The 2020 Reading Thread

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#41

Post by CaptHayfever » Sat May 23, 2020 10:17 pm

^Cheapest flight between two cities is "unsolvable" because of human manipulations intentionally making it so. :p

AJ, you'll probably wanna look into logic books. I quite like the Elements of Mathematics series from CEMREL; they have some creative examples & the notation reads cleanly.

And remember, "I'm-a Luigi, number one!"

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#42

Post by I am nobody » Sat May 23, 2020 10:49 pm

That's what I meant by arcane ticketing reasons. There's some mechanism that alters prices so as to make the problem technically, but obviously not practically, undecidable.

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#43

Post by Apollo the Just » Sun May 24, 2020 3:09 pm

I ordered a book called "Models of Computation" by John Savage because it had a chapter on complexity classes in pdf version online that seems clear and interesting enough for me to want the book (although there's a lot of notation I haven't been introduced to before). I'll probably go ahead and skim through that chapter online while it's in the mail and then hopefully read all of it when it gets in, but thanks for the recommendation and direction, will hopefully post in this thread again when I get through more of it provided I don't get distracted by something unrelated. :^)

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#44

Post by I am nobody » Mon May 25, 2020 9:04 am

7. The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance by Ron Chernow (5/25)

This was really interesting up until about the 1960s, because the bank was powerful and/or influential enough that its history is largely just regular history but from an economic perspective. Most of the things you'd expect to come up in a US history covering the late 1800s to the Depression are covered, like how they financed rifle purchases in the Civil War or gave a cover for American neutrality in WWI by routing all the Allied loans through themselves. It was cool to get some perspective on the logistics of all the huge transfers and market events that are ordinarily just glossed over.

Then Glass-Steagall splits Morgan into two companies after the depression and makes the British arm largely independent and things get a lot harder to follow. It's fine for about 30 years, mostly because the major figures still stick around for many years and they're influential enough that big events are already familiar. The Morgan banks during WWII aren't nearly the superpowers the combined company was in WWI, but they're still involved with Lend-Lease, etc.

But then the various companies start to become modern investment banks and working 16 hour days instead of two hour lunches and never taking risks. It's an interesting shift when the organizations that were previously above all the big scandals and panics (they were barely involved in even the speculation before the Depression) start to become players in and even drivers of those events, but it also because nightmarish to follow what's going on when there are suddenly dozens of important people between three different companies and many of them only last a few years. The book starts covering less time per chapter and grouping events by theme rather than chronology, which makes it even harder to follow since you're never sure if it's still the 70's anymore. I think a lot of this is because the book was published in 1990, so the names and events in question were far better known to someone who'd be reading a banking history then than they are now.

The publication date is also kind of unfortunate because 1989 is just a terrible year to end this kind of book in. It would've been nice to get even a brief epilogue talking about the huge changes that have occurred since then, but it just ends. Still, it's definitely worthwhile if this kind of thing interests you.

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#45

Post by Valigarmander » Fri May 29, 2020 4:51 pm

25. Bad at Adulting, Good at Feminism by Prudence Geerts - ★★★☆ (May 2)
26. The Complete Peanuts: 1953-1954 by Charles M. Schulz - ★★★☆ (May 8)
27. My Solo Exchange Diary 1 by Nagata Kabi - ★★★☆ (May 13)
28. How to Hide an Empire by Daniel Immerwahr - ★★★☆ (May 18)
29. My Solo Exchange Diary 2 by Nagata Kabi - ★★★☆ (May 18)
30. Zombillenium Vol. 1 & 2 by Arthur de Pins - ★★★☆ (May 20)
31. Zombillenium Vol. 3 by Arthur de Pins - ★★★☆ (May 21)
32. Zombillenium Vol. 4 by Arthur de Pins - ★★★☆ (May 26)
33. On the Wing: Insects, Pterosaurs, Birds, Bats and the Evolution of Animal Flight by David E. Alexander - ★★★☆ (May 28)
34. Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët - ★★★★ (May 28)

I'm finally starting to make a dent in all those graphic novels I've been hoarding.

2020 reading list:
Spoiler.
1. Megahex by Simon Hanselmann - ★★★☆ (Jan 7)
2. Dinosaurs Rediscovered by Michael J. Benton - ★★★☆ (Jan 9)
3. My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi - ★★★★ (Jan 9)
4. The Complete Peanuts: 1950-1952 by Charles M. Schulz - ★★★☆ (Jan 15)
5. How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky & Daniel Ziblatt - ★★★☆ (Jan 15)
6. Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir & Steenz - ★★☆☆ (Jan 18)
7. Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit - ★★★☆ (Jan 23)
8. Fables: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham, et al. - ★★★☆ (Jan 23)
9. Fables: Homelands by Bill Willingham, et al. - ★★☆☆ (Jan 30)
10. Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration by Bryan Caplan & Zach Weinersmith - ★★★☆ (Feb 6)
11. A Little History of Economics by Niall Kishtainy - ★★★☆ (Feb 10)
12. Vietnamerica: A Family's Journey by GB Tran - ★★★★ (Feb 18)
13. Giants of the Lost World by Donald R. Prothero - ★★★☆ (Feb 19)
14. One More Year by Simon Hanselmann - ★★★☆ (Feb 21)
15. The Rabbi's Cat 2 by Joann Sfar - ★★★☆ (Feb 27)
16. We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates - ★★★☆ (Mar 2)
17. The Fixer and Other Stories by Joe Sacco - ★★★☆ (Mar 12)
18. Bad Gateway by Simon Hanselmann - ★★☆☆ (Mar 17)
19. Fatherland by Nina Bunjevac - ★★☆☆ (Mar 23)
20. Block Party by David Daneman, et al. - ★★★☆ (Mar 24)
21. Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin - ★★★☆ (Mar 26)
22. It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi - ★★★★ (Apr 9)
23. The Arab of the Future 4 by Riad Sattouf - ★★★☆ (Apr 17)
24. Reinventing Comics by Scott McCloud - ★★★☆ (Apr 30)
25. Bad at Adulting, Good at Feminism by Prudence Geerts - ★★★☆ (May 2)
26. The Complete Peanuts: 1953-1954 by Charles M. Schulz - ★★★☆ (May 8)
27. My Solo Exchange Diary 1 by Nagata Kabi - ★★★☆ (May 13)
28. How to Hide an Empire by Daniel Immerwahr - ★★★☆ (May 18)
29. My Solo Exchange Diary 2 by Nagata Kabi - ★★★☆ (May 18)
30. Zombillenium Vol. 1 & 2 by Arthur de Pins - ★★★☆ (May 20)
31. Zombillenium Vol. 3 by Arthur de Pins - ★★★☆ (May 21)
32. Zombillenium Vol. 4 by Arthur de Pins - ★★★☆ (May 26)
33. On the Wing: Insects, Pterosaurs, Birds, Bats and the Evolution of Animal Flight by David E. Alexander - ★★★☆ (May 28)
34. Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët - ★★★★ (May 28)

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#46

Post by Booyakasha » Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:24 pm

So I started in on this new series Eric Powell (author of 'Goon' and 'Big Man Plans') wrote. It's called 'Hillbilly'. It's about this sad lost soul stalking the hills of Appalachia, with his best friend Lucille the giant talking bear at his side and the Devil's cleaver in his hand, killing bogeymen and babadooks and haints and haunts and witches and draculas so they cain't hurt people no more. It's fantastic. It really is so dang good I can't believe it.

Buzzard shows up in the second ish. Buzzard is one of my favouritests.
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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#47

Post by I am nobody » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:02 am

8. Evil Has a Name: The Untold Story of the Golden State Killer Investigation (5/27)

Audible had a sale that gave me this for free with #9, so I figured why not. It's more of a podcast than a book, and it takes the weird approach of relying almost entirely on the lead detective's perspective. He has valuable perspective, obviously, but he's not neutral, and I think an outsider would have been better able to talk about the failures that led to this taking so long to solve. Since it was released before the trial, they barely go into any detail about the genetic methods finally used to catch the killer, and while they do talk about what led similar people to start and stop as serial killers, there's practically nothing about what happened with this guy and very little about what he was doing even at the peak of his attacks.

It did have several sections read by victims or their relatives that were effectively impact statements, and those were incredibly chilling. I think it's valuable as a platform to give them a voice, but otherwise not a very strong book.

9. The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt by Toby Wilkinson (7/3)

I don't even begin to know how to talk about a book that covers 3,000 years of history, much less how the author made it fit into 20 hours. It's a fascinating listen for many reasons, but possibly most of all for how much Egypt's ancient history parallels more recent events even in the oldest parts we barely know anything about. And also it's really messed up at times. One point in the Middle Kingdom saw four generations of brother-sister marriages because they were so absorbed in their own theological propaganda that they started copying the marriages of myth in order to better act like gods. A much later Ptolemeic pharaoh married his predecessor's wife, who was his sister, then later ran to Cyprus with her daughter before realizing that his son by his sister might usurp the throne. So he had that son kidnapped and sent his dismembered body back to his sister/wife on her birthday. She put the body pieces on display in the capital to drum up support, but the citizens weren't impressed and backed her brother/husband when he later returned to Egypt.

There were many "why did I not already know this?" moments throughout the book. Definitely recommend checking it out.

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#48

Post by Valigarmander » Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:25 pm

35. Becoming Unbecoming by Una - ★★★★ (Jun 4)
36. How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden - ★★☆☆ (Jun 18)
37. Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong by James W. Loewen - ★★★☆ (Jun 23)
38. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin - ★★★☆ (Jun 26)

I wonder if I can reach 80 by the end of the year.

2020 reading list:
Spoiler.
1. Megahex by Simon Hanselmann - ★★★☆ (Jan 7)
2. Dinosaurs Rediscovered by Michael J. Benton - ★★★☆ (Jan 9)
3. My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi - ★★★★ (Jan 9)
4. The Complete Peanuts: 1950-1952 by Charles M. Schulz - ★★★☆ (Jan 15)
5. How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky & Daniel Ziblatt - ★★★☆ (Jan 15)
6. Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir & Steenz - ★★☆☆ (Jan 18)
7. Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit - ★★★☆ (Jan 23)
8. Fables: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham, et al. - ★★★☆ (Jan 23)
9. Fables: Homelands by Bill Willingham, et al. - ★★☆☆ (Jan 30)
10. Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration by Bryan Caplan & Zach Weinersmith - ★★★☆ (Feb 6)
11. A Little History of Economics by Niall Kishtainy - ★★★☆ (Feb 10)
12. Vietnamerica: A Family's Journey by GB Tran - ★★★★ (Feb 18)
13. Giants of the Lost World by Donald R. Prothero - ★★★☆ (Feb 19)
14. One More Year by Simon Hanselmann - ★★★☆ (Feb 21)
15. The Rabbi's Cat 2 by Joann Sfar - ★★★☆ (Feb 27)
16. We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates - ★★★☆ (Mar 2)
17. The Fixer and Other Stories by Joe Sacco - ★★★☆ (Mar 12)
18. Bad Gateway by Simon Hanselmann - ★★☆☆ (Mar 17)
19. Fatherland by Nina Bunjevac - ★★☆☆ (Mar 23)
20. Block Party by David Daneman, et al. - ★★★☆ (Mar 24)
21. Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin - ★★★☆ (Mar 26)
22. It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi - ★★★★ (Apr 9)
23. The Arab of the Future 4 by Riad Sattouf - ★★★☆ (Apr 17)
24. Reinventing Comics by Scott McCloud - ★★★☆ (Apr 30)
25. Bad at Adulting, Good at Feminism by Prudence Geerts - ★★★☆ (May 2)
26. The Complete Peanuts: 1953-1954 by Charles M. Schulz - ★★★☆ (May 8)
27. My Solo Exchange Diary 1 by Nagata Kabi - ★★★☆ (May 13)
28. How to Hide an Empire by Daniel Immerwahr - ★★★☆ (May 18)
29. My Solo Exchange Diary 2 by Nagata Kabi - ★★★☆ (May 18)
30. Zombillenium Vol. 1 & 2 by Arthur de Pins - ★★★☆ (May 20)
31. Zombillenium Vol. 3 by Arthur de Pins - ★★★☆ (May 21)
32. Zombillenium Vol. 4 by Arthur de Pins - ★★★☆ (May 26)
33. On the Wing: Insects, Pterosaurs, Birds, Bats and the Evolution of Animal Flight by David E. Alexander - ★★★☆ (May 28)
34. Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët - ★★★★ (May 28)
35. Becoming Unbecoming by Una - ★★★★ (Jun 4)
36. How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden - ★★☆☆ (Jun 18)
37. Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong by James W. Loewen - ★★★☆ (Jun 23)
38. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin - ★★★☆ (Jun 26)

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#49

Post by Deku Tree » Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:42 pm

I just finished John Hodgman's Medallion Status. It's a lot more personal than what I've read of his before, but still his voice. It's largely about his experience with fame, and what it's like being quite a bit less famous than he used to be.

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Re: The 2020 Reading Thread

#50

Post by Booyakasha » Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:31 pm

I read 'Strangers in Paradise 6-----High School!'. It was a good read, but sad (that's SiP in a nutshell).
boo--------------de dirigiblez in flames, everyboddyz dead, and he lost his hat

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