Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cool books

Strangely I've read far fewer books this year than normal but I have just completed Levitt & Dubner's follow up to Freakonomics it is a great stimulus to thought/reflection and named rather unsurprisingly 'Super Freakonomics'.

The most amazing chapter is the last one which gives some details of research conducted by Keith Chen into the behaviour of capuchin monkeys - it is quite something.

Like Tim Harford whose book The Logic of Life I'm looking forward to reading Dubner and Levitt are ostensibly economists but in reality they are much more than this. Incidentally Tim Harford's programme 'More or less' that is broadcast on Radio 4 is now back for a fresh run and this week it included an illuminating insight into the folly of energy saving light bulbs.

The other author with an exciting treatise into modern life is the somewhat enigmatic Alain De Botton his latest book, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work will be sampled (by me) over the Christmas holidays - from a skim of the reviews it appears (paraphrasing somewhat here) that De Botton concludes that we work to distract ourselves from the fact that life is all too brief.
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