Book Recommendations from Don Knuth from Stanford University

Don Knuth is an American computer scientist, mathematician, and professor emeritus at Stanford University. He is the author of the multi-volume work The Art of Computer Programming. He heartily recommends these books.
Life
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Life

by Keith Richards,James Fox

About the book:  In this ingenious book Perec creates an entire microcosm in a Paris apartment block. Serge Valene wants to make an elaborate painting of the building he has made his home for the last sixty years. As he plans his picture, he contemplates the lives of all the people he has ever known there. Chapter by chapter, the narrative moves around the building revealing a marvellously diverse cast of characters in a series of every more unlikely tales, which range from an avenging murderer to an eccentric English millionaire who has devised the ultimate pastime...

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Gaudy Night
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Gaudy Night

by Dorothy L. Sayers

About the book:  “Gaudy Night stands out even among Miss Sayers’s novels. And Miss Sayers has long stood in a class by herself.”—Times Literary SupplementThe great Dorothy L. Sayers is considered by many to be the premier detective novelist of the Golden Age, and her dashing sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey, one of mystery fiction’s most enduring and endearing protagonists. Acclaimed author Ruth Rendell has expressed her admiration for Sayers’s work, praising her “great fertility of invention, ingenuity, and wonderful eye for detail.” The third Dorothy L. Sayers classic to feature mystery writer Harriet Vane, Gaudy Night is now back in print with an introduction by Elizabeth George, herself a crime fiction master. Gaudy Night takes Harriet and her paramour, Lord Peter, to Oxford University, Harriet’s alma mater, for a reunion, only to find themselves the targets of a nightmare of harassment and mysterious, murderous threats.

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An Instance Of The Fingerpost
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An Instance Of The Fingerpost

by Iain Pears

About the book:  Set in Oxford in the 1660s - a time and place of great intellectual, religious, scientific and political ferment - this remarkable novel centres around a young woman, Sarah Blundy, who stands accused of the murder of Robert Grove, a fellow of New College. Four witnesses describe the events surrounding his death: Marco da Cola, a Venetian Catholic intent on claiming credit for the invention of blood transfusion;Jack Prescott, the son of a supposed traitor to the Royalist cause, determined to vindicate his father; John Wallis, chief cryptographer to both Cromwell and Charles II, a mathematician, theologian and master spy; and Anthony Wood, the famous Oxford antiquary. Each one tells their version of what happened but only one reveals the extraordinary truth. Brilliantly written, utterly convincing, gripping from the first page to the last, An Instance of the Fingerpost is a magnificent tour de force.

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Death of a Salesperson
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Death of a Salesperson

by Robert Barnard

About the book:  Mystery and black comedy collide in this collection of sixteen stories with crime, wit, and twists to spare.

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The Haj
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The Haj

by Leon Uris

About the book:  Leon Uris retums to the land of his acclaimed  best-seller Exodus for an epic  story of hate and love, vengeance and forgiveness and  forgiveness. The Middle East is the powerful  setting for this sweeping tale of a land where revenge  is sacred and hatred noble. Where an Arab ruler  tries to save his people from destruction but  cannot save them from themselves. When violence  spreads like a plague across the lands of  Palestine--this is the time of The  Haj.

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Marjorie Morningstar
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Marjorie Morningstar

by Herman Wouk

About the book:  A starry-eyed young beauty, Marjorie Morgenstern is nineteen years old when she leaves New York to accept the job of her dreams-working in a summer-stock company for Noel Airman, its talented and intensely charismatic director. Released from the social constraints of her traditional Jewish family, and thrown into the glorious, colorful world of theater, Marjorie finds herself entangled in a powerful affair with the man destined to become the greatest-and the most destructive-love of her life.Rich with humor and poignancy, Marjorie Morningstar is a classic love story, one that spans two continents and two decades in the life of its heroine. This unforgettable paean to youthful love and the bittersweet sorrow of a first heartbreak endures as one of Herman Wouk's most beloved creations.

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On Food and Cooking
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On Food and Cooking

by Harold McGee

About the book:  Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is a kitchen classic. Hailed by Time magazine as "a minor masterpiece" when it first appeared in 1984, On Food and Cooking is the bible to which food lovers and professional chefs worldwide turn for an understanding of where our foods come from, what exactly they're made of, and how cooking transforms them into something new and delicious. Now, for its twentieth anniversary, Harold McGee has prepared a new, fully revised and updated edition of On Food and Cooking. He has rewritten the text almost completely, expanded it by two-thirds, and commissioned more than 100 new illustrations. As compulsively readable and engaging as ever, the new On Food and Cooking provides countless eye-opening insights into food, its preparation, and its enjoyment. On Food and Cooking pioneered the translation of technical food science into cook-friendly kitchen science and helped give birth to the inventive culinary movement known as "molecular gastronomy." Though other books have now been written about kitchen science, On Food and Cooking remains unmatched in the accuracy, clarity, and thoroughness of its explanations, and the intriguing way in which it blends science with the historical evolution of foods and cooking techniques. Among the major themes addressed throughout this new edition are: Traditional and modern methods of food production and their influences on food quality The great diversity of methods by which people in different places and times have prepared the same ingredients Tips for selecting the best ingredients and preparing them successfully The particular substances that give foods their flavors and that give us pleasure Our evolving knowledge of the health benefits and risks of foods On Food and Cooking is an invaluable and monumental compendium of basic information about ingredients, cooking methods, and the pleasures of eating. It will delight and fascinate anyone who has ever cooked, savored, or wondered about food.

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Food
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Food

by Waverley Root

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The Golden Gate
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The Golden Gate

by Vikram Seth

About the book:  Written in verse, this was Vikram Seth's first novel. Set in the 1980s, in the affluence and sunshine of California's silicon valley, it is the story of twenty-somethings looking for love, pleasure and the meaning of life.

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The Age of Faith
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The Age of Faith

by Will Durant

About the book:  The Story of Civilization, Volume IV: A history of medieval civilization—Christian, Islamic, and Judaic—from Constantine to Dante: A.D. 325-1300. This is the fourth volume of the classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning series.

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