Saturday, June 23, 2007

Recent Non-Technical Reading

I’ve been reading some odds and ends over the last six months which haven’t been techno-geek books.  A partial list includes:

  • A few sci-fi classics I’ve re-read for the umpteenth time:
    • None But Man by Gordon R. Dickenson. Just a solid, entertaining read with great characters.
    • Gateway and Beyond the Blue Event Horizon by Frederick Pohl.  Wonderful stories, the both.  Great twists, great work with the plots, style, and voices.
    • Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card.  Beatiful parallel storyline to Ender’s Game.  This one follows Bean around and it’s full of clever second viewpoints to events in Ender’s Game.
    • Northworld, With The Lightnings, and Paying the Piper by David Drake.  One of my mostest favoritest authors.  Grimy, hard stories about warriors making tough choices in harsh circumstances.  Sci-fi war at its best, but in no small part because of the strength of the characters.
    • Kesrith, the Faded Sun by C.J. Cherryh.  Amazing story of a race which is unbending in their rules — but whose love for life and exploration is the hidden core of their beliefs.
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  Wow, it’s been decades since I read this. (Literally.  I’m an aspiring old fart.)  Amazing stuff when an adult can writeso well from the eyes and voice of a young child.  And yeah, the story’s pretty dang powerful, too.
  • The Trusted Advisor by David H. Maister, Robert Galford, and Charles Green.  Absolutely critical reading if you do any form of consulting — or any form of mentoring or advocacy.
  • The Rage and the Pride by Oriana Fallaci.  Powerful, passionate, brilliant.  A scathing rant against the fanatics behind 9/11 and the religion which has let itself be hijacked and turned away from a religion full of science, art, and peace and morphed into a boiling mass of insanity.
  • On The Weath of Nations by P.J. O’Rourke.  OK, so Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations is something I should read some year when I’ve got nothing else to do and after I’ve finished a doctorate in economics.  Right.  O’Rourke’s work is a riff on Cliff’s Notes, but with O’Rourke’s usual blistering commentary and wicked humor.  Highly entertaining, extremely educational, and certainly in line with O’Rourke’s other great writings.
  • Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose.  I re-read one of Ambrose’s various works on WWII at least once a year to remind myself that I live free and happy in the greatest nation on Earth due to heroic sacrifices by people of my father’s generation.
  • All the Hellboy graphic novels by Mike Mignolia.  I bought the seven or eight piecemeal as I was writing parts of my book — they’re wonderful, amazing, beautiful works and it was fun to work through them again.
  • The Holy Bible.  Because the technical side of my life isn’t the only part which I need to improve.

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