Aczel, Amir D.
Pendulum: Leon Foucault and the Triumph of Science.
Presents Foucault as a tinkerer, outside the establishment. The book is more interesting when discussing Napoleon III. Could have had a better description of Foucault's pendulum.
The Measure of All Things: The Seven Year Odyssey and Hidden Error That Transformed the World
Written like an adventure novel. The best description of the French Revolution I've come across. About the mathematicians, scientists and geographers of that time, and the invention of the meter.
Infinitesimal, How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World
Shows the many roots of calculus, and how close mathematicians came to Newton.
Ali, Ayaan Hirsi
Infidel: My Life
About an atheist, and what they went through. Interesting contemporary history.
The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More
How it is now profitable to sell niche items, because the overhead for selling such items has dropped. Book was too repetitive, stretching the idea out far too long.
Sense and Sensibility
Follows the life of the Dashwood sisters. Very English, very Victorian.
Bell, Madison Smartt
Lavoisier in the Year One: The Birth of a New Science in an Age of Revolution
Very good read about chemistry and the French Revolution.
An easy read. Cook died in 1779. Insight into navy life.
Time Lord: Sir Sandford Fleming and the creation of standard time
It tries to make Fleming into the main character of creating standardized time, however the reader quickly realizes that the railroad barons and others were just as important.
Around the World in Seventy-Two Days
You realize how small the world was, as people could take steam powered mail ships to most corners of the world. Also, how diverse the world till was.
Bond, Alexander Russell
Inventions of The Great War
Describes many of the small technical details of the time. Realize how complicated and advanced machines at this period were.
The Life of Samuel Johnson Vol. 1 & 2
A delightful book to read. Mixes anecdotes, facts, psychology.
You Are Here: From the Compass to GPS, the History and Future of How We Find Ourselves
Could have been more informative.
Set in the moors. Very gothic.
Bryant, Walter W.
A good introduction to Kepler.
The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies
A bit too much praise of the algorithm.
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Lots of geology and discussions of the Krakatoa eruption of 1883.
At Home A Short History of Private Life
A social history of each room in the home.
One Summer: America, 1927
A social history of 1927; baseball and flying machines.
Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World
Tries to do a survey of the 14th century.
Mysteries Of The Middle Ages
A survey of the Middle Ages with notes on Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Plantagenets, Roger Bacon, Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis of Assisi, Dante.
A good biography of Watt and the development of steam.
The Canterbury Tales
Lots of good short stories, they feel almost modern. It feels like both a different world from ours, but the same.
Tesla Man Out Of Time
Lots of money issues, and lawsuits.
Church, R. W.
Much of this is about Bacon trying to get a court appointment from Queen Elizabeth.
A Brief History of Infinity The Quest to Think the Unthinkable
It's a popular history, but doesn't try enough to be more. Still worth a read.
Corbin, Thomas W.
Marvels of Scientific Invention
A good description of many inventions of the time.
Mercator : The Man Who Mapped the Planet
Died in 1594. He revived the geometry of the Greeks to produce his map. Almost a thousands years between.
Cyres, Viscount St
Focuses almost exclusively on his religion. Good little life history table.
A History of Astronomy From Thales to Kepler
Tries to be a definitive work. Very academic and detailed.
Dupuis, N. F.
Elements of Astronomy: Principally on the Mechanical Side
Written for Queen's University students, it uses locations near the campus in Kingston, Ontario for illustrative purposes (a nice touch). It's hard to find informative books that have the right level of basic, introductory knowledge, to a subject and math that can be followed. This book strikes the right balance. The last 10 pages, or so, are speculative about the environments of the planets, and are fun to read; seeing how far, and little, we've come in our understanding of the planets.
Defines different types of suicide. Uses statistics to show that different societies have steady rates of suicide, therefore there is a social aspect to suicide. One of the first books to use statistics in this manner.
The Ascent of Money
Talks about credit networks. Focus on Renaissance Italy.
The House of Rothschild: Volume 1: Money's Prophets: 1798-1848
Lots of detail in the book.
Field, Henry M.
Story of the Atlantic Telegraph
An adventure on the high seas. Fun read.
Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason
Social history of madness focusing on the power relations of the modern medical institutions.
The Archaeology of Knowledge
Like most of Foucault's work, fun to read, but in retrospect, not very informative.
Discipline and Punish
Transition from corporal punishment, to an overarching surveillance system.
The History of Sexuality Vol I: The Will to Knowledge
A long social and popular history of sexuality and power.
The Culture of the Self _UC Berkley 1983
An audio lecture talking about the rise of 'self'.
Coal: A Human History
As the title implies, a social and geograhic history of coal.
Galton, Sir Francis
The idea of a regression to the mean is partially invented here. Though not really developed or explicated stated. This is one of the craziest thought experiments ever carried out.
Third Class in Indian Railways
"It is a known fact that the third class traffic pays for the ever-increasing luxuries of first and second class travelling." A short work asking for justice.
The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation 2012
A history of Bell Labs, it created a production line for innovation.
The Information A History, a Theory, a Flood
Discusses Claude Shannon's model.
Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients
Describes how drug trails are rigged. Regulation is lacking.
Debt The First 5,000 Years
Coming out of the financial crisis in 2008. An anthropologists attacks the myths, of how people historically exchanged goods, that economists tend to use.
Four Fish, The Future of the Last Wild Food
Salmon, sea bass, cod, and tuna industries are examined for their sustainability.
Bright Boys: The Making of Information Technology
Tells the story of building the first computer.
Gronow, Captain Rees Howell
The reminiscences and recollections of Captain Gronow, being anecdotes of the camp, court, clubs and society, 1810-1860
Many anecdotes, most forgettable, but a good audio book to listen to when idling.
A Popular History of France from the Earliest Times
A definitive work, until the 19th century. Then the narrative, of the 19th century, is wrapped in Guizot's own perspective of being a moderate.
Compass A Story of Exploration and Innovation
Once you have a compass, navigation become doable through dead reckoning. You only have to be so accurate to hit N. America, then find your way up or down the coast.
God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science
Discusses the many mathematical achievements of the Medieval age.
Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind
The success of our species is due to cooperation.
Harris, Blake J.
Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation
Interesting to read the behind-the-scenes of many of the gaming stations I know.
A Moveable Feast
Memoir, mostly about the 1920s.
Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age
Interesting to see how close Xerox came, and how hard it is to turn around a large organization.
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
Hitchens' case against religion.
Writes about his cancer.
Wanning Of The Middle Ages
Influential book, shows how a culture, with its art and literature dies and transitions to something else.
Huxley, Thomas H.
Advance of Science
Chronicles some of the scientific advances in the late 19th century.
Einstein: His Life and Universe
A good introduction to Einstein, his education and early life.
The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
Shows you need collaboration to succeed. Touches on many of the time periods in computer innovation.
Leonardo da Vinci
Thesis of the book; though people think Leonardo wasted too much time studying many random things, all his work helped to reinforce his paintings.
Tries to untangle many of the myths that Steve Jobs had created around him.
Ingenious Pursuits - Building the Scientific Revolution
Shows that most scientists are in rivalries and social circles that help them find discoveries.
Aspirin: The Remarkable Story of a Wonder Drug
Very well written book. Really the best history of the 20th century. Using he case study of aspirin, both the science behind it and the corporate power it is intertwined with.
The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic—and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World
Cholera epidemic that swept through London in 1854, and efforts to stop it. How a map did just that.
Thucydides, The Reinvention of History
One of the first modern ways of writing history, Thucydides explores the history and causes of the The Peloponnesian War. Ends with a reminder that it is in our species nature to wage war, and it will happen again.
Thinking, Fast and Slow
A series of case studies showing how some things are counter-intuitive.
The Art of the Infinite: The Pleasures of Mathematics
A slow dive into pre-calc.
The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero
A good history of how zero slowly developed.
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
A fun read about the history of chemistry.
Tea, A Miscellany Steeped With Trivia History and Recipes
A good mixture of history and fact.
Salt, A World History
This genre is known as 'commodity history'.
Science and Literature in the middle ages
Older history books cover the basics. In more detail than today's history, perhaps because we have more to cover?
Exploding the Phone, The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell
Very compellingly written. Shows how people learn through hacking.
Lerer, Seth (The Teaching Company)
Histoy of English
Very fun series to listen to.
Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government Saving Privacy in the Digital Age
The story of how the idea of using public and private keys came about.
Hackers Heroes of the Computer Revolution
MIT's Tech Model Railroad Club is traced back as one the sources of the Hacker ethos. Profiles of Gates, Woz, etc.
High-frequency trading and gaming the stock market. Lots of Russian engineers, looking for work after the wall came down, started to game the system.
The Big Short, Inside The Doomsday Machine
Lots about Credit Default Swaps and Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDO).
The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story
Much centres around Jim Clark, founder of Netscape, and the building of his robotic sailboat. More so, Clark's disgust at how the programmers and engineers get exploited by Microsoft.
Pioneers Of Science
Focuses on astronomy. Standard summation of Kepler and Galileo. Last part focuses on the cool new discover of Neptune (1846).
Paris, 1919: Six Months that Changed the World
A fun political romp through the diplomatic negotiations that determined the real outcome of the war.
Groucho and Me
“He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot.”
Marriott, John Arthur Ransome
England Since Waterloo
Discusses Crimea and Afghanistan, some things have long histories.
Mcgrayne, Sharon Bertsch
The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes' Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, & Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy
Too repetitive. Doesn't go into the math, stretches out anecdotes for filler.
Losing The Signal, The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry
A deep dive into the last days of the company.
Fathers of Biology
Hippocrates, Aristotle, Galen, Vesalius, Harvey
The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos
General history of science, written to be popular.
Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center
Good biography, at over 800 pages.
Medieval Tastes: Food, Cooking, and the Table
Not exactly academic, but more than pop.
Roughing It In The Bush
Classic Canadiana. Upper Canada (Peterborough) in the 1830s.
Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us
A good read explaining the problems with the food industry.
Muir, Pattison M. M.
The Story of Alchemy and the Beginnings of Chemistry
Chemistry renamed all the old names for elements, this book tries to unravel some of the old mysterious language. Last section about Priestly and Lavoisier is good.
Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much
Central thesis is that scarcity, isn't just poverty, it is a divided focus.
The Story Of Electricity
By 1896 many of the basic principles were know, so the book is still valid.
Popes and the Papacy, A History Course (The Teaching Company)
Learned about anti-popes. Much like Game of Thrones, learning about this history.
Commodork Sordid Tales from a BBS Junkie
This is the lost history of BBS systems, that needs more telling. Our telling is too much dictated by the corporate histories of Apple and Microsoft.
Always makes the top 100 lists of books to read.
The Ancient Mediterranean World (UC Berkeley)
Glad that Berkeley puts up their courses for anyone to access.
The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It
How hegfunds and MIT card-counters formed an unholy union.
Philip, James C.
The Romance Of Modern Chemistry
A pop culture lesson, from 1910, about what modern chemistry does.
Capital in the Twenty-First Century
Thesis: wealth based on 'rents' is almost exponential. Wealth based on wages is linear. This causes social unrest after several generations.
Science and Hypothesis
Presenting non-euclidean geometry and probability to an advanced general audience.
Poincare, Lucien Antoine
The New Physics and Its Evolution
A quick jaint through the advanced physic of 1908, including radiation, wireless telegraphy, conductive gasses.
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
Barbecue, bread, cheese; an deep dive into the science and culture of food.
Poore, George Vivian
London (Ancient And Modern) From The Sanitary And Medical Point Of View
A quick intro to sanitation in London, focusing on the medical institution.
History of the Modern Fact: Problems of Knowledge in the Sciences of Wealth and Society
How the invention of double-entry book keeping shaped our ideas of knowledge.
Randall, John Herman
The Making of the Modern Mind: A Survey of the Intellectual Background of the Present Age
A long philosophical survey of how people thought. A massive tome, much religious philosophy.
Really about following your passion, hating fascism and communism. Misinterpreted about being blindly capitalist.
Rawlings, Gertrude Burford
The Story of Books
Medieval libraries and the history of Gutenberg.
A History Of Western Philosophy
A pop history of philosophy and all you really need to read about philosophy.
Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World
A good book, by someone that built an organic farm.
Epidemiology: A Very Short Introduction
Title says it all.
Saul, John Ralston
Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West
Enlightenment has turned into a world of technocrats. Much Canadian history in book.
Schiller, Friedrich von
Thirty Years War
Overly convoluted history of Germany from 1618 to 1648.
Fermat's Last Theorem
First conjectured by Pierre de Fermat in 1637.
Skelton, Oscar D
Chronicles of Canada Volume 32
The Railway Builders A Chronicle of Overland Highw
"...contagious American panics, poor harvests, and the Crimean War, which first raised the price of the wheat Canada had to sell, but later raised the price of the money she had to borrow, brought collapse in 1857."
Sailing Alone Around the World
A fun and true adventure book. The world was a different place back then. Simultaneously small and big.
The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks
Barley, juniper, rice; a history of many different plants that can be used in drinks.
In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World
A good overview of 17 equations.
The History Of Chemistry
Much about Lavoisier.
Thorpe, Thomas Edward
History of Chemistry Volume 2 from 1850 to 1910
This volume concentrates on subject matter such as atomic theory and electricity.
Tolkien, J. R. R.
The Hobbit 1937
Fun to read.
Tolkien, J. R. R.
The Lord of the Rings 1937 - 1949
Written in sentiment to the Great War, during WWII?
Traill, Catharine Parr Strickland
The Backwoods of Canada
Unlike her sister's telling, this one is more upbeat.
It still makes some people angry, lol and good.
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
At least his fortune is dedicated to engineering interesting things.
Vise, A. David
The Google Story
PhD project to start-up, and underlying system that generates this.
Candide: or, The Optimist
One of the best books written, out of the possibilities of all the books that could be written.
The Sincere Huron
Satirical book about European religions and politics. Uses the 'alien' in a new culture trope.
Lure of the Labrador Wild
True story. Ill prepared, forsaking local advice, a group of men decide to explore Labrador wilderness. With expected results.
Waltershausen, W. Sartorius
Carl Friedrich Gauss, A Memorial
Good summary of the legendary stories and mathematical advances.
Warner, Rebecca M.
Stats book. Sage has published a couple of pages of errata on their website. There is now a second edition. Warner is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Hampshire, and has taught statistics for 25 years. The book is marketed as suitable for undergraduate to graduate studies. This is generally correct, though not aimed at first year statistic students. Geared towards the social sciences. There are 21 chapters. Starting with a review of research design, then moving into the basics of Variance, Standard Deviation, z scores, and t tests. Progressing into ANOVA, Bivariate Correlation, Multiple Regression, Factor Analysis, Analysis of Covariance, Discriminant Analysis, and Multivariate Analysis of Variance. The last two chapters deal briefly with Time Series and Binary Logistic Regression. It's a very iterative book. Each chapter goes up one level of abstraction. The reader uses the same spirit of an idea, that is standardize scores, compute variance, then find an appropriate test. This repeat across the majority of chapters. Each chapter has an introduction into a concept, followed by a small SPSS data set. It's good that you don't really need to download any data-sets from the vendor, as the examples have a small amount of rows and columns. You can probably enter them in by hand if need be. Too bad this book isn't based around R, but uses SPSS. R is free, as in free speech and not free beer. And the R language can easily be integrated into other programming applications. Some of the data-sets seem to be dated, such as the Bem Sex-Role Inventory from 1974. Perhaps because is is an 'applied' book there is no history of where these formulas came from, so students lose out on an important context. But a discussion about how they've been abused by researchers. The book is almost laid out like a 'cookbook' style of text that has become popular in programming. The author's favourite quote is "Different slopes for different folks", the expression is peppered throughout the text. One peculiar thing, there is no ending to the book. There is a preface, but then the textbook just ends after the last chapter Binary Logistic Regression. There is a small intro into matrix algebra that is concise, in Chapter 14 "Multiple Regression With More Than Two Predictors". It would be nice to have all the formulas in one place, like the appendix, but they are generally summarized well in several places, and in table format, to see how they are related with one another.
The Physics of Wall Street: A Brief History of Predicting the Unpredictable
A large section on Louis Bachelier. Another on Edward Thorp.
Whitehead, Alfred North
Concept of Nature
"...when we remove the metaphysics and start afresh on an unprejudicedsurvey of nature, a new light is thrown on many fundamental concepts..."
The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
A very good looking map. Published in 1815, and gave many further naturalists something to think about.
The Professor And The Madman: A Tale Of Murder, Insanity, And The Making Of The Oxford English Dictionary
Sometimes it only takes a handful of eccentric people to make something happen.
Chronicles of Canada Volume 31: All Afloat: A Chronicle of Craft and Waterways
Pages 78-79 have a good discussion on finance and insurance in the early days of Canadian ship building.
Wright, Orville and Wilbur
Early History of the Airplane
They give a short account of the first flight in 1903.