Holiday Reading List

Nothing a like week without email, cell phone, or CNBC to make you catch up on the recreational reading:
  • The Big Bang, Simon Singh. Another outstanding book from Singh, with the best one-paragraph explanation of Einstein's general theory of relativity as you'll find anywhere.
  • Rocketman, Nancy Conrad. The biography of Pete Conrad. I'll admit to a soft spot for most things written by or about fellow Tigers. Conrad gets extra points for taking a Princeton flag to the moon on Apollo 12. It is uproariously funny in parts.
  • Shaking Her Assets, Robin Epstein and Renee Kaplan. I vaguely remember buying this on the basis of an amazon.com recommendation, and it was a bad one. It was sufficient distraction for the flight to Jamaica, but that was about it.
  • Spin State, Chris Moriarty. Another amazon.com recommendation based on previous gobbling up of everything written by Orson Scott Card and Charles Stross. Quite simply, an outstanding new science fiction writer. Her physics are solid (how many SciFi books come with a bibliography, excepting the made-up tomes of Frank Herbert's works?). Reading this immediately after Singh's book was coincidence, but it did help to have quantum mechanics on the brain.
  • The Pact, Jodi Picoult. I read Picoult's Mercy years ago, when I saw it strategically positioned near the entrance of the local bookstore and recognized the name as one within my Princeton undergraduate orange light cone. I've since read everything she's written, and each time I finish a book I think "Wow, how'd she ever research that?" You can call her writing style "moral fiction" if you wish; she develops her characters forwards and backwards in time so that you don't form opinions of them as much as you feel for them.
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