Paper or e-book, there's lots of great historical and hands-on technical material out there
Sometimes, it's nice to "get away" without going away, and one long-standing way to do this is by reading a book. We all have our favorite genres; mine is the history of science and engineering, or broad scientific-exploration books.
Of course, being somewhat on the trailing edge of technology, I prefer old-fashioned paper (aka "dead tree") version, but the format isn't as important as the content. The books I have read recently, or are on my short "next" list, include:
Roving Mars: spirit, opportunity, and the exploration of the red planet, by Steven W. Squyres, the principal investigator on the Mars missions that landed the rovers Spirit and Opportunity in 2004; great insight into the technical challenges and constraints, and how they were overcome.
Voyager: seeking newer worlds in the third great age of discovery, by Stephen J. Pyne, a lengthy but fascinating look at the 30+ year dual missions (launched in 1977, just concluded) to the edge of our solar system, and beyond
Makers of the Microchip: A Documentary History of Fairchild Semiconductor, Christophe Lecuyer and David C Brook; this book was a real treat and window into one of the companies and its brilliant, hard-working people that made our semiconductors real and manufacturable in volume; brief review here.
The 4% Universe, by Richard Panek, dark energy and dark matter explored and explained; I am reading it now; read a review here.
The Information, by James Gleick, explores at Shannon's information theory both technically and how it shades our perspectives; on my "to get to" list; a review is here.
The Tizard Mission, byStephen Phelps, (just published) about how the magnetron—the heart of radar system—"saved the day" for Britain in WWII, and how it went from a scientific device to a engineering project, and then on to a mass-manufactured component; it's next on my list; see a long, well-written review here.
Are there any nonfiction books—whether old classic or just published—that you are reading, or have on your "hope to get to" short list? ♦
I am curious about the new NookColour reader from Barnes and Noble.
Bill Schweber, what can you say about this ?
Does look good to me !
Will still retain my large book library, but is this a contender ??
I'm adding one more excellent book which I should have included in the original list above: "From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time" by Sean Carroll; a fascinating look at the meaning of time, why it only goes forward (we think), and what does that even mean. Really makes you think.