I go through books but I just don’t bother to write them up. So, in quick summary, some of the things I’ve picked up (more or less) recently:
- Robert Hughs’ The Fatal Shore. His style is florid and bombastic but he tells a great story and it is a huge, sweeping story (it would be hard to tell about the founding of a country without it being one). He has a premise but the book is largely a character-focused history and doesn’t dawdle much on the larger historical framework other than to note it’s there. It’s such an entertaining read, sympathetic and sometimes hardnosed, that I did not miss the context or get bogged down by the less than strictly chronological treatment. I’m looking forward to reading one of his other works Barcelona.
- The American State Fair by Derek Nelson. Ignore the text and gawk at the plates, the words are filler for a gorgeous picture book. I picked it up on the cheap from Hamilton Books.
- I’ve tried, fairly successfully, to stay away from Microsoft products for several years but I borrowed a copy of Solomon & Russinovich’s Inside Microsoft Windows 2000, 3rd Ed.. It’s sort of interesting but I’m plodding through it, reluctant to spend a sunny weekend setting up a machine for playing with this information.
On the left-hand side of my desk waiting to be read and applied I have a few more…
- I bought copies of Richard Stallman’s GNU Make and Debugging with GDB. I’m not sure they’re better than just using the manpages and STFW or that I’ll really get anything out of them but at least my purchase supports GNU.
- Realizing how stale I had become in six years (or, how tenuous my grip was originally), I pulled off my shelf Software Solutions in C. I had to scrounge around my old disks but I came up with the source code. I haven’t looked at this book since 1995 or so and, probably when winter creeps in, I’ll work through the examples again. Actually, I should bring home from work the rest of my C books (K&R, Plauger, Steele) and brush up.
- I must have felt flush when I ordered books last week because even though I’ve been using qmail for years and only sometimes refered to the life with qmail site, I popped for David Sill’s Qmail Handbook.