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P. D. Mangan's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books P. D. Mangan recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of P. D. Mangan's favorite book recommendations of all time.

In 1956 two Bell Labs scientists discovered the scientific formula for getting rich. One was mathematician Claude Shannon, neurotic father of our digital age, whose genius is ranked with Einstein's. The other was John L. Kelly Jr., a Texas-born, gun-toting physicist. Together they applied the science of information theory—the basis of computers and the Internet—to the problem of making as much money as possible, as fast as possible.

Shannon and MIT mathematician Edward O. Thorp took the "Kelly formula" to Las Vegas. It worked. They realized that there was even more money to be made...
Recommended by P. D. Mangan, and 1 others.

P. D. Mangan@MarquisDeMarche @natstewart5 Great book. (Source)

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Recommended by P. D. Mangan, Steven Pincus, and 2 others.

P. D. Mangan@_expeditionary I've read some of that. Great book. (Source)

Steven PincusThe case that he made…was that what happened in England in 1688-9 was completely the opposite of what had happened in France in the 1790s. (Source)

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The Physiology of Taste

Or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy

A delightful and hilarious classic about the joys of the table, The Physiology of Taste is the most famous book about food ever written. First published in France in 1825 and continuously in print ever since, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin’s masterpiece is a historical, philosophical, and epicurean collection of recipes, reflections, and anecdotes on everything and anything gastronomical. Brillat-Savarin—who famously stated “Tell me what you eat and I shall tell you what you are”—shrewdly expounds upon culinary matters that still resonate today, from the rise of the destination... more

Gary TaubesThis book used to be described as the most famous book ever written about food. He has several chapters on the cause and prevention of obesity. (Source)

Barry C. SmithI’ve chosen The Physiology of Taste by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin — a French philosopher, early physiologist, a gourmand who was fascinated by taste and eating and diet and ways of living all involving the consuming of food and drink. What I love is the particular attention to detail that allows him to focus exactly what is going on in us as tasters when we’re consuming food and drink. Most... (Source)

P. D. Mangan@Blacklabellogic Yes, first diet book ever. Brillat-Savarin wrote about how overweight people love carbs in the early 19th century. (Source)

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Microbe Hunters

“It manages to delight, and frequently to entrance, old and new readers [and] continues to engage our hearts and minds today with an indescribably brand of affectionate sympathy.”—F. Gonzalez-Crussi, from the Introduction

An international bestseller, translated into eighteen languages, Paul de Kruif’s classic account of the first scientists to see and learn about the microscopic world continues to fascinate new readers. This is a timeless dramatization of the scientists, bacteriologists, doctors, and medical technicians who discovered the microbes and invented the vaccines...
Recommended by Seth Mnookin, P. D. Mangan, and 2 others.

Seth MnookinIt’s such a fun book — to the extent that something about searching for microbes can be fun. I got the sense that the author was saying very consciously, “This is awesome and exciting and I’m going to show that!” I just love those types of stories. It’s one of the reasons I like The Ghost Map also: it’s really a story of this small group of people who changed our entire understanding of the world... (Source)

P. D. Mangan@ClemensXI Glad you asked. Literally, it's the biology of very small organisms, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi. The story of van Leeuvenhoek, the first microbiologist, is fascinating, and you might try the book Microbe Hunters by de Kruif. (Source)

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