People sometimes ask me for book recommendations... here's a bunch. Maybe in time I'll add more, plus ratings, brief reviews, cover images, etc. (The current selection is skewed towards books I've read in the past few years, as I kept records of them and only had to paste the better ones in here.)

These are all books I've read and enjoyed, although some of the textbooks I've only studied parts of.

Science, Nature, and Math

Abelson and di Sessa, Turtle Geometry
Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
Richard Dawkins, The Extended Phenotype
Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene
David Deutsch, The Fabric of Reality
Jared Diamond, The Third Chimpanzee
K. Eric Drexler, Nanosystems
Freeman Dyson, Infinite in All Directions
Freeman Dyson, Origins of Life
George Dyson, Darwin Among the Machines
Feynman and Leighton and Sands, The Feynman Lectures on Physics
Richard Feynman, The Character of Physical Law
Richard Feynman, QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter
J. E. Gordon, The New Science of Strong Materials
G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology
Douglas Hofstadter, Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies
Douglas Hofstadter, Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Douglas Hofstadter, Le Ton beau de Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language
Douglas Hofstadter, Metamagical Themas
Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett (editors), The Mind's I
Evelyn Keeler, A Feeling for the Organism
Imre Lakatos, Proofs and Refutations
Lakoff and Johnson, Metaphors We Live By
Marvin Minsky, The Society of Mind
Roger Penrose, The Emperor's New Mind
Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works
Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct
William Poundstone, Labyrinths of Reason
Mitchel Resnick, Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams
Mark Ridley, The Cooperative Gene
Claude Shannon, A Mathematical Theory of Communication
Lee Smolin, The Life of the Cosmos
Lee Smolin, Three Roads to Quantum Gravity
Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory
Amotz Zahavi and Avishag Zahavi, The Handicap Principle

Lofty Visions of the Future

K. Eric Drexler, Engines of Creation
Grant Fjermedal, The Tomorrow Makers
Hans Moravec, Mind Children
Hans Moravec, Robot: From Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind
Ted Nelson, Computer Lib and Dream Machines
Ted Nelson, Literary Machines
Ed Regis, Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition


Annie Dillard, An American Childhood
Freeman Dyson, Disturbing the Universe
Richard Feynman, ``Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!''
Richard Feynman, ``What Do You Care What Other People Think?''
Martin Gray, For Those I Loved
Joe Jackson, A Cure For Gravity
Doris Lessing, Particularly Cats
Robert Sapolsky, A Primate's Memoir
Robert Paul Smith, Where Did You Go? Out. What Did You Do? Nothing
Stanislaw Ulam, Adventures of a Mathematician

Graphic Design, Info Design, Usability

Donald Norman, The Design of Everyday Things
Edward Tufte, Envisioning Information
Edward Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
Edward Tufte, Visual Explanations
Robin Williams, The Non-Designer's Design Book


Lawrence Block, Telling Lies for Fun and Profit
Ursula K. Le Guin, Steering the Craft
Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook


T. S. Eliot, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
Don Marquis, archy and mehitabel
Vikram Seth, The Golden Gate
Smith, The Faber Book of Children's Verse


Malaclypse the Younger, Principia Discordia
Raymond Smullyan, The Tao is Silent

Self Help

Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, Your Money or Your Life
Grace Llewellyn, The Teenage Liberation Handbook
Kenny Werner, Effortless Mastery

General Nonfiction

Elizabeth Barber, Women's Work
Susan Blackmore, In Search of the Light
Stewart Brand, The Clock of the Long Now
Leah Hager Cohen, Train Go Sorry: Inside a Deaf World
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital
Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel
Slavenka Drakulic, How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed
David Friedman, The Machinery of Freedom
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
Judith Rich Harris, The Nurture Assumption
Daniel Hillis, The Pattern on the Stone
Darrell Huff, How to Lie With Statistics
Robert Jourdain, Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy
Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
Farley Mowat, The Boat Who Wouldn't Float
Farley Mowat, Never Cry Wolf
Paco Underhill, Why We Buy: the Science of Shopping

Science Fiction and Fantasy

Poul Anderson, Brain Wave
Poul Anderson, Fire Time
Poul Anderson, The High Crusade
Kage Baker, In the Garden of Iden
Iain Banks, Against a Dark Background
Iain Banks, The Bridge
Iain Banks, Consider Phlebas
Iain Banks, Feersum Endjinn
Iain Banks, Inversions
Iain Banks, The Player of Games
Iain Banks, Use of Weapons
John Barnes, One For the Morning Glory
Barrington Bayley, The Garments of Caean
Barrington Bayley, Star Winds
Greg Bear, Queen of Angels
Steven Brust, Agyar
Steven Brust, 500 Years After
Steven Brust, Jhereg, et seq
Steven Brust, The Phoenix Guards
Steven Brust, The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars
Steven Brust, To Reign in Hell
Steven Brust and Emma Bull, Freedom and Necessity
Steven Brust and Megan Lindholm, The Gypsy
Lois McMaster Bujold, Shards of Honor, et seq
Lois McMaster Bujold, The Spirit Ring
Emma Bull, War for the Oaks
C. J. Cherryh, Cyteen
C. J. Cherryh, Wave Without a Shore
Pamela Dean, The Secret Country
Pamela Dean, The Hidden Land
Pamela Dean, The Whim of the Dragon
Pamela Dean, The Dubious Hills
Pamela Dean, Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary
Pamela Dean, Tam Lin
L. Sprague de Camp, The Best of L. Sprague de Camp
Thomas Disch, Camp Concentration
Candas Jane Dorsey, Black Wine
Gardner Dozois (editor), A Day in the Life
Greg Egan, Axiomatic
Greg Egan, Diaspora
Greg Egan, Distress
Greg Egan, Permutation City
Greg Egan, Quarantine
Silvia Louise Engdahl, Enchantress from the Stars
John M. Ford, Casting Fortune
John M. Ford, Growing Up Weightless
John M. Ford, The Last Hot Time
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Good Omens
Richard Garfinkle, Celestial Matters
Randall Garrett, Takeoff!
William Goldman, The Princess Bride
William Goldman, The Silent Gondoliers
Barbara Hambly, Dragonsbane
Barbara Hambly, Traveling with the Dead
Robert Heinlein, Citizen of the Galaxy
Robert Heinlein, Have Spacesuit -- Will Travel
Robert Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Robert Heinlein, The Star Beast
Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers
Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
Robert Heinlein, The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag
P. C. Hodgell, God Stalk
Fred Hoyle, October the First Is Too Late
Barry Hughart, Bridge of Birds
Barry Hughart, The Story of the Stone
Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle
Diana Wynne Jones, The Tough Guide to Fantasyland
Patrice Kindl, Owl in Love
Donald Kingsbury, Courtship Rite
Donald Kingsbury, Psychohistorical Crisis
Rosemary Kirstein, The Outskirter's Secret
Rosemary Kirstein, The Steerswoman
Damon Knight, A for Anything
C. M. Kornbluth, The Syndic
Ellen Kushner, Swordspoint
Ellen Kushner, Thomas the Rhymer
R. A. Lafferty, The Devil Is Dead
Tanith Lee, The Silver Metal Lover
Stanislaw Lem (translated by Michael Kandel), The Cyberiad
Megan Lindholm, Cloven Hooves
Ken MacLeod, The Sky Road
Ken MacLeod, The Stone Canal
Maureen McHugh, China Mountain Zhang
Patricia McKillip, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld
Daniel Keys Moran, The Long Run
Patrick Nielsen Hayden (editor), Starlight 1
Patrick Nielsen Hayden (editor), Starlight 2
Pohl and Kornbluth, The Space Merchants
Robert Reed, An Exaltation of Larks
Robert Reed, Black Milk
Robert Reed, Beyond the Veil of Stars
Robert Reed, Beneath the Gated Sky
Robert Reed, Down the Bright Way
Robert Reed, The Dragons of Springplace
Robert Reed, The Leeshore
Robert Reed, The Remarkables
Keith Roberts, Pavane
J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Rudy Rucker, The Hollow Earth
Rudy Rucker, Software
Rudy Rucker, White Light
Fred Saberhagen, The Holmes-Dracula File
Karl Schroeder, Ventus
John Sladek, Tik-Tok
Michael Marshall Smith, Only Forward
Norman Spinrad, Little Heroes
Olaf Stapledon, Star Maker
Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash
Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age
Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon
Neal Stephenson, Zodiac
Bruce Sterling, Distraction
Bruce Sterling, Holy Fire
Caroline Stevermer, A College of Magics
Caroline Stevermer, When the King Comes Home
Marc Stiegler, David's Sling
Michael Swanwick, Stations of the Tide
Michael Swanwick, Vacuum Flowers
J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
Joan D. Vinge, The Outcasts of Heaven Belt
Vernor Vinge, The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge
Vernor Vinge, A Deepness in the Sky
Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep
Vernor Vinge, Marooned in Realtime
Vernor Vinge, The Peace War
Vernor Vinge, True Names
Vernor Vinge, Tatja Grimm's World
Jo Walton, The King's Peace
Walter Jon Williams, Aristoi
Walter Jon Williams, City on Fire
Walter Jon Williams, House of Shards
Walter Jon Williams, Metropolitan
Gene Wolfe, The Fifth Head of Cerberus
Gene Wolfe, Peace
Gene Wolfe, The Shadow of the Torturer, et seq
Jack Womack, Ambient
Jack Womack, Random Acts of Senseless Violence
Roger Zelazny, Isle of the Dead
Roger Zelazny, Lord of Light
David Zindell, The Broken God
David Zindell, Neverness

General Fiction

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Dave Barry, Big Trouble
Francesca Lia Block, Dangerous Angels
William J. Brooke, A Telling of the Tales
A. S. Byatt, Possession
Italo Calvino, If On A Winter's Night A Traveler
Gilbert K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday
Alasdair Gray, Ten Tales Tall & True
Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Books
Patricia McKillip, Stepping from the Shadows
Patrick O'Brian, Master and Commander, et seq
Daniel Pinkwater, 5 Novels
Daniel Pinkwater, Four Fantastic Novels
Daniel Pinkwater, The Muffin Fiend
Mary Renault, The Bull From the Sea
Dorothy Sayers, Gaudy Night
James Thurber, The Thirteen Clocks
Donald Westlake, What's the Worst That Could Happen?
Patricia Wrightson, The Ice is Coming


Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, The Meaning of Liff
Robert Bakker, Raptor Red
Nick Bantock, Griffin and Sabine
Alison Bechdel, Dykes To Watch Out For
Alison Bechdel, Dykes to Watch Out For: The Sequel
Alison Bechdel, Hot, Throbbing Dykes To Watch Out For
Alison Bechdel, New, Improved Dykes To Watch Out For
Alison Bechdel, Post-Dykes To Watch Out For
Alison Bechdel, Spawn of Dykes To Watch Out For
Alison Bechdel, Split-Level Dykes To Watch Out For
Alison Bechdel, Unnatural Dykes To Watch Out For
A. K. Dewdney, The Planiverse
Ian Frazier, Coyote vs. Acme
Geoffrey James, The Tao of Programming
Dave Langford, The Silence of the Langford
Dori Seda, Dori Stories
Dennis Shasha, Codes, Puzzles, and Conspiracy
Shel Silverstein, Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book
Raymond Smullyan, Satan, Cantor, and Infinity
Art Spiegelman, Maus I
Art Spiegelman, Maus II
Mark Twain, Roughing It


Abelson and Sussman, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
Phil Agre, Computation and Human Experience
Aho and Weinberger and Kernighan, The AWK Programming Language
Andrew Appel, Compiling With Continuations
Andrew Appel, Modern Compiler Implementation in ML
Jon Bentley, More Programming Pearls
Jon Bentley, Programming Pearls
Jon Bentley, Writing Efficient Programs
Tim Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web
Bird and de Moore, Algebra of Programming
Leo Brodie, Thinking FORTH
Frederick Brooks Jr., The Mythical Man-Month
W. H. Burge, Recursive Programming Techniques
Carriero and Gelernter, How to Write Parallel Programs
Cormen and Leiserson and Rivest, Introduction to Algorithms
A. K. Dewdney, The New Turing Omnibus
Edsger Dijkstra, A Discipline of Programming
Richard Feynman, The Feynman Lectures on Computation
Fraser and Hanson, A Retargetable C Compiler: Design and Implementation
Friedman and Felleisen, The Little Schemer
Friedman and Felleisen, The Seasoned Schemer
Friedman and Wand and Haynes, Essentials of Programming Languages
Gamma and Vlissides and Helm and Johnson, Design Patterns
David Gelernter, Programming Linguistics
James F. Gimpel, Algorithms in Snobol4
Goldberg and Robson, Smalltalk-80: The Language and its Implementation
Paul Graham, On Lisp
Philip Greenspun, Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing
Hennessey and Patterson, Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach
Daniel Hillis, The Connection Machine
Paul Hudak, The Haskell School of Expression: Learning Functional Programming through Multimedia
Kernighan and Pike, The Practice of Programming
Kernighan and Pike, The Unix Programming Environment
Kernighan and Plauger, Software Tools in Pascal
Kernighan and Ritchie, The C Programming Language
Donald Knuth, Literate Programming
Glenn Krasner (editor), Smalltalk-80: Bits of History, Words of Advice
Susan Lammers, Programmers at Work
Wm Leler, Constraint Programming Languages
Liskov and Guttag, Abstraction and Specification in Program Development
Henry Massalin, Synthesis: An Efficient Implementation of Fundamental Operating System Services
Peter Norvig, Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming
Chris Okasaki, Purely Functional Data Structures
Richard O'Keefe, The Craft of Prolog
P. J. Plauger, Programming on Purpose I. (and II and III)
P. J. Plauger, The Standard C Library
Jef Raskin, The Humane Interface
Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach
Toffoli and Margolus, Cellular Automata Machines
Winston and Shellard (editors), Artificial Intelligence at MIT: Expanding Frontiers. Volume 1
Niklaus Wirth, Project Oberon: The Design of an Operating System and Compiler

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