Tag Archives: Books

Book reviews

Tales from the Roman Republic

Rome’s messy transition from republic to principate has been well-documented by ancient authors and often revisited by modern ones. Since 1990 there has been a veritable explosion of historical fiction set in this era. I’ve devoured a good part of it, so here are some recommendations for your reading pleasure. The authors generally keep to […]

Luttwak’s Grand Strategy of Rome

Edward N. Luttwak’s The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire (John Hopkins University Press 1976) is a compact (255 pages) and brilliant classic on military and diplomatic strategies from the principate to the tetrarchy. Recently Luttwak published his long-awaited companion piece, The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire (Harvard University Press 2009), much delayed and […]

John Glassie on Athanasius Kircher

John Glassie’s A Man of Misconceptions (Riverhead Books 2012) is an immensely entertaining account of the life and times of Athanasius Kircher (1601/2–1680), a Jesuit scholar who escaped the Thirty Years War ravaging his native Germany to become famous throughout Europe for his prolific writing, museum of curiosities, and peculiar scientific theories. Kircher lived at […]

Effective Java & Pro JavaFX 2

Effective Java — Joshua Bloch, Addison-Wesley 2008 (2nd ed.), ISBN 978-0-321-35668-0 This is not just the best book on Java, but one of the best I’ve read on any programming subject. Every Java developer will benefit from Bloch’s solid advice and thorough exploration of language quirks, on a par with classic namesake Effective C++. Unlike […]

Core Java & Well-Grounded Java

Core Java, Volume I: Fundamentals — Cay S. Horstmann & Gary Cornell, Prentice Hall (Oracle) 2012 (9th ed. for Java SE 7), ISBN 978-0-13-708189-9 Core Java, Volume II: Advanced Features — Cay S. Horstmann & Gary Cornell, Prentice Hall (Oracle) 2013 (9th ed. for Java SE 7), ISBN 978-0-13-708160-8 These books have been superseded by […]

Computational Geometry Books

Computational Geometry: Algorithms and Applications — Mark de Berg, Otfried Cheong, Marc van Kreveld & Mark Overmars (Springer-Verlag 2008, 3rd ed., ISBN 978-3-540-77973-5) This book has a well-deserved reputation as the best guide to its field. The authors lucidly explain a broad selection of standard algorithms and data structures, including real-world motivations, numerous visualizations, and […]

Robert Sedgewick’s Algorithms

Algorithms — Robert Sedgewick and Kevin Wayne, Addison-Wesley 2011 (4th ed.), ISBN 978-0-321-57351-3 This single volume replaces Sedgewick’s two-volume classic Algorithms in C/C++/Java (long among my favorite programming books), now without the language designator since Java is used exclusively. The associated booksite offers a chapter overview, excerpts from the printed text, dynamic visualizations, some exercise […]

Ben Goldacre’s Bad Pharma

Medical doctor and Guardian writer Ben Goldacre has been busy promoting his new book, Bad Pharma: How drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients. You can watch him in What doctors don’t know about the drugs they prescribe, listen to him in a Nature interview podcast, and read the edited excerpt The drugs don’t work: […]