Favorite NON-fiction

Fri Jan 24 17:17:53 PST 2003

>Okay, maybe favorite fiction lists have been done, but no one (that I've 
>noticed) has been listing their favorite non-fiction authors or works.  

I really liked _Goedel, Escher, Bach_ and _Metamagical Themas_ (the
latter is a book that had a profound effect on my thinking about ethics).
Hofstadter's other books I didn't find nearly so satisfying, though.

Nobody has yet mentioned John McPhee, who has the talent to write about
anything interestingly.  _Annals of the Former World_ (an omnibus volume 
of his books about geology:  _Rising from the Plains_, _In Suspect 
Terrane_, _Basin and Range_, and _Assembling California_) contains more
sense-of-wonder than a dozen average SF novels, evoking as it does vast
sweeps of time so great that the very mountains shoot up like bamboo
then melt away like sugar.

   David Goldfarb       <*>|"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and
goldfarb at ocf.berkeley.edu  | uncertainty!" 
                           |      -- Douglas Adams, _The Hitchhiker's
goldfarb at csua.berkeley.edu |         Guide to the Galaxy_