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Book Backlog

5 min read from miscellaneous on 2019-08-24

Did you know that I'm actually the only person in the entire world that reads books? What an interesting fact am I right? But unfortunately this means that many books that I own that have never been read by anyone, ever in the history of the universe (because I have not read them yet). Today we will go through them all.

But first here are the books that I've started reading a while ago, but never bothered to finish:

  • George Orwell - 1894: This was one of the first book I've ever bought with my own money (it was like $5 and I was 14). I know you might be mad at me for not ever finishing such a classic, but I only read it in preparation for Metal Gear Solid V and I already knew the ending, so I got kinda bored.

  • Kurt Vonnegut - Player Piano: I like this book. I don't have much to say about it, I was about halfway through it but then I started wathcing JoJo's Bizzare Adventure and I gave up on every other piece of media because I didn't believe anything could top it.

  • Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie - The C Programming Language: C is actually a very easy language, I didn't really need a book for it.

  • Guy Debord - The Society of the Spectacle: This is a political theory book. I also don't understand any of it. It was originally written in French and it's English translation is very literal. I'm probably just going to buy the French version and read that instead.

Anyway time to talk about the books I've never read. Now I just realised that I won't actually have that much to say about these books because, you know… I've not read them, so I'll just give you a quote of something on the back of the book and whatever witty commentary I can come up with. If any of these sound interesting to you, I invite you to read them instead of me.

Randall Munroe - what if?

"HIDDEN FEATURE: The inside of this book has words and pictures."

This is a book by the author of the only good webcomic on the internet: xkcd. It's just Randall Munroe answering questions sent in by readers. Here's an example of a question I found by opening a random page: "What would happen if you made a periodic table out of cube-shaped bricks, where each brick was made of the corresponding element?" There's also a new book being released by the author later this year called "how to". I've already pre-ordered it so you might as well add it to this list.

Adrian Newey - How To Build A Car

"Adrian Newey has created more winners than all the super-brain computers in Formula One put together - The Times"

If you can't tell by the quote, Adrian Newey is an engineer in Formula One and is arguably the best (I'd say Ross Brawn is a close second). This book goes through his 35 year career as a motorsport engineer.

Scott Wlaschin - Domain Modelling Made Function

"Discover why functional programming and DDD lead naturally to service-oriented architectures."

I've always wanted to dive into functional programming and this seemed to be a good book that teaches it as well as domain-driven design (DDD). I've watched a few talks by the author and the points he brings to why FP and DDD should be used are quite interesting.

Martin Kleppmann - Designing Data-Intensive Applications

"How do you make sense of all these buzzwords?"

According to one guy on Stack Overflow, this is one of the best software engineering books to read to understand, design and implement data infrastructure and systems. Never read it so I can't say it's true, but it is one of the biggest books I own so that must count for something.

Ryan North - How To Invent Everything

"Herbivorous dinosaurs don't want to eat you."

I only bought this based on the title, I actually have no idea what it's about. Hopefully it will teach me how to cook or something, because that's something I really need to learn.

Keith Tanner - Mazda MX-5 Miata

"It is without question the most successful modern sports car…"

This is a book about owning and maintaining a MX-5. Considering actually own a 21 year old MX-5, this is probably something I should read.

Tevor Leggett - Japanses Chess

"This makes for extremely exciting, dynamic gameplay in which momentum can quickly shift back and forth between players."

I bought a shogi board five months ago after finishing Persona 5. I still have no idea how to play shogi.

Bartosz Milewski - Category Theory For Programmers

"Category Theory is one of the most abstract branches of mathematics."

Math scares me, but this book has cute animal illustrations so I thought I would be able to go through it. And it says that it's "For Programmers"! That's me!

Aloïs Guinut - Dress Like A Parisian

"…a wise and witty guide…"

Did you know that Japanese tourists visiting Paris often find it so disappointing that they become physically sick?[1] This has nothing to do with the book, I thought it was a fun fact.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_syndrome