Sunday, September 02, 2007

What is Jordan Ellenberg reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: Jordan Ellenberg, math professor and novelist.

Among the books he mentions:
  • One Jump Ahead, by Jonathan Schaeffer, a sort of biography of Schaeffer's computer program Chinook, the checkers champion of the world. A great read if you've ever tried to write a complicated computer program (but maybe not so much, if you haven't.)
  • Murmur, a short book about R.E.M.'s first album, by J. Niimi.
  • Big Trouble, by J. Anthony Lukas, a giant book which starts out with an ex-governor of Idaho being blown to pieces by a bomb at his own front door, and which spirals out into a history of the vicious battles between labor and capital at the turn of the 20th century, and maybe more -- I don't know, not having finished it.
There is much more of interest at Ellenberg's entry, so please read on.

Jordan Ellenberg is a math professor at the University of Wisconsin and the author of The Grasshopper King, a novel.

He also writes an occasional column called "Do the Math" for the on-line magazine Slate, and has written for The Believer, the Washington Post, and SEED.

His recent columns in Slate explained how "The New York Times slip[ped] up on sexual math" and why "Roger Clemens might be worth every penny" the Yankees are paying him.

Writers Read: Jordan Ellenberg.

--Marshal Zeringue