For as long as I can remember, I've loved
I like books a lot, and I like a lot of books. I have eclectic tastes.
Mostly I read math books (not math textbooks, but books about or containing
math, math education, or math history), science books, and philosophy books. I
also read history, fiction, logic, O'Reilly computer books, Wikipedia,
and pretty much anything that I can learn from and/or that is well-written.
Many authors have influenced me, including
- Douglas Adams
- I was introduced to the Hitchhiker's trilogy (the BBC miniseries
and the books) the summer before I started high school. It's full of wacky
humor, wonderfully quotable lines, and towels. Besides, who could resist a
trilogy with more than three books?
- Douglas Hofstadter
- I first read Gödel, Escher, Bach
in ninth grade while researching for a paper about math and music. I read it
again twice in college. It heavily influenced my undergraduate thesis and led me graduate school in philosophy. I have also enjoyed
all of Hofstadter's other works, and I've twice had the privilege of hearing
- The first Plato I read was "The Allegory of the Cave" from The
Republic at the beginning of tenth grade. I immediately found it
thought-provoking. Later that year I stumbled across a college application.
One of the application essays was to write a response to the Allegory. I
applied, went to college early and read more Plato. I went on to study
philosophy in graduate school, but I don't think I actually read any Plato
- Neil Gaiman
- My freshman year in college I was introduced to Neil Gaiman. He's an
amazing story-teller. His Sandman graphic novels are breathtaking
works of art, and my roommates and I were somewhat stereotypical Neil
fangirls. Gaiman's short stories and children's literature are awesome too.
I also enjoy reading his blog.
- Lewis Carroll
- Lewis Carroll was a mathematician, a logician, and a successful author.
I own about half a dozen complete works of Lewis
Carroll. Lewis Carroll was another major influence on my thesis, which is
loosely based on Alice in Wonderland.
- Isaac Newton
- I took some excellent history of science classes in grad school. I've read
Newton's Principia (I. Bernard Cohen's translation) cover to cover,
including all of the commentary. I think this qualifies me for the title of
full-fledged Newton geek.
You may also be interested in my recent reading list.