February 15th, 2005 7:21 PM

It would seem that my need to meticulously record things has replaced my 2004 list of beer with a new 2005 list of the books I’ve read. I’ve read very little since the beginning of the month when my new computer arrived, but here’s a list of books I’ve read since the beginning of January:

The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder

This is a wonderful account of the people and effort involved in bringing the Data General 32-bit MV/8000 “Eagle” to life.

Author’s Choice Monthly Issue 20 by Kim Stanley Robinson

This is a hard-to-come-by collection of A Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions, Muir on Shasta, and History of the Twentieth Century, With Illustrations, published in 1991 and found at Powell’s. I had read (but didn’t remember) Muir on Shasta and History of the Twentieth Century, but they’re both just as good the second time around. A Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions is a great look at history, possible worlds, and … well, a sensitive dependence on initial conditions.

Forty Signs of Rain by Kim Stanley Robinson

The first in a new KSR trilogy (!) dealing with global warming. This was an exceptionally quick read, and a great story. I particularly liked the book starting with an NSF grant proposal for “Mathematical and Algorithmic Analysis of Palindromic Codons as Predictors of a Gene’s Protein Expression.” Sounds similar to the (long-term) goals of the Genomics Group at Wheaton.

Sojourner: An Insider’s View of the Mars Pathfinder Mission by Andrew Mishkin

A great look at the rover-side of the Pathfinder mission, its history, people, failures, and successes.

Round Ireland With a Fridge by Tony Hawks

An absolutely hysterical account of Tony Hawks attempt to win a bet by hitchhiking around the circumference of Ireland with a fridge in one month. Along the way, he and the fridge get into all sorts of great adventures.


Adam had recommended Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Years of Rice and Salt” when he was here last. I went and bought a copy and will read it on the plane next month(I really plan ahead with my reading schedual). I’ve never read KSR before…fingers crossed that I’ll like it. I’m in need of a new good author. I seem to have run out of Stephenson for a while.

Posted by: Matt on February 18th, 2005 7:13 AM