Well, another list post of favourites for the year.
1. The Mechanical Turk: The True Story of the Chess-playing Machine That Fooled the World by Tom Standage. I had read Standage's other book The Victorian Internet, and found that fascinating. The mechanic turk looked at the eighteenth century wooden 'robot' that could play chess and win. Its interest inspired Charles Babbage to start work on a computer and even played Napoleon I.
2. 1968: The Year that Rocked the World by Mark Kurlansky. Again I read his previous book on Salt: A World History and Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World. Its the year of my birth, so I was interested to see what events did occur.
3. A History of the World in Six Glasses by Tom Standage. A really interesting book looking at the social, political and economic history of 6 beverages. These being, beer, wine, spirits, tea, coffee and coke.
4. Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age by Clay Shirky. Shirky again looking at the impact of the digital generation sharing information online for the social good. Bit big society for my liking, but
some interesting points none the less.
5. Replay: the History of Video Games by Tristan Donovan. A fascinating read on the impact of video games worldwide (and not just the USA and Japan), as many others have followed.
Anyhow, thats my reading list.