My Mid-2018 Book Report

I just finished reading Creative Selection, which was a serendipitously great way to cap off this year’s GoodReads challenge (I’ve been reading over 50 books a year for the past 4 years), and it seems like a good point in time to do another book post. Creative Selection is a great book if you’re into product development of any kind, and I wholeheartedly recommend it, but there are many more interesting books out there, so here’s a short report of what I’ve been reading.

At this point in time, I tend to read three kinds of books: technical ones (which I usually don’t account for, since technical books these days are often long-winded and redundant), inspirational ones (stuff like Creativity Inc., Hit Refresh, etc., but also general science), and a lot of Sci-Fi.

My long(ish) commutes and all too common trips to Porto lend themselves nicely to the first two kinds, and my evenings are usually spent trying to forget as much about work as humanly possible–hence the (virtual1) stacks of Sci-Fi I routinely plow through.

As always, Summer break was a high point in my reading cycle, and I expect to be reading slightly less books as some TV shows make their return. Sadly, The Expanse, which is likely the best Sci-Fi book offshoot in the past decade, will take a while longer to come back, but I can wait.

So without further ado, here’s a somewhat random “Top 5” selection from my recent reads, in hopes they’ll be of interest to you:

  • Why We Sleep, which I was (ironically) reading during a mostly sleepless week.
  • Masters Of Doom, Carmack’s and Romero’s epic tale back in the Doom/Quake years, which I had gotten a couple of years back but never managed to start.
  • Ignition, an amazing trip through the history of rocketry as seen from the perspective of propellants, full of humorous (and sometimes explosive) anecdotes.
  • Space Opera, a fun romp through the kind of blissfully mind-cleansing nonsense that the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy first hammered our brains out with, but notched up to eleven by regaling us with the gibbering madness of Eurovision blown up to galactic proportions.
  • The Jennifer Morgue. If, like me, you’ve been putting off reading Stross’ Laundry series because you were put off by the first book, the second is a lot more fun. I’m now well into the fifth book, but I’m pacing myself since despite having put off this series for years, I want to make them last.

I’m now on the first few chapters of The Calculating Stars, and it shows a lot of promise as well–I might have more to say about it soon.

  1. I mostly read on my or the apps, and only miss paper when I try to read academic papers (which are a pain to go through on most devices). ↩︎

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