1.  Freakonomics, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

 

Extremely readable, extremely entertaining, and extremely controversial.  Those are three characteristics I love in a book.  Positively eye opening.  I think this should be required reading.

Grade:  A+

 

2.  A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson 

An amusing (and enlightening) account of the author’s attempt to walk the length of the Appalachian Trail.  Bryson has a way with words, and I always feel like I’m learning something when reading him.  The book lags in some places, but is still a quick, entertaining read.

Grade:  B+

 

3.  Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond

 

I think I said all that needs to be said in the blog post.

Grade: D

 

4. The Trouble with Africa, Robert Calderisi

 

Drawing upon his experience as a World Bank official stationed in Africa, Calderisi explains why massive amounts of foreign aid has not been able to bring Africa into the 21st century.  I recommend this book for anyone who is has an interest in Africa, foreign policy, public policy, or would just love to know how pumping billions of dollars into a continent can have next to no effect.

Grade:  A

 

5Richard Feynman, John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin

 

Interesting book that does a good job of capturing the essence of genius.  The scientific explanations are down to earth, but are probably beyond the average reader, if they haven’t taken college level physics or chemistry.

Grade: B

 

6The Boo, Pat Conroy

 

If you are interested in the background of the character “The Bear” from Lords of Discipline, then you might want to take a look at this little book.  Otherwise, skip it.

Grade:  INC

 

7. The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff

 

A concise (and extremely original) introduction to Taoism.  If you go in with no expectations, you will be pleased.  If, like myself, you go in expecting spiritual enlightenment, you might be a tad disappointed.

Grade:  B+

 

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