Re: 660 Curries

I went looking for 660 Curries: The Gateway to Indian Cooking after hearing Raghavan Iyer on The Splendid Table describing how to cook dal. (This, by the way,  is an especially good episode of the show, as it includes an interview with Jim Lahey of My Bread and a general method of cooking soup.) The […]

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Re: The Age of Wonder

We tend to think of the impact of science on society as something that happened recently, or at least as a 20th century phenomenon. The Age of Wonder, by Richard Holmes reminds us of how many themes and issues date back at least to the turn of the 19th century. You read about the exotic […]

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Re: God’s Problem

Since I like messing about with gods, I found Bart Ehrman’s interview on Fresh Air about the problem of evil very interesting. In his book, God’s Problem, Ehrman examines how the Bible attempts to reconcile the idea of a loving, omnipotent god with the evil in this world. Each chapter opens with his personal observations […]

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Re: Predictably Irrational

I recently read a profile of Krugman in the New Yorker, which said that economists assume that people are rational economic actors because you can be irrational in too many ways. Irrationality is not predictable.  Predictably Irrational, by Daniel Ariely makes the case that it is.

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Re: The Latehomecomer

From the opening fable about babies falling from the sky to be born as Hmong people, to the death of the family matriarch, in simple and affecting prose, Kao Kalia Yang tells the stories of her parents, her childhood, and her grandmother in The Latehomecomer. The early chapters about her parents are so vivid, it’s […]

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Re: Your Inner Fish

With its strong emphasis on commonalities with all tetrapods, all animals with heads, all animals with bodies, all living beings — Your Inner Fish,  by Neil Shubin is a fascinating book about the structures in our bodies.  It’s a little sad that the book has to begin with an argument for evolution. The first chapter […]

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Re: Nudge

Yet another in the current series of popular books with one-word titles,  Nudge, by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein contends that we should apply recent research about human behavior to present choices to people in a way that will nudge them into choosing well. They call this “libertarian paternalism.” Libertarian in that they […]

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Re: Alex & Me

Considering how much I like talking animal stories, it’s not surprising that I read the whole of Alex & Me, by Irene Pepperberg, all at once.  You may have heard of Alex, a gray parrot who was taught to use English words as labels by Dr. Pepperberg.  You may have heard her telling Alex stories, […]

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