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Last post Author Topic: What books are you reading?  (Read 200527 times)

TaoPhoenix

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #375 on: October 20, 2012, 01:08:28 PM »
In the middle of my inventory, I discovered Alan Dean Foster's Codgerspace, about how a melted cheese sandwich proceeds to cause a factory to produce sentient machines. Hysterically silly fun : )


mahesh2k

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #376 on: October 20, 2012, 03:03:55 PM »
I was in halloween and fall mood for reading some illustrations and vintage books.

@40HZ, Have any suggestions on that?

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #377 on: October 21, 2012, 01:33:45 PM »
@mahesh2k - Not so much illustration or vintage, but some really good fall season choices:

Dragonfly by Frederick S. Durbin. A Halloween themed coming of age story that is one of the best things I've read in a long time.

Then there's Ray Bradbury's classic Something Wicked this Way Comes and The October Country

Also, for some reason I really can't say why, fall seems (to me) to be the ideal time to read (or reread) The Hobbit. I guess it's because Middle-earth always exists in a strange "forever autumn" whenever I visualize it in my mind.

And let's not forget Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Few ever captured the essence of a northeastern autumn better than that story did. Even without the ghostly elements, the descriptions and imagery are spot on.

Ah...New England and the Hudson River Valley! Autumn is what makes it all worthwhile. Here's an iPhone shot taken from in front of my GF's house yesterday. It's not too spectacular a fall from a New Englander's perspective this year - but it's still quite lovely.

10202012_0161.JPGWhat books are you reading?

 :-*

mahesh2k

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #378 on: October 21, 2012, 03:56:18 PM »
Thanks, going to take a look :)

Ah the perfect autumn.  :up:

panzer

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #379 on: November 06, 2012, 03:05:43 AM »
The Great European Rip-off: How the Corrupt, Wasteful EU is Taking Control of Our Lives by David Craig

IainB

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #380 on: November 06, 2012, 03:47:19 AM »
...How the Corrupt, Wasteful EU is Taking Control of Our Lives...
Surely not?     ;)

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #381 on: November 06, 2012, 06:02:08 AM »
Sometimes the most useful books on a given topic weren't actually written about the topic itself. A good example is Scott McCloud's classic book Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art.

UC0.jpgWhat books are you reading?

Although ostensibly about the design and construction of "comic strips" (or what cartoonist Bill Eisner used to half-jokingly refer to as "sequential art") Scott's book is really a study in how we process visual information. It's also a crash course in how we construct continuity and closure from discrete images and sensory impressions. Students of gestalt psychology will feel right at home with the concepts presented in this book.

The book itself is self-referential in that it is a comic book that explains how comic books work. Scott does this through a series of fun head games. One example of how Scott presents things can be seen below:

2012-07-25_scottmccloud-01.jpgWhat books are you reading?

So why mention this on a computer tech oriented site?

Because this is one of the best books written about web page and website design. Probably offering more insights and practical advice than books specifically written for web designers.

Give it a read. Ponder it a bit. Then read it again and extrapolate.

This one is solid gold. :Thmbsup:





superboyac

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #382 on: November 06, 2012, 09:08:19 AM »
Thanks 40!  I'm on it!

TaoPhoenix

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #383 on: November 06, 2012, 09:18:50 AM »
Sometimes the most useful books on a given topic weren't actually written about the topic itself. A good example is Scott McCloud's classic book Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art.
 (see attachment in previous post)
Although ostensibly about the design and construction of "comic strips" (or what cartoonist Bill Eisner used to half-jokingly refer to as "sequential art") Scott's book is really a study in how we process visual information. It's also a crash course in how we construct continuity and closure from discrete images and sensory impressions. Students of gestalt psychology will feel right at home with the concepts presented in this book.

There's a minor debate going on over at Gunnerkrigg Court comic by Tom Siddell (Which appears to be undergoing some kind of glitch!) where a sorta-random character named Ms. Jones turns out to be basically as old as the planet Earth, but it came through as about 3 weeks worth of wordless strips, so in his daily comments that he posts, a lot of users are getting grumpy asking for closure.
(Though right now something happened and it looks like the whole page got wiped.)

TaoPhoenix

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #384 on: November 06, 2012, 09:19:58 AM »
P.S. I finished about as much as I wanted of my book index so I'll try to post that sorta-soon. (Meaning before I die!) :)

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #385 on: November 06, 2012, 11:36:43 AM »
Thanks 40!  I'm on it!

Hey SB! I was hoping you spotted my post. Remember: comic strips are the poor man's motion picture studio. Yep! So says 40hz - and you heard him correctly. You can do much (if not most) of what you can do in a movie with a comic strip. In some cases more easily too.

Maybe that's why movies use storyboards (i.e. comic strips) during development - and comic strips can so easily (and often effectively) be made into decent movies.

:Thmbsup: 8) :Thmbsup:

superboyac

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #386 on: November 06, 2012, 12:13:25 PM »
Thanks 40!  I'm on it!

Hey SB! I was hoping you spotted my post. Remember: comic strips are the poor man's motion picture studio. Yep! So says 40hz - and you heard him correctly. You can do much (if not most) of what you can do in a movie with a comic strip. In some cases more easily too.

Maybe that's why movies use storyboards (i.e. comic strips) during development - and comic strips can so easily (and often effectively) be made into decent movies.

:Thmbsup: 8) :Thmbsup:

Right on, you read my mind.  I've been planning on how to do my first short film, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to utilize some comic book style shortcuts to make up for the fact that I am lacking in money, actors, and live footage, etc.  It will work.  I'll make up for the lack of pricey footage with strong story arcs and music-heavy ambiance.  But I'll have more ideas after going through a couple of these books.  It's a very slow, methodical process, I have to learn to be patient with myself without stagnating.

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #387 on: November 06, 2012, 07:46:44 PM »
@SB -  :) :Thmbsup:

f0dder

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #388 on: November 07, 2012, 11:13:15 AM »
Finished "The God Delusion", quite liked it - but it was preaching to the choir, of course :)

Next up: Huxley's "the doors of perception" & "heaven and hell".
- carpe noctem

Martin_130286

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #389 on: November 07, 2012, 12:01:01 PM »
I don't tend to read many non-programming books, but here's a few I have read recently and really enjoyed.

Predictably Irrational
Dan Ariely introduces a series of fascinating experiments he conducted on various groups of people to demonstrate that we all act irrationally, but often in quite a predictable way. He looks at things like why Starbucks decided to call their cup sizes tall, grande and venti. He also goes into the psychology of being paid vs. doing somebody a favour and how we react to 'free' things.

The Goal
This infamous book introduces TOC – The Theory of Constraints – and has been influential in business for a long time. It's written as a fictional novel, following the manager of a plant, Alex, as he tries to turn it around and save it from failure. Along the way Alex is helped by Jonah (who many believe to be the author in character form) who helps him understand the concept of systems thinking.

By the way, if you're not familiar with systems thinking, see this awesome short video from the late Russ Ackoff Beyond Continuous Improvement

The Thank You Economy
This book is super relevant to my startup and is authored by the amazing Gary Vaynerchuk. He's very inspirational and his book talks about the way business is changing in the world of social media and personal brands. He argues the case that business is coming back to "old town rules" where building real and meaningful relationships with every single user is how you get the edge. To quote him:

Quote
Listen to your users, absolutely. But giving a shit about your users is *way* better. People listen but they don't do *anything*. Doing something, answering those emails, giving a crap, caring about your user base – that's what you need to do.

I'm only about a fifth through this book, so I can't really review. But I don't need to to know Gary is totally right and I'm looking forward to reading the rest. Because he's so passionate when speaking, a few of my friends have recommended the audio version over the text, and apparently he ventures off into rants quite often, which sounds like it'd be entertaining :)

If you haven't heard of Gary Vaynerchuk, watch this 15 minute video immediately! Building Personal Brand Within the Social Media Landscape

That's all I've got :)

superboyac

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #390 on: November 07, 2012, 02:27:20 PM »
Sound like good books Martin, thanks!

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #391 on: November 07, 2012, 02:37:02 PM »
@Martin - some really good stuff there. The Goal is a must read business text IMO. I've been an Elli Goldratt admirer since that book first came out. Pair it with some of Deming's books on management, and a copy of Heilbroner's The Worldly Philosophers, and you have an MBA that fits on a bookshelf. :Thmbsup:

Target

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #392 on: November 08, 2012, 05:55:35 PM »
maybe not quite in the spirit of this thread, but this might be of interest

largehearted boy posted about the 'best book lists of 2012' here

ewemoa

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #393 on: November 16, 2012, 04:16:22 AM »
In an effort to reduce the number of books around the abode, trying (again) to get through the following:


Finally made it through the first one -- it may be that the PBS 4-episode series of the same name might help to watch in tandem.  I recommend at least the book to anyone who has an interest in physics  :up:

The second book is a typical de Bono book -- much food for reflection and testing but not the kind of thing that I find easy to read through.

The third book is very interesting but I'm finding it takes a lot more concentration and retention than I can easily generate and sustain.  What I read and understood felt worthwhile though.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #394 on: December 01, 2012, 09:31:09 AM »
This is my listing of most of the tomes that I decided to discard when I moved. (It's not wholly correct - I did keep some of them, and I abandoned it after I had the general gist of what I was discarding. It was mainly as a reminder that I'd picked them up at various times for a reason as part of various projects and weekly interests.)

http://www.freevoteu...com/BookDiscards.xls


kyrathaba

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #395 on: March 19, 2013, 09:29:06 PM »
Recent reads:

Brett Kelly's "Evernote Essentials"
Tarnsman of Gor, by John Norman
Cormac IV: Line of Polity, by Neal Asher
Life Form, by Alan Dean Foster   
A Shadow in Shummer, by Daniel Abraham

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #396 on: March 19, 2013, 09:51:18 PM »
@k - Gor? Are those books still in print? ;D

kyrathaba

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #397 on: March 19, 2013, 10:54:11 PM »
^I have all of them   ;D. No, they're out of print.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2013, 10:59:18 PM by kyrathaba »

Darwin

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #398 on: March 21, 2013, 09:10:35 AM »
The third book is very interesting but I'm finding it takes a lot


Perhaps you need a second brain to get through the third book?  :P
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #399 on: March 21, 2013, 09:59:05 AM »
^I have all of them   ;D. No, they're out of print.

Well...the books did come out starting in the late 60s, which were a little more, shall we say..."receptive" to some notions than they are today? Annnnnd the social mores of Gor didn't exactly "fit in" with the cultural memes and moral climate even back in those considerably more liberal times. So I guess I'm not surprised they've since gone out of print.  ;D

The truth about Gor readers
WantOne.jpg

  ;)

Too bad in a way. Once you got past, or maybe just stopped drooling over (if that's your thing), the...um...kinky stuff, there were some very good ideas and storylines in some of the Gor books. Mostly the earlier ones since Norman started to go off the deep end a bit starting with installment #10: Tribesmen of Gor. At least in IMHO.