Hub's Reading list
Updated March 12, 2015
I decided to put online the list of books I read. The book is added on the list
the day I finish it (or I mean with the date I finish it). I wish sometime I
had more time to read. Unless mentionned otherwise, I read them on a dead-tree
edition, not that it matters much.
Dice and Men, David M Ewalt
- History of RPGs - Here the author walk us through the history of Dungeon
& Dragons with a view on the players, what they look for and how the whole thing
is fun. Himself a player, he mixes storis from the last campaign he has been playing
giving us a taste good enough to want to play it.
- Designers &
Dragons: the 70s, Shannon Applecline
- History of RPGs - The first in a series of 4 books about the history of
roleplaying games, this one covering the 70s. Very informative, but very dry cut.
Sagan Diary, John Scalzi
- Science-Fiction - From the Old Man's War series,
a limited print of a short story relating Jane Sagan story from the diaries
that were in her BrainPal.
Human Division, John Scalzi
- Science-Fiction - Fifth book in the Old Man's War series.
A collection of serialized short stories that form a complete long form story
arc. Like a TV series. Sadly not long enough.
- Science-Fiction - Words are a dangerous weapon.
Jennifer Morgue, Charles Stross
- Science-Fiction - Chtulhu meet James Bond.
Cult of Lego, John Baichtal, Joe Meno
- - A comprehensive guide to understanding Lego and why
adult play with this legendary and never matched construction
(Read on Safari Online - where all pages are pixaleted)
Jobs, Walter Isaacson
- Biography - The infamous official biography of Steve
Jobs. Because it is official, it is hard to say whether it is accurate
or just meant to not depict Steve Jobs in a too bad light. Not badly
written though, ie it is not boring if you have interest about it.
Concurrency in Action: Practical Multithreading, Anthony
- Computer science - a book about multithreading in C++.
It cover the C++ library in C++11 and all the facilities for
safe concurrent programming. (Read on Safari Online)
Places, Jon Evans
- Fiction, thriller - The only thing that prevented
me from reading this book in one shot was me being tired on
the plane. The story of a hiker, software developer turned
investigator after the gruesome discovery that had similarities
with his past. A character that resonate with people as being
a regular person with a regular job.
Search of Stupidity: Over Twenty Years of High Tech Marketing
Disasters, Merrill R. (Rick) Chapman
- Computing and business - The story of mistakes
computer hardware and software companies made, that were fatal
to some, damaging to other. The author show sometime a level
of dislike on certain companies and technologies that lead to
taking some of the "facts" with a grain of salt. (Read on Safari
Wars, edited by Martin Greenberg
- Science-Fiction, short stories - A collection of original short stories about war in the future.
Control with Git: Powerful tools and techniques for collaborative
software development, Jon Loeliger and Matthew McCullough
- Computing - I learned a lot about git innards. If you use
git you should be reading this book. (Read on Safari Online)
Heroes of the Computer Revolution, Steven Levy
- Computer History - A classic Steven Levy about hackers.
Talks about MIT, Apple, early game developers, early days of micro
computing. (Read on Safari Online)
The Story of Polaroid, Christopher Bonanos.
- Photograpy History - The complete story of Polaroid, from
its inception to its fall. Very insightful view of a success story,
its founder and how things changed afterwards.
Nation Worth Ranting About, Rick Mercer.
- Political satire - Rick Mercer famous rants from the Mercer
Rules: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World
at Large, William Shatner.
- Auto biography - Bill Shatner talks about himself. Funny.
- 13th - Encyclopedia
Shatnerica: An A to Z Guide to the Man and His Universe, Robert Schnakenberg.
- Biography - An encyclopedic biography of William Shatner, the actor. A good source
of trivia if you are a fan of the man.
- 24th - Zoe's
Tale, John Scalzi.
- Science-Fiction - Sequel of The Last Colony. Actually the same story from
the point of view of a different character. I don't think it is as good.
- 15th - Autour de la lune, Jules
- Science-Fiction - Sequel of De la Terre à la Lune. The tales of the journey
to the moon inside the wagon-canonball... and its return to Earth.
- 3rd - De la terre à la lune,
- Science-Fiction - 19th century classic by Jules Verne. Sending a canonball to the
moon, this does not sound much more dangerous than the rocket the US astronauts rode a century
later. That's what the gun-club did. And it took a French to decide to have it be manned.
- 15th - The
Cult of iPod, Leander Kahney. No Starch Press
- Computers - The story of what is happening in the iPod-mania, a society phenomenon
based around the music player. Much like the parent computer, the Mac, iPod generate a lot
of fanboyism, but just at a larger scale.
- 5th - Farenheit
451, Ray Bradburry. Del Rey
- Science-Fiction - A classic of science-fiction. In a future world, the governments
have outlawed books and people just watch TV. The firemen are not here to extinguish fires
because all the houses are fireproof, they are here to burn books, those forbidden things
that the government cannot control otherwise.
- 26th - C++
Coding Standards: 101 Rules, Guidelines, and Best Practices, Herb Sutter and Andrei
- Programming - Definitely must read for any C++ programmer. Covers lot of dos and
- 14th - The
Last Colony, John Scalzi. Tor
- Science-Fiction - The sequel of Ghost
Brigades. Another face of the Colonial Union, in continuity with the two earlier
installments. It is supposed to be the end of the trilogy. We'll see how
Tale fits into it as it seems to be the 4th installement.
- 18th - Ghost
Brigades, John Scalzi. Tor
- Science-Fiction - The sequel of
Man's War. The CDF, new characters, interstellar wars, etc. Everything to become a
classic in Sci-Fi.
I really like the universe Scalzi has crafted, a universe where humanity is not alone but
still humanity is arrogant. Not that they are the only one being so.
- 6th - The
Search, John Battelle.
- Business - A book about Google and how it transformed search. Give a better light
on the begining of Google and how they came to do what they do.
There is probably even more today to talk about. That would lead to a second part. We could call
it "Internet Merchants", or "The company who sold the Internet".
- 26th - Star Maker, Olaf Stapledon.
- Science-Fiction - I got referred to this book by reading about Dyson spheres,
following the watching of Star Trek: TNG episode Relics. A 1930s science fiction novel
about intergalactic voyage.
- 23rd - Intellectual
Property and Open Source, Van Lindberg.
- Computer Science - Probably a book that every FLOSS developer should read
and understand. It demystify the most of the legal problems surrounding Free Software
licensing in a way that software hackers can understand.
- 22nd - Dune,
Frank Herbert. Ace
- Science-Fiction - No need to present that classic of science fiction. Thousands
of years in the future, the Guild of Navigators have a monopoly on space travel and
relies on the spice melange to perform their task. Said spice melange come from a single
planet in the universe: Dune.
- 31st - The
boy who would live forever, Frederik Pohl. Tor
- Science-Fiction - The last installment of the Gateway series.
- 19th - Ender's
Game, Orson Scott Card. Tor
- Science-Fiction - A great classic about intergalactic war.
- 23rd - Old
Man's War, John Scalzi. Tor
- Science-Fiction - If you like Starship troopers and The forever war
then you'll like this one. A new variation of the theme of intergalactic war with a new theme:
old people get refitted for a war with new technologies.
- 13th - How
to win friends & influence people, Dale Carnegie. Pocket Books.
- Psychology - At first sight the title looks like one of these
"the secret of my fortune"-type book, but it is not. It is actually more
and insightful teaching of how human relationship works and how to manipulate
people to have them be on your side. It is not evil, it is just exploiting the
human nature properly. Almost a sales 101 course. This book has actually
become a reference.
- 28th - The
Cult of Mac, Leander Kahney. No Starch Press
- Computers - Trying to understand why Apple customer are so
loyal despite being screwed so often is beyond any understanding. This
book gives a lot of example of what they do, without really explaining why.
It is probably hard to explain why maintaining a machine beyond economical
repair to keep it current or why some worship their Mac like a deity. I
guess, as a former Mac zealot, I'm still beyond it probably more by pragmatism.
It should be noted that I read the online PDF that No Starch Press posted
recently. They may be thanked for it.
- 11th - Rick
Mercer Report: The Book, Rick Mercer. Doubleday Canada
- Politics, Humour - A collection of Rick Mercer's rants from his
political satire television show on CBC. If you don't understand Canadian
politics, after reading this book, you might. Despite Mercer being clearly
on the Liberals side, the satire hit almost everybody, most of the time the
one in power. I think this book would double as "Canadian Politics for
- 7th - Camera
Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS3, Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe. Peachpit
- Digital Photography Software - This book talks about the de-facto
software used for camera RAW processing. Of course this is non-Free software,
but the content is interesting as it give a very detailed view of what the
users seems to expects, including by mentionning limitations and shortcomings.
A good way to specify what has to be done in a Free Software implementation.
- 25th - Photoshop
Lightroom Adventure, Mikkel Aaland. O'Reilly Media
- Digital Photography Software - First there are some nice pictures
of Iceland, but that's not why I read this book. Lightroom is a proprietary
software designed for photographer. Reading this book helps me better
understand all the subtelties of the software in order to better understand
what photographers like in it. Ultimately it will help me to design
a Free Software for similar use.
- 23rd - Banana
Republicans, Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber. Tarcher / Penguin
- Politics - Everything you wanted to know about
Republicans but were afraid to ask.
- 20th - Big
Planet, Jack Vance. Gollancz
- Science-Fiction - A mission on a big planet were
people exhiled themselves from Earth. It all start with the
crash of the space ship due to a sabotage.
- 17th - L.G.M. 2/4,
Roland C. Wagner. Onyx
- Science-Fiction - In French, part 2 of 4. An alternate
reality where Martian live on Mars and where the Soviet Union still
exists. Lot of references to classic science-fiction. Now I need
to find the last 2 parts... or just buy the newer edition.
- 13th - L.G.M. 1/4,
Roland C. Wagner. Onyx
- Science-Fiction - In French, part 1 of 4
- 11th - Le
Loup de Deb, Nicolas Jarry. Mnemos
- Fantasy - In
- 22nd - Triplanetary,
E.E. Smith. Gutenberg Project
- Science Fiction - Classic pulp Sci-Fi from E.E. Smith
republished by the gutenberg project as an e-book.
- 14th - Nine
Tomorrows, Isaac Asimov. Fawcett Crest
- Science Fiction - Short stories from Isaac Asimov. I had
read it in French previously. Seems to be out of print as well. Isaac
Asimov remains one of my first Sci-Fi author and actually the one
that made me pickup on reading.
- 13th - Cross
Bones, Kathy Reichs. Scribners
- Fiction - Temperance Brenan is a Forensic anthropologist
for the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaire et de Medicine
in Montreal, QC. This the series of books that inspired the TV show
- 27th - Trojan
Odyssey, Clive Cussler. Putnam
- Fiction / Adventure - Dirk Pitt is here to save the world
once again. Still entertaining, but still very predictible.
- 6th - Next
of Kin, Eric Frank Russell. Gollancz
- Science-Fiction - I think I already read that novel a long
time ago, in French, as an already out of print edition; this one
apparently is too, that's why I just pay a couple of bucks. "The great
escape" revisited with talent in a pan-galactic war. Leeming is a scout
in the earth spatial navy that have serious issues with the military
discipline. He is sent into an reconnaissance mission into enemy
- 16th - Worlds,
Joe Haldeman. Gollancz
- Science-Fiction - The Worlds are these asteroids in the
solar system that earth colonized in the 21st century, and that provide
unvaluable resources like energy to Earth. O'Hara is selected to go to
Earth for university. The world will change... Written in 1955, this
novel talks about energy crisis and revolution, and in my opinion does
spots it pretty well. I already liked The
Forever War, that I unfortunately own in French.
- 15th - Eleanor
Rigby, Douglas Coupland. Random House Canada
- Fiction - Liz Dunn life change the day she got a call from
the RCMP telling her that someone is in the hospital with her name as
an emergency contact. From the author of Microserfs
- 11th - Beyond
the C++ Standard Library, an introduction to Boost, Björn
Karlsson. Addison Wesley
- Programming - If you intend to use Boost, read this book. The
chapter about Boost.Lambda, Boost.Bind and Boost.Function is worth it.
Other topic covered are Boost.Signals, Boost.Any, Boost.Tuple,
Boost.Variant, Boost.Regex, Boost.Operators, Boost.Utility,
Boost.Conversion and Boost.Smart_ptr. You need to know C++ to understand
this book, but fortunately I find if very easy to read, even for the
very hairy topics. Off course this cover just a fraction of Boost.
- 30th - Expert
C Programming, Deep C Secrets, Peter Ven Der Linden. Prentice
- Programming. This rather old book (written in 1994) talks
about problems even advanced C programmers might run into. It is
interesting to learn about C design flaws, and the chapter about
C++ is even more critical. Note that in 2007 this book really show its
age but there are still several interesting bits given by this software
engineer from Sun.
- 31st - Learning
Perl, Randal L. Schwartz. O'Reilly Associates
- Programming - aka The Llama book. The book to read to
learn Perl programming. I had it for a while and read it by chunk,
mostly because of other opportunities to read or more urgent needs.
I finally finished it. Note that I had learnt Perl, self-taught,
Perl Programming (now as Second
Edition), a few years back.
- 29th - Asterisk,
The Future of Telephony, Jim Van Meggelen, Leif Madsen and
Jared Smith. O'Reilly Associates
- Sysadmin - This books cover Asterisk, the VoIP server software
for Linux. This is resourcefull if you want to get started quickly with
it. But there are a large number of page that basically reprints the
reference that is available (it is not really a reprint, but roughly
the same content). I wish it was just not there to save trees...
- 27th - Leica
M7 Handbook, Jonathan Eastland. Ajax
- Photography - Pure curiosity to read about the Leica M7, the
last of the Leica rangefinder film camera. Not sure how useful it is
if you don't have the camera.
- 26th - Lighting
for Portrait Photography, Steve Bavister. Rotovision
- Photography - Practical exemples on how photographer
setup their lighting for portraits photography. Various genres and
subject are explained.
- 19th - The
DAM Book, Digital Assets Management for Photographers, Peter
Krogh. O'Reilly Associates
- Computing, Digital Photography - Everything you need to know
about managing a large collection of photographies, as a photographer.
- 9th - Learning
XML, Erik T. Ray. O'Reilly Associates
- Computing - If you want to learn XML, this is a good pick.
The book covers XML and stylesheets (CSS and XSLT) as well as API (SAX
and DOM). It actually leave me a better impression than XML
in a Nutshell. Still an introductory book to XML.
- 28th - Understanding
SOAP, Kennard Scribner and Mark C. Stiver. SAMS
- Computing - SOAP is a XML based RPC protocol designed to work over
HTTP and other protocols. Despiting the author claiming that this book is
not Microsoft oriented, it still have example written in VB and half of the
book used for a chapter about binding SOAP to COM. That makes it go lower
in my ratings. Fortunately I just borrowed it from the office bookshelf.
- 21st - Le
saint des seins, Guillaume Nicloux. Librio
- Crime - French - Another "Le Poulpe".
- 15th - Nazis
dans le métro, Didier Daeninckx. Librio
- Crime - French - Part of the series "Le Poulpe". What could
be considered as a French pulp.
- 12th - Look
to Windward, Iain M. Banks. Pocket Books
- Science-Fiction - Another Culture novel.
- 10th - First
Meetings in the Enderverse, Orson Scott Card. Tor
- Science-Fiction - 4 shorts from the Ender's Game series, 2
before, one after and a reprint of the original short "Ender's Game". I
haven't read anything in the Ender's Game series, but now I'm intersted
in it. It only took a couple of hour to read. Apparently the title of
the book varies depending on the print.
- 9th - C++
GUI Programming with Qt 4, Jasmin Blanchette and Mark
Summerfield. Prentice Hall
- Programming - An update of
Programming with Qt 3 for Qt 4. Brings its own set a valuable
information, but if you have already read the old one, you might not
want to wast time reading this as most of the concepts still apply.
- 24th - 21
Dog Years : A Cube Dweller's Tale, Mike Daisey. Free Press
- Humour - The tale of a cube worker are Amazon, describing the
insanity found in companies of the dot-com era. Sometime scary about
what was the thinking, and may be a good reason why the bubble imploded,
even thought Amazon is still around, alive and kicking.
- 30th - Design
Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software, Erich Gamma and al..
- Programming - Design Patterns are concept for programming oriented towards maximum code
reusability for object-oriented programming. Any OO programmer probably use some
design patterns without even knowing. A must read.
- 12th - The Design
of Everyday Things, by Donald A. Norman. Basic Books
- Psychology and design - Describing today human interaction design problems by just taking example on
everyday things, like taps, door nobs and telephone systems and the user
- 10th - The Humane
by Jef Raskin. Addison Wesley
- Computer Science - This book provides you with theory and practical example on how to make a user
interactive interface more humane. It also provide you with new directions to explore
as well a some way to compute how efficient is your interface.
- 3rd - User Interface
Design for Programmers, by Joel Spolsky. APress
- Computer Science - A must read for anybody willing to write
software with UI. This book is about common sense
in user interface design, not about the peculiar of UI. Really pragmatic.
- 27th - Revolution
in the Valley, by Andy Hertzfeld. O'Reilly Associates
- Computer History - An insider story of the Macintosh
creation, with lot of little details, both personal
and technical, from one of the lead software engineer in the original team. The book contains
lot of pictures and original development documents (design notes) fron 20 years ago.
- 15th - World
War 3.0 - Microsoft and its enemies, by Ken Auletta. Random House.
- Business - The story of the Microsoft anti-trust trial in the US. A documented and insightful report
in the anti-trust trial started at the end of the 90's by the Department of Justice of the USA.
It uncovers and decrypt the thousand of pages of the trial transcript and provide background
facts. I bought my copy for CAD$2.99 + taxes, and it seems to be out of print.
- 8th - STL
Tutorial and Reference Guide (1st Edition)
, by David R. Musser and Atul Saini. Addison Wesley. Pick the
- Programming - A must read for any C++ programmer. STL stands for Standard Template
Library and is part of the standard C++ library (defined by the ISO standard). The first edition
that I read is a bit outdated, but not that much. API details can be sorted out by the online
documentation, and the rest is still really valid. The second edition stick to the standard.
- 27th - The Hacker
Crackdown, by Bruce Sterling. Bantam.
- This book, that I read in electronic format, relates the story of computer crime and
phreaking in the 80's and early 90's. I downloaded it from the Maemo Plucker port page.
- 24th - Linux Server
Hacks, by Rob Flickenger. O'Reilly Associates.
- Sysadmin - A nice generalist book for sysadmins on Linux.
See my blog
- 5th - KDE 2.0
by David Sweet. SAMS Publishing.
- Programming - The official KDE 2.0 developers' guide. Also available
read it learn more about KDE development.
- 29th - Postfix,
the Definitive guide, Kyle D Dent. O'Reilly Associates.
- Sysadmin - This book answers most questions you have about
Postfix, how to use it and how to configure it.
- 16th - Linux
Unwired, Rogers Weeks, End Dumbill and Brian Jepson. O'Reilly
- Sysadmin - It is all about getting you Linux system wireless
connected, be it through Wifi, Bluetooth, IRDA or even cellular phone.
A good practical book on how to handle these technologies, even though
they have evolved since.
the definitive guide, Jason Garman. O'Reilly Associates.
- Sysadmin - An all-in-one manual for deploying the Kerberos
authentication system into your organisation. Kerberos is a secure
distributed authentication system developed at MIT, designed to allow
single-sign-on login. It works on UNIX, MacOS X and Windows 2000 (it
is part of Active Directory). more...
Alan Schwartz. O'Reilly Associates.
- Sysadmin - is a practical book for whoever wants to deploy
Spamassassin on his email system. I explain how to install with various
MTA, including Postfix.