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This book documents the opioid crisis from several angles--addicts, dealers, doctors, police, community--written in highly evocative, story-telling prose. Probably the most interesting story is how dealers from this small Mexican town came to explore and create a new market in the American rural heartland.  My only complaint would be its repetitiveness.  A better editor could've made it more powerful by condensing.  Even so, a fun read.  Also, fun conversation on EconTalk


What I love about this book is the combination of "small data", following around and understanding the experiences of maybe 15 or so people over time, combined with the broader sweep of the author's academic research in this area. I come away completely impressed with the commitment of the author to his subject. 



This is an eye-opening look at the dark side of big data and analytics in society. Written really as a polemic, she provides many devastating examples of the societal harms of big data algorithms, although almost all of them are for an American audience. Very thought provoking and passionately argued.  At times, a little superficial.  Still, this is a somewhat underrepresented view.  There is a good interview of the author and discussion of her book on the EconTalk podcast.  She's now a columnist at Bloomberg.



Reading this is like sitting across the table from an excited AI researcher. He creatively distinguishes five -- count 'em five -- tribes of research (symbolists, connectionists, evolutionaries, Bayesians, and analogizers). People tend to dismiss machine learning as either black box curve fitting or "old wine new label".  This book gives a much more nuanced account of what this field is about.  Sometimes, he overreaches for an analogy or example.  Nevertheless, a thoroughly good read and overview.  I learned a lot, even in the Bayesian chapter where I expected to know more. 



A real page-turner! Exquisitely written, it's the testimony of one of Britain's leading neurosurgeons on some very interesting successes and failures in his career.  I like how he marvels at the mystery of consciousness arising from the billions of neurons firing away in the brain. Filled with many fascinating details.