All posts by dave

Review: American Nerd: The Story of My People

American Nerd: The Story of My People
American Nerd: The Story of My People by Benjamin Nugent

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I very much enjoyed these thoughtful essays on the history and sociology of my tribe. Nugent is sympathetic but still critical and he’s tried, possibly successfully, to leave his early nerdom behind. For better or worse I seem to have a lifetime membership.



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Review: Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes

Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes
Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A fun tour of modern behavioral psychology through the lens of Sherlock Holmes. Specifically, how can we be more like Holmes, proceeding mindfully through the world, and less like Watson, just muddling through. Thanks Amy!



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Review: Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance

Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance
Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance by Jane Gleeson-White

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A history of double-entry accounting. Do not be afraid. It is far more enjoyable than you might have thought. Really.

First of all, the history of accounting goes back to the earliest civilizations and may have played a role in the invention of writing. Things really get going in Venice at the start of the Renaissance when the Venetians discover (or possibly borrow from the Arabs) the techniques of double-entry, the form of accounting used all over the world today, for good or ill. Highly recommended. Thanks Lucas!



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Review: By the Spear: Philip II, Alexander the Great, and the Rise and Fall of the Macedonian Empire

By the Spear: Philip II, Alexander the Great, and the Rise and Fall of the Macedonian Empire
By the Spear: Philip II, Alexander the Great, and the Rise and Fall of the Macedonian Empire by Ian Worthington

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A quick but very informative history of the Macedonian Empire spanning both Philip II and Alexander, reassessing each in the light of the other.



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