(A previous post with the same title from 2009: Books I’ve been reading lately)
Some titles of books I’ve been reading in the past two weeks:
- M. Anthony and P. L. Bartlett — Neural Network Learning: Theoretical Foundations
- M. H. G. Anthony and N. Biggs — Computational Learning Theory
- L. Devroye, L. Györfi, G. Lugosi — A Probabilistic Theory of Pattern Recognition
- E. Hemingway — A Farewell to Arms
- Alciphron — Letters of Parasites and Courtesans
- Cicero — De Re Publica (On the Commonwealth)
Interesting mix, I guess. The first three are obviously very related to my current research. I bought A Farewell to Arms (and The Old Man and the Sea) after my trip to Key West, FL, where Hemingway used to live for a part of his life. Boy it is a good book. I loved the change of pace at the end, and the description of the retreat after the Caporetto battle (a turning point in WW1 for Italy) was pretty good, although I read a lot in the past about it, and I think Hemingway presents a watered down version of it (which really, was a disaster of incredible proportions, to the point that “Caporetto” now means “complete defeat without honour” in Italian). Anyway, it’s an intense and well written novel, I’m happy to have read it in English. I assume I cannot get all the nuisances of Hemingway’s style yet, but it was a great reading. I got the Alciphron’s book from the huge and rich library of my grandfather and it’s very funny, especially the letters of the courtesans (no, it’s not erotic in any sense). I’m always surprised by how this kind of books survived the Middle Age. I’ve always wanted to read De Re Publica and eventually managed to find the courage to start it. The first seven chapters of Book 1 are an amazing call to arms for any good citizen to be actively involved in politics and government that is very difficult to ignore.
After this, I’m kind of keen on reading Ginsborg’s “Storia d’Italia dal Dopoguerra ad Oggi” (History of Italy from 1945 to Today) again, although “today” is actually 1988. I read it in 2004 or 2005 and it’s really time to freshen up my recording and possibly understanding of it. I’m always ashamed by how little “young” Italian people know about the last 60-70 years of our country. The school system is obviously to blame, but Ginsborg’s book is easily accessible to anyone that completed high school, and, although clearly biased by the sensibility and political orientation of the author, I think it should be a must read for anyone. There is obviously the open question on how much the history of even just 30 years ago is influencing today’s Italy, where problems, parties, people are so different (or so similar?) from what they were before the fall of the First Republic.
I’ve always been blamed that I don’t read enough novels…
Posted from Rome, Lazio, Italy.