Bookmarks

Books

Nattily packaged (the cover sports a Roy Lichtensteinesque image of an economist in Dick Tracy garb) and cleverly written, this book applies basic economic theory to such modern phenomena as Starbucks’ pricing system and Microsoft’s stock values. While the concepts explored are those encountered in Microeconomics 101, Harford gracefully explains abstruse ideas like pricing along the demand curve and game theory using real world examples without relying on graphs or jargon. [more from amazon.com]

  • Gajah Mada by Langit Kresna Hariadi
  • Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tamet

This unique first-person account offers a window into the mind of a high-functioning, 27-year-old British autistic savant with Asperger’s syndrome. Tammet’s ability to think abstractly, deviate from routine, and empathize, interact and communicate with others is impaired, yet he’s capable of incredible feats of memorization and mental calculation. Besides being able to effortlessly multiply and divide huge sums in his head with the speed and accuracy of a computer, Tammet, the subject of the 2005 documentary Brainman, learned Icelandic in a single week and recited the number pi up to the 22,514th digit, breaking the European record. He also experiences synesthesia, an unusual neurological syndrome that enables him to experience numbers and words as “shapes, colors, textures and motions.” Tammet traces his life from a frustrating, withdrawn childhood and adolescence to his adult achievements, which include teaching in Lithuania, achieving financial independence with an educational Web site and sustaining a long-term romantic relationship.

This book reminds me of Mark Haddon’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime”.

  • China Condensed by  Ong Siew Chey
  • The Book of Tells by Peter Collet
  • The Lost Islamic Miracles of Chen Hoe by Nik Lee

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