Books

Sadukie tagged me with her books post a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been meaning to respond with a post of my own.  I have a post I update periodically that includes some of my most recommended developer books (where I’ve been meaning to add Agile Principles, Patterns, and Practices in C# by Robert and Micah Martin) – if you’re looking for ways to improve yourself as a software developer I would start there.

Currently Reading

Right now I’m reading Disclosure, by Michael Crichton.  I’m a fan of his stuff, and in the last year I also read Next, State of Fear, and A Case of Need.  I’ve also been reading a lot of James Rollins novels (which Michelle got me started on), which are good light entertaining reads.  I’ve read Deep Fathom and Sandstorm and Amazonia, and I think my next one is Map of Bones, which I’ve not yet started.  Deep Fathom is a good one to start with if you’re so inclined.  The Percy Jackson books, which I read shortly after my then-7-year-old daughter read, were also fun and entertaining.

Digital Reader

My wife got me a Nook for Christmas this past year, and I took it on several trips and loaded it with a few books from the library and PDFs of things I wanted to read later.  It worked pretty well at first, but I have to say I’m not very happy with it at the moment.  It keeps getting into a state where I can’t turn it on or interact with it.  I won’t bore you with the details of all the various rituals I’ve gone through in terms of charging, connecting to AC vs. PC for power, resetting, etc. but suffice to say it’s been rather frustrating (even moreso than trying to get it out of its original packaging, for which there are videos to show you how to do it).  In short, I think I would rather try a Kindle, or maybe even an iPad, in lieu of this device.  The one thing that it has that’s cool, which I’m not sure the other devices support, is grabbing digital books from the local library.  But of course when you can’t get the thing to turn on, the allure of such things fades.

Recommendations

One book I really enjoyed reading last year is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  I’ve been meaning to blog about the book and its relationship to Software Craftsmanship (which, by the way, there’s a group that meets in Hudson Ohio monthly to improve themselves in this regard), and hopefully I’ll get that done soon.  However, whether you’re a software developer or not, this is certainly an interesting book to read.  There are some great lessons about quality that I think are worthwhile for any reader.

Also, though they’re not books, I highly recommend the web comics XKCD and Calamities of Nature for geeks.

Tag!

So what are you folks reading these days?

  • Chris Patterson

    You’re "reading" Disclosure right now? How could you put it down.

    I stayed up all night and finished it the day I got it back in 1994. One of his best IMHO, especially for a tech geek.

    Soul of a New Machine was a great book too, all about the old days at Digital Equipment Corp.

    The Rollins books are fun reads, but they get formulaic after the first couple of each series (I mean, how else can you knock out 2-3 books a year)…

    Good meme, I’ll try to post my response if I’m tagged.

  • ssmith

    Oh, and I forgot to add A Brief History of Time as one of my favorites, and I just recently listened to A Briefer History of Time on a 5 hour drive up to Toronto (as an audiobook) which I found very similar to the original (and probably a bit easier to grok while driving/listening).

  • ssmith

    @Chris,

    For some reason Disclosure hasn’t *really* grabbed me yet – I’m about 100 pages in. I agree about the Rollins books, but they’re still entertaining. Thanks for the comment, and in case you need permission, "TAG!" go tell us about your books!

  • Michael C. Bazarewsky

    Steve,

    I picked up a nook a few weeks ago, just before a week-long trip out of town. The first one started to act very flaky on me partway through the trip – rebooting on its own often, sometimes not being responsive, etc. Took it back to the store (Crocker Park), after the 14 day return window, and they exchanged it for me on the spot, no problem. Might be worth trying even after this much time; the replacement nook is clearly different hardware and there’s some talk on some of the e-reader forums that it is different hardware but nobody is sure on the details. The new one has been absolutely solid and trouble free.

  • Slava Agafonov

    You forget Phill and his blog Haacked: http://haacked.com

  • Aurana Books

    Academic books on-line might be purchased from a net site if the web site is trustworthy and has good reputation. By buying educational material off the web, you presumably can make certain you get world-class quality because books offered on-line come with readers’ rankings and you ought to purchase books primarily based on the scores and feedbacks provided. Some web sites also provide clients with reductions, especially for bulk orders. The question is, the place are you able to get educational books online?