2019 Reading List

#books 3 min.

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. Raymond Chandler basically invented the harboiled detective trope. While I can appreciate this book in that context, I did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. A year or two late to the party, but still got there. Not much left to be said really, just that I found it as good as everyone said it was.

Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari. More of the same. Fine.

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari. Now this one just felt unneeded.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. I loved Seveneves, so thought I would enjoy this one. It was fine.

The Mythical Man-Month book by Fred Brooks. One of the classics in my field, and for a good reason. So many intuitions and observations that most of us have had over the years are concisely put into words and explained. The fact that 50+ year-old lessons still apply to our industry emphasises that the biggest problems in software are not about technology, but about people. Since it's a compilation of essays, you don't need to read it cover-to-cover to appreciate it. In fact, it's probably best to keep it at hand and read it occasionally, instead of getting through it all at once - it can seem somewhat repetetive if done this way.

The Master and Margarita Novel by Mikhail Bulgakov. I listened to the russian audiobook, and I am so glad I did. Can't imagine how anyone could translate something like this to any language. I was blown away how effortlessly Bulgakov manages to combine humor and drama in a single complex story without any of it feeling jarring or out of place. How can something written in Stalinist Russia feel so fresh? No wonder it took Bulgakov 12 years to write and many decates after his death to be published. Easily one of my favorite fiction books.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel. If you're gonna read one book about investing, this one would be a decent pick. Light in tone and informative, it gives you all the mental tools you need to understand the mechanics of passive investing. Not much in it for people already familiar with the topic.

Wally Roux, Quantum Mechanic by Nick Carr. It was a free audible original, and it was 2 hours long, so I thought why not. It's young adult fiction, so I'm clearly not in the target. Still, it was refreshing to break the pattern of long and complex books with something plain fun.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. I've previously read American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and was expecting something similar here. Sure enough, it's exactly what it says in the box - a modern re-telling of the old viking tales. Fun and just short enough to avoid becoming too repetetive. I've enjoyed it, but that's about it.

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Est. 2011