Amit Katwala, author of Quantum Computing (WIRED GUIDES): How It Works and How It Could Change the World recommends a fascinating set of books! Before jumping into the interview, please check out Amit's book:
Q. Do you have a favourite smart thinking book (and why that book)?
I really like Other Minds, by Peter Godfrey-Smith, which is about animal intelligences – a subject that I find endlessly fascinating. It’s full of great anecdotes about smart corvids, and octopi that can hold a grudge.
Q. What's the most recent smart thinking book you've read (and how would you rate it)?
Apart from the other books in the WIRED series – which are all great, obviously – the most recent ‘smart thinking’ book I read was The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova, which is about her journey from poker novice to professional and merges three things I really like: psychology, poker and great writing.
Q. Do you have a favourite childhood book?
I didn’t have particularly refined tastes in popular culture as a child (and still don’t) – I loved the Animorphs series of books by K.A. Applegate, which are about an alien invasion by mind-controlling slugs, and a group of kids who gain the ability to transform into animals. Still waiting for the gritty HBO television series.
Q. Do you prefer reading on paper, Kindle or listening to an audiobook?
It almost feels blasphemous to admit this, but I actually much prefer reading on Kindle. I like physical books a lot, and nothing beats the feeling of seeing something you’ve worked on in a bookshop or a newsstand, but I find e-readers much more practical for reading at night, and for making notes and highlights during research.
Q. Do you have a favourite bookshop (and why that shop)?
I quite like my local bookshop but it is, alas, a fairly run of the mill Waterstone’s in Clapham Junction. I am also a big fan of Stanfords, a central London institution that sells travel books and old maps and has a huge map of the city covering the ground floor.
Many thanks to Amit for recommending a fascinating set of books! Please don't forget to check out Amit's book Quantum Computing (WIRED GUIDES): How It Works and How It Could Change the World.
Image Copyrights: Quantum Computing (Cornerstone, Penguin Random House), HarperCollins Publishers (Other Minds, The Biggest Bluff), Scholastic US (Animorphs).