What are you reading? February 2020 Edition

At least in the northern US, there’s still plenty of crap weather, so I’m sure there’s time to spend inside reading. I have also taken to reading on the train when I head into work, which has been a good distraction from the usual train silliness.

I usually split what I’m reading into business, technical and fun books, but you are welcome to post however you’d like!

Here is last month’s post as reference: January 2020

Being in Norway where all schools (private and public) were closed yesterday and the nation has been asked to work from home if possible, it’s hard not to spend time reading about Covid-19 these days. I have to teach Embedded Systems via streaming, shops are all out of essentials like toilet paper and public transport has been reserved for helt workers and others that keep the wheels rolling. Nobody will enter a train unless they can have 2m around them with nobody sitting next to them. It’s completely surreal and this is just day 2 of the closedown… I’ve found Vox to have very solid and updated information. This video also explains well why it will take about a month before we’ll see significant improvement despite a full lockdown.

No traveling means more time to read other stuff, so I’ll finish Elicia White’s excellent “Making Embedded Systems” book that I’m almost done with. Next in line is this one: “If I Only Changed the Software, Why is the Phone on Fire?”. It’s supposed to be a great book on debugging. Anyone read it?

OK, I have sat on my hands long enough, I should actually answer my own post. The big shift for me is that I ran out of audible credits, so I’m onto other methods of consuming information. I hadn’t realized how much I was depending upon it.

  • Currently reading (since Mar 1st)
  • Finished reading
    • Technical
      • Chapters 1-4 of The Art of Electronics - X Chapters
        • I’m working my way through these chapters as I take (well, took, thanks to COVID-19) the train to and from work. The chapters have some REALLY good in depth info, but I feel like I should have had the main AoE sitting next to me as I read it, they refer to the figures in the main book often. However, I’m not lugging both books on the train. It feels like a lot of the knowledge you might learn from a graybeard you’re learning from at work, so I really liked that aspect of things.
    • Business
      • The Automatic Customer
        • This is the same author as “Built To Sell” which I liked. After that he got really into subscription businesses (think like Birch Box or similar). This book was basically covering each of the different potential business models and how they work, in addition to explaining why monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is a sought after thing these days, especially by investors. It wasn’t a bad book, but really wasn’t anything i didn’t already know.
    • Enjoyment
      • All These Worlds - Bobiverse Book 3
        • The final Bobiverse book was great. I wrote about the first two last month. I don’t know what else I can say here without spoiling things, other than I race through this one the fastest of all. It was a 9 hour audiobook, which I normally listen to at 1.5x speed. So I think I listened to it in 2 days or so (some of the time was spent soldering). I should have slowed down the speed to enjoy it more! I will likely re-listen to this trilogy at some point.
      • The Handmaid’s Tale
        • A classic I had never read and wanted to read before watching the show. It’s about a theocratic future where women have no rights and are locked away baby making machines. It was actually written in the 80s, which I was surprised by for some reason. Probably because a lot of the other dystopian future novels I read are quite similar. Hell, that’s the plot at the beginning of the Bobiverse books, which probably was influecned by Handmaid’s Tale. I’m looking forward to watching the show and seeing how things are different from the book. I was also glad to see there was a follow up novel written many years later.
      • Ayoade on Top
        • Oh my this was a silly book. It’s all framed from the perspective of how much Richard Ayoade loved the 90s movie “View From The Top”. Literally the entire books relates to that movie and explaining the various (terrible) plot points with a tongue firmly planted in the cheek. It was short and was an Audible Daily Deal. Some really funny bits, but very very very dry humor, so don’t read unless you like that sort of thing.