You must experience these.
Fantastic autobiography recounting both the life and ideas of Oppenheimer.
Incredible book (which inspired the film and TV series). Fascinating account of life in a football obsessed city in 80's Texas. A must read.
A clear account of how banking actually works (something virtually no economists understand), a damning explanation of where our current financial system with its rentier financiers goes wrong and a hopeful (in many respects properly Keynesian) set of proposals to make things better.
Four 'gospels' from Mary, Judas, Caiaphas and Barabbas. A grieving Mary rejected by her son, Judas who tells tales of Jesus for entertainment and tries to fit into the Roman world, a Caiaphas wanting to spare Jesus and the rebel leader Barabbas. Original, captivating stuff.
Outstanding introduction to Economics, without the usual mathematical tedium, focused on actual economies, giving actual details. Gives a little too much attention to some more fringe ideas (but his critique of the dominant academic economic idea is fair, if even understated); if you asked me for recommendation for a single book to read on economics this would be it.
Astonishing. You must read this, in fact if I had to choose just a single novel to recommend I think this would be it. An epic classic novel, but one which is consistently enjoyable to read.
An incredible book which is both a showcase of generative (code driven) design/art and an excellent tutorial, where each step is typically illustrated with a set of beautiful examples (rather than the perfunctory ones typically found in such books). Inspiring and informative: the best book on Processing I have read.
Tale from an outsider teenager perspective a la The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time; but probably surpases that book. Geeky central character, unusual friendships, everyday school issues and big moral issues. A must read.
Fantastic book on how to be entrepreneurial or start things without the counterproductive overwork, delusion and bs that one typically sees.
Astonishing book from Yann Martel (I had already seen the excellent film adaptation). A compelling story of the battle for survival of Pi stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger. A must read.
Mindfulness + emotional intelligence = better performance + happier + world peace. Not sure if I buy the last one, but an outstanding introduction to mindfulness and emotional intelligence for the techy/scientific/... person.
Remarkable book from one of the world's leading mathematicians. The technical details are often beyond me (and I have two degrees in Mathematics!) yet it is still incredibly engaging; a wonderful tale of how actual mathematical research happens from a slightly eccentric perspective. A outstanding classic work.
Astonishing eyewitness account of the first half of the twentieth century from the perspective of an Austrian Jew and leading literary figure. Insightful, wonderful writing; a must read.
Compelling account of introversion and how an extravert-dominated society loses out and suppresses thoughtful, critical individuals. Essential reading, with many interesting observations and results from studies (e.g. introverts make better managers of engaged employees).
A really interesting language build on Erlang (for concurrency) but with Ruby-ish, functional syntax. Clear introduction from a clearly enthused author (his favourite language) although I would have preferred more on concurrency and less on metaprogramming. Will be looking into this more.
Beautiful little story of unrequited love. Costs a few pence in eBook formats.
Great biography from Walter Isaacson. Not at the level of Ray's bio of Oppenheimer, and like Isaacson's Jobs bio, considerably longer and flabbier than it should have been (in particular places too much emphasis on Einstein's later years). But still essential.
A grim but compelling Kindle Single account of the Dresden bombing from a POW on the ground. A must read.
A fantastic historical account of Newton's work as, essentially, a detective on behalf of the Royal Mint combating counterfeiters. However, the strongest parts are early on, where Levenson concisely describes Newton's amazing contributions to human knowledge.
Getting Things Done streamlined. Compelling, picks out key elements of the famous productivity system and suggests focusing on these individually as habits.
Compelling account of the stupidity of European leaders in the build up to (the in no way inevitable) World War I. (Short, fascinating book.)
The second part of Ken Follett's twentieth century historical fiction trilogy. We follow the rise of Nazism in Germany, the Spanish Revolution, Stalinism and the Second World War, through the families featured in the first book. Again balances entertainment and historical content extremely well.
A gripping conclusion to the trilogy, filling in more details and bringing things to a satisfying end. I really enjoyed this series a lot more than (what I have read of) Songs of Ice and Fire.
Epic short novel, told from multiple (contradictory) perspectives. Initially this feels awkward, but soon the multitude threads of war, fraternal, maternal and other family relationships and grand themes of war and love pull you in. So many characters, so impressively realised in such a short work (about 100 pages). Recommended.
The final part of the epic 20th century trilogy following the lives of several families across the world through world wars (and now cold war). Entertaining and interesting and accessible history.
Impressive 2nd book in Lawrence's follow up trilogy to the Broken Empire trilogy; centred around another selfish, reluctant protagonist. Another solid instalment.
An on-the-ground report on the grim realities of start-up life in San Francisco. Captivating reading and a valuable counterpoint to the typical cheerleading views on start-ups from Wired and others (this short book is in fact an expanded version of a Wired article).
Fascinating combination of sci-fi and romance novel. Certain aspects could be interpreted as grooming, but if you are wiling to overlook that a moving story, raising issues of determinism, love and time. A must read.
Excellent, balanced account of conflict; clearly explains how both Israeli and Palestinian notions of nationhood and this conflict have arisen over the last one hundred and twenty years.
Not actually that short, a great anthology of historical olympic moments. Very interesting, if like me, you are too young to remember most of them.
Fascinating account of the life of Alan Turing. The war sections are more exciting than the ridiculously inaccurate recent film portrays. Highly recommended.
A group of a few hundred people, descended from a handful of survivors from a spacecraft, wait on a world of permanent darkness for Earth to come and rescue them. Saying more would spoil things, but a really interesting and entertaining piece of science fiction (a genre I rarely read).
Trying to do seven languages in one week (over holiday). The Lua chapter provides a clear introduction to (in my case reminder of) Lua and a good demonstration of how good it can do scripting based on low level libraries.
The 2014 version of the O'Reilly book (a free upgrade for us electronic purchasers of the old and rapidly outdated one). A clear guide to Angular.js with lots of advice on best practices.
Fantastic opening to a new series set in the Broken Empire world. Dark, compelling fantasy. A really strong start (but read the original trilogy first).
Entertaining part one of a trilogy following five families through the twentieth century; a blend of historical events, drama and romance.
A strong follow up to Prince of Thorns. Effectively jumps forward and back in time, telling its epic, dark fantasy story.
The testament of a mother having lost a son, rather than from followers of Jesus. Powerful, well worth a read.
First of dark, fantasy trilogy; a little like Game of Thrones except more tightly focused on the central character (and better written). Highly recommended.
Brilliant sci-fi centred around a a character who's consciousness is (at least for part of the novel) shared with multiple entities and who struggles with the notion of gender (she regularly can't tell what gender the people she is talking to are). Innovative, multi award winning stuff.
Great introduction to Julia which after explaining the basics covers both parallel programming and macros; then shows how Julia can be used for image processing. Another language to watch (and this is a pretty good starting point).
Historical fiction based around the Battle of Thermopylae and Spartan society. Extremely enjoyable, interesting and well written stuff; if only Homer could 'write' so well!
Worth experiencing but not essential.
Interesting little book from the School of Life series. Nothing radically new for the sports-playing, yoga-practicing, (health) scientifically interested but a nice collection of ideas, for example on the importance of the physical for 'mental' tasks.
Entertaining and frequently hilarious collection of tips on how to fake experience of skiing.
Interesting mini-biographies on a series of major creatives along with some general reflections on creation. Interesting selection, for example pairing Picasso and Disney.
Interesting, fairly clear, if becoming dated introduction to React.js Given lack of alternatives (as of November 2015) worth a read if you want to learn about the latest wonder-framework.
Clear introduction to a perverse (if interesting) language: Factor uses a stack for calculations. Testing seems nice (as have the stack to check state of) everything else seemed awkward.
Interesting, creative dystopian novel around a world where colour perception is limited and society has made a number of leaps backward and the old technology is banned.
Interesting little book connecting creativity and suffering.
Highly readable account of a Google-Facebook-Twitter-in-one company's rise and their elimination of privacy. Captures some of the absurdities of contemporary technology world well, albeit in an exaggerated way.
Interesting, short (Kindle Single) follow up to Friday Night Lights.
Interesting travel-autobiography reflection on types of silence, the lack of silence in our society, creative silence and self-emptying silence.
Interesting, unpretentious book encouraging the reader to explore drawing.
Nice clear guide to Flask (a lightweight Python web framework); as I was interested in Flask for App Engine there were quite a few redundant chapters, but otherwise seemed good.
Acceptable; I didn't regret it but I wouldn't really recommend it.
Initially funny, then it gets tedious. Shakespeare woven into Star Wars Episode 4.
Not for me (way too simple!) but seemingly clear into to web version of Processing: p5.js
While reading this Fama shared the Nobel prize in Economics for the EFM (a result clearly either trivial or wrong); Mandelbrot was so much greater, making many huge scientific contributions. This autobiography is readable though doesn't give any real details; his co-authored book on finance is better.
A difficult one to review. The translation is probably excellent (I'm not going to read others, but 'faithfulness to the Greek' has been jettisoned in favour of readability and the language feels kind of contemporary but also, due to the content, intrinsically anachronistic). The Poem is, well, actually quite dull, with very occasional brilliance. I skipped through quite a lot of it. Probably one to avoid. Just watch Troy (seriously). Or read the Aeneid (I think I read David West's translation) which is outstanding.
Reasonable book on a minimalist approach to photography: inexpensive equipment and light workflow. Some useful advice on light and composition; but nothing that special (and quite short).
Entertaining, if a bit slow and repetitive. Stick to the radio/print reviews?