I’ve missed this recurring thread, so I thought I would take initiative and post it myself.
This week I finally finished Peter Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard. It is especially relevant to me as one of my friends has just moved to Nepal to teach English as a second language, though not in the same region.
As a replacement for The Snow Leopard, I’ve made some headway into Hermann Melville’s Moby-Dick. Very atmospheric! I regret that I wasn’t forced to read it in grade school.
I am also tackling The New Nietzsche, although it’s slow going. I have yet to finish the first essay: “Nietzsche and Metaphysical Language,” by Michel Haar. What I admire most in Nietzsche is how he provides a way out of traditional Western philosophy by completely exploding the systems of his time. I haven’t read enough to judge Nietzsche’s conclusions, but I definitely appreciate his beginnings.
The most computer-sciency thing I am reading at the moment is Why Philosophers Should Care About Computational Complexity by Scott Aaronson. I can’t yet offer any insight on the paper, but I would love to see more work done at the intersection of CS and philosophy, which to me seems under-serviced.
Finally finished The Design and Implementation of the 4.4 BSD Operating System, which was a delightful and educating journey into the weird world of Unicies.
Have now started Hooray for Yiddish: A Book About English, which has already become solid joke material and has in general been fun to read.
For the highbrow “I’ll totally talk about this online but maybe never get it done”, I found an old copy of Steele’s Common Lisp at a bookstore. I also still have all three volumes of TCP Illustrated, though I expect them to take some long time to chew through.
Looking for any good recommendations on gender, sex, or kink studies. Will trade scifi recommendations.
I did my undergrad thesis on the philosophy of sexuality, perhaps I’ll have a few references that might interest you. Send me a message/comment if you’re interested and I’ll send you my annotated bibliography.
I just started S by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams, which is weird enough to be worth pointing people at. It comes in a box, and you get a hardcover novel (The Ship of Theseus by VM Straka) completely covered with handwritten annotations that tell their own story – not all in page order, either – and a whole lot of “feelies” (postcards, handwritten notes, photocopies) slipped into the pages. Too early to tell if the writing is anything worthwhile, but the thing as a whole is a beautiful physical artefact.
I’ve been picking up Metamagical Themas by Douglas Hofstadter a bit this week. It’s been several months going now, but I quite enjoy forays into abstract thinking.
After having read GEB, this has been in my to-read list for ages. I read the chapters about Lisp, and they were fantastic.
Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs Novels) for pleasure. There are some interesting ideas about living in a society where consciousness can be digitized framed within a crime/action story.
Programming Elixir for learnin. Will probably be on this for several weeks.
Altered Carbon is excellent. Thanks for the reminder; I just went to buy the sequel on Kindle :-)
Only two at the moment:
Tools of Thought: The History and Future of Mind-Expanding Technology by Howard Rheingold is basically a book about (a portion of) what goes through Alan Kay’s head.
Game & Puzzle Design, vol. 1, no. 1 edited by Cameron Browne.
I am a third in to Hannu Rajaniemi’s second book about the post-human gentleman thief Jean le Flambeur, “The Fractal Prince” and enjoying it a lot. I read the first book, “The Quantum Thief” last summer and regret I waited so long before continuing.
On the computer side of things, I am slowly getting into The Little Prover.
Yeah, I would like to read those books again, back-to-back. Struggling a bit with the continuity :-)
I’ve been interested in human factors in complex systems lately so I’ve been reading Three Mile Island: A Report To The Commissioners And To The Public, Vol.I and Normal Accidents: Living with High Risk Technologies by Charles Perrow.
For relaxing spare-time reading currently I’ve got The Knight and Knave of Swords by Fritz Leiber, because I enjoyed the series when I was a kid but my dad’s collection ended at Swords Against Wizardry, and I only recently discovered that there was more.
Currently reading Coaching For Performance by John Whitmore (my version is the 2nd Edition, its currently in its 4th Edition), Letters to a Young Chef by Daniel Boulard, and Pro BMX Skills by Lee McCormack in preparation for a Level 2 BMX Coaching course at the end of the month.
I’ve found a ‘new’ book on a 2nd hand bookshop: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to VMS by Bruce Ellis. I’m still on the first pages but looks like an interesting read as it written as a story. There is source code for some of the programs as well.
Anyone knows if there more books written like this ?
I’m attending a stem cell conference this week so not much time for reading unfortunately, but I’ve been moving through Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson over the last few weeks. I’m about a third of the way through and it’s kinda slow at this part, but I can tell the story is building. Hopefully I’ll get a lot of reading done on the long car ride home.
I don’t have it with me, but A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn is really good, my current non-fiction reading.
I read A Patriot’s History of the United States a little while ago and it’s also pretty good.
A week ago I started The Neuromancer, but I couldn’t keep up. It’s a seminal work and whatever, I guess I was not in the mood. On the other hand, I picked up Code, The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, and suddenly I cant put it down. “A book that takes you on a trip from Physics principles up to showing the workings of real computers? Woot!”. I would put it at the same level as The Elements of Computing Systems, less practical though.
having finally embarked on kim stanley robinson’s “mars” trilogy (been on my to-read list for years), i’m currently most of the way through book 2. loving it thus far.
This is not really programming related, but I’m reading the ABC Murders by Agatha Christie.
Or, I should say, trying to read it. I don’t really have that much free time.
Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History. (My wife and I have exhausted all the other Erik Larson books) The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America (about Joseph Priestley)
I am reading Teach Yourself Small Business Accounting. Not exactly riveting reading, but quite useful as I now rely on invoicing a client for my regular paycheque.
Also reading Man-Kzin Wars II for fun.