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Old 17th-August-2011, 06:10 PM   #1
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Default The "I'm Looking For a Book" Thread

So here you say what you want to read about and then people tell you what to check out, whether it be general fantasy or a specific scientific book.

Anyone have any favourites on genes? A basic one, I want to make sure I know every detail before plunging into the more philosophical side and so.
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Old 18th-August-2011, 05:11 PM   #2
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What do you want to know about genetics? Mendelian inheritance? DNA replication? Expression/transcription?

A good place to start is a book I picked up a while back called "Cell and Molecular Biology: Concepts and Experiments." From page 389 to page 609 it's all about genes, genetics, DNA replication and whatever else you may want to know about genetics.
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Old 18th-August-2011, 05:20 PM   #3
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Yes! All those!

Oh, I love text books with 600+ pages <3

There is an 10th edition, btw, but it's £80 more expensive. I think I'll settle for the 9th.
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Old 18th-August-2011, 11:39 PM   #4
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Well, if you want molecular biology in general, there's also Molecular Biology of the Cell (my own), which seems to be competing directly with the one AI listed. The first two amazon reviews on AI's compare it favorably with mine, one claiming it (AI's) to be shorter and less wordy. Haven't read the other one but I'm quite happy with MBotC - one of the better/more interesting textbooks I own (and not just biology).

I'm not really big into genetics, but I did get two on genetic engineering when I got all excited after finding out about the DIYBio group. Introduction to Genetic Engineering and Gene Cloning and DNA Analysis. They're relatively short and easy and give a beginner's introduction to genetic engineering techniques.

---------------------------------------------------

If anyone has any good recommendations for a book on Quantum Field Theory, please do tell. I currently have Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell, which came very well reviewed, but I'm finding it a little overly difficult. I'm not entirely sure it is just the subject matter, as I'm reading other grad level physics books right now and finding them considerably more understandable (General Relativity by Wald is wonderful). I think it's more the author's "leave a lot of it up to the student" approach. While there's something to be said for that, I only have so much time in a day and can't afford to ponder the same 10 or 20 pages for weeks, when I could just have it spoon-fed to me and then move onto something else.

Primarily with QFT in a Nutshell it seems that a lot of the mathematical steps go over my head and I have trouble following them (i.e. I can't). I wish the author had dumbed it down a little more for us non-geniuses.
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Old 19th-August-2011, 05:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: The "I'm Looking For a Book" Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melllvar View Post
Well, if you want molecular biology in general, there's also Molecular Biology of the Cell (my own), which seems to be competing directly with the one AI listed. The first two amazon reviews on AI's compare it favorably with mine, one claiming it (AI's) to be shorter and less wordy. Haven't read the other one but I'm quite happy with MBotC - one of the better/more interesting textbooks I own (and not just biology).
Most biology classes use the Reece & Campbell book (which I also own), but that tries to put too much information into a single book (almost 1500 pages), so I bought the Gerald Karp one for my own supplementation. I haven't really checked out any of the other books available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melllvar View Post
I'm not really big into genetics, but I did get two on genetic engineering when I got all excited after finding out about the DIYBio group. Introduction to Genetic Engineering and Gene Cloning and DNA Analysis. They're relatively short and easy and give a beginner's introduction to genetic engineering techniques.
I haven't seen either of those books (I might have to check them out sometime), but if you're interested in that, you may also like Molecular Biomethods Handbook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melllvar View Post
If anyone has any good recommendations for a book on Quantum Field Theory, please do tell. I currently have Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell, which came very well reviewed, but I'm finding it a little overly difficult. I'm not entirely sure it is just the subject matter, as I'm reading other grad level physics books right now and finding them considerably more understandable (General Relativity by Wald is wonderful). I think it's more the author's "leave a lot of it up to the student" approach. While there's something to be said for that, I only have so much time in a day and can't afford to ponder the same 10 or 20 pages for weeks, when I could just have it spoon-fed to me and then move onto something else.

Primarily with QFT in a Nutshell it seems that a lot of the mathematical steps go over my head and I have trouble following them (i.e. I can't). I wish the author had dumbed it down a little more for us non-geniuses.

I don't know much about quantum field theory and don't have enough of a math background for any of that. Do you know of any "beginner" books on the subject of either QFT or special/general relativity (something simple-ish but not pop science books)?
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Old 19th-August-2011, 06:55 AM   #6
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Do you have any favs on evolution? I know like the general idea, but I have yet to read up more thoroughly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melllvar View Post
Well, if you want molecular biology in general, there's also Molecular Biology of the Cell (my own), which seems to be competing directly with the one AI listed. The first two amazon reviews on AI's compare it favorably with mine, one claiming it (AI's) to be shorter and less wordy. Haven't read the other one but I'm quite happy with MBotC - one of the better/more interesting textbooks I own (and not just biology).

I'm not really big into genetics, but I did get two on genetic engineering when I got all excited after finding out about the DIYBio group. Introduction to Genetic Engineering and Gene Cloning and DNA Analysis. They're relatively short and easy and give a beginner's introduction to genetic engineering techniques.
[/LEFT]
Yeah, I'm buying all those as well.
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Old 23rd-August-2011, 04:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: The "I'm Looking For a Book" Thread

Note: I recommend trying to torrent all of these before actually paying money for them. a) It's cheaper, knowledge shouldn't cost money, and b) try before you buy, in case you aren't satisfied. Check library.nu first too, they have a crap ton of hard-to-find books.

Quote:
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I don't know much about quantum field theory and don't have enough of a math background for any of that. Do you know of any "beginner" books on the subject of either QFT or special/general relativity (something simple-ish but not pop science books)?
Ok, so I didn't reply to this for a while because I didn't have the perfect answer, and I was hoping to find the perfect answer over the weekend, but then that never happened. Anyways...

- QFT: Can't offer any help on that, I only have one book on it (QFT in a Nutshell) and I'm not sure how happy I am with it. That being said, if you can download a free copy then the introduction and such will give an overview of the theory and everything, I just wouldn't expect to be able to follow the technical details of the subject that well (although you may do better at it than I have). I don't even feel comfortable giving a description of it, you'd probably do better with wikipedia. It's pretty high level stuff though, actual material for post-doctoral research and stuff, so from one point of view you might as well just skip classical physics, SR, QM and all that (barring needing to know that to understand this) and go right to that, if you're interested in trying to develop actual new theories. One of my physics professors in college even said that the average researcher wouldn't be able to solve the basic problems from our classes, they mainly just knew how to work with this kind of stuff.

- SR/GR I can actually make some recommendations on. I'll just list them along with explanations:

Relativity: The Special and General Theories by Albert Einstein - This is about as easy as it gets, although I didn't really like it that much because it doesn't go into that much detail, and I felt some of the explanations weren't really as clear (they're explained, but it's easy to get confused and it doesn't necessarily address the common points of confusion, like that relativity of simultaneity isn't just due to the delay in the time it takes light to travel, it's that if two observers in different frames calculate what time the light left the source they will get different times). It's too dry to be entertaining to a complete lay-person, and not technical or comprehensive enough to really be worthwhile to someone like you or me (I think, this statement may be presumptuous of me).

Any of the undergrad level Modern Physics textbooks, like the ones by Tipler or Harris - I have both of those, they're actual college course books, homework problems and everything. Special relativity gets covered, not totally comprehensively, but in way more detail than you'd get out of the above book. There's also a focus on calculations and problem solving and stuff, example problems, etc. Plus they'll contain stuff on other aspects of physics, e.g. quantum mechanics, particle physics, nuclear reactions, statistical mechanics, etc. They're basically intended as intro. level material to all those subjects for physics majors at sophomore or junior level.

There are a bunch of other books that focus on special relativity, but I honestly haven't read any of them. I mainly just mention this because with the above two they'll still be leaving out some material, like the stuff about Minkowski space and non-Euclidean geometries, how the magnetism arises as a result of applying special relativity to charges in different reference frames, etc. I'm not sure which books might cover all that as well though.

If you're feeling ambitious you might just jump straight into general relativity:

A First Course in General Relativity
by Schutz is good, and the first 10-20 pages have a very good review of special relativity that made me understand it better than any of the above books every did. It's worth checking out just for that alone (and another reason you might just skip the above and start here).

You'll also want to brush up on tensor analysis for that, for which there's a good online book here: http://arxiv.org/abs/math.HO/0403252 - Not incredibly comprehensive, but makes a nice introduction. Reading it before or along with the above or the next few would probably make the math somewhat less daunting.

General Relativity by Wald is one of the things I'm reading now (and probably will be for a while). It's a full, comprehensive, no-punches-pulled book on GR. One reason I bought it is that it's recent and takes a modern approach the subject. It's very much a math book as much as a physics book - expect lots of proofs and math theory before you even get anywhere near the real physics. I'm rather happy with it though.

Gravitation by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler is often referred to as 'the Bible' of the subject. I have a downloaded copy that I haven't read, and reviews are generally mixed. It obviously wouldn't be as famous as it is if it wasn't good, but it's also almost 40 years old and 1200 pages. At this point I'd probably recommend the above one over it.



Other random physics books I might recommend:
- Principles of Quantum Mechanics by Shankar
- Introduction to Modern Astrophysics by Carroll and Ostlie
- Introduction to Electrodynamics by Griffiths (he also has ones on QM and Elementary Particles, but I haven't checked them out)
- Any of the Problem and Solutions on <subject> series (a collection of questions from PhD qualifying exams)

I own all of these, except for Gravitation which I only have in PDF format.
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Old 23rd-August-2011, 05:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melllvar View Post
Note: I recommend trying to torrent all of these before actually paying money for them. a) It's cheaper, knowledge shouldn't cost money, and b) try before you buy, in case you aren't satisfied. Check library.nu first too, they have a crap ton of hard-to-find books.



Ok, so I didn't reply to this for a while because I didn't have the perfect answer, and I was hoping to find the perfect answer over the weekend, but then that never happened. Anyways...

- QFT: Can't offer any help on that, I only have one book on it (QFT in a Nutshell) and I'm not sure how happy I am with it. That being said, if you can download a free copy then the introduction and such will give an overview of the theory and everything, I just wouldn't expect to be able to follow the technical details of the subject that well (although you may do better at it than I have). I don't even feel comfortable giving a description of it, you'd probably do better with wikipedia. It's pretty high level stuff though, actual material for post-doctoral research and stuff, so from one point of view you might as well just skip classical physics, SR, QM and all that (barring needing to know that to understand this) and go right to that, if you're interested in trying to develop actual new theories. One of my physics professors in college even said that the average researcher wouldn't be able to solve the basic problems from our classes, they mainly just knew how to work with this kind of stuff.

- SR/GR I can actually make some recommendations on. I'll just list them along with explanations:

Relativity: The Special and General Theories by Albert Einstein - This is about as easy as it gets, although I didn't really like it that much because it doesn't go into that much detail, and I felt some of the explanations weren't really as clear (they're explained, but it's easy to get confused and it doesn't necessarily address the common points of confusion, like that relativity of simultaneity isn't just due to the delay in the time it takes light to travel, it's that if two observers in different frames calculate what time the light left the source they will get different times). It's too dry to be entertaining to a complete lay-person, and not technical or comprehensive enough to really be worthwhile to someone like you or me (I think, this statement may be presumptuous of me).

Any of the undergrad level Modern Physics textbooks, like the ones by Tipler or Harris - I have both of those, they're actual college course books, homework problems and everything. Special relativity gets covered, not totally comprehensively, but in way more detail than you'd get out of the above book. There's also a focus on calculations and problem solving and stuff, example problems, etc. Plus they'll contain stuff on other aspects of physics, e.g. quantum mechanics, particle physics, nuclear reactions, statistical mechanics, etc. They're basically intended as intro. level material to all those subjects for physics majors at sophomore or junior level.

There are a bunch of other books that focus on special relativity, but I honestly haven't read any of them. I mainly just mention this because with the above two they'll still be leaving out some material, like the stuff about Minkowski space and non-Euclidean geometries, how the magnetism arises as a result of applying special relativity to charges in different reference frames, etc. I'm not sure which books might cover all that as well though.

If you're feeling ambitious you might just jump straight into general relativity:

A First Course in General Relativity
by Schutz is good, and the first 10-20 pages have a very good review of special relativity that made me understand it better than any of the above books every did. It's worth checking out just for that alone (and another reason you might just skip the above and start here).

You'll also want to brush up on tensor analysis for that, for which there's a good online book here: http://arxiv.org/abs/math.HO/0403252 - Not incredibly comprehensive, but makes a nice introduction. Reading it before or along with the above or the next few would probably make the math somewhat less daunting.

General Relativity by Wald is one of the things I'm reading now (and probably will be for a while). It's a full, comprehensive, no-punches-pulled book on GR. One reason I bought it is that it's recent and takes a modern approach the subject. It's very much a math book as much as a physics book - expect lots of proofs and math theory before you even get anywhere near the real physics. I'm rather happy with it though.

Gravitation by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler is often referred to as 'the Bible' of the subject. I have a downloaded copy that I haven't read, and reviews are generally mixed. It obviously wouldn't be as famous as it is if it wasn't good, but it's also almost 40 years old and 1200 pages. At this point I'd probably recommend the above one over it.



Other random physics books I might recommend:
- Principles of Quantum Mechanics by Shankar
- Introduction to Modern Astrophysics by Carroll and Ostlie
- Introduction to Electrodynamics by Griffiths (he also has ones on QM and Elementary Particles, but I haven't checked them out)
- Any of the Problem and Solutions on <subject> series (a collection of questions from PhD qualifying exams)

I own all of these, except for Gravitation which I only have in PDF format.

Melllvar, I enjoy how you submit a short story
when suggesting a few novels to read.
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Old 23rd-August-2011, 06:56 AM   #9
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You could try Metro 2033 its actually a russian book about the post-apocalyptic future. Ive read the book and played the game and both are great. Supposedly a movie might come out. And another game is to come out early 2012.
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Old 23rd-August-2011, 03:14 PM   #10
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I have begun buying books for each member of my conservative and religious (although very literate) family, to soften the inevitable explanation of my loss of faith. I would love to hear some suggestions. I would like to cater my book selection to each of their personalities.

I really need something for my father, who is very much into the traditions and rituals of it all, and not so much the spirituality. Yeah, tons of Si stuff. Also, something in the same vein, but that might be good for people who value family and all that stuff.
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Old 23rd-August-2011, 07:15 PM   #11
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@Meer, I am in a similar situation with the family thing, they couldn't possibly understand or take it logically that I do not believe like they do. But I am not going to buy them things, so far I have just defended all positions and they assume I am an atheist because I am not christian. I find it best to not even say anything because if I admitted to not believing in their god, I'd never hear the end of it, so my plan is, after I get my final degree, which should be a PhD, I will tell them and move to a location so far I won't have to deal with their reactions to my lack of faith.

Anyhow... I am looking for some more fictional books like, "Brave New World," "1984," "The Giver," "feed" and possibly any book that falls into that kind of category. Or possibly something like "Ender's Game" that isn't by OSC because I've read all of his stuff I think.

I know I am a fiction junky that thrives on philosophy that can be found within most good work.

Edit: @Melllvar, Hewitt Also writes an excellent physics book, I am not sure if it goes into much detail in QFT, but I know it is a good read through most everything I've read in it. Which so has been half the book. I can say even with the simple knowledge I gained from it, I look at things so differently now.
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Old 29th-September-2011, 11:41 PM   #12
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Me:
Human Manipulation (Application-based)
Hypnotism
Mind Tricks
Applicable Psychology
NLP
Lockpicking
Computer Security (Hacking, exploits, etc)
C++
Just about any sort of knowledge people DON'T want you to have (making nukes does not count because I don't have the resources and also would prefer not to blow myself into many pieces).


No, I am not out to destroy the world...but the pride in knowing I have the knowledge is always nice.

Note: I am 18...what could you possibly expect? I just have a more scientific way of doing things which may include lasers, fire, hacking, and possibly psychology. I want to know how, implementation....maybe if I have to.
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Old 16th-October-2011, 08:41 PM   #13
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I'm looking for a book about plant toxicology, a book about the history of poisons* and any good books about oil painting, painting symbolism, etc.

* I'll throw in that historical fiction would be a bonus in this category, as well, because my purposes there are more research for the creative than anything...sinister.
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Old 16th-October-2011, 08:50 PM   #14
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I'm in the middle of, Tao of Physics. Good read.
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Old 16th-October-2011, 09:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zionoxis View Post
Me:
Human Manipulation (Application-based)
Hypnotism
Mind Tricks
Applicable Psychology
NLP
Lockpicking
Computer Security (Hacking, exploits, etc)
C++
Just about any sort of knowledge people DON'T want you to have (making nukes does not count because I don't have the resources and also would prefer not to blow myself into many pieces).


No, I am not out to destroy the world...but the pride in knowing I have the knowledge is always nice.

Note: I am 18...what could you possibly expect? I just have a more scientific way of doing things which may include lasers, fire, hacking, and possibly psychology. I want to know how, implementation....maybe if I have to.
For those sorts of things your best source is the internet if you know how to use it well.

It can also help you find book resources.

Examples of google searches and results:

"manipulative psychology," resulted in...

wikipedia! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_manipulation

amazon... http://www.amazon.com/Covert-Persuas...210465-7719124

etc. Go nuts.


aaaaand now I'm going to go follow my own advice with my poison and painting books question. Still interested to see what other people come up with, though.

...thinking on that, I suppose the purpose here is to get recommendations from people, INTP people specifically, who have actually experienced whatever books they're recommending, rather than a google-search assistant thread.

In light of that, my friend actually got me this: http://www.amazon.com/Steal-This-Com.../dp/1593271050 book for my last birthday, and although I disagree with the conservative/liberatarian bent of the author, I can deal for the duration of an otherwise informative book. I just write my own side notes in the margins and draw my own political cartoons making fun of the author. That's healthier than self-censorship from material with which one disagrees.

Oh, and I'd like to congratulate you for your mentality, I had the same one. Always was obsessed with being able to "live alone outdoors" as a child, and as a young adult that has turned into a pre-occupation with mastering various practical skills that make me a more potentially self-sufficient person. Also good in a crisis.

However, I'll note also I've decided, after some introspection, that this mentality in myself partially stems from a need to control my surrounding world, because of a basic fear I have that most all humans have (the unknown...the uncontrollable...the future), and the way I respond to it (collecting information, gaining extra skills, collecting survival/practical equiptment).

A large uptick in your pre-occupation with such things could be a sign to you that there is something else bothering you (life, psychologically speaking) that you need to address.

That being said, I'm no psychologist, and I'd say a general interest in these sorts of areas is something any reasonable and curious induvidual would have, and that the skills you will learn may come into great use.
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Old 17th-October-2011, 09:21 PM   #16
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Default Re: The "I'm Looking For a Book" Thread

If anyone here has read any good introductory books on Queer Theory, I would love to hear some suggestions.
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Old 18th-October-2011, 12:33 AM   #17
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If anyone has any recommendations in the 'I don't know what to do with my life, please tell me before I die alone and miserable with no accomplishments to my name' department, it would be much appreciated.
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Old 18th-October-2011, 03:02 AM   #18
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"Surely you're joking Mr.Feynman" - quite inspirational.

Then there's a horseload of Tao Te Ching and similar works. Hagakure (in the shadow of the leaves), and Zen.
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Old 21st-November-2015, 04:21 PM   #19
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i was about to start a book recommendation thread, but then i found this one

ok idc what kind of book. i mean idc what genre. recommend me any solid, engaging(this is the most imp part of the request. i lose interest quickly so it has to be engaging)unpretentious short books you know

(by unpretentious i mean no unnecessary vagueness or flowery language)
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Old 21st-November-2015, 04:30 PM   #20
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@zerkalo Notes from Underground (although I suspect you might have read it)
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Old 21st-November-2015, 06:52 PM   #21
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If you want unpretentious, start the Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfus. 2/3 bookes are currently available and 3 is gonna be out soonish. I normally have absolutley NO patience for fantasy novels, but these are incredibly engaging and fun. If you want a little bit pretentious but not ridiculously so, as Tannhauser suggested, Dostoevsky is great.
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Old 21st-November-2015, 06:54 PM   #22
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"The Sound of Waves" by Yukio Mishima maybe.

I'm on a nonfiction kick. Learning something practical would be cool.
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Old 22nd-November-2015, 03:15 AM   #23
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Paul Auster's New York Trilogy
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Old 22nd-November-2015, 03:49 AM   #24
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Default Re: The "I'm Looking For a Book" Thread

Anyone have any favourites on WWI and WWII?
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Old 22nd-November-2015, 06:10 AM   #25
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Default Re: The "I'm Looking For a Book" Thread

Thanks guys
I've already read 2 of the recs tho so give moar

@frankie
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/289991.Black_Rain
harrowing book
Not sure if that's the type of thing ure looking to read...
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Old 22nd-November-2015, 06:27 AM   #26
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Default Re: The "I'm Looking For a Book" Thread

Thanks Zerkalo! I'll check it out.

I was looking for something that detailed the diplomatic conflict behind the scenes that led to the actual war.
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Old 14th-December-2016, 11:26 PM   #27
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Default Re: The "I'm Looking For a Book" Thread

Looking for something engaging on cognitive psychology or Neural Network AI research. Alternatively, it could be a novel that uses one of these themes for background or story.

If there's something that manages to bridge the gap between Symbolic AI, NN's the most recent neuro based mind/AI models it would be excellent.
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