Nothing deep here, just some stuff that interests me:
- The Golden Ratio: The Story of Φ, the World’s Most Astonishing Number by Mario Livio. An entertaining account of the golden ratio, the author spends some time deflating the myths surrounding it, and then talks about its true significance and beauty.
- Language Visible (hardcover), aka Letter Perfect (paperback), by David Sacks. How did V and W develop from U? Why is tire spelled with a y in the UK? Did you know ye as in ye olde was actually pronounced “the”? Why does English have C, K, and Q when only one of these letters would have been enough? David Sacks does a wonderful job unraveling these and other mysteries of the English language and alphabet.
- Subway Style: 100 Years of Architecture & Design in the New York City Subway by the New York Transit Museum. Anyone who knows me knows this is my type of book: a richly illustrated design history of New York’s subway system that covers just about everything, including the stations, the trains, lighting, metalwork, signage, and maps. And not only transit geeks need apply: anyone with an interest in design and architecture will enjoy this book.
- America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction by the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Formatted in the style of an elementary school textbook, this is the funniest civics and history lesson since Dave Barry Slept Here. What a riot! Not for the easily offended.