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 Crockford, Oracle 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.

Summer begins

So, summer began officially last week with the Summer Solstice, school ending, and surely now with the passing of June 2011 into memory. So far things have been really going well. Weather has been good, kids have been having fun with their friends, and we’ve been getting outdoors a bunch.

June saw many track meets and I got quite the tan just by sitting in the stands for 6 hours at a clip. Marco finished Lacrosse camp this week and it looks like we have a new favorite sport for him. Antonio started to get interested as well. I hope they both want to play in a league next spring. I’ve been trying to get them to play for years and it came down to downright tricks just to get them to try it. Now it looks like they’re hooked. Oh, and don’t let me forget about Serafina. She was right out there with the boys and she is able to scoop and throw like she was born with that lacrosse stick in her hand. It was amazing. I am definitely going to do my best to get her to sign up for a league next year!

Football season starts in a little over a month and I’m looking forward to that. LI Broncos football takes a lot out of our schedule, but the games are exciting to watch and the organization is well-run. Lots of cool people are involved and last year we had a blast.

We’ve been doing a lot outdoors, too. From playing in the front yard, to diving into the pool, to fishing at the Marina. I did a fishing clinic with Marco last week out east in Wading River. We learned a lot and the kids loved it.

Hope everyone has a happy and healthy Independence Day, enjoy the long weekend.