fascinated by Charles Mann's writing. In 1491, he describes the pre-Columbian world in extensive detail, and in 1493, he describes the post-Columbian world. It's utterly fascinating, particularly for someone of Irish ancestry, like myself, as 1493 goes into extensive detail about how European (particularly Irish) agriculture was transformed by the Columbian Exchange.
- The Power Law, by Sebastian Mallaby. Excellent book on the history of venture capital in the US.
- The Idea Factory. It's remarkable to read about Bell Labs and what they accomplished.
- Scientific Freedom is a book about, well, what it says on the tin. I'm not entirely sure I buy the premise; the author effectively claims that what society needs is for star researchers to be given moderate amounts of funding to pursue whatever interests them. I'm on board with that idea, but in practice, I don't know that I've seen it work out. Consider the large industrial ML labs; how much commercial value have they actually generated?
- Seveneves. Hard sci-fi detailing how humanity comes together after an apocalyptic event.
- Discworld, just a delightful series to read. A nice starting point is Guards! Guards!.
- Spinning Silver is an incredibly well written take on Rumpelstiltskin that explores Eastern European mythology. By Naomi Novik, who I enjoy.
- Becoming Trader Joe, autobiography of the eponymous Joe