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I generally avoid books written by Journalists, especially for technical fields. I've been told by some Professors that a journalist will contact various experts in a field for a given hot topic and write a book on their notes (I assume they get compensated). The information in the book is still useful and should be fairly well written. However if you're looking for the high signal stuff, you're better off reading a book by someone who is actually in the field vs an outsider. Preferably someone who is on the cutting edge of the field. That's important to me because I'd rather read about ideas who are active in their field vs. an outsider/generalist. (Note that I have nothing personal against journalists. I simply view what they write as second hand knowledge. i.e Do you think a journalist can capture the nuance and context of a particular subject such as Evolution? I would trust Richard Dawkins to achieve that and do a better job)

I've had pretty good success with this method. As a browse the book store, I check the author and put down books that are written by journalists. If the author is a researcher or a distinguished person in their field I take a closer look at the book and check the reviews.


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