Hub's Reading list - Updated April 6th, 2016

Reading list

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.

February 2016

Designers & Dragons: the 2000s, Shannon Applecline
History of RPGs - Last volume with the history of RPG companies founded in the 2000s, when the d20 explosions and burst. Includes companies like Paizo and trends like the rise of the indies.

January 2016

Designers & Dragons: the 90s, Shannon Applecline
History of RPGs - The history of RPG companies founded in the 90s, during the CCG crisis. This includes WotC and White Wolf.
Developing with PDF: Dive Into the Portable Document Format, Leonard Rosenthol
Computing - A good introduction to understanding PDF as a file format.
Strangers From Earth, Poul Anderson
Science-Fiction - A bunch of short stories from the golden age of Sci-Fi
Les Protecteurs - Tome 2 - La planète de la discorde, Mario Fecteau
Science-Fiction - The second part: Earth is now part of the league of "Protectors" and humans taking an active part to it. But how will their influence change things?

December 2015

Rust Essentials, Ivo Balbaert
Computer Science, Language - Introductory book on the Rust language.
Agent to the Stars, John Scalzi
Science-Fiction - John Scalzi first novel: a story of first contact with Earth. A fun comedy.
Les Protecteurs - Tome 1 - Des nouvelles de l'univers, Mario Fecteau
Science-Fiction - The first part of a story of the encounter of Earth by a civilization who aim at protecting other civilizations from the repeating mistakes that lead to self-destruction. Part 1 is the story of these "Protectors" encounter with Earth.
A game of thrones, George R. R. Martin
Fantasy - First book of "A Song of Fire and Ice" series that mostly match the first season of the TV show GoT.

July 2015

Effective Modern C++, Scott Meyers
Computers - The third volume of the Effective C++ series, this time dedicated to C++11 and C++14, what the new language features brings you.

June 2015

The End of All Things, John Scalzi
Science-Fiction - The latest volume in the Old Man's War saga. Not yet released in Dead Tree, this is the 4 episodes version for those who were eager - like me. A direct continuation of The Human Division. Available without DRM.

March 2015

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J. K. Rowling
Fantasy - Volume 6 of Harry Potter. Long overdue in my to read pile.
Designers & Dragons: the 80s, Shannon Applecline
History of RPGs - The second in a series of 4 books about the history of roleplaying games, this one covering the 80s. Very informative, but very dry cut.

February 2015

Of 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.

December 2014

The 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.
The 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.

September 2014

Lexicon, Max Barry
Science-Fiction - Words are a dangerous weapon.

April 2014

The Jennifer Morgue, Charles Stross
Science-Fiction - Chtulhu meet James Bond.

December 2013

The Cult of Lego, John Baichtal, Joe Meno
- A comprehensive guide to understanding Lego and why adult play with this legendary and never matched construction toy. (Read on Safari Online - where all pages are pixaleted)

November 2013

Steve 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.
C++ Concurrency in Action: Practical Multithreading, Anthony Williams
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)

October 2013

Dark 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.

May 2013

In 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 Online)

April 2013

Future Wars, edited by Martin Greenberg
Science-Fiction, short stories - A collection of original short stories about war in the future.
Version 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)

March 2013

Hackers: 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)

December 2012

Instant: 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.
A Nation Worth Ranting About, Rick Mercer.
Political satire - Rick Mercer famous rants from the Mercer Report.
Shatner Rules: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large, William Shatner.
Auto biography - Bill Shatner talks about himself. Funny.

November 2010

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.

July 2010

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.

May 2010

15th - Autour de la lune, Jules Verne.
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, Jules Verne.
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.

April 2010

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.

March 2010

26th - C++ Coding Standards: 101 Rules, Guidelines, and Best Practices, Herb Sutter and Andrei Alexandrescu. Addison-Wesley
Programming - Definitely must read for any C++ programmer. Covers lot of dos and don't.

December 2009

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 Zoe's Tale fits into it as it seems to be the 4th installement.

September 2009

18th - Ghost Brigades, John Scalzi. Tor
Science-Fiction - The sequel of Old 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".

July 2009

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. O'Reilly
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.

October 2008

31st - The boy who would live forever, Frederik Pohl. Tor
Science-Fiction - The last installment of the Gateway series.

September 2008

19th - Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card. Tor
Science-Fiction - A great classic about intergalactic war.

August 2008

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.

July 2008

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.

April 2008

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.

February 2008

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 dummies".
7th - Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS3, Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe. Peachpit Press
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.

October 2007

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.

September 2007

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 French

July 2007

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 Legale in Montreal, QC. This the series of books that inspired the TV show "Bones" (2005)

June 2007

27th - Trojan Odyssey, Clive Cussler. Putnam
Fiction / Adventure - Dirk Pitt is here to save the world once again. Still entertaining, but still very predictible.

May 2007

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 territory...

April 2007

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.

March 2007

30th - Expert C Programming, Deep C Secrets, Peter Ven Der Linden. Prentice Hall
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.

January 2007

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, reading Advanced 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...

December 2006

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.

November 2006

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 C++ 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.

September 2006

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.

July 2006

30th - Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software, Erich Gamma and al.. Addison-Wesley Professional
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.

June 2006

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 psychology.

May 2006

10th - The Humane Interface, 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.

April 2006

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 second edition.
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.

February 2006

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 post
5th - KDE 2.0 Development, by David Sweet. SAMS Publishing.
Programming - The official KDE 2.0 developers' guide. Also available online. I read it learn more about KDE development.

January 2006

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. more...
16th - Linux Unwired, Rogers Weeks, End Dumbill and Brian Jepson. O'Reilly Associates.
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. more...
Kerberos, 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...
Spamassassin, 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. more...