Bookshelf

Last updated July 9, 2019

I've decided to put together a list of books I've read so I can direct folks to this post when asked for something to read. Most of the time, I am asked for programming recommendations so I'll start with those. I've also read a fair bit of scifi that I'll post at the end. Almost all of the programming books have free online editions.

Programming Books

Eloquent Javascript
This is an excellent book that will take you on a journey through all of the different ways you can construct applications in Javascript. As of this post, the third edition was released in 2018 and it's likely to be fresh enough to remain relevant for some time. Highly recommended.

You Don't Know JS
Javascript is tricky. The freedom it gives you out of the box costs you a bit of weird behavior. This book series aims to alleviate that problem. The end goal is to help readers understand the why behind the various quicks of JS.

Game Programming Patterns 
Video games are an interesting problem space. You've got to pack in a lot of work into a very short amount of time. This book presents a few different ways to design systems to account for these complications. These patterns will be relevant in all kinds of different places well beyond game development.

Clojure for the Brave and True
This is a fun book with which you can learn the basics of Clojure, a very cool functional language. Finally understand all of those parenthesis! You might not be building anything big at work in Clojure, but the concepts of functional programming can help you write more resilient systems no matter what you're working in.

Fiction Books

The Commonwealth Saga - Peter F Hamilton
This is my favorite scifi series that I've read so far. It takes place nearly 400 years in the future where humanity has solved aging and harnessed wormhole technology to expand into the galaxy. With almost unhindered advancement for hundreds of years, humanity as a whole is starting to rest on it's laurels a bit. The books start with a strange discovery just outside of the wormhole network that slowly wakes a sleepy humanity to meet it. Great world-building coupled with nice character development make this a really great space opera.

The Culture Series - Ian M Banks
As of writing this post, I'm on book three of this ten book series. The setting is similar to the Commonwealth Saga in that it is set in a post-scarcity humanity, but each book is a totally self contained story playing with ideas within a shared setting. It's largely exploring how alien societies might react to a society that, as far as it is concerned, has pretty much solved every imaginable problem - or how such a society would view those that have not. I really loved book two and this is definitely worth picking up.

Humanity's Fire Series - Michael Cobley
While there isn't anything groundbreaking going on in this series, it's a very nice world that puts together all of the right pieces to make a decent space opera. Go into it with those expectations and it's a nice adventure.