📕 100.0% done with Fletch’s Fortune by Gregory Mcdonald

📕 100.0% done with Fletch’s Fortune by Gregory Mcdonald

The second half read incredibly fast. The plot particularly began unfolding in the end almost too quickly. I wish the last act could have lasted a bit longer.

I really enjoyed the Crystal character and the snide banter she continually spouts with Fletch. The wrap up with Freddie was generally unexpected, but delicious in its oddity in the larger canon. There was surprisingly little talk of Fletch’s ex-wives or even of his potentially adding another to the collection.

Some of my favorite jokes were the chapter headings of the schedule of the conference along with even funnily named rooms in which the sessions were taking place.

I’ll hope to write a longer review shortly.

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📖 68.0% done with Fletch by Gregory Mcdonald

📖 68.0% done with Fletch by Gregory Mcdonald

This just keeps getting better. I’m enjoying some of the subtle differences between the film and the book. No surprise that the movie renamed Joan Collins to Boyd. I know I’d read this 20+ years ago and I remember it being darker than the film, but the tone seems lighter to me now somehow.

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🔖 Human Evolution: Our Brains and Behavior by Robin Dunbar (Oxford University Press)

🔖 Human Evolution: Our Brains and Behavior by Robin Dunbar (Oxford University Press) marked as want to read.
Official release date: November 1, 2016

Description
The story of human evolution has fascinated us like no other: we seem to have an insatiable curiosity about who we are and where we have come from. Yet studying the “stones and bones” skirts around what is perhaps the realest, and most relatable, story of human evolution – the social and cognitive changes that gave rise to modern humans.

In Human Evolution: Our Brains and Behavior, Robin Dunbar appeals to the human aspects of every reader, as subjects of mating, friendship, and community are discussed from an evolutionary psychology perspective. With a table of contents ranging from prehistoric times to modern days, Human Evolution focuses on an aspect of evolution that has typically been overshadowed by the archaeological record: the biological, neurological, and genetic changes that occurred with each “transition” in the evolutionary narrative. Dunbar’s interdisciplinary approach – inspired by his background as both an anthropologist and accomplished psychologist – brings the reader into all aspects of the evolutionary process, which he describes as the “jigsaw puzzle” of evolution that he and the reader will help solve. In doing so, the book carefully maps out each stage of the evolutionary process, from anatomical changes such as bipedalism and increase in brain size, to cognitive and behavioral changes, such as the ability to cook, laugh, and use language to form communities through religion and story-telling. Most importantly and interestingly, Dunbar hypothesizes the order in which these evolutionary changes occurred-conclusions that are reached with the “time budget model” theory that Dunbar himself coined. As definitive as the “stones and bones” are for the hard dates of archaeological evidence, this book explores far more complex psychological questions that require a degree of intellectual speculation: What does it really mean to be human (as opposed to being an ape), and how did we come to be that way?

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📖 5.0% done with Complex Analysis by Elias M. Stein & Rami Shakarchi

📖 5.0% done with Complex Analysis by Elias M. Stein & Rami Shakarchi

A nice beginning overview of where they’re going and philosophy of the book. Makes the subject sound beautiful and wondrous, though they do use the word ‘miraculous’ which is overstepping a bit in almost any math book whose history is over a century old.

Their opening motivation for why complex instead of just real:

However, everything changes drastically if we make a natural, but misleadingly simple-looking assumption on $f:$ that it is differentiable in the complex sense. This condition is called holomorphicity, and it shapes most of the theory discussed in this book.

We shall start our study with some general characteristic properties of holomorphic functions, which are subsumed by three rather miraculous facts:

1. Contour integration: If $f$ is holomorphic in $\Omega$, then for appropriate closed paths in $\Omega$

$\int\limits_\gamma f(z)\,\mathrm{d}z = 0.$

2. Regularity: If $f$ is holomorphic, then $f$ is indefinitely differentiable.
3. Analytic continuation: If $f$ and $g$ are holomorphic functions in $\Omega$ which are equal in an arbitrarily small disc in $\Omega$, then $f = g$ everywhere in $\Omega$.

This far into both books, I think I’m enjoying the elegance of Stein/Shakarchi better than Ahlfors.

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