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Old 11-27-2006, 11:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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We have "download of the day" but lets try this for books. Unlike music, I tend to believe that books are more universal in appeal. Where I'm sure many people do not find my "download of the day" helpful, I too find little benefit simply because others do not share my tastes (Sidenote: Pandora.com is amazing). But I believe books, on the other hand, are appealing so long as they are quality. Post a suggested book, whether you are currently reading it or have finished it, and a brief summary. If people have read the book and enjoyed it, please say so... the poster may have other books which are related.

To start this off, I recommend the book Moneyball by Michael Lewis.



I am currently about 1/3 of the way through this book in very few days. It is about the 2002+ Oakland A's, their rejection of classical scouting techniques in favor of more rigourous and academic statistical models.

As it turns out (no surprizes here) Baseball players are unfairly judged by how they look. Some have a look that scouts find appealing. But scouts can become "blinded" by a players physical appearance, and athleticism, and overlook players who actually perform.

Teams were also employing strategies that a micro-economist would have a hay-day over. Teams aren't playing to win, they are playing to not look bad.


Prime example: when you analyze Baseball statistically, sacrificing a hitter to advance a runner is bad policy. It wastes one of your precious 27 outs, and lessens your chances of scoring runs. But managers bunt and sacrifice all the time so as to avoid criticism.

Also: the best indicator of how a minor league/college player will do in the pros? Not batting average, not slugging average... it's a combination of walks and on base percentage.

There are plenty of great facts to come out of this book, thanks to the courage of the Oakland A's to throw out conventional wisdom and analyze baseball statistically. If you are a sports fan or a fan of statistics and numbers, you will most likely enjoy this book.


The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.

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Old 11-28-2006, 12:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yea most conventional baseball statistics are pretty misleading. The stat I like the most is OPS (On base percentage plus slugging percentage). Batting average is an extremely overused/rated statistic.

Oh, while we're recommending books, "How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok" by Glenn Greenwald was an interesting read on how Bush's job as president is a slap in the face of the Constitution.

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Old 11-28-2006, 09:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I recommend Tuesdays With Morrey by Mitch Albom



Author Mitch Albom takes us through interviews he has with a dying man in his last couple of months on Earth. It is inspirational and touches even this insensitive heart.

This is the last book I ever finished reading, which was 7 years ago. I hate reading, but this one kept me going from beginning to end.
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Cause I dont believe in Jesus.

there is little I wouldn't do for a dolphin.
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Old 12-04-2006, 11:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Just finished Moneyball, it may be one of the best books I've ever read.

It explains how too many bases are stolen, how pitchers are overrated and fielding is underrated, how the best statistic "possible" is 3 times on base percentage plus slugging, why drafting college players is much more wise than drafting highschoolers, and why having a Harvard degree with no Baseball experience is better than 20 years of Baseball experience if you want to be a good manager.


The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm only about a third of the way through this one, but so far it's absolutely amazing. There's at least a 5-10% chance the author will be our next President too, which might give you insentive to read this memoir of his.

http://www.amazon.com/Dreams-My-Father-Story-Inheritance/dp/1400082773/sr=8-1/qid=1165297487/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-8306191-3906208?ie=UTF8&s=books
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Old 12-05-2006, 01:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Tradesports give him an 11-14% chance of winning:

http://tradesports.com/aav2/trading/...wExpired=false


The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.
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Old 12-20-2006, 02:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This is one of the best books I have EVER read: it takes a lot of things you intuitively understand and solidifies them... It also helps you to understand that the actions of many people are utterly futile, and that often "success" isn't the product of intellect or hard work, but merely the outcome of living in a random world:

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in the Markets and in Life



Amazon.com
If the prescriptions for getting rich that are outlined in books such as The Millionaire Next Door and Rich Dad Poor Dad are successful enough to make the books bestsellers, then one must ask, Why aren't there more millionaires? In Fooled by Randomness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a professional trader and mathematics professor, examines what randomness means in business and in life and why human beings are so prone to mistake dumb luck for consummate skill. This eccentric and highly personal exploration of the nature of randomness meanders from the court of Croesus and trading rooms in New York and London to Russian roulette, Monte Carlo engines, and the philosophy of Karl Popper. Part of what makes this book so good is Taleb's ability to make seemingly arcane mathematical concepts (at least to this reviewer) entirely relevant in evaluating and understanding everything from the stock market to the success of those millionaires cited in the aforementioned bestsellers. Here's an articulate, wise, and humorous meditation on the nature of success and failure that anyone who wants a little more of the former would do well to consider. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards

From Publishers Weekly
In this look at financial luck, hedge fund manager Taleb (Dynamic Hedging) addresses the apparently irrational movement of money markets around the world. Using his own investing experience and examples of others' successes and disappointments, he discusses theories like Monte Carlo math (easy; considered cheating by purists) and the concept of Russian roulette. Taleb tells interesting, well-wrought stories about individual behavior: "While Nero has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, both personally and intellectually, he is starting to consider himself as having missed a chance somewhere." While serious investors and mathematics enthusiasts will be intrigued, readers looking for practical investment strategies will be disappointed by this rambling intellectual discourse. Tables. 40,000-copy first printing; $150,000 marketing budget.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.
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Old 12-22-2006, 11:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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watch "my dinner with andre" its a movie but reminds me of the book ishmael but with people.

i who have nothing but the comfort of my sins
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f3lix
I recommend Tuesdays With Morrey by Mitch Albom



Author Mitch Albom takes us through interviews he has with a dying man in his last couple of months on Earth. It is inspirational and touches even this insensitive heart.

This is the last book I ever finished reading, which was 7 years ago. I hate reading, but this one kept me going from beginning to end.
I took your recommendation with this one and just finished reading it. It was an enjoyable book that flowed better than any I've read before. Usually with books I find myself playing the "how many pages do I have left?" game. This book was an exception. I just sat down and enjoyed it. Probably only took 3-4 hours all told to finish it. It did a nice job of putting life in perspective, though I question whether it's impact will last more than a couple days or so. Either way, I'm glad I read it, and think most of you would be too.
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Old 01-30-2007, 04:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I just read and do recommend A Short History of Nearly Everything

http://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Nearly-Everything/dp/0767908171/sr=8-4/qid=1170191949/ref=pd_bbs_4/104-4173077-6156736?ie=UTF8&s=books
This book takes the entire history of the natural world, from the Big Bang, to explanations of Physics, the Cosmos, the formation of the Earth, geology, extinction, the discovery of the atom, Einstein, chemistry, the evolution of species, discovery of mathematics, and much more, and puts it into a novel of about 500 or so pages.

If you like the history channel you will like this book. If you don't like the history channel you probably won’t.


The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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This autobiography has made London's most infamous celebrity gangster - and the inspiration for the character Big Chris, played by Vinny Jones, in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels - an international star. Read about Dave Courtney's shady and amoral past, his time in jail, the violent encounters that put him there, and why he has decided it's time to get out of the crime business. Meet machete-wielding Chinese waiters, unlicensed boxing promoters and debt collectors. See Dave bitten, beaten, stabbed and shot; and learn that prison didn't do anything except to make him determined always to be better at not getting caught.



Good read.
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George W. Bush
..

..
I will read this book. I intended to but forgot. Thanks for reminding me.
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:51 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George W. Bush
I just read and do recommend A Short History of Nearly Everything

http://www.amazon.com/Short-History-...e=UTF8&s=books

This book takes the entire history of the natural world, from the Big Bang, to explanations of Physics, the Cosmos, the formation of the Earth, geology, extinction, the discovery of the atom, Einstein, chemistry, the evolution of species, discovery of mathematics, and much more, and puts it into a novel of about 500 or so pages.

If you like the history channel you will like this book. If you don't like the history channel you probably won’t.
Did i recommend this book? I should have, read it a few years back.
as for dave courtney, LOL if he did half the things he said he would bi in jail.
full of fucking shit.

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Old 01-31-2007, 09:33 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Excuse me Denton, he did do all those things. Maybe they are exaggerated a tiny bit
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:09 AM   #16 (permalink)
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If he did all this shit, killed etc, and he admits/brags about it, why is he making films and not in jail?

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Old 01-31-2007, 07:03 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Because surely the only evidence of him committing the crimes is in his autobiography. They are so melodramatic (thesaurus yesss) to be taken literally.

He has been to court on the basis of previous statements, proved innocent, then said outside the law courts something along the lines of 'Of course I facking shot him'.

My uncle can vouch for him, although he did say that where he was described to have bent a porsche door by pulling a guy out of the car was kinda not true.

Actually, thinking about it, he probably is full of shit.
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:36 PM   #18 (permalink)
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A Man without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut

A Man Without a Country is Kurt Vonnegut's hilarious and razor-sharp look at life ("If I die-God forbid-I would like to go to heaven to ask somebody in charge up there, 'Hey, what was the good news and what was the bad news?'"), art ("To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it."), politics ("I asked former Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton what he thought of our great victory over Iraq and he said, 'Mohammed Ali versus Mr. Rogers.'"), and the condition of the soul of America today ("What has happened to us?"). Gleaned from short essays and speeches composed over the last five years and plentifully illustrated with artwork by the author throughout, A Man Without a Country gives us Vonnegut both speaking out with indignation and writing tenderly to his fellow Americans, sometimes joking, at other times hopeless, always searching.

Read something from him while he's still around. You'll be glad you did.
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:24 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Fuck you scroder, you cockfucking titwit.

#YOLO
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Old 02-01-2007, 04:38 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance (The American Empire Project)

Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com
Noam Chomsky is considered the father of modern linguistics. In this richly detailed criticism of American foreign policy, he seeks to redefine many of the terms commonly used in the ongoing American war on terrorism. Surveying U.S. actions in Cuba, Nicaragua, Turkey, the Far East and elsewhere over the past half a century along with the modern American war in Iraq, Chomsky indicates that America is just as much a terrorist state as any other government or rogue organization. George W. Bush's 2003 invasion of Iraq drew worldwide criticism, in part because it seemed to present a new philosophy of pre-emptive war and an appearance of global empire building. But according to Chomsky, such has been the operating philosophy of American foreign policy for decades. Opponents of the Bush administration's tactics consistently point out how the American government supported Saddam Hussein for many years prior to the 1990 invasion of Kuwait (pictures of Donald Rumsfeld shaking Saddam's hand are easy to come by) as a means of pointing out how the United States is happy to fund despots when it's in American interests. But Chomsky, armed with extensive historical notation, takes this notion further, arguing how the repression of other nations' citizenry is, in fact, the very reason Americans support certain foreign leaders. The charges made throughout the book are severe, as are the dire consequences he posits if current trends are not reversed, and Chomsky is no more likely to make friends or gain supporters from the mainstream now than he's ever been. But Hegemony or Survival is relatively dispassionate. Instead of relying on camp or shock value or personal attacks as some of his contemporaries have done, Chomsky drives his well-supported points steadily forward in an earnest and highly readable style. --John Moe

From Publishers Weekly
In this highly readable, heavily footnoted critique of American foreign policy from the late 1950s to the present, Chomsky (whose 9-11 was a bestseller last year) argues that current U.S. policies in Afghanistan and Iraq are not a specific response to September 11, but simply the continuation of a consistent half-century of foreign policy-an "imperial grand strategy"-in which the United States has attempted to "maintain its hegemony through the threat or use of military force." Such an analysis is bound to be met with skepticism or antagonism in post-September 11 America, but Chomsky builds his arguments carefully, substantiates claims with appropriate documentation and answers expected counterclaims. Chomsky is also deeply critical of inconsistency in making the charge of "terrorism." Using the official U.S. legal code definition of terrorism, he argues that it is an exact description of U.S. foreign policy (especially regarding Cuba, Central America, Vietnam and much of the Middle East), although the term is rarely used in this way in the U.S. media, he notes, even when the World Court in 1986 condemned Washington for "unlawful use of force" ("international terrorism, in lay terms" Chomsky argues) in Nicaragua. Claiming that the U.S. is a rogue nation in its foreign policies and its "contempt for international law," Chomsky brings together many themes he has mined in the past, making this cogent and provocative book an important addition to an ongoing public discussion about U.S. policy.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:25 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I'm not sure I've ever read a book so short and yet so powerful as Sam Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation.



This took me 90 minutes to read. There isn't a person out there I wouldn't recommend this book to. For the non-believers, Harris offers some nice ammunition to use next time you're stuck in a situation where you want to slam your head against a desk while trying to explain to a Christian why you find their beliefs so appauling. Christians (or really anyone with strong religious views) might benefit from seeing a window into some of the logical shortcomings and societal downfalls that stem from such strong, unprovable beliefs.

From page 67, "It is time that we admitted that faith is nothing more than the license religious people give one another to keep believing when reasons fail. While believing strongly, without evidence, is considered a mark of madness or stupidity in any other area of our lives, faith in God still holds immense prestige in our society."

I will personally ship my copy of this book to the first of you regulars to request it, provided a.) you will most certainly read it with an open mind and b.) you believe you will spend eternity in fire without faith in Jesus Christ. Just PM me your address and it will be shipped within hours.
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:58 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Update: Ninjaface requested the book first, followed shortly thereafter by George W .Bush. I really wanted this book to go to someone who, at least on some significant capacity, truly believes they might spend enternity in fire without faith in Jesus Christ. From what little I know of the two requesters, I wouldn't think they would fit that description.

I'll give a little more time for someone who does fit the description to come forth, or for either of the aforementioned two to ensure me they do fit the bill.
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:22 PM   #23 (permalink)
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THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU.


The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:32 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I have two more books which I must highly recommend: both by Michael Lewis, who was the author of the first book I recommended: "Moneyball"


http://www.amazon.com/Liars-Poker-Rising-Through-Wreckage/dp/0140143459/sr=1-1/qid=1171395058/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-4861754-4844110?ie=UTF8&s=books
From Library Journal
As described by Lewis, liar's poker is a game played in idle moments by workers on Wall Street, the objective of which is to reward trickery and deceit. With this as a metaphor, Lewis describes his four years with the Wall Street firm Salomon Brothers, from his bizarre hiring through the training program to his years as a successful bond trader. Lewis illustrates how economic decisions made at the national level changed securities markets and made bonds the most lucrative game on the Street. His description of the firm's personalities and of the events from 1984 through the crash of October 1987 are vivid and memorable. Readers of Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities ( LJ 11/15/87) are likely to enjoy this personal memoir. BOMC and Fortune Book Club selection.
- Joseph Barth, U.S. Military Acad . Lib., West Point, N.Y.


http://www.amazon.com/Blind-Side-Evolution-Game/dp/039306123X/sr=1-1/qid=1171394907/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-4861754-4844110?ie=UTF8&s=books
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. As he did so memorably for baseball in Moneyball, Lewis takes a statistical X-ray of the hidden substructure of football, outlining the invisible doings of unsung players that determine the outcome more than the showy exploits of point scorers. In his sketch of the gridiron arms race, first came the modern, meticulously choreographed passing offense, then the ferocious defensive pass rusher whose bone-crunching quarterback sacks demolished the best-laid passing game, and finally the rise of the left tackle—the offensive lineman tasked with protecting the quarterback from the pass rusher—whose presence is felt only through the game-deciding absence of said sacks. A rare creature combining 300 pounds of bulk with "the body control of a ballerina," the anonymous left tackle, Lewis notes, is now often a team's highest-paid player. Lewis fleshes this out with the colorful saga of left tackle prodigy Michael Oher. An intermittently homeless Memphis ghetto kid taken in by a rich white family and a Christian high school, Oher's preternatural size and agility soon has every college coach in the country courting him obsequiously. Combining a tour de force of sports analysis with a piquant ethnography of the South's pigskin mania, Lewis probes the fascinating question of whether football is a matter of brute force or subtle intellect. Photos. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.
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Old 02-13-2007, 03:09 PM   #25 (permalink)
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send it to active/schroed.

there is little I wouldn't do for a dolphin.
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