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The 15 books I read in 2016

Books

This year, I did not read as much as wanted to – just 14 books (vs. 18 books last year). Most were recreational, as I did a lot of technical reading in proceedings. 

5 Stars

  • Grundkurs programmieren in Java (Tech) I was teaching an introductory class in procedural programming and found this book. Now in its 7th edition, it's really polished, and still has been updated with the latest language features. Kudos!
  • Model-Based Systems Architecture (Tech) Excellent, well-researched book on the topic.
  • Hardcore Zen (Spirituality) Refreshing look at meditation, Buddhism and spirituality, written by a punk.

4 Stars

  • The Memory of Earth (SciFi) First book of the homecoming saga. The homecoming saga is a five-part tome, modeled after the Mormon bible. Except that there is no god, but a supercomputer.
  • The Call for Earth (SciFi) Second book of the homecoming saga
  • The Ships of Earth (SciFi) Third book of the homecoming saga
  • The Ghost Brigades (SciFi) Part two of Old man's war. Nice and entertaining continuation of the story.
  • Marooned in Realtime (SciFi) Not as good as other books by Vernor Vinge, but still pretty high up there!

3 Stars

  • Launch (Marketing) The book contains great advice on online marketing and selling. Unfortunately, the substance of the book fits of 20 pages, and it fells like it's written by a used car seller.
  • Earthfall (SciFi) Forth book of the homecoming saga. Now the series starts to get seriously weird.
  • Er ist wieder da (Novel) Super-dark satire of Hitler in the 20th century. A fun, quick, read, but not very deep.
  • The Swarm (SciFi) This is by now a classic, and a great story. But the last part of the book is just... too much, and the resolution not very convincing.
  • Unterseebootbau (Tech) I read this fairly old book for work.

2 Stars

  • Earthborn (SciFi) Fifth book of the homecoming saga. The ending totally disappointed. A lot of questions are not resolved, and with a whole new set of characters, it feels quite disconnected from the previous four books.
  • Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All (Novel) I abandoned this book, but picked it up again. It definitely got better. But still, a book full of miserable characters.

The 18 books I read in 2015

Books

This year I read 18 books, more than last year. Here they are:

5 Stars

  • A Deepness in the Sky (Hard SciFi) - Absolutely amazing story where a planet is invaded by aliens – but the invading aliens are humans.
  • The 48 Laws of Power (Politics, Leadership) - Great book to understand power people, and how to deal with them. Chock-full of fun anecdotes and historical facts.

4 Stars

3 Stars

  •  Encounter with Tiber (Hard SciFi) - Decent SciFi of aliens unsuccessfully trying to invade earth.
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Novel) - This was a strange book, about monsters and children with special powers living in a time bubble.
  • Think like a freak (Business) - This "Sequel" to Freakonomics was a little disappointing, as it was essentially just a collection of anecdotes, with little analysis.
  • Incose Systems Engineering Handbook 4.0 - Finally a professionally edited version of this standard book. While a must-read for systems engineers, it's not the greatest technical book I ever encountered.

2 Stars

  • Santiago (SciFi, Western) - Essentially a Western set in space about a bounty hunter's chase. Full of plot holes, and, well, just stupid. I almost abandoned it.
  • And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead (Cyberpunk, Short Story) - Quick read of a synthetic girl saving her partner, who was stuck in a computer. Not memorable.
  • Bright Messengers (SciFi) - This book is set in the Rama Universe, and as I enjoyed the Rama books, I picked this up. The story starts promising, but becomes stranger, and at the same time feels like a rehash of the Rama story. The book ended halfway through, so I picked up the sequel, which I abandoned (see below).
  • Organisation für Komplexität (Business) - I got this book at a conference where the author held a keynote. The book is little more than a collection of platitudes, sorry.

1 Star

  • F (Novel) - A book full of miserable, two-dimensional characters. Really not worth it.

Abandoned

  • Double Full Moon Night (SciFi) - This is the sequel to Bright Messengers, which I abandoned halfway through. It just got too stupid. When I read the synopsis online, I got confirmed in my assessment that this is an utterly unoriginal story that just recycles bits and pieces from the Rama series.

The 14 Books I read in 2014

Books

I started to use Goodreads to track what I am reading (but I prefer to tell you about here).Here is the list:

5 Stars

4 Stars

3 Stars

Abandoned

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (Book)

Books Recommended: This is a classic from Robert Heinlein, one of my favorite SciFi authors.Storyline: The moon is a prison colony and becomes independent with a help of a computer that gained consciousness.

Triiibes Q&A Book complete

BooksBusiness I've been lucky enough to be part of an exciting experiment.  Several months back, Seth Godin set up an invitation-only website called Triiibes. This accompanied the preparation for his new book Tribes.  To get a glimpse on what's going on there, check out The Daily Triiibunal.

This group is inspiring, and moreover, productive!  Together with the book launch in October, the group released the first accompanying eBook, the Tribes Case Book.  And they just released the second one, the Q&A Book.  Especially the second one is amazing in quality and done just by volunteers who are passionate about Tribes.  Check the books out, they are free and quite amazing.

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