Donald Knuth's favorite books

  • Feynman

    Feynman

    Feynman

    Jim Ottaviani
    Comics & Graphic Novels
    3.74 (7,705)

    Richard Feynman: physicist . . . Nobel winner . . . bestselling author . . . safe-cracker. In this substantial graphic novel biography, First Second presents the larger-than-life exploits of Nobel-winning quantum physicist, adventurer, musician, world-class raconteur, and one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century: Richard Feynman. Written by nonfiction comics mainstay Jim Ottaviani and brilliantly illustrated by First Second author Leland Myrick, Feynman tells the story of the great man’s life from his childhood in Long Island to his work on the Manhattan Project and the Challenger disaster. Ottaviani tackles the bad with the good, leaving the reader delighted by Feynman’s exuberant life and staggered at the loss humanity suffered with his death. Anyone who ever wanted to know more about Richard P. Feynman, quantum electrodynamics, the fine art of the bongo drums, the outrageously obscure nation of Tuva, or the development and popularization of the field of physics in the United States need look no further than this rich and joyful work. One of School Library Journal’s Best Adult Books 4 Teens titles of 2011 One of Horn Book’s Best Nonfiction Books of 2011

    Donald Knuth

    vivid, witty, hilarious, poignant: I laughed, I cried, I learned; demonstrates the unreasonable effectiveness of a graphic novel

     — Source

  • Food
    Donald Knuth

    his magnum opus, a wonderful history of everything delicious

     — Source

  • Efronia

    Efronia

    Efronia

    Stina Katchadourian
    Biography & Autobiography
    4.31 (29)

    Donald Knuth

    diaries and letters of a remarkable Armenian woman

     — Source

  • Blasphemy

    Blasphemy

    Blasphemy

    Douglas Preston
    Fiction
    3.69 (9,365)

    A CIA operative is sent to a remote Arizona mountain with a group of scientists to turn on the world's biggest supercollider. His mission: to discover a secret that will either destroy the world ... or save it.

    Donald Knuth

    the best novel to deal with "science versus religion" that I've ever encountered

     — Source

  • The Haj

    The Haj

    The Haj

    Leon Uris
    Fiction
    4.04 (13,130)

    Examines the tragic history of the Middle East in an epic tale that recreates the turbulent era from World War I to the early decades of the existence of the state of Israel

    Donald Knuth

    great to read on a trip to Israel

     — Source

  • The Age of Faith

    The Age of Faith

    The Age of Faith

    Will Durant
    History

    The Story of Civilization, Volume IV: A history of medieval civilization—Christian, Islamic, and Judaic—from Constantine to Dante: A.D. 325-1300. This is the fourth volume of the classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning series.

    Donald Knuth

    volume 4 of his series, covers the years 325--1300

     — Source

  • The Travels of Ibn Battutah
    Donald Knuth

    fascinating and eye-opening journal by a 14th-century Muslim scholar

     — Source

  • America
    Donald Knuth

    has graffiti even better than the marginal notes in Concrete Mathematics

     — Source

  • The Abominable Man
    Donald Knuth

    one of their brilliantly Swedish detective novels

     — Source

  • Lifeline Rule

    Lifeline Rule

    Lifeline Rule

    Doug Nufer
    Experimental fiction

    Poetry. "As if I've come to some lovely new abode: my dazed eyes alit in awe; my capacity for alive lucidity developed in a mere minute to be purely moved in a dedicated anatomy Nufer avowed in a literary mode." Ava Fedorov "LIFELINE RULE's is a very nicely devised, original origami: tales of a delicate nature salute fine, wary humility before set executive-like power. A line tined, a rare body, finely divided, amuses even an irate cynic. Acute but agile, secure but arid, it iterates a syrupy, wide core. Definitively pawed open (amused or even elated), it is upon a total anatomy careful, icily solid it emanates a pure tone, like we get in a rosy, natural orifice. How it entices in a dive Seduces in a move to lure Cajoles as a siren Is it inimical? I'd imagine no. But it is alive solely here, now upon us. A sum of a total or a sole minus, it is, I muse, never a line more but a dire model of itemized, evocative names in a hopeful ode sole lyric arisen above roles, afore-now unexamined or unelicited. I ruminate: to revere Nufer is a fit; it is even useful. One can open one's eyes in awe, but one can even adore how agile, he wisely (re)defines animaly palaver in a lexicon... or is it a paradox? One to be polared? A-hah I go for it. One fan of, I hope, many to come." Katy Masuga"

    Donald Knuth

    parity to vowel; an awesome conovowel opus

     — Source

  • The Hornet's Nest

    The Hornet's Nest

    The Hornet's Nest

    Jimmy Carter
    Fiction
    3.22 (1,012)

    Following an extraordinary cast of characters, American, British and Indian, and their loved ones on both sides of this violent conflict, Jimmy Carter brings to life the Revolutionary War as it was fought in the Deep South. At the heart of the story is Ethan Pratt, a farmer in Georgia who is drawn into the war after not only his brother and his best friend are killed, but also his son. This powerful and moving personal tale forms the centre of a glorious novel that paints a vivid and resonant picture of desperate warfare, ever-shifting allegiances, the massacre of innocents, and increasing political dissent. With its moving love story, vivid action and the suspense of a war fought with increasing ferocity and stealth, THE HORNET'S NEST is historical fiction at its very best.

    Donald Knuth

    a revolutionary novel about the Revolutionary War at all levels

     — Source

  • Gaudy Night
    Donald Knuth

    captures Oxford high-table small-talk wonderfully

     — Source

  • Life
    Donald Knuth

    perhaps the greatest 20th century novel

     — Source

  • Blacklist

    Blacklist

    Blacklist

    Sara Paretsky
    Fiction

    V. I. Warshawski explores secrets and betrayals that stretch across four generations in this New York Times bestselling novel from one of the most compelling writers in American crime fiction... “A thoughtful, high-tension mystery.”—The Washington Post Book World “A genuinely exciting and disturbing thriller.”—Chicago Tribune As a favor to her most important client, V. I. agrees to check up on an empty mansion. But instead of a mysterious intruder she discovers a dead man in the ornamental pond—a reporter for an African-American publication whom the suburban cops are quick to dismiss as a suicide. When the man’s shattered family hires V. I. to investigate, she is sucked into a Gothic tale of sex, money, and power, leading her back to McCarthy-era blacklists and forward to some of the darker aspects of the Patriot Act. As V. I. finds herself penned in to a smaller and smaller space by an array of people trying to silence her, and before she can untangled the sordid truth, two more people will die—and V.I.’s own life will hang in the balance.

    Donald Knuth

    a brilliant characterization of the tragic state of politics and class relations in America that also happens to be an action-packed murder mystery

     — Source

  • An Instance of the Fingerpost

    An Instance of the Fingerpost

    An Instance of the Fingerpost

    Iain Pears
    Fiction

    In 1663 Oxford, a servant girl confesses to a murder. But four witnesses--a medical student, the son of a traitor, a cryptographer, and an archivist--each finger a different culprit...

    Donald Knuth

    I heartily recommend this

     — Source

  • Mountains Beyond Mountains

    Mountains Beyond Mountains

    Mountains Beyond Mountains

    Michael French,Tracy Kidder
    Juvenile Nonfiction
    3.87 (82)

    Traces the efforts of Dr. Paul Farmer to transform healthcare on a global scale, documenting his visits to some of the world's most impoverished regions and the unconventional methods that enabled him to improve and save lives.

    Donald Knuth

    about how Paul Farmer's local and global life combines theory and practice

     — Source

  • The Golden Gate

    The Golden Gate

    The Golden Gate

    Vikram Seth
    Fiction

    Completely written in rhyming verse, this contemporary novel illustrates the lives, loves, and interests of young California professionals living in and around Silicon Valley, within reach of the Golden Gate bridge

    Donald Knuth

    the Great California Novel, entirely in 14-line sonnets

     — Source

  • Hackers

    Hackers

    Hackers

    Steven Levy
    Computers
    4.14 (7,390)

    This 25th anniversary edition of Steven Levy's classic book traces the exploits of the computer revolution's original hackers -- those brilliant and eccentric nerds from the late 1950s through the early '80s who took risks, bent the rules, and pushed the world in a radical new direction. With updated material from noteworthy hackers such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Stallman, and Steve Wozniak, Hackers is a fascinating story that begins in early computer research labs and leads to the first home computers. Levy profiles the imaginative brainiacs who found clever and unorthodox solutions to computer engineering problems. They had a shared sense of values, known as "the hacker ethic," that still thrives today. Hackers captures a seminal period in recent history when underground activities blazed a trail for today's digital world, from MIT students finagling access to clunky computer-card machines to the DIY culture that spawned the Altair and the Apple II.

    Donald Knuth

    incredibly well written tale of our times

     — Source

  • A Dual Autobiography
    Donald Knuth

    superbly written, a great story about how a man and woman can work creatively and sustainably together despite the mysteries of the human sex drive

     — Source

  • Marjorie Morningstar

    Marjorie Morningstar

    Marjorie Morningstar

    Herman Wouk
    Fiction
    3.98 (7,786)

    Now hailed as a "proto-feminist classic" (Vulture), Pulitzer Prize winner Herman Wouk's powerful coming-of-age novel about an ambitious young woman pursuing her artistic dreams in New York City has been a perennial favorite since it was first a bestseller in the 1950s. A starry-eyed young beauty, Marjorie Morgenstern is nineteen years old when she leaves home to accept the job of her dreams--working in a summer-stock company for Noel Airman, its talented and intensely charismatic director. Released from the social constraints of her traditional Jewish family, and thrown into the glorious, colorful world of theater, Marjorie finds herself entangled in a powerful affair with the man destined to become the greatest--and the most destructive--love of her life. Rich with humor and poignancy, Marjorie Morningstar is a classic love story, one that spans two continents and two decades in the life of its heroine. "I read it and I thought, 'Oh, God, this is me.'" --Scarlet Johansson

    Donald Knuth

    in-depth characters plus a whole philosophy

     — Source

  • The Man Who Knew Infinity

    The Man Who Knew Infinity

    The Man Who Knew Infinity

    Robert Kanigel
    Biography & Autobiography
    3.95 (9,088)

    A biography of the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. The book gives a detailed account of his upbringing in India, his mathematical achievements, and his mathematical collaboration with English mathematician G. H. Hardy. The book also reviews the life of Hardy and the academic culture of Cambridge University during the early twentieth century.

    Donald Knuth

    biographies of Ramanujan and Hardy

     — Source

  • Death of a Salesperson

    Death of a Salesperson

    Death of a Salesperson

    Robert Barnard
    Fiction

    Sixteen stories deal with a grieving widower, murder, revenge, and a jealous wife

    Donald Knuth

    who is at his best in short stories like these

     — Source

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