The release of a new book from one of my favorite authors gave me incentive to write this list.
Because I read so quickly, for me to spend any length of time with a book requires the book to be pretty massive… as in around a thousand pages. These books fit that bill, in a very technological setting (or diving into very technical topics)
- Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon: Ton of fun if you’re interested in cryptography (from WWII and Bentley Park to modern day Public Key Encryption) and history
- Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash: A world spun with great care: a very interesting take on the Internet (think avatars like Second Life or your favorite Massively Online Multiplayer Game, and a very interesting world outside the Internet - with mobsters, swords, a trek north on a tricked out motorbike. And skate-punks too.
- Neal Stephenson’s Anathem: I can’t wait to check this book out (September 9, 2008)!
- Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle: composed of 3 1,000 page books, this took me a whole summer. A romp through Medieval Europe, with side examinations of trade, money… all kinds of good stuff. Oh right… and it has some of the history of the families from Cryptonomicon. Baroque Cycle Book 1 (Quicksilver), Baroque Cycle Book 2 (Confusion), Baroque Cycle Book 3 (System Of The World)
- The Cuckoo’s Egg: A hippy-ish astronomer turned sys admin/hacker tracks hackers through all kinds of early 1990s systems to… you guessed it… East Germany. All real.
- Microserfs: Were you paying attention to the programming technologies coming out of Apple and Microsoft in say 1992-1993? (Ie: Do you remember yack about Pink or OpenDoc?) If so this book will bring back a lot of memories… and is just a good story about work, family, and companionship.
- Things A Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About: A lecture and question and answer format where one of computer science’s great writers talks about his Christianity, his experiences writing a book where he analyzes verse 3:16 of every book in the Bible, etc. Fascinating.