Book reviews for July 2013

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
Doctor Who: Harvest of Time by Alastair Reynolds

Doctor Who: Harvest of Time by Alastair Reynolds


I don't normally do SciFi series books... but this is Alastair Reynolds doing Doctor Who. Jon Pertwee era with UNIT and The Master. If the BBC had a 300 million Pound budget for a Doctor Who story line in the 70's this is what they would have made.


Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing by Po Bronson

Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing by Po Bronson


I always enjoy Po Bronson and he's typically on form here with fascinating research and anecdotes around the topic of competition. There is a lot of new evidence on how hormones work that I'd never seen before and an interesting theory that competitive sports are a precursor to democracy. Much of this book is about how competition brings out creativity and drive. I wonder it it's missing a trick here and that the real factor is operating under constraint with competition being just one of many possible forms of constraint. In addition to the studies showing that art was better when a competition was involved I'd like to see how this worked out when one set of artists was limited to using just brown and silver... I'd bet the results would look pretty similar.


Inferno (Robert Langdon, #4) by Dan Brown

Inferno (Robert Langdon, #4) by Dan Brown


By the numbers. OK, but not great.


(Related: Can I move to a Better Simulation Please?; Doing news right with Feedly and Google News; The Harvard Business Review Fallacy)

(You might also like: Magic Mountain; Cause and Effect, or Strange Skies over San Francisco; 2021 California Gubernatorial Recall)

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