Check these books out!

I’ve read a couple of interesting books in the last week or so, and thought they were worth writing about.

The King David Report is a very interesting retelling of the stories of David and Solomon, as if they’d happened in a society where the government would do anything to shore up its image and control. The author, Stefan Heym, was a Nazi refugee who came to the US, fought in the Korean War, and then returned to East Germany, and that background was evident in the book. But I could also see echoes of post-9/11 America, and that was frightening. Recommended.

I saw Great Feuds in Mathematics on the display of new books at the IBM Almaden library, and thought it was an odd book for them to buy, so I checked it out. It was fascinating; I’d heard of most of the mathematicians, of course (I was a math major at RPI, not that I’ve ever used any of the math courses I took there), but I’d never realized how much bitterness and rivalry there was in the field. I devoured the book in two evenings; it was a fun read, and the final chapter, talking about the three current schools in mathematics, was all new to me. Also recommended.