Sunday, June 19, 2011

Reading List : Feb - End of July 2011

Slowed down big time since I came to the US. I am consuming too much of Internet and sitcoms. But you should give it to the sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory, they are addictive and quality. Movies are an addiction too, especially when something like the "Shawshank Redemption" .

Items on my reading list so far since February :

1)The worldly philosophers :  Read about this book while in India and wanted to read. Saw the book on my first visit to the town library and was elated. Reading it at a gradual pace. The book is history of economic thought. It tells theories of economics as well the lives of people who made economics the science it is today. "The Ascent of Money" is one book I want to read soon.

2)Gang leader for a day : Read about the book's author Sudhir Venktesh in Freakonomics. Gang leader studies life of living in housing projects in Chicago. The author visited housing projects in Chicago while he was studying sociology at the University of Chicago. Sudhir makes friends with a gang leader and tries to learn how a gang works. The social, economic and political aspects of a gang and living in a housing project like the Robert Tylor homes in Chicago. The story makes you think, but did not perturb someone like me from India who knows how things are. I mean I did not have my moments of Nirvana by reading some of the conclusions in the book. But one must give credit for the great style and flow of Sudhir's writings. For me any sociological study should aim to understand human nature and solve at least some of the pain in its functioning.

3)Leaving Microsoft to Change the World : I must thank my friend Amey for sharing his read list on linkedIn from where I got name of the book. This is the first book I bought online. John Wood, a top notch executive in Microsoft left his job to start an organization "Room to Read" aimed at educating the children of the world, by building libraries, schools and computer labs. John tells how he used his skills to manage the non-profit. A must read for someone who wants to understand what it takes to go big.

4)Tour of the Calculus : The way Calculus has progressed. Yet to start the book. But it looks like case of mathematical history examining calculus. From Calculus I remember, Dr. Jawant Naralikar had planted grafts out of Newton's apple tree from England in Pune. I want to see the tree, but hear that it is dying. Need to check.

5)In Defense of Globalization : As the name suggest economist Jagdish Bhagvati examines how Globalization has answers to many of the problems the world is facing. Bhagwati is poised to win the Nobel prize in economics.

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