My Favorite Books
The Hidden Reality
About string theory and why multiverses might exist. Is our universe the only universe? Brian Greene has a NOVA series called The Fabric of the Cosmos, which is the best explanation of space, the universe, and everything since Carl Sagan's Cosmos.
The Language Instinct
Everything you ever wanted to know about grammar genes. Also check out Steven Pinker's TED talks!
Although it's an old book, it is the best at conveying the slow environmental disaster brought about by pesticides. Keep this in mind when you hear the debate about the effect of neonicotinoids on bees nowadays.
The Filter Bubble
This is the reason why I don't like it when companies take personalized results too far. You get to live in a little bubble with no indication of what else is out there. Eli Pariser has a great TED talk about this.
This book discusses the drawbacks of texting, and what we lose when we abandon face-to-face conversation. Sherry Turkle has a TED talk about this issue!
The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy
Talks about the impact of free donated clothing on African small businesses trying to make money by making clothes. Nobody can compete with free.
The Checklist Manifesto
Shows how little things add up to make the difference between life and death, and how nobody should be considered too important to be reminded about these little things.
Cybersecurity and Cyberwar
All you need to know about how serious the cybersecurity problem is.
Wired for War
This is a fascinating discussion of the role of robots in modern warfare. Also check out his TED talk about military robotics!
The Code book
This book is a historical account of ways to deliver messages that can't be read by unauthorized people. Read this before watching The Imitation Game! One of my favorite parts of the book is its description of the progress made by Alice Kober in deciphering Linear B.
This book will really make you care about the extinction of species. I'm not talking about the long-dead dodo bird, but about the species that are on the brink of extinction in our lifetime. Jeff explains the many ways in which species are threatened in a CNN documentary, Planet in Peril.
Business Stripped Bare
Branson talks about following your instincts and solving problems that matter to you, because chances are that it matters to a lot of people. Also check out a TED interview with Richard Branson.
Hackers and Painters
The Taste of Conquest
Discusses the age of exploration, and its driver, the spice trade.
Your Inner Fish
This is a book by a fish expert who had to teach human anatomy, and how his unique point of view provided him with insight into vertebrate evolution. Neil Shubin also has a PBS series about evolution.
The Meaning of Everything
This book tells the story of the men who worked on the Oxford English Dictionary.
House of Cards
The incredible way in which banks function at the highest level. This book has nothing to do with the TV show of the same name!
Illustrates philosophical concepts with real examples from today's world. Makes it fun to learn the differences between categorical and consequentialist moral reasoning. One of my favorite books ever! You can also watch Sandel's Harvard lectures online!
Knocking on Heaven's Door
A great book about particle physics and how the Large Hadron Collider actually works.
The Drunkard's Walk
About probabilities, and how they affect our lives. Read this before reporting to jury duty!
The Signal and the Noise
An enlightening look at the importance of statistics in the real world, from winning at chess to predicting earthquakes. Includes a discussion of statistics applied to climate change predictions and financial markets.
The Upside of Irrationality
Psychological experiments that illuminate human behavior in everyday life. Fascinating explanations for economic decisions. Also check out Dan Ariely's TED talks!
Our Mathematical Universe
An original look at the universe!
The Invisible Enemy
Striped tulips (like on the cover of the book) are striped because they have a virus. How interesting is that? This is a small book, but every sentence says something new. Incredibly compact!
Machine Learning and Computer Science Books
Information Theory, Inference, and Learning Algorithms
Gaussian Processes for Machine Learning
Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning
Learning from Data
The Elements of Statistical Learning
Introduction to Algorithms
The Algorithm Design Manual
Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach
Mining of Massive Datasets
An Introduction to Information Retrieval
Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing
Web Data Mining
An Introduction to Language Processing with Perl and Prolog
Natural Language Processing with Python
Knowledge Representation and Reasoning
Logic in Computer Science
Programming Computer Vision with Python
Computer Vision: Algorithms and Applications
Machine Learning for Computer Vision
Making Things See
High Performance Python
Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!