What are you reading? September 2019 edition

What are you reading this September?

I love hearing about other peoples’ book choices and adding to my ever growing reading list. I usually split what I’m reading into business, technical and fun books, but you are welcome to post however you’d like!

  • (Still) Currently reading
  • Recently finished
    • Technical
      • (none)
    • Business
      • The First 20 Hours
        • Kind of business-y, definitely self-help-y, this is a book about how to pick up skills faster. I like that was prescriptive (here’s a checklist of the things you should be doing) and yet somewhat narrative (“here’s how I put this checklist to use in my own learnings”). I think for the narrative part, the author didn’t do a great job of showing how the skills were being learned because … learning is kind of boring. The example that stood out for me was learning a new keyboarding system, because it was the most repetitive skill that he was learning (as opposed to “learning to code in Ruby”, which seems a bit more like a longer pursuit). The keyboard example was measurable success with a rigorous practice regimen. I don’t know if that translates to a lot of the things that I want to learn, but it was still interesting seeing how the author worked through his problems. He recommended the book “Grit”, I added that to my reading list for the future.
    • Enjoyment (summer reading/listening)
      • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (audio book)
        • This was an audiobook I got from the library and forgot about, so I only had 1 week to listen to it. I ended up listening on 2x, so I probably didn’t absorb as much of it as I could have, but it also seems like a book I’ll try more than once. I was a bit surprised by the story line interleaved by the philosophical discussion, but only because I didn’t really look up what the book was about before reading it. I know it’s a polarizing book in terms of the style and the substance, but I would say I came down on the side of enjoying it. I don’t know how much it changed my outlook on life, but I enjoy a discussion around the importance of hands-on discoveries of things, moving outside the theoretical side of academia.
      • Persepolis Rising - Expanse book 7
        • Surprising how they left this book, especially given the fact that there are only two books left in the series, but I enjoyed that they jumped ahead in time. It gave an interesting look at “aging people in space battles” perspective and the idea of “what happens after weird alien stuff becomes normalized”.
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It’s a quick read and kind of old already, but I just read Zero to One by Peter Thiel. I’d recommend it, in spite of the Palantir connection.

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Currently reading Elecia’s book, “Making Embedded Systems,” as well as the audiobook of “Deep Work,” by Cal Newport- a book that another student recommended to me.

Also have read “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence” and I liked it a lot.