Phil Rambles

Phil Rambles, Phil Price blog.

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    Tue, 01 Mar 2005

    Some more books
    Well, I've been very lax about updating this page...especially considering it takes very little effort! And it takes especially little effort to just mention some more books that I've read, so that's what I'll do here.

    Five-Finger Discount, by Helene Stapinski This is a memoir by a 40-year-old woman who grew up in Jersey City, in a family of small-time crooks. She's just about my age, and it's interesting to think about the differences in our vs suburbs, poor vs relatively affluent, parents uneducated vs educated. So the book wasn't bad. But it wasn't great, either. It's not really _about_ anything, and its writing style gets the job done but doesn't elevate the book. The book was OK, but I can't think of who I would recommend it to.

    Conned Again, Watson, by Colin Bruce This is an excellent book that explains a slew of logic and statistical puzzles and problems using the format of Sherlock Holmes stories. The stories are just vehicles for the puzzles and problems, but most of them do a decent job at that, providing a sort of conversational way to explain problems that would otherwise by very dry (and in truth, some of them remain dry). The good thing about the book is that it manages to make a lot of non-trivial problems understandable without introducing any mathematical formalism whatsoever. There's even a simple introduction to game theory.

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