"Robin Sloan"

The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension

How We Decide

Six Easy Pieces

Coders at Work

Booked to Die

"How we decide"

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

"Network Links"

"Futurlogical Congress"

"Inner Economist"

The Princeton Companion of Mathematics

The Story of Art

Drunkard's Walk

The Paradox of Choice

Trick and Treat



Discover Your Inner Economist

The Cyberiad

The Pillars of the Earth

Economic Facts and Fallacies

The Book of Illusions

The Printed Picture

Nothing to be Frightened of

Uncommon Grounds

Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance With


<<Kurt Vonnegut, read 2009, excellent>>


The Tao is Silent

The Book Thief

My impression of this book reminds me of that given by Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell; The book is filled with really great ideas, but they are not used fully.

Read 2008

Tower of Babylon & Division by Zero

Netherland: A Novel



It Must've Been Something I Ate

Medici Money -- Banking, Metaphysics and Art in Fifteenth-century Florence

The Mind's Eye

Daybooks of Edward Weston

Mountains of Madness

Dialogue with Photography

Interviews with 22 interesting photographers.

How Proust Can Change Your Life: Not a Novel

Catching the Big Fish

Interresting look into a directors mind.


The Art of the Infinite

The Passenger

The Devil's Cup

The history of coffee presented in true gonzo-style by Stewart who literally follows the history from Ethiopoa through Yemen, Turkey, Austria, France, and ending in the US.

The Enchantment of Lily Dahl: A Novel

The Nature of Photographs: A Primer

You Can Negotiate Anything

The Man Who Ate Everything

New York Trilogy: "City of Glass", "Ghosts" & "The Locked Room"

Read 2007

De religiøse ideers historie (Geschichte der religiöse Ideen)

I only read the parts on buddhism and they were better than any other work I have seen on the same subject.

On Being a Photographer

Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor

A great collection of short chapters on many subjects on food and cooking. The format works great for reading from beginning to end (or just random reading) but this is no reference work.


Why People Believe Weird Things

Den boggale (La Bibliomane)

Kierkegaard - hvad vil han?

The Blindfold

The Library


What I Loved

There are some resemblences to Auster, but less mysteries and more love. The first third is excellent, the second part is good, the third part is almost good.

Into the Wild

A long essay consisting of stories of young men exploring the wilderness (most of them dying) with Christopher McCandless?' story as the main attraction.

Collected Fictions

Gödel's Proof

Lest Darkness Fall

Corny, but insteresting.


I read the danish translation.

Occam's Razor: An Outside-In View of Contemporary Photography

From Gagarin to Challenger

In the Country of Last Things

This is one of Auster's weaker works. The first half did not work very well for me, I did not feel hooked and there was none of Auster's typical treatises of any subjects (e.g. like silent movies in <The Book of Illusions>). Also, Auster's world is stylistic interesting, but seems unrealistic and that bothers me.

The Right Stuff

Wolfe is a great writer and the interesting hisory about the Mercury space project is retold extremely well by Wolfe. There are a few boring passages in the book, but otherwise it is very exiting.

Memoria de mis putas tristes (Memories of My Melancholy Whores)

Nice writing and interesting story, but not my kind of book.

(I read the danish translation)

The Universal Computer: The Road from Leibniz to Turing

A readable account by a mathematician on the history of computation. Highly recommended.

Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival

After about fifty rather dull pages this painfull adventure takes of and tells not only the story about how much man can endure, but also about the lifes of some of the inhabitants of the Sahara and what harsh conditions the live in general.

Hooking Up

Wolfe is a great writer and speaks up in a refreshingly loud and clear language. I found the last part (The New Yorker Affair) boring and uninteresting, but the rest was interesting even though I often find I disagree with Wolfe's conclusions. I will read more by Wolfe.

Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing, and Enjoying, Fifth Edition

Great guide to the coffee world. Kenneth knows what he is writing about and the writing is clear and readable. This is <not> the typical book on coffee with a nice photos and 101 recipes on coffee-drinks, but an overview of all the aspects of coffee, including growing, roasting, brewing, tasting, economy and environment, health issues (and much more).

Det Lykkelige Arabien [Felix Arabia]

A great account on the expedition now known (at least in Scandinavia) as the <{{{}Carsten Niebuhr}} expedition>. This is part non-fiction based on Carsten Niebuhr's journals mixed with Thorkild's speculations about the expedition. I really like Thorkild's style, particular that he sometimes steps forward as the author and comments directly on the story.

I have discoverede that there is an english edition: <Thorkild Hansen, Arabia Felix. The Danish Expedition of 1761-1767. ISBN: 0710310102>.

Read 2006


First time I read this book I found it funny and entertaining, on second reading it also made me think alot.


An amazing adventure for adults. A bit different from most other Auster books, it might be a good introduction to Auster.

Kaffe [danish]

A beautiful little book. It gives a good overview over the coffee from different regions and also covers the making og coffee from fruit to cup. I like the authors relaxed attitude to coffeemaking -- do it well, but there is no reason to overdo it. I miss a little more details on coffeemaking, but this would perhaps not fit this book well.

Ansel Adams

A Gentle Madness : Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books

Why People Photograph

The Big Sleep

I was really impressed with the style and language and think anyone remotely interested in crime stories should read some Chandler. The story itself is not that interesting--the style is what makes this interesting.


A good book, but not one of Auster's best. The story never gets really interesting which makes it the most boring book I have read by Auster (while not a boring book on its own).

(Note: I read the danish edition)

The Book of Illusions

Another fantastic book by Auster. Austers writing is great and he has that rare ability to produce works well both as simple entertainment and thought provoking literature. One of his best books.

(Note: I read the danish edition)

The Music of Chance

Except for the ending, this is a well-written masterpiece by Auster, one of his best in my opinion.

(Note: I read the danish edition)


Another good example of how well good science fiction ages.

White Noise

Delillo is a great writer and he has some great insights to share on especially death and our relation to death. But I still miss something, the story is a little boring to me, no real surprises and not funny enough.

The Dante Club

After a slow, boring, and confusing start (around 70 pages), this book takes off and gets quite interesting.

The quality of the story and writing varies greatly in the book.

Scribes and sources: Handbook of the chancery hand in the sixteenth century

Original texts with illustrations from the writing masters of the sixteenth century. It is interesting to read texts on hand writing and note how little have changed in this handcraft.

The Helsinki Rocamations

All the writing is excellent. The book contains the following stories

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

This is a great well-written story, and it is hard for me to point out what is wrong with it, maybe it just read a little to polished?

I love images, and drawings fit this book well, but the drawings found in this book are ugly and the style all wrong. They should have been done in the style of paintings og engravings.


This is a celebration of the woman. The idea behind the book is excellent, but it should have been a short story (actually, I believe it is based on a short story), as it gets boring pretty quickly.

The Debian System

A good book but the lack of a good index makes it a poor reference. I wanted to reconfigure the interface for configuring packages, but could not find an entry in the index (it is in the book). However, probably still the best book on debian. Also, it should be noted that the book is not a book on general system administration.

Zen Flesh, Zen Bones

This a collection of different works, I really love the first half of the book consisting of 101 small stories. Forget about Zen, just read, love, and learn from these small stories.

The Book of the New Sun

Most of the first book is excellent and actually reminded me of Umberto Eco's <<Baudolino>>, but in the end, the story reads like just another fantasy novel -- albeit a very well-written one. There is no doubt Wolfe is a great writer, and there is probably a lot to be found in these pages, but it is not easily revealed by the casual reader.

Definitions of Excruciatingly Arcane Words Found in Gene Wolfe's THE SHADOW OF THE TORTURER:


I did not have big expectations for this book and only bought it because I found it for less than a euro at a book sale. I was a big surprise and it is a rather fast paced adventure with lots of interesting information about Japan and Europe in the 16th century.

The Bread Baker's Apprentice

After I bought Mcgee and after reading got interested in baking, I looked after a good book on bread baking and found this. It is a well written guide to baking. It begins with a good introduction with theory and techniques and after that around 50 recipes with detailed instructions. Most of the questions I had before I got this book (and that was quite a few) was answered in it.

Linux Kernel Development

I bought this to learn about the Linux 2.6 kernel internals and it does a wonderful job on that. It is written in a casual language which eases the reading and all the explanations are good and easy to follow. Reading requires som knowledge of operating systems and the c programming language.

Read 2005

Getting Things Done

Excellent book on productivity and how you can make a system that actually works to keep track on all projects, tasks, todo's etc. The basic idea is to have a system that will keep track of everything so your mind is free to focus on what you actually are doing.

Not everything in the book will work for everyone, but the text will help you redesign and optimize the way you work.

An overview of method in book here:

The Three Musketeers

After reading the Count of Monte Cristo, this was a big disappointment. The story is rather boring and the characters a little uninteresting.

(Note: I have not completed reading of this)

Mcgee on Food & Cooking

A book about how food chemistry works, filled with easy to understand practical advice and spiced with historical notes. The writing is a pleasure to read (definitely not a dry text) and it is well organized. It does not contain any photos but has a number of interesting figures illustrating the explantions in the text.

This is indispensable for anyone serious interested in cooking and baking.

The Count of Monte Cristo

<<by A. Dumas (Robin Huss 1996 translation), read autumn 2005, masterpiece>>

One of the best novels I have read. The writing is great and the story is good. One of the things I really like is that the story develops to show that most of the characters are not just good or evil, as in the real world, things are more complex.

Ham on Rye

A novel based on Bukowski's young years, a book about a poor boy and all his troubles. Bukowski is no hero and does not try to describe himself as one.

Moon Palace

Much better than Oracle Night. A collection of interesting stories connected by the character MS Fogg.

(Note: I read the danish edition)


Well-written and different book on economy pragmatically based on data and regression analysis. There are some good and interesting points and it is always nice to be shown how data can be explored to find answers. But more method should have been discussed and what is up with the praise that prefix each chapter?

In some ways this reminds me of <<The Pleasures of Counting>> by T. W. Korner, that a math book but consists of a number of real life cases where math was used to find an answer to a problem.

The World According to Garp

I have had this book for years and started to read it once, but did not like at all. Then someone told me wrestling had a big part in it and that Irving was great...

I think it starts out great, but it gets worse after half of it, and the rest is definitely not up to the first part.

One thing I never understood was how Garp and his mother had money to live in Europe without working??


Maybe Stephensons best book? It is about the presidential election and has conspiracies, biotech and the usual cartoonish Stephenson characters, what more could be wanted. Oh yes, it is has a (good) traditional ending compared to the usual Stephenson ending.

The Baroque Cycle

A long long book with many stories and notes. As a lesson in 16th century european history it is interesting and an easy read, but read as a long novel it is simply too long and without a "big" story. However, it is well written and there are many interesting stories in the books.

Volume 1: Quicksilver

Second book is boring in my opinion, Jack and Eliza are not as cool as Daniel and his friends.

Volume 2: The Confusion

Much better than Quicksilver. It consists mosly of action packed adventures, some financial stories and a few boring passages. There is not much science in it compared to Quicksilver.

Volume 3: The System of the World

Mostly about Daniel, not much action.


This is a relaxed Eco, it is easy reading about the happy-go-lucky Baudolino and his adventures in the middle ages. The book gets a bit long in the middle, but the ending does up for this.

(Note: I read the danish edition, and I cannot recommend the edition from the publisher Forum (2nd edition), it has unacceptable many spelling errors and misplaced words)

The Best Science Fiction of Isaac Asimov

It is nice to read a collection of old SF stories, many written in the fifties, and still find them exitingly fresh. Some things are dated, like the presentation of computers, but I actually like that.

The stories I liked the most:

Club Dumas

I saw the movie, <The Ninth Gate>, back when it it arrived in the cinemas and I was not that impressed. Fast forward to spring 2005 when I incidentally read about <Club Dumas> and learned that <The Ninth Gate> was based on the book (and ordered the book), the next time I was on the library I stumbled upon the <The Ninth Gate>, took it home and was pleaseant surprised -- much better than I remembered. When I returned the dvd I stumbled upon the book and read it.

The book contains an interesting story about Corso, the book detective hunting a special book (the Nine Gates), this story is excellent in itself with many references to classical works, especially by Dumas. But the book is more than that, in some ways it is a little like <The Athenian Murders> but in a more subtle way.

(Note: I read the danish edition)

A Fire Upon The Deep

I loved the ideas and discussions in "A Deepness in the Sky", but this book is more space opera and not as interesting. It is still a book with good parts, but it does not live up to "Deepness", and the ending is a little to deux ex machina. Sometimes it reminded me of Peter F. Hamiltons "Nights Dawn Trilogy", because it has some of the same elements and also seems a bit too long.

Oracle Night

It starts at a nice slow pace but speeds up in the end where most of the <action> is placed (too much action in my opinion). I have read parts of the New York triology and did not like it, I found this to be much better.

(Note: I read the danish edition)

Read 2004

Altered Carbon

A thriller where a special detective is hired to solve what looks like a failed suicide. It is a world where it is possible to transfer people into other bodies and the "hero" is communicated from another world to the earth. Extremely violent. Reminds me alot of Neuromancer.

Angels and Demons

The Athenian Murders

It is well written and the author seems to know a lot about ancient Athen, it also features some interesting characters. Definitely a good story with some interesting ideas, but not as good as I had expected.


The Big U

This is Neal's first book and I have read that he did not want it to be reprinted. I think it is a good book. The first half is excellent, the next is a little more rushed, but nevertheless good.

The Catcher in the Rye

I cannot understand why this book has caused such an amount of controversy, as I understand it has mostly to do with the use of foul language. The story is interesting and the writing excellent. Much better than I had expected.

The Chronoliths

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

A different book. It is told by Christopher, a boy with Asperger's syndrome. It is a serious book decribing how a person with Asperger's syndrome experiences the world, but it does it with a sense of humor and without being to serious. I do not agree with those who finds the book very funny, but it is on the other hand not sad either.

The Da Vinci Code

Interesting book, lots of conspiracies. There are some strange things that makes the story unbeliveable, fx regarding the girls abilities as a cryptographer. Still a good book though, but I will probably not read other books by Brown.

Diamond Age

I bought the book in May 2000 and I think I has started to read it about four times, but lost interest the three first times. When I started this time I began around page 100 and I now find it a great read. As with most books from Neal the last 50 pages does not live up to the promise of the preceeding pages.

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

A nice book, but not quite as good as I expected. There are interesting ideas but I miss something, either more action or "philosophy".

The End of Eternity

Masterpiece on the issues concerning regulation of society and timetravel. This could be the perfect movie if made in a Naked Lunch/12 monkeys style.

The Illuminatus Triology

It is hard to describe or evaluate this book, it is a weird trip into a world of conspiracies, both the story and the style is weird (but the last is not so strange as I had feared from reviews). There are interesting lessons hidden in the strange story... The book has one big problem, it is too long. I thought book two and three was easier to read than the first. The book is often described as funny, but it did not make me laugh. The plot twists a number of times, and the ending is essential reading to understand the rest of the book.

Killing Time

Interesting story and settings, but written much like a comic book. The characters are simply unbeliveable and many situations are predictable. It has been described as very Jules Verne -- and it is (I mean this as a compliment).

Life of Pi

Book about a boy struggling to survive on a lifeboat with a tiger. I expected something a little more "Calvin and Hobbes"-style. It is well-written and one really get to feel how bad Pi's condition is on the small lifeboat without much water and food -- and together with a tiger. The survival story is great in itself, but there is much more than that a layer down...

I you like to read about how some have survirved the extreme I would recommend the real stories of Steven Callahan (Adrift: Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea) and Joe Simpson (Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival), and of course one of the books about Shackleton.

Moby Dick

Interesting read. I loved the start with a description of Ismaels doings, but as the book moves on Ismael is put in the background and there are written <alot> on whaling. Interesting, but not directly relevant for the story about Moby-Dick. Moby-Dick is actually only present in the last 50-100 pages. It was not a hard read as I had been told, but I did not find it as enlightning as told (I know I missed a lot).

Permutation City

A masterpiece about simulating people on computers and touching topics such as immortality and cloning. It was hard to read through the first couple of chapters, but then it got very interesting. It made me think harder on the philosophical issues than when I studied philosophy on the university (back then I had a hard time understanding the big issues).


I bought this because it was offered at a very low price. It is a book about the man Ghost who has been badly treated and now works as an assassin. Ghost reminded me of Ghost Dog in the Jarmusch movie "Ghost Dog". It is an interesting and sad story, and Vachss writes in a simple realistic style.


I reread the first, and in my opinion the best, part of the book about the early hackers at MIT. I now find the lifestyle described a bit sad, but it is still a good story of the origins of hackerdom.

Introducing Aristotle and Introducing Plato

<<Introducing Plato by Dave Robinson and Judy Groves, read June 2004, excellent.>>

I have read and enjoyed the book on James Joyce in the same series, and then bought these two. I really liked these books, they are simple reading, but they still provide a good overview of the two great philosophers.

In the Beginning was the Command Line

Neal's rant on computers, operating systems, and user interfaces. It is written in essay style and is not that well-structured, but it presents many good ideas and the writing is very funny. (It is a bit dated, but the main points are still valid.)

Leonardo da Vinci

I bought this book on London's National Gallery after viewing a few da Vinci paintings (inspired by Brown's Da Vinci Code). The book is well-written and contains many beautiful pictures of art and notes.


This is a biography about John Harrison and his famous clocks and watches build to make it possible for navigators to find the longitude with great precision. It is good story, but it lacks details on the clocks and watches (it should at least have had an appendix with 5-10 pages about the techical details). I really respect Harrison, but every time I read about his story I think it is presented a little to black and white, and his "enemies" too cruel. Was Nevil Maskelyne and the others really so evil? Was it really unfair to require that Harrison should turn over his design and show it was possible to build more than a few timepieces?


It can be found in a free online-edition.

A New Kind of Science

I bought this because I wanted an overview on cellular automata written in a simple way (for bed time reading). I have no intentions of reading it end to end. After reading the first two chapters two things are clear to me: 1. the book looks promising, 2. Stephen Wolfram has some problems. The constant mentioning on how "new" and groundbreaking the work is, becomes tiring fast. Why do some people have to focus on how good their work is? Just present it and let the reader judge...

I would suggest a potential reader of this book started by reading some of the long reviews of the book before buying/reading the book itself:

Revolution in Time

A Short Story of Nearly Everything

An interesting collection of facts about life, our universe, and everything. Includes great anecdotes on the scientists involved in the research. Your view on many famous scientists will probably change after you read it, and many brilliant, but unknown scientists are praised in the book. One minor problem I found: on page 270 the myth of liquid glass is repeated.

Vol de nuit

(note: I read the danish edition, I am not sure about the english title of this book.)

I loved the first two thirds that described how it felt to be a pilot doing impossible missions. After that it turned more and more into boring pocket philosophy.

Read 2003


Well written techno-thriller.

The Crisis of Global Capitalism

(Note: I read the danish translation.)

George Soros is the infamous finance genius who speculated against the british pound. In this book he give his thoughts on the problems related to capitalism. Soros points out that theories on economics have some general problems and are usually un-scientific. It sounds like he has some good points.

A Deepness in the Sky

There is a lot of really good ideas in this book, and it leaves something to think about. It describes som ethical problems we in some ways already face, but that will only get more clear in the future. The story also gives a view on liberalism and socialism's view on people -- and why totalitarian socity can be a very tempting solution to some problems. I look forward to read "A Fire Upon the Deep" of the same author.

I think the book is too long and the characters feels like the are described from a distance, I did not really care much for them until at the end of the story. Also there are too many hints for the surprises in the book for my taste. There are also a few things in the plot that seems very unlikely.

The Forever War

Written by a Vietnam veteran who knows about military procedure.


I read this in a danish translation in 92 and it really influenced my thoughts. I read another danish translation about five years later and it was still good. I finally read it in english in 2003 and it is still a master piece. Many of the ideas presented shows up in later works, for example high tech samurais and the rastafari culture, in Neal Stephenson's works and in The Matrix trilogy.

Night's Dawn Triology

I read 1.5 books of the trilogy. First book is great with lots of exciting technology, stories, and cool characters. I really loved Joshua -- think Han-Solo with more attitude. In part two I got tired of all the small subplots, and lost interest in the main plot.

I think it is great writing, and if I get a lot of time I will surely read it all, but it is a little to long for my taste right now...

Hawk: Occupation: Skateboarder

The Pleasures of Counting

A interresting math book, which concentrates on scenarios from history, where math was used to solve problems. The stories are interesting and the math is well explained. I found the book because it was recommended for future students of computer science on Cambridge.

(Note: I have not finished this book)

Read Before 2003

Black Water

Good, but nothing special, it lacks some details to catch the reader. Written in an interesting style with the story broken into small pieces.

(Note: I read the danish edition)


Neal's writing is some of the best. It is very funny and cool -- and I always feel close to the characters. The characters do not surprise much, they are incarnations of personality types we already know, but I don't experience that as a problem. It's hard to explain why I love this book so much. Maybe it's because it incorporates a lot of subjects that are also my interests. This includes math, cryptography, intelligence, and paranoia.

I really like Stephenson's style, but I think the story gets worse in the ending (happens to many of Stephenson's works).

Darwins Radio

I wanted to buy a book by Greg Egan, but ended with this book because I couldn't remember the name...

People all over the world get sick, women miscarriages, but get pregnant again -- without sexual activity -- and the new babies are different. Some think it is a natural part of the evolution, but panic breaks out... Very thrilling, in places one of the scariest stories I have read. I learned some biology on the way.

Foucault's Pendulum

One of the great books on conspiracies, not an easy read and occasionally it feels a bit long (I read the danish translation).

In the Name of the Rose

(I read the danish translation).

The Last Samurai

A book about a single mother with a poor job trying to care for herself and the son Ludo (when she is not watching the Seven Samurai). Ludo is a little genius, reading the classics on the original language as well as doing other wonders as a little boy. The story is interesting and surprising, and I learned a good deal about languages (and other stuff). I specially liked the many anecdotes about fictional persons. The smart Ludo and his elitist mother gets a little annoying and it is a little unclear whether this is a goal of the author.

The Lord of the Rings

Great book, that deserves to be read in a short period of time (does not apply to people with a very good memory ). It is a very exciting adventure, but I still think a lot of people overestimate it's importance.


One of the best books I have read. The story is great and based on a real story about (one of) the world's greatest sword fighters.

It is an adventure that is comparable to LOTR, the world seems strange and exotic as Middle Earth (Japan). The persons feel a lot more real than Tolkiens (they have problems that are easier to relate to). Also, this is a tale with ideas from eastern philosophy, and there are things to be learned from the story.

Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture

A good novel about an old eccentric mathematician. However, I think the biography about Paul Erdos (The Man Who Loved Only Numbers) is a better story about an eccentric mathematician and his love for math.


Introducing Joyce

Entertaining and educating introduction to James Joyce and his work, with drawings in the style of Monty Python (at least half the book consists of drawings).

The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdos & the Search for

Mathematical Truth

<<by Paul Hoffman, read ??, excellent>>

Funny and informative biography about the most productive mathematician in modern times.

Open Society and its Enemies, Hegel and Marx

(Disclaimer: I read the danish translation and I have only read part two.)

This is a well-written work on political philosophy. It is mainly a critique of totalitarian government forms. The book uses Hegel and Marx as case studies. I am not really sure if these are referred correctly, but I did not find it important for my reading, as I concentrated on the points about dicatators.