What are you reading? May 2019 edition

I am a self professed self-help junkie. That means I usually have anywhere from 1-5 books going simultaneously. There are good arguments against this practice, because I’m not really locked into any one book, but it’s just how I operate. As such, I’m always on the lookout for new books. Whenever there is a book list on HackerNews, my Amazon wish list gets a little heavier (as it will here if others follow suit). But I will only list the books I’m currently in the middle of or just finished. No need to add reviews, but I will probably add a short blurb about what I just finished.

Would love to know what others are reading currently! I’m sure my list won’t change too much from month to month, as I have some heavy things on here right now. Feel free to add fiction books as well, I love those recommendations. I have two that I’m working though very slowly right now, but mostly as a break from the heavier content listed above.


Oh, nice topic :slight_smile:

I like to read popular non-fiction books on engineering topics. They generally are a good mix of technical detail, business, and leadership. A sub-genre that always fits this is about engineering disasters.

I just read Station Blackout: Inside the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. Having operated a Navy nuke power plant for a few years, it is incredible what these operators did to control the situation. But there are also great business and personnel lessons in here for all engineering teams. Especially on how to communicate technical engineering details to the mass public.

In this topic there are two books I can’t recommend enough.

  1. Eccentric Orbits. It’s the story of the Iridium project.
  2. Faster, Higher, Farther. It’s on the VW scandal. Fascinating engineering ethics.

The Art of Electronics, chapter 8. It is the longest chapter and could be a whole book by itself. It is about low noise design, and I am working on a low-noise design for a guitar pickup. Get the errata here: https://artofelectronics.net/errata/ .

  1. Beyond Weird by Phillip Ball
    Sub-title gives a pretty good one-liner:
    “Why everything you thought you knew about quantum physics is different.”
    Fantastic! I finally feel like I’ve got some very tenuous grasp on some of the oddness of the conceptions of quantum physics.

  2. Bliss by Peter Carey. It’s literature and I have no idea what’s going on. Also fantastic!

Edit: Oh, ctrl-enter posts!!

  • The Hard Thing about Hard Thing: Although we are bootstrapped, the decision making process for especially tough ones resonates quite well with me. Having a good time reading this.
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow I have always been curious about how we arrive at decisions, half way through this but has been one of the best ones.
  • Cryptography and Network Security Had enjoyed solving stuff from this 10 years back during college. Revisiting basics as we are trying to build some stuff for securing micro controller based connected devices.
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Jus finished it - fantastic! Thanks for the tip!

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