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Books of 2015

Posted May 10, 2016

2016 was not “the Year of the Book” for me. Instead I moved into a new house, changed companies, and my wife and I had had our second child.

I also switched to Team Android, whilst my reading list was on my old iPhone, hence the reading list post in May.

The List

Number Book Author Finished Date
1 The Refactoring Tales Jack Franklin January 21
2 The Spy in the Sandbox — Practiccal Cache Attacks in JavaScript (Whitepaper) http://arxiv.org/pdf/1502.07373v2.pdf April 17
3 Engage the Fox Jen Lawrence, Larry Chester June 5
4 Graph Databases Ian Robinson, Jim Webber, Emil Eifrem June 20
5 The Worthing Saga Orson Scott Card August 15
6 The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty Dan Ariely August 25
7 The Music of the Primes Marcus du Sautoy December 25

Highlights

I would recommend Engage the Fox, The Worthing Saga, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, and The Music of the Primes for all audiences.

Engage The Fox is an enjoyable business and management book about team building, trust, and empowering others told through a fable. This was just the second book I’ve read in that style. The animals throughout the story are all quite memorable. Although I don’t recall the precise model the book laid out to tackle difficult business situations, I do recall many of the themes based on the different characters’ traits.

I’ve always been an Orson Scott Card fan and have read many books out of the Enderverse. The Worthing Saga is the first non-Enderverse story I’ve read of his and dannng it is a great story. I regularly didn’t know whether I should love or despise different characters and my emotions became much more conflicted and nuanced just like in real life. It will open your eyes to see people in new ways.

Dan Ariely’s book, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, is honestly delightful. I’ve always been fascinated by how the brain works. Studies have shown that we’re all a little bit dishonest and generally have a similar capacity and desire for dishonesty. If you’ve ever been interested in how yourself and others make decisions alone, in a group, or with strangers, this book is for you.

Lastly, I ended the year with The Music of the Primes. For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a certain fondness for the primes. Being in the software industry I’ve been familiar with the practical application of prime numbers for a suite of reasons. This book filled in more of the practical applications of prime numbers with an enjoyable history of our human endeavor into understanding the primes and what makes a mathematicians tick.

2016?

I work from home with two small children. I have less time for reading than I ever did, though I do intend on reading more in 2016 than in 2015. I learned conversational Clojure in 2015, so 2016 will be the year of Rust. Additionally, I plan on expanding my knowledge outside of computers a bit more and pick up some electronics and woodworking, so expect to see some books along these lines at the next installation of my reading list.


These words brought to you by Dustan Kasten. A friendly, bearded, husband, father, and user interface engineer living in Charlotte, NC. Considers himself quite partial to React.js these days. Find @iamdustan on Twitter