What are you reading? June 2019 edition

Note: I decided to post the “what are you reading” posts in the Community channel instead of the semi-private Consulting channel. As such, this is a public post open to all.

  • (Still) Currently reading
  • Recently finished
    • Enjoyment (summer reading/listening)
      • Nemesis Games - The Expanse series, book 5 (Audible) - James S.A. Corey.
        • I love these books and they are effectively “junk food” for my brain. I have not yet watched the show, but it’s on the plan for next winter. This is hard sci-fi of the highest order and I am guaranteed to keep listening to more of the books. The narration is also fantastic. I try and make sure I trade-off a “junk food” book and a useful book. I had to take a break from the Critical Business Skills book.
      • In the Garden of Beasts (Audible) - Erik Larson
        • This is a book club book I just finished. Not as good as Devil In The White city, less story IMO. Really rough read in terms of what was possible in 1930s Germany, but good historical context told in a clever way.

It’s really good. Slow build for the first season (not a bad thing for such a sweeping epic) but then all hell breaks loose (which I guess you know if you’ve read the books :slight_smile:)

I love reading, and I’m happy that this post is now on the public community channel, Thanks for that Chris :pray:

I just got a few books to go through this month, and I already finished two books earlier this month.
The ones I just got are on the picture, they have been sitting in my wishlist for so long, I’m happy that I finally get to read them, I’m especially excited for The Chip, it covers the stories of the founders of Texas Instruments and Fairchild Semiconductor

The books I finished earlier this month are:-
#Adam Savage’s new book, Every Tool is a Hammer.
It’s an inspiring book, Adam share his struggles and challenges he met as a maker, a lot of people who are successful share their story as a heroic miraculous tale and make you feel that success of that level is meant only for those super special people, Adam book’s is different.
It’s not a technical book, it’s a mix between philosophy and trades lessons, The two most important lessons I got from the book are on workshop organization, and glue.

#The second book I’m almost done with is Ashlee Vance’s book about Elon Musk.
I have been reading news on tesla and Elon for years and I’m always skeptical, This book will change how you perceive everything Elon does. I never were a tesla fanboy, I’m not now either, but I’m more sympathetic with his struggles now.
And you must be after reading this book, it goes into his family history and his troubled childhood and then into his life now and how hard he works and the logic behind everything.

*P. S/ English is my second language, any grammar mistakes or suggestions is helpful and I would be grateful for suggestions to improve my writing skills (send them via DM)

Yes, a great read! I don’t know that I’d categorize Elon’s childhood as “troubled”, though - sounded pretty awesome to me IIRC, but it’s been a year or two since I read it.

It’s troubled because his parents divorced on bad terms while he was young, then he chose to go with his father (later said it was the wrong choice and that his father made everything miserable), all of that while he gets bullied at school, to the point where the bullies bullied his only friend so he doesn’t speak with Elon, and later forced his friend to lure Elon out of his hiding so they can beat him again .
He got a nose job as a consequence of the beating he got when he is young

I can’t imagine dealing with and overcoming what he dealt with

And the author masterfully talked about the fantastic ,colorful and wonderful life of his grandparents(in details) and then immediately went deep into the miserable part of Elon’s life. the author really made me sympathize with young Elon

Ah, it was the grandparents that I was remembering.

I’m going old-school and reading some Ralph Waldo Emerson, starting with his Essays book, published in 1841. I found “Self Reliance” particularly interesting. His message is basically “think for yourself!”

It takes a lot of mental effort to read and understand his writing for me; since it’s almost 180 years old, it’s written in a very different style than today’s writing. Perhaps that makes it have a larger impact on me than if it were written in today’s style? Maybe, maybe not; either way I’m enjoying slowing down and having to mentally wrangle with each clause and each sentence to figure out what he’s saying.

I read mostly 19th-century literature - Melville, Eliot, Dickens, etc. Few modern writers come close, and most are simply intolerable once you’ve tasted the good stuff.

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@ASQ20 Tracy Kidder’s The Soul of a New Machine is a great book. One of my favorite book about the personalities of engineering. It’s one of the books I always have on the bookshelf of any job I have.

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I’ve been reading Homer: Odyssey, Homeric Odes, and now working through the Iliad.

I’m surprised at how much more I appreciate the Iliad + Odyssey now than when I was in high school. They are great commentaries on humanity and I see parts of myself and others reflected in the stories.

I started reading Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. The introduction is hooking – it compares Roger Federer’s background with Tiger Woods. I’d be surprised if this book doesn’t include the following Robert Heinlein quote, as it is immediately what I thought of when I picked this book up:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein

Thanks Seth, I’m more excited to start reading it now :pray:


Besides the cool tech story, it’s a great case study of organizational structure, team motivation, product management… well deserving of it’s Pullitzer.

Thanks so much for suggesting this book. I’m enjoying it immensely!


Eccentric Orbits: The Iridium Story
(Good, but troubling business practices by all involved. An excellent account of the total implosion of Motorola. It’s also very insightful into the machinations of high-level corporate finance. )

Holy Old Mackinaw: A Natural History of the American Lumberjack

A great read, like most of Holbrook. His best, was Burning an Empire, which is the first compiled popular history of forest fires in America.


The Science of Radio: With MATLAB and Electronics Workbench Demonstrations, 2nd Edition

An Imaginary Tale: The Story of √-1

The above is required reading for the next book:

Dr. Euler’s Fabulous Formula: Cures Many Mathematical Ills