Mar 052009
 

Daniel Tammet is a prodigy savant, of which there are apparently less than 50 alive in the world. His speciality lies with numbers and words. He has proven to learn a language in a week and learn more than 20000 digits of the number pi by heart in less than three months.

He is unique in being able to live a fairly independent life, able to communicate and even able to describe his capabilities. He gives a glimpse of his mental capabilities and a lot of details of how he grew up. The constraints of having asperger syndrome and epilepsies, the huge milestones of achievements that seem simple to ordinary people.

The book is an autobiography he wrote when he was still in his twenties. What makes it extraordinary is that he stays honest, down to earth and focuses a lot on what he might be able to share and give to others.

I wonder what we will see from him ten or twenty years from now.

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Aug 242008
 

Frank McCourt writes about his 30 years of teaching in New York’s high schools and colleges. It is a good lesson about teaching – the big challenges, what is important and what is not.  And it is a book about himself and how he finally wrote his first book as a late bloomer.

This is fun to read.

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Nov 032007
 

Absolutely fantastic. Excellent book about the greatest thinker of the 20th century. If you are interested into Albert Einstein as a person, this biography is an absolut must.

Isaacson covers all aspects of Einstein’s life: his science, his world views, his religious and philosophical background, his political standpoint and activities, his private and public life. His scientific endeavour is described as understandable as possible.

I listened to the unabridged audio version. The narrator, Edward Hermann, is excellent and makes it an easy listening. Nevertheless 21 1/2 hours of listening took a while to get through!

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Sep 012007
 

The book tells the true story of Morrie Schwartz who is dying of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) – also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease and what Stephen Hawking has. Morrie Schwartz is Mitch Albom’s former favourite professor at Brandeis University who he promised to keep in touch with. Years later Mitch hears about his condition through an TV interview with Ted Koppel and decides to visit him.

He finds his professor providing even more wisdom as his physical conditions deteriorate. And he starts to fly seven hundred miles to meet his dying professor for the following Tuesday’s, talk about the meaning of life and doing the “final thesis”. This book is the result and the advanced payments also helped to pay the medical bills.

It is Morrie’s personal story and wisdom as well as Mitch’s personal and brilliant writing that makes this book touch our hearts.

“Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”

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Jul 112007
 

A good read about the success story of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the two students that created Google. The authors, David A. Vise and Mark Malseed wrote a very compelling biography.

It gives some good backgrounds on some decision points. I found most interesting how the founders insisted on the conditions under which Google went public which significantly derailed from typical IPOs.

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