Selecting books to read

No question about the fact that book reading is great. After completing college education, only way to grow further is by reading books. But reading a book also means time commitment. Typically a week to few weeks of reading every day. So it becomes necessary to select books with care. Though there is always the option of reading few pages or few chapters but that also results in waste. Over the years my book selection process has become somewhat refined.

Understanding the Carrots

In his 1995 speech “The Psychology of Human Misjudgment” given at Harvard Law School, Charlie Munger said “Well I think I’ve been in the top 5% of my age cohort all my life in understanding the power of incentives, and all my life I’ve underestimated it. And never a year passes but I get some surprise that pushes my limit a little farther.” Coming from Mr. Munger, incentives as the very first cause or bias in Human Misjudgment, learning about incentives is quite important. And now Tyler Cowen, an economist and author of very famous blog Marginal Revolution has written a complete book on incentives called “Discover your inner economist”

The Madness of CROWDS

I have started reading “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” over this July 4 long weekend after reading about it on Joel On Software book reviews. Very enjoyable read. My personal experience has been with the dot-gone bubble of late 90s and may be the present bubble or froth as quoted by Alan Greenspan in the real estate markets. Some of the excerpts from the chapter “Madness of Crowds” are so relevant that I am surprised we never seem to learn from old mistakes.

Feed computers were all outside the body

I first read about “Feed by MT Anderson” at FutureSalon. I found it interesting and brought the book home. I didn’t read it for quite some time. But yesterday while at work in an elevator it came to my mind that it would be quite possible to get rid of keyboard and monitor. I mean come to think of it these are just one of the input and output mediums we use to interact with our intelligent machines 😀 The idea is not novel at all.

Slaves of numbers

Nilesh, our resident bekaar bheja aka idle mind was on a trip to Silicon Valley as a part of his MBA at Johnson. They call it networking :D. I took him to the Santa Clara City Library and he suggested “Against the Gods” as a good reading. I am glad he did that. It is a lucid tale of Risk. I will write about it detail in another post. The following paragraph intrigued me so I am posting it over here.

Execution the dicipline of getting things done

To me one of the most beautiful sight to watch is some one doing their job efficiently. It could be a carpenter working on wood or a coder tapping on the keyboard. Browsing thru the excellant Santa Clara City Library I came across this book – _Execution-the dicipline of getting things done_. The word execution immediately struck a chord in me and brought the same feeling I wrote earlier. When I checked out the book from library, I was thinking of execution at a personal level. But it turned out focus of the book is much larger and it is execution at the organization level. In other words it is a good book for CEOs. But then somewhere in everyone there is this feeling to be one someday. So it was a good education to me on what CEOs face in day to day life. How organizations work and what does is the best way to run them.

Finished reading The Great Unraveling by Paul Krugman

I have been reading Brad De Long’s writings for some time and he is a fan of Paul Krugman’s writings. While reading my daily dose of blogs I noticed Brij has mentioned Paul Krugman’s “The Great Unraveling” as a book to read. On my next trip to Santa Clara City Library I picked this book and am I glad to read this book. The book is about corporate scandals and how for short term political benefits political parties can ransom the future.