* “Alphabet Juice”:amazon by Roy Blount Jr. Fun wordplay. Probably best read as a bathroom book. If you hate word etymologies, crosswords, etc., don’t bother. Amazon says 4 stars, true if you are a word geek.
* “The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives”:amazon by Leonard Mlodinow. A little plodding at times but a reasonable discussion about the prevalence of chance in our lives and our continual efforts to force cause-and-effect structures on the brownian motion all around us. The key life lesson is this — persevere and swing the bat as often as you can. And be humble about your successes and forgiving of others lack of success, because luck plays a bigger role than talent. Amazon says 4 stars, I’m ok with that
* “Outliers: The Story of Success”:amazon by Malcolm Gladwell. A solid magazine article blown up into a book. Success == hard work, built on top of the opportunities provided us by our unique family/culture. Fun anecdotes. Amazon says 4 stars, it is a well-written book, but a little thin.
Actually, reading The Drunkard’s Walk, Outliers, and The Black Swan as a set would not be a terrible idea for most people to learn about randomness, how it will affect your life, and strategies for coping.
* “War As They Knew It: Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, and America in a Time of Unrest”:amazon by Michael Rosenberg. Good story of the Hayes/Schembechler rivalry years and the times and changes on their campuses during these years. Enjoyed more than I thought I would. Amazon says 4.5 stars, I think this is right if you are a Michigan or OSU fan or big college football fan.