Monday, May 13, 2013

In the company of Armstrong, Einstein and Jobs

My reading, like all other activities, takes form of a sine wave: there are times when I read feverishly, knocking off a book a week, and then there are times when I do not even read the newspaper. 
Well, the first four months of the year 2013 have been the crest of the wave, so far. Apart from just the number of books, the quality of the material has been outstanding. I plan to review some of these books in a couple of posts. 

In this post, the biographies. 

First Man: Written by James Hansen, this is the only authorized biography of Neil Armstrong, the first person to step on the Moon. Well-researched and written in an engaging manner, this biography reveals the human side of this reclusive man. It also clears a lot of myths, and false rumours that Armstrong chose not to respond to during his life time. A must-read book for all the fans and followers of the space programme.

Einstein: His life and Universe: There are a number of biographies written on this genius -- some of them very good ones indeed -- but the one written by Walter Isaacson is the best by a wide margin. I especially enjoyed the chapters that describe how Einstein came up with various thought experiments that led him on the way to the special and general theories of relativity.

Steve Jobs: Again by Walter Isaacson! Though I am a bit partial towards Bill Gates, I really enjoyed reading about Steve Jobs, one of the prominent visionaries of our times. It is a great fun to read about Jobs's wry remarks about his contemporaries and his equally poignant observations about innovations and ideas. 

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