My Favorite Books

The Hidden Reality
by Brian Greene
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
by Steven Pinker
Everything you ever wanted to know about grammar genes. Also check out Steven Pinker's TED talks!
Silent Spring
by Rachel Carson
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
by Eli Pariser
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.
Alone Together
by Sherry Turkle
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
by Pietra Rivoli
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
by Atul Gawande
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
by P. W. Singer and Allan Friedman
All you need to know about how serious the cybersecurity problem is.
Wired for War
by P. W. Singer
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
by Simon Singh
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.
100 Heartbeats
by Jeff Corwin
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
by Richard Branson
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
by Paul Graham
A brilliant collection of essays about computer science, start-ups, and society. Check out more of Paul Graham's essays! Remember, mean people fail.
The Taste of Conquest
by Michael Krondl
Discusses the age of exploration, and its driver, the spice trade.
Your Inner Fish
by Neil Shubin
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
by Simon Winchester
This book tells the story of the men who worked on the Oxford English Dictionary.
House of Cards
by William D. Cohan
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!
by Michael Sandel
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
by Lisa Randall
A great book about particle physics and how the Large Hadron Collider actually works.
The Drunkard's Walk
by Leonard Mlodinov
About probabilities, and how they affect our lives. Read this before reporting to jury duty!
The Signal and the Noise
by Nate Silver
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
by Dan Ariely
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
by Max Tegmark
An original look at the universe!
The Invisible Enemy
by Dorothy Crawford
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
by David J. C. MacKay
Deep Learning
by Ian Goodfellow and Yoshua Bengio
Gaussian Processes for Machine Learning
by Carl Edward Rasmussen and Christopher Williams
Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning
by Christopher M. Bishop
Learning from Data
by Yaser S. Abu-Mostafa, Malik Magdon-Ismail, & Hsuan-Tien Lin
The Elements of Statistical Learning
by Trevor Hastie, Robert Tibshirani, and Jerome Friedman
Probability Theory
by E. T. Jaynes
Introduction to Algorithms
by Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, and Clifford Stein
Algorithm Design
by Jon Kleinberg and √Čva Tardos
The Algorithm Design Manual
by Steven S. Skiena
Convex Optimization
by Stephen Boyd and Lieven Vandenberghe
Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach
by Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig
Mining of Massive Datasets
by Anand Rajaraman and Jeffrey David Ullman
An Introduction to Information Retrieval
by Christopher D. Manning, Prabhakar Raghavan, and Hinrich Schutze
Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing
by Christopher D. Manning and Hinrich Schutze
Web Data Mining
by Bing Liu
An Introduction to Language Processing with Perl and Prolog
by Pierre M. Nugues
Natural Language Processing with Python
by Steven Bird, Ewan Klein, & Edward Loper
Knowledge Representation and Reasoning
by Ronald J. Brachman & Hector J. Levesque
Logic in Computer Science
by Michael Huth and Mark Ryan
Programming Computer Vision with Python
by Jan Erik Solem
Learning OpenCV
by Gary Bradski & Adrian Kaehler
Computer Vision: Algorithms and Applications
by Richard Szeliski
Real-Time Rendering
by Tomas Akenine-Moller, Eric Haines, & Naty Hoffman
Machine Learning for Computer Vision
by (Editors) Roberto Cipolla, Sebastiano Battiato, & Giovanni Maria Farinella
Making Things See
by Greg Borenstein
High Performance Python
by Micha Gorelick and Ian Ozsvald
Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!
by Miran Lipovaca