Sunday, August 21, 2005

Summer Reading Review

As I try to wrap up the summer, I wanted to publish a consolidated list of the reading I got done this summer. Admittedly, there is a lot more fiction in this list than computer science related stuff. But hey, it is summer, and reading fiction was fun. I heard a quote today:

"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes."
-Desiderius Erasmus

Isn't it just fantastic? Now my spending habits may be a bit more complex than that, but books certainly have had a large influence in how I have chosen to spend my hard earned pennies this summer. Without further ado, here's the list.

CS RELATED
Joel on Software
What a great book. My copy has post-it flags coming out of numerous pages. There were so many essays that resonated with me. If anyone is looking for an insider's view of software development, this is a good one.

Out of Their Minds
This book was recommended to me by my first CS teacher Art Lee It was a fascinating read about the beginnings of computing. I really appreciated hearing about the first programming languages from the actual inventors. Thanks to some careful narration and explanation this book is easily readable by anyone.

Algorithmics
Detailed, Thorough, and defiantly not for the faint of heart with regard to math talk. I am still chugging away on this one. I would have finished it MONTHS ago, if it weren’t for the fact that I can only digest a few pages at a time.

The Best Software Writing I
An entertaining, and quick read, I wrote a review of this book on my blog here.

FICTION
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Book four remains my favorite to this day, but it was so very exciting to spend 16 hours reading book six this summer. Reading this book was very much like visiting an old friend- comfortable, fun, and friendly. Regardless of how you feel about Rowling, she deserves some credit for creating an amazing world that has captured the hearts of millions.

Ender’s Game
Not the first, second, or even third time that I have read this book. It is one of my all-time favorites. Each time I read it, I come away having learned something different. It is fascinating how time changes our perceptions.

Ender’s Shadow
This book is a retelling of Ender's Game, but from a different character's perspective. This was my second time through this book.

Shadow of the Hegemon
This book is the sequel to Ender's Shadow. Again, it was a second reading.

Shadow Puppets
I read the other Ender books so that I could read this one and the next one which finish off the story of Ender's friend Bean. This book was told in classic Orson Scott Card style, and I loved every bit of it.

Shadow of the Giant
This was the final book in the Ender's Shadow series. I know, some don't have much appreciation for science fiction, but Card is a great story teller, and his characters are so human and real it is hard to not recognize parts of you in them. Once this happens you are compelled to read every page, wanting to find out what happens next.


HISTORICAL FICTION
The next three books were also by Orson Scott Card. I hadn't planned on reading them at the beginning of the summer, but when I was raving about the Ender's Shadow series to a friend; he told me that I needed to try these books out that were by the same author. I was quite skeptical, as historical fiction has never been one of my strong suits, but these really surprised me. It was wonderful to read this author's suppositions as to what these great bible women's lives would have been like. Card certainly did a lot of studying and research to write these, and they are well executed.

Sarah: (Women of Genesis)

Rebekah: (Women of Genesis)

Stone Tables


End
So that tells the story of my summer reading. There is a lot that I didn't get done, that is the thing about books, there are more than there is ever time to read. I am looking forward to this school semester where once again I will get to focus my reading on Math, and Computers. It won't be as easy as some of the stuff I read this summer, but after having a nice rest, I am ready to take it on again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Joe love-

Tale of Two Cities really really wants you to read it. But I'm proud you spent so much time reading this summer, even if our genre preferences are so different. (Women in the scriptures: I'm taking a class on that one Joe. We'll see if we can separate fact from fiction.) Aren't you glad Finlinsons are readers?
Love,
Kate