Reading List

For the first half of 2011, I did a bit of Sci Fi reading with Peter Hamilton’s awesome Commonwealth Saga and then his follow-up series the Void Trilogy. This was a total 5 books, 2 in the first series and 3 in the second. The series comes highly recommended if you’re into musings on wormholes, force fields, high-energy physics, and what happens when a man-made black hole (a Hawking M-sink) is shot into a planet’s core.

After reading that, I decided to dust off my copy of Brian Greene’s Elegant Universe, which is a book about string theory. I’ve had this one for a while. EU starts off with Newton, then onto Einstein, then the standard model for quantum mechanics, and talks about the challenges in reconciling general relativity with quantum mechanics and how each revolution corrected our earlier understanding. The heart of the book is on string/m-theory which theoretically brings general relativity and quantum mechanics together. Definitely a recommended read if you want to brush up on physics. The book is not very  technical, no math, and written for the laymen so it is a relatively painless read.

Now I’m onto Gödel, Escher, Bach, by Douglas Hofstadter. Lots of people have been pushing me to read this monster. I made one attempt at it last year, but I procrastinated so long I had to return the book to my friend John. Then I saw that work had it in the work library so I borrowed it from there and have begun reading it again. This time I am determined to finish. By my estimate, it will take me through July and perhaps into August at the rate I read… longer if I constantly need to re-read sections which go over my head.

I have a few other reading projects on technical topics that I’m working through: Javascript, the Good Parts by Douglas CrockfordOracle PL/SQL Programming by Steven Feuerstein and Bill Pribyl, and at some point I want to read Types and Programming Langauges by Benjamin C. Pierce but before that I think I need to brush up on Essentials of Programming Languages by Friedman and Wand.

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