Here are some books I finished reading recently.
This is Your Brain on Music -- The Science of a Musical Obsession
by Daniel Levitin, Ph.D.
A fine book on how our sense of hearing works, especially with respect to music, written by a McGill psychology professor who is also an accomplished musician. I'm reading this as source material for an article I've been writing for way too long. Some bits are very insightful, and others I disagree with. But it's certainly a good read.
Improvising: My Life in Music
by Larry Coryell
This is Larry Coryell's autobiography, just released. And I'm a huge fan, so I lapped it up. There's something about his joyful fusion of musical genres, his skill and his originality that have had a huge influency on my own guitar playing.
On the downside I gotta say that Coryell is not the best author in the world, and it's a little weird that he mentions drugs on almost every page. But hey, it's from the heart, and the stories he tells are wonderful. He's also included copies of many of his Guitar Player Magazine columns in the appendix, with extra commentary, and a companion CD with demonstrations.
America Alone, The End of the World as We Know It
by Mark Steyn
Mark Steyn is brilliant and a remarkable writer. In this book he describes how western civilization is, well, basically in a suicidal tailspin. This is an important work.
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
Economist Steven Levitt sure has a unique way of looking at things. Fascinating and fun. Hey, any economics book with a chapter called, "Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live with their Moms?" is surely a blast.
The Freakonomics Blog (Which, itself, is pretty cool.)