1993 Christmas List,
- 1. Mushrooms in Wisconsin. Fascinating variety.
John von Neumann: The Scientific Genius who Pioneered the
Modern Computer, Game Theory, Nuclear Deterrence, and Much More,
by Norman Macrae.
Macrae was editor of The Economist magazine, and
this book has all the virtues of that writing style: interest,
instruction, opinion, and clarity.
Our Country: The Shaping of America from Roosevelt to Reagan
, by Michael Barone, 1992. $19.95 Barone is one of the
writers of the The Almanac of American Politics. He
knows political geography like no one else.
Red Square by Martin Smith, 1993. $4.79.
How can he write so many good novels? This is the sequel to
Gorky Park and
Polar Star , which are also excellent.
Cuckoo's Egg by Cliff Stoll, 1994, $5.59. True-
life intrigue on the Internet, with more than a touch of human
- 6. American Scholar magazine, edited by Joseph
Epstein. Mr. Epstein has made a previous appearance in my lists
for his essays. He not only can write a good essay, he can spot one
when he sees it and put it in his magazine.
A Question of Intelligence: The IQ Debate in America , by Daniel Seligman. Another book by a retired journalist with
clear writing and an eye for an interesting topic. Full of neat facts
like the large decline in IQ from age 25 to age 60.
The PreHistory of The Far Side , by Gary
Larson, 1989, 288 pages. $13.97. Nietzsche wrote aphorisms; today
we draw cartoons. This is the book for anyone who ever wanted to know
how Gary Larson's mind works.
Give War a Chance: Eyewitness Accounts of Mankind's Struggle
Against Tyranny, Injustice, and Alcohol-Free Beer , by
P.J. O'Rourke, 233 pages, 1993. $9.60. Up to his best (
Holidays in Hell ).
Master and Commander , by Patrick O'Brian,
$10.36. This is everyone's discovery of the year. Very much like
the Hornblower novels in action and setting, but with more of an
education in the life of England in 1800.
The Second World War , by John Keegan, $15.96,
608 pages. Keegan is perhaps the best military historian of all time
because he combines an analytic mind, an eye for interesting facts,
and a willingness to express opinions.
- 12. Purnell's Old Folks Whole Hog Country Sausage,
hot style. I suppose my taste in breakfast sausage must be
unusual, or all sausages would be this good. If you share my taste in
books, though, perhaps you will share my taste in sausages.
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Rasmusen Recommended Books page.
Last updated: December 17, 2003. Maintained by Eric Rasmusen,
[email protected] .