The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Truly one of the classics in “geek literature”. I read this when I was around 13 (I think) in Swedish so it was time to re-read it and in English this time. I’ve picked it up once before but thought it had too much nonsense then. This time I was ready for nonsense and it was great!
It’s smart, it’s funny and there’s a lot going on all. Will definitely read the rest of the series now.
Hello Ruby - Adventures in Coding
A childrens book about programming? Sounds weird but it absolutely works! I bought it when it was first released and I also had the pleasure to invite the author Linda to here when I was in the Øredev conference program committee.
This time I re-read it for the first time for my daughter. She’s too small to understand anything yet but she seemed to enjoy my voice and looking at the pictures.
I’ll be sure to read it to her more times as she grows up.
The girl with the lower back tattoo
Not sure why I picked up this book. I’ve never really seen anything by Amy but I guess this was recommended to me at some point. The book is a really good read though. It’s a autobiography filled with a wonderful mix of comedy and tragedy. Everything feels very real and Amy must be given credit for her ability to convey horrible things which has happened to her in a serious but at the same time humorous way.
I’ve heard a lot about this book on the podcast greater than code. The book is written by Marshall Rosenberg and details his communication process. It’s one of those books you should revisit and read several times. Generally a very good book, gave me a lot to think about and I think it does improve communication skills. At times the real world stories seems almost too good to be true. Still too early to tell if the approach works or not, but I believe it will (at least to some degree).
In Order to Live
This is an extremely good & touching book written by Yeon-mi Park. She was born in North Korea, fled to China but was forced into trafficking until finally reaching South Korea. It’s unbelievable how much misery Yeon-mi has been through. The book will both give you a chance to peek in to the mind of someone raised in a dictatorship and how adapting to the outside modern world can be challenging, but also a how traffickers take advantage of the ones in need.
Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
How to raise a child as a feminist, written as a letter from the author (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, mentioned below) to her friend. It’s short, concise, easy to read / understand and on point. It served as a good reminder for me that not all countries or communities has progressed particularly much, at least I would be truly chocked if I heard anyone telling the parents of a new born girl that you wish she find a good husband when she grows up.
The second book (Finn Family Moomintroll in English) about the Moomins from Tove Janssons that I read. This is the book where Thingumy and Bob arrive clutching a large suitcase containing the King’s Ruby which they stole from the Groke. I once saw a documentary about Tove Jansson where it was claimed that this was based on Tove’s love towards another woman which they had to keep secret since homosexuality was illegal at the time in Finland.
Being a Dad Is Weird: Lessons in Fatherhood from My Family to Yours
A humorous book written by Ben Falcone who shares his thoughts about what it’s like being a dad - but in reality the book is mostly a bunch of anecdote about his father (which is not a bad thing). It’s an easy read, funny and humane. I liked it a lot. A good light read.
Harry Potter & The prisoner of Azkaban
Third book in and off to a great start. I remember that the Prisoner of Azkaban was the first movie that was starting to be decent in the series.
The books are generally getting better and better but for some reason I got tired and unfocused by the book’s ending.
Lupin is still one of my favorite characters from the series.
Harry Potter & The philosophers stone
I read all the Harry Potter books in Swedish while growing up, now many years later I thought it was time to revisit them and experience them in their original language.
The first book in the series was as good as I remembered it and I think it still holds up. It’s an amazing magical world to escape from reality into!
(I feel like Harry & Gryffindor wins a bit too much, poor Slytherins.)
Harry Potter & The chamber of secrets
Continued with the second book and I’m still very pleased with them. It was so long ago that I read them that I don’t remember many of the major plot points so they’re still a blast to read.
Dobby was perhaps more annoying than I remembered but overall another great book with a lot of the Hogwarts mysticism.
The 4 – Hour Body
Tim Ferris is an partly interesting, partly insane, and always rigorously testing and trying out new things. This book is intended to give you tips for getting a hot body. While many things sounds scientifically rooted, some just isn’t and that undermines the entire book. Two glasses of red wine every day is ok - could that be because Tim really likes wine? Sleep 2 hours per day and perform better than on 8 hours - are you fucking kidding me?
There’s also a chapter about sex which include detailed guides along the lines of “do 9 half-insertions followed by one full insertion, repeat for five minutes” and an anecdote along the lines “once I ate huge amounts of stake and I made ladies so horny that they threw themselves at me”. Ugh…
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
It’s hard not to notice the super entrepreneur Elon Musk, mostly known as the man behind Tesla and SpaceX. This book gives a colorful insight into his life and the history of himself as well as his companies.
After reading it I found myself partly amazed at his tireless efforts to continue no matter what backlashes, but also disgusted about how he treats his employees including being mad at a co-worker for leaving to witness the birth of his child.
We Should All Be Feminists
This is a short read and can probably be considered a primer to feminism. It’s the first feminist literature that I’ve read and I found it well argued, on point and very relevant. This should be a no brainer for everyone to read and would serve well as being part of our educational curriculum.
You can also watch the TedTalk presented by the auther herself - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I believe this TedTalk is pretty much identical to the book content.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
It has been a long time since I read the original Harry Potter books but back then I really loved them. This book took a little while to get used to reading since it is a script for a play. This gives the story a weird flow but after a while it’s pretty nice, fast paced and mainly dialog.
I’m not really fond of ‘grown up’ Harry Potter who avoids eating sugar - I want an escape from reality. Overall though it’s good enough.
The Little Elixir and OTP Guidebook
This is the perfect book for learning OTP if you already know a little bit of Elixir - or if you’re mostly curious about learning OTP and not all the semantics of Elixir.
It will give you a short intro to Elixir, dive deeper into OTP behaviors, supervision, distribution, fault tolerance, load balancing and finish with exploring type specification, property based and concurrency testing.
It’s easy to read, encouraging and on point. I liked it a lot.
Kometen kommer (Comet in Moominland) is the second Moomin book in the series but the first one I’ve read.
It’s filled with wonderful whimsical characters but at the same time has an unnerving feeling about inevitable disaster (the book was written during the second world war).
Some pages contains beautiful illustrations by Tove herself which adds to the reading experience.
Truly one of the classics in software development. It has some clues which reveals its age, such as the mentioning of 640x480 screen resolution is, but it still feels timeless and relevant.
This is one of those books every programmer really should read at least once. It’s filled with good tips, both in terms of technology but also regarding human behavior.
Whatever background you have, whether you’re experienced or a beginner, if you haven’t read this book yet you really should!
Distributed systems for fun and profit
This is a free e-book written by Mikito Takada which covers a variety of topics associated with distributed programming. It’s kinda short and I imagine some might say that it only scrapes the surface while other will get more than enough details. In my opinion, it’s enough to make you understand the fundamental aspects while deliberately avoiding the complicated, gritty details. If you do want to understand something in detail, the author will point you to the appropriate place for that as well.
The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly
A cute, but at the same time, dark and challenging story about a hen who longs for freedom and a better life. Many parallels can be drawn to how we humans live and I think we all can relate at least to some of the events which takes place throughout the book. The book is not very long which I liked; it’s condensed, well written and I think it will stay with me for a long time.
Bli grymt rik på aktier!
This is a Swedish book about doing business on the stock market. It’s a light read with 150 pages and it teaches you the most fundamental things to think about when dealing with stocks. The text is not very technical so it is easy to understand but it lacks depth (but that’s what I wanted). To me it felt very down to earth with a focus on long term goals and a reasonable growth rate.
Super Mario Bros. 3
Alyse Knorr, the author of this book, tell the story about the development and legacy of the Nintendo game Super Mario Bros. 3 but also the story of her experience of growing up as a girl who preferred video games over barbies. The two stories are intertwined throughout the book, you read about the launch of the game, the design of the mechanics and other curiosities for a while to then switch over to the other more personal story about her life and how Super Mario affected it. I enjoyed reading it a lot!
The Passionate Programmer
One of the modern classics of programming soft-skill books. I’ve owned it for many years but didn’t read it until now. It contains many tips about how to become a better worker and remain passionate about your job. I think this books in large can be applied for other professions as well even though it is very targeted for programmers.
This book is about the history of Pixar written by one of its founders: Ed Catmull. It explores many angles of how to combine business and creativity. I especially found the process of how the Pixar are created interesting as they often start out as something completely different and by a long iterative process are shaped into the final result we get to experience.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Haruki Murakami is my favorite fictional author and I believe this book is one of his best. 1Q84 is my absolute favorite but this one is my second choice. Strange, surreal and a typical Murakami protagonist. A perfect summer read.