Daily Archives: April 18, 2012

This Week’s Books — Design, Relativity, Capitalism, and the Short Serpent

After “last week’s foray into the fanstastical”:http://theludwigs.com/2012/04/books-land-of-decoration-mirage-monster-hunter-international-westing-game-man-from-primrose-lane/ I needed to get a little grounded again in my reading.

* “Universal Principles of Design”:amazon by Lidwell, Holden, Butler. Nice reference on 125 fairly universal patterns to follow in designing products or experiences. Nice reference, not really a book you read, but something you come back to time and again.
* “How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog”:amazon by Chad Orzel. I thought this would be even more approachable than it is. A reasonable walk thru relativity but it isn’t really that simple. There are chatty interludes with the author’s dog thru out the book that tend to lighten the tone, but the material is still what it is.
* “Why Capitalism?”:amazon by Allan Meltzer. An abstract defense of capitalism. Honestly put me to sleep. In flipping thru it looked like maybe it got more concrete later but I was gone by then. I guess if Allan Meltzer tells CMU he wants to publish something, then by damn it gets published, but something a little more engaging would have been nicer.
* “The Voyage of the Short Serpent”:amazon by Bernard du Boucheron. And then some fiction, but definitely heavier fiction. A noble mission sets out to reconnect with lost Greenland colonies, and finds itself ground down to survival basics just as happened to the colonists. Rough tale but very human.