I just finished reading Stel Pavlou's Decipher, as previously reviewed here on slashdot.
I am quite surprised at the reviewer's high praise for this book. I was highly disappointed in it, myself. It was full of bad or unlikely science, but I think what irked me most was the team of heroes and how they interacted with each other. They would have these conversations where something one person said triggered something unrelated in the next. Example (not a real one from the book):
Scientist 1: Hey! Blue crystals. Cool!
Scientist 2: I like blue ice cream.
Scientist 3: Cream is good for removing wrinkles.
Marine sgt: Wrinkles in time-space are gonna make the sun blow up in 15 mins!
You could tell the author has experience writing screenplays. Lots of good Hollywood action sequences, lots of good down-to-the-last-minute cliff hangers, lots of "well shoot, why didn't we notice that earlier" science revelation, lots of Bruce Willis character development.
Big Secrets, by William Poundstone. This book researches the knowledge that corporations don't want you to know. You thought there were 11 spices in KFC's chicken recipie? You'll be surprised at the truth!
Calvin's Catechism. I'm just trying to learn my purpose in life.
Baldur's Gate - I've been playing this for a while and still haven't finished the last battle.
Any of the games from Everett Kaser Software - Only runs under Win32, but I've had some success with wine. Warning - very addictive
Books on Programming
I get asked once in a while what books I recommend for various programming topics, and when I'm asked, I never remember. Here's a list of books I've either read and liked, or I've heard others like.
Note that I tend to shy away from those "Learn Umpity Scrunch in 20 Days" and similar books. All that I've looked at were shallow fluff.
Pretty much anything in the O'Reilly catalog, including:
and anything by Lincoln Stein, including:
and let's not omit Damian Conway:
Can you tell I like Perl?
- Software development process
Anything by Steve McConnell, including:
Writing Secure Code, by M.Howard and D.LeBlanc, from Microsoft Press - I wish I would have checked user reviews of this before buying it. I've trusted M$ Press in the past for publishing good books, but this one seems to think that the M$ platform is the only one to write software for.
Centennial by James Michener - Once again I'm reminded how glad I am that I'm living now instead of 200 years ago.
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman - Great for enhancing your relationship with your spouse, or even learning how to relate to other people.
Soon to be reading Winter's Heart, book 9 in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. The WoT is definitely a fun read. Don't let the 7,000 or so pages intimidate you. Once you get started you'll wish there were more.