Sunday, October 29, 2006


I am getting too many books that I don't have time to read, so here is a reminder to myself, in no particular order:

  • The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream, by H.W. Brands.
  • Thirteen Moons: A Year in the Wilderness, by Robert P. Johnson (UCSB alumnus whoo hoo).
  • The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus, by Owen Gingerich, the most famous Mennonite astronomer :) I've read some of this one, pretty interesting. Trivia: his son Jon and I were at UCSB getting MS degrees in Computer Science at the same time, and I stayed in Owen's house while my advisor swapped houses with him for sabbatical. A few doors away lived Bill Walton when he played for the Celtics.
  • 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, by Charles C. Mann. You can read an excerpt or the article from The Atlantic.
  • Small is the New Big: and 183 Other Riffs, Rants, and Remarkable Business Ideas, by Seth Godin.
  • The King of California: J.G. Boswell and the Making of a Secret American Empire, by Mark Arax and Rick Wartzman. I'm not a big fan of Arax, but should read the book since it is about farming the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. If you are looking for something more inspiring, go for Epitaph for a Peach by Masumoto, or if you are from around here it will amuse you to recognize the thinly disquised characters in Fields Without Dreams, by Hanson.
  • Garden of the Sun (second edition) about the early history of the San Joaquin Valley (and you might want to see A Land Between Rivers).
  • First Man, biography of Neil Armstrong. I've read most of it and learned a few things, but for the big picture of the Apollo program I like Andrew Chaikin's book Man on the Moon (I got to meet him, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Robert Jastrow on the same day in Pasadena a few years ago), or you can read transcripts of all the radio transmissions at the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal.