book recommendations

updated 2002-08-28.

Consider splitting this into 2 files: "books DAV has already read", "books DAV has not yet read".

No man can be called friendless when he has God and the companionship of good books. -Elizabeth Barret Browning, poet (1806-1861)

DAV: I started with a simple list here of books I had read, and books I planned to read. As my web site has grown, I'm starting to mention books about a subject on the page where I talk about the subject, rather than here ... in the interested of keeping all my information about a topic together on one page. This makes it more difficult for me to ask ``OK, what's the top book on my to-read list now ?''. But it makes it easier for me to rank books -- it's pretty easy for me to rank books about a particular subject, but there's no way for me to say _Origin of Species_ is better or worse than, say, _The Art of Computer Programming_.

"We will give you a scanner if you give us two digitized books"

Books DAV has read and recommends (short reviews)

(I should have more information here Real Soon Now).

see books on programming style for more of David's book recommendations.

Books DAV is currently reading

I have a habit of multitasking my reading -- current books I'm partway through include

What do all these books have in common ? If you find out, please tell me.

have read

have read nonfiction:
have read fiction: [FIXME: still needs to be unscrambled]

Books David Cary already has read or has on his bookshelf: (Someday I'll write my reccomendations, if any, of these books ...)

(*) indicates David owns this book. Feel free to ask me to lend it to you.

(*)_Seven Habits of Highly Effective People_ book by Stephen Covey "a good book. If you haven't read it, you should" -- recc. Pastor Don Jensen.

books David has already read:

_About Face_ book by Alan Cooper (man behind Visual Basic) about user interface design. recc: Jeff Holtzman. recc. Don Gray

_Fractals, Chaos, Power Laws: Minutes from an Infinite Paradise_ book by Manfred Schroeder (c) 1991 ISBN 0-7167-2136-8 "very good mathematical treatments of complexity theory (as opposed to stories and descriptions of it)" -- recc. Reilly Jones 70544, "ditto" -- David Cary.

(*)The ARRL Handbook must-buy for anyone doing analog electronics, especially RF. (

George Gamow, book _Thirty Years that Shook Physics: The Story of Quantum Theory_ (1966) Good book -- very positive. Starts out with light quanta, shows how the quantum concept exactly matches experiment ... but ends up with lots of things that are still not resolved, encouraging the reader to solve them. The Special Relativity stuff should be ignored -- he uses the old, confusing notation. The general concepts seem to be OK, though. Good analogies to make quantum physics a little more understandable (a few equations, but not all the way to the techy details). Hilarious parody of _Faust_ included. Short biographies showing some humorous details of some top physicists.

(*)_The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants_ by Prusinkeiwicz and Lindenmayer. There's some hairy math in there, but do what I do -- skip the math, look at the extremely pretty pictures.

Human Factors and Typography for More Readable Programs, Ronald M. Baecker and Aaron Marcus, Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-10745-7 (-- recc. by GNU) ($27 at Powell's Books)

_Bebop to the Boolean Boogie_ computer_architecture.html#bebop (David Cary owns a copy ) (*)

_Writing Solid Code_ by Steve Maguire Very good book. Worth re-reading. Consider buying my own copy. -- recc. DAV


CartoonGuide to Physics, by Larry Gonick and Art Huffman. ISBN 0062731009

(*)_The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition_ book by by Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. "Great book. A must-read if you involved in any software project bigger than 1 person, or if you are involved any any complex project (software or not) with many people."

(*)_Time Machines: Time Travel in Physics, Metaphysics, and Science Fiction_ book by Paul J. Nahin "Good book. The physics seems very solid and true, but he livens it up with some humor. It includes a plan for a time machine that *should* work according to the latest theories, even though currently not feasible." -- david

Edward R. Tufte

Edward R. Tufte is one of my favorite nonfiction authors.

Clutter is not a property of information. Clutter is a failure of design. -- Edward Tufte

_The Visual Display of Quantitative Information_ by Edward R. Tufte (1970) "great ... reinforced my minimalist, high-information-content style" -- david cary

_Envisioning Information_ by Edward R. Tufte (1990) "Great" - david ; [FIXME: toread]


_Mission of Gravity_ (1953) by Hal Clement very good sf. no adult themes. cooperation between human and Mesklinite. very "pro-science". - recc. DAV

Philip K. Dick do androids dream of electric sheep ? (the source novel for the movie _Blade Runner_).

_Man Plus_ book by Frederik Pohl DAV: I liked it.

_Babylon 5: Book #5: The Touch of Your Shadow, the Whisper of Your Name_ book by Neal Barrett, Jr. DAV: Not Recommended.

Date: Tue, 11 Jun 1996 18:30:09 +0000
Subject: pdx-b5: Latest B5 book
 Not much humor in the story.  Although it tried to build tension, the threat
was never established as a threat and in the end........completely
underwhelming.  I felt like there was no pay-off at all.  There was
no complexity to the story, no delving into the inner workings of
alien worlds or our corrupt Earth Government, or some natural
I know some of you will disagree, but I liked the last book better
about the death penalty against the alien.  At least it had some
maneuverings by EarthGov, a new and different alien society, some
zero-gee docking bay explosions and crashes, and moral stances taken
by our heroes - diametrically opposed.  Some of us DO oppose the
death penalty on moral grounds - it can be debated!  And some of us
pragmatists may argue that somebody mindwiped no longer deserves the
death penalty because they have a new personality.
Wendy Bumgardner

_Dragon Tears_ -- Koontz Horror novel. Some good descriptions; I like the dog; but too scary for me (eyeballs).

Searching for Books and Book Reviews

David Cary has a few book reviews.

(not in any particular order)

Books others have recommended to me

[FIXME: add engineering books to the list at ]

  1. My utmost for his highest -- recc. A. Atchison
  2. investing books link_farm.html#investment
  3. Tozer [FIXME:]
  4. _Rainbows End_ a novel by Vernor Vinge
  5. _Changed Into His Image_ book by Jim Berg -- recc. Robert Sutton CBD Price: $13.99 $17.95 study guide: reviews: $11.95 (?),%20Jim $8.49 $12.00
  6. [book.html] Larry Burkett (Christian financial advice) wrote novels "The Illuminati" and sequel "The Thor Conspiracy" -- "they are very good" --- recc. Mary Cary.
  7. I've been looking for the _Bible_ in German (Deutsch), on audiotape, for a long time.
  8. recommends:

    _Flawless Consulting_ book by PeterBlock

    _The Secrets of Consulting_ book by GeraldWeinberg

  9. something on synthetic aperture radar (SAR). RADARSAT ?
  10. ``clutter'' books: books with ``clutter'' in title, plus Cindy Glovinsky, also
  11. AM radio modulator circuits ?
  12. _Nanomedicine_ book by Robert Freitas 1999
  13. (see also Perl)
    Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2002 16:54:13 -0400 (EDT)
    From: ( John Cooley )
    Subject: Industry Gadfly  "Monkey See, Monkey Do"
        !!!     "It's not a BUG,               
       /o o\  /  it's a FEATURE!"                              (508) 429-4357
      (  >  )
       \ - /        INDUSTRY GADFLY: "Monkey See, Monkey Do"
       _] [_         
                       by John Cooley, EE Times Columnist
          Holliston Poor Farm, P.O. Box 6222, Holliston, MA  01746-6222
    It's sort of like having a venereal disease.  When you do crisis intervention
    consulting (like I do) for chip design projects, you get to see everything.
    And one of the most embarrassing problems I've found at client sites is when
    some of their key engineers on a troubled project really don't know Perl.
    (You may balk and exclaim that this is impossible because Perl scripts are
    the bread and butter of chip design, but that's what makes this problem so
    embarrassing.)  Like a doctor treating VD, one has to treat this problem
    very discretely -- which means I give those clients my sequential list of
    recommended reading so they can quickly and quietly learn Perl at home.
    First off, I recommend "Perl For Dummies" by Hoffman.  Start on page 30 near
    the end of chapter 2 (the Perl command line), and from there read closely up
    to page 146 to understand the basics of loops, strings, lists, operators and
    the print command.  Then jump to chapters 11 and 12 on file I/O and then
    later focus on the pattern matching and regular expressions discussion in
    chapter 13.  Ignore the remaining 14 chapters of this book because most chip
    designers won't be dabbling in XML, Java, databases, HTML, object oriented
    programming, associative arrays, nor downloading fancy CPAN packages just to
    clean up some PhysOpt DEF output for Silicon Ensemble to read.
    Next, snag a copy of "Learning Perl" by Schwartz.  It'll be a quick 175 page
    read mostly covering material you learned in that first book -- but it'll be
    presented in a different way to reinforce the subject matter.
    Here again you want to focus on regular expressions and pattern matching in
    chapter 7.  Perl's greedy matching is it's biggest strength, but it's also
    the most obtuse part of the language.  It's here where you'll get your first
    insights into those occult regex incantations that the UNIX man pages so
    often reference.  (For more advanced regex, I recommend "Mastering Regular
    Expressions" by Friedl, but be warned that it's ugly.  You should also be
    warned about the "Perl Cookbook" by Christiansen.  He likes to drift off
    into UNIX arcana a bit too much for practical use, but on occasion he can
    And to finish off this self taught course, I close with the best book from
    the monkey see, monkey do school of learning: Quigley's "Perl By Example".
    It's 850 pages of examples with step-by-step explainations that the rest of
    us mere mortals can understand.  Happy scripting.
        John Cooley runs the E-mail Synopsys Users Group (ESNUG), is a
        contract ASIC designer, and loves hearing from engineers at
        "" or (508) 429-4357.
  14. _Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger_ book by Ronald J. Sider ``Ron Sider's book ... dramatically challenged my life and began to expand my faith. ... ... the Sovereign of the universe identifies with the weak and the destitute... He expects us to identify with the poor, as well.'' -- recc. Christine Aroney-Sine, M.D., in her book _Tales of a Seasick Doctor_.
  15. _Robot Builder's Bonanza_ ``how to get started building robots... This book starts with basic control circuits, builds autonomous rovers, and works its way up to microcontrollers. If you are not sure where to start, this is it.'' -- recc. Neil Fraser

    More detail:

  16.   From: "X" 
      Subject: Re: Bessel filters
      Date: 26 Jan 2000 00:00:00 GMT
      X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.00.2918.2701
      Organization: Southwest Cyberport
      X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
      Bessel filters, also found as "all-pass" filters in the literature, are
      flat delay filters. Bessel filters can be found in disk drive read channels,
      telecommunication, audio and any other application that is sensitive to
      response. IMHO, two of the best books on the subject are "Analog Filters"
      by Kendall L. Su (ISBN 0 412 63840 1) and "Filter Theory and Design:
      Active and Passive", by Sedra and Brackett (ISBN 0 916469 14 2). I'm
      sure there are other fine texts on Filter design. These are two of my
      In section 3.5, Su discusses Bessel-Thompson filters in depth. The detail is
      too long to include here. If memory serves me correctly, an all-pass filter
      the combination of a minimum-phase and a non-minimum phase. The net
      result is that the minimum-phase function cancels, or equalizes, the
      non-minimum phase function.
      There is a _real_ good program called QED1000 (Momentum Data Systems),
      that is intended for DSP filter design. However, the program is excellent
      understanding the pole-zero response for analog filters as well. The program
      features a plot where the pole-zero locations can be hand-entered or dragged
      with the mouse. The price is $1k, but if you are serious about filter
      it's well worth the price.
      Now for the shameless plug. If you are interested in the two books I
      above, go to or,  alternatively,  my company web
      has a book link section that lists many good sources for new and used book
      sites along with publisher sites. The URL is
      Hope This has been of help to you,
      Dave Comer
      Xavier van Unen  wrote
      > Hello there,
      > I'm trying to work out how to design a Bessel filter, but I find zilch on
      > the net. Butterworth filters are no problem.
      > What I need to know is what the Bessel polynomials are, or the Pole
      > locations or any help at all actually.
      > I'm working on a electronic cross-over (with LR filters) and was wondering
      > if Bessel filters would sound better, as they have a superior time and
      > behavior.
      > Any help would be appreciated.
      > TIA
      > Xavier van Unen.
  17. _A Tour of the Calculus_ book by David Berlinski (Vintage Books, New York, NY, 1997). "The most elegantly written math book I have ever read. ... Even if you hated your calculus class, read this book and enjoy Berlinski's prose and his insight. ... written ... for men and women who wish to understand the calculus as an achievement in human thought. It will not make them mathematicians, but I suspect what they want is simply a little more light shed on a dark subject." -- recc. Jeffrey N. Bairstow <> in _Laser Focus World_ 1997 April.
  18. MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator)
  19. _The Elements of Correspondence: How to express yourself clearly, persuasively, and eloquently in your personal and business writing._ book by Mary DeVries. ($17 at Barnes & Noble)
  20. _Chaotic Electronics in Telecommunications_ (2000) edited by Michael Peter Kennedy, Riccardo Rovatti, and Gianluca Setti. "At the code level, discrete-time chaotic sytems can be used to generate spreading codes for DS-SS systems. At the signal level, continuous-time chaotic systems can be used to generate wideband carriers for digital modulation schemes." ($99.95 from CRC Press book.html#crc_press )
  21. "If you have no clue about how Bison and Flex work, ... read ... the "Dragon Book" ... and try to make a toy compiler yourself" -- recc. Yann Guidon 2000-07-01
    (I think he's referring to _Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools_ book by Alfred V. Aho, Ravi Sethi, Jeffrey D. Ullman)
  22. _Dignifying Science: Stories about Women Scientists_ 1999 by Jim Ottaviani, a nuclear engineer turned technical librarian at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor a ``biographical comic book ... real-life scientists and engineers play the heroes and sometimes the villains'' ``Jim Ottaviani ... classes in library science ... initial motivation was to become a better researcher ... As he delved deeper into library science, ... fascinated with the topic in its own right, particularly with how humans process information. ... Now the head of reference at Michigan's Media Union Library ... a research librarian ... He also struck up a friendship with a professional comic book artist named Steve Lieber. ... their efforts culminated in _Two-Fisted Science_ ... followed in 1999 by _Dignifying Science: Stories about Women Scientists_, and in 2001 by _Fallout_. ... shorter comic books: _Safecracker_ ... _Wild Person in the Woods_ ... While writing comic books has not proved lucrative enough for Ottaviani to give up his day job ... All of the books are published by G.T.Labs ...'' -- IEEE Spectrum Feb 2002

    DAV: I bought and read "Two-Fisted Science" and "Dignifying Science: Stories about Women Scientists" in 2009. Excellent. I gave my copy to Bob in 2010. He (and I) want to know if there are more like it.

  23. Ball, Stuart R. _Embedded Microprocessor Systems: Real World Design_ 1996 "Real hardware is presented in examples ...excellent" -- Michael E. Fitzpatrick (
  24. _The Future in Plain Sight_ book (1998) by Eugene Linden "The single most important book of the 1990s, in my opinion, is Eugene Linden's The Future in Plain Sight. I recommend strongly that every person reading this work purchase the book and absorb its implications." -- recc Joseph Paramore Firmage
  25. B _Managing Software Maniacs_ book by Ken Whitaker "Buying this book could be your best career move." -- recc. Ed Yourdon.
  26. _When Things Start to Think_ by Neil Gershenfeld recc. Don Lancaster.
  27. _True Odds: How Risk Affects your Everyday Life_ book by James Walsh
  28. Susan B. Anthony
  29. Op-Amp Cookbook by Don Lancaster
  30. Howard Johnson and Martion Graham's _High-speed digital design_ -- recc. Kai Harrekilde-Petersen <> (Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998)

    _High-Speed Digital Design - A Handbook of Black Magic_ book by Johnson and Graham "It is a wonderful book. Everybody interested in fast designs should get a copy." -- recc. Hal Murray <murray at>

  31. [Books to read] _Career Advancement and Survival for Engineers_ by John A. Hoschette ... $15.95 (paperback) ... John Wiley & Sons Inc., 800-225-5945, 212-850-6418
  32. _Starting Forth_ book by Leo Brodie (Prentice-Hall) ``you really should get Brodie's book and a PC-based Forth system, and spend some time getting acquainted with the language. It is powerful, flexible, and most of all, fun.'' -- recc. Karl E. Lunt 1994
  33. _Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams _ book by DeMarco and Lister 1987 (De Marco ?) (New York; Dorset House, 1987; ISBN 0-932633-05-6)

    "the authors' insight into the conditions necessary for creative work is acute and worthwhile for anyone attempting to import some of the bazaar model's virtues into a more commercial context." -- recc. by Eric S. Raymond

    "It abounds with such gems as, "The manager's function is not to make people work, it is to make it possible for people to work." It deals with such mundane topics as space, furniture, team meals together. ... I heartily commend the book to all my readers." -- recc. Frederick P. Brooks (p. 276, _The Mythical Man-Month_)

    Does this have any relation to

    _Rapid Implementation Executive Handbook_


  34. [FIXME: move to idea_space.html]
    Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 21:18:50 -0700 (PDT)
    From: Michael Nielsen 
    X-Sender: mnielsen@theory
    Subject: >H canonical texts
    Transhuman Mailing List
    What are the canonical texts which define a subject area?  Having a
    structred list of such texts would be of great use to those interested in
    self-education, and could form part of the core of any good library.
    Such texts should be well-written, provide comprehensive coverage of an
    important subject area, and be correct.  Moreover, such texts should be
    timely, in the sense that they take a snapshot of a field at a choice
    time when the field is relatively stable, and it is possible to set down
    what is important and what is not.
    A few suggestions for such a list:
    Computer Programming: Knuth's "The Art of Computer Programming".
    ELectronics: Horowitz and Hill's "The Art of Electronics".
    Elementary Physics: The Feynman Lecturs on Physics.
    Special Relativity: Taylor and Wheeler's "Spacetime Physics".
    General Relativity: Misner, Thorne, and Wheeler's "Gravitation".
    What other suggestions can people make for this list?  What defines a text
    as canonical?  What would be the best way of structuring such a list of
    texts, in order to maximize its utility as a tool for learning?
    (This suggestion inspired by Stewart Brand's "The Clock of the Long Now".)
    Michael Nielsen
    Ph: 626 395 8431    < Email: mnielsen at >
    Fax: 626 793 9506   Web:
    * If you need to unsubscribe, send email saying "unsubscribe transhuman"  *
    * to, without the quotes, from the SAME email address*
    * as the one you subscribed under! Yes, it is case-sensitive. Don't blame *
    * the admin for your spelling errors.                                     *
    *                  Please email all technical problems to                 *
    *     , NOT to the list.             *
    Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 21:53:22 -0700 (PDT)
    From: Michael Nielsen <mnielsen at>
    X-Sender: mnielsen@theory
    To: transhuman at
    cc: transhumantech at
    Subject: Re: >H canonical texts
    Reply-To: transhuman at
    Transhuman Mailing List
    On Mon, 14 Jun 1999, Remi Sussan wrote:
    > Michael Nielsen wrote:
    > >
    > > What are the canonical texts which define a subject area?  Having a
    > > structred list of such texts would be of great use to those interested in
    > > self-education, and could form part of the core of any good library.
    > >
    > > Such texts should be well-written, provide comprehensive coverage of an
    > > important subject area, and be correct.  Moreover, such texts should be
    > > timely, in the sense that they take a snapshot of a field at a choice
    > > time when the field is relatively stable, and it is possible to set down
    > > what is important and what is not.
    > >
    > What do you mean exactly by "canonical" ? Does this means they are
    > unavoidable references, that they can be used as good introduction for
    > self education, or that they possess a great historical importance?
    > For instance, I don't know anything about physics. If I read "Spacetime
    > Physics" or "Gravitation", will I be able to learn something, or is the
    > level too high for me?
    That's why I wanted a structured list.  Ideally, one should be able to
    say: "I am at point X, and I'd like to get to point Y", and have a
    computer spit back a comprehensive, annotated reading plan to enable you
    to get from X to Y, complete with alternate suggestions at various points
    along the path.
    It would be nice to be told prior to reading parts of Joyce that you
    really better be up on your Shakespeare, or that Dirac's book on general
    relativity makes a nice (but not quite essential) precursor to Misner,
    Thorne, and Wheeler, but that you better have mastered Taylor and Wheeler
    backwards and forwards before reading Dirac...
    > The "SICP" (structure and interpretation of computer programs) suggested
    > by Eugene was really important for me when I meet computers for the
    > first time. But let's be honest "Teach yourself Java (Or Visual basic,
    > etc.) in 21 days" is better for self education.
    "Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days" is not what I'd call a canonical book, in
    the sense that it has little long-term value when compared with, say,
    Knuth's series of books.
    Of course, your mileage may vary.
    > In the same way, John's suggestion, "Mind Children", is certainly a
    > great book from a philosophical point of view, but is it "canonical" in
    > the robotics and A.I field, when you compare for instance, with Minsky's
    > "society of mind " ?
    Deciding what makes a text canonical is an interesting problem.  Ideally,
    I suppose I'm thinking of a small editorial committee with clear editorial
    guidelines, with a single editor making final decisions.
    > BTW, I'm ready to help if you intend to put this kind of project into >
    > practice...
    Thanks.  For the time being it'll remain on the backburner, unless
    someone else wants to take the initiative. Once a few other projects have
    been completed, I'll re-evaluate how much I'd like this sort of thing put
    into practice, and if  decide to go for it, search out people who want to
    be a part of it.
    Michael Nielsen
    Ph: 626 395 8431    Email:
    Fax: 626 793 9506   Web:
    * If you need to unsubscribe, send email saying "unsubscribe transhuman"  *
    * to, without the quotes, from the SAME email address*
    * as the one you subscribed under! Yes, it is case-sensitive. Don't blame *
    * the admin for your spelling errors.                                     *
    *                  Please email all technical problems to                 *
    *     , NOT to the list.             *
    [FIXME: #bootstrap]
  35. recommends some books about Earth's Moon.
  36. A _Database Design for Mere Mortals_ book by Michael J. Hernandez (Addison-Wesley, 1996, ISBN 0-201-69471-9). "the best single volume on the subject I've seen in the past 30 years." -- recc. Jim Kyle _Windows Tech Journal_ 1997 May p. 16.
  37. "The Master Key" book by Lyman Frank Baum (fiction) ;
  38. Date: Tue, 5 Nov 1996 12:37:17 -0500 (EST)
    From: "Pat 'wu' Moss" <pmoss at>
    Subject: Re: Venus Prime (Arthur C Clarke and Paul Preuss)
    To: David Cary <cary at>
    > No, I haven't seen this book yet.
    > Since (unfortunately) I don't have time to read *all* the SF books with
    > some >H theme or another, I'd appreciate it if you would take the time to
    > comment "... even aside from the >H, it's a really good book" or "... but
    > it's not as good as his other books".
    Its the story of two factions of Transhumanists, both of which base their
    philosophy and religion on alien artifacts found on Mars and Venus.  They
    beleive that the aliens that seeded our worlds will be back and we must evolve
    ourselves to create emmisaries to meet them.  One group wishes to control the
    masses of Earth and other (an offshoot of the first) wishes to enlighten all of
    The power struggle centers around a woman named Linda Nagi (Ellen Troy, Sparta)
    who is the result of a transhuman teaching center.  She escapes from her
    captors and using the skills and modifications made to her, help bring
    enlightenment to Earth.  Her travels let us discover the truth about the
    "Aliens" as she visits all three planets in the distant past and future.
    The tech is very >H, and a lot of the issues are >H.  The story is gripping and
    the intrigue / conspiracy background compelling.  There are 6 books in the
    series and all of them are well done.
  39. It sounds like you want Chapter 9 of Michael Abrash's "Zen of Assembly" book. This book is out of print, but it is a gold mine of useful 80x86 techniques. I look forward to Abrash's "Zen of Code Optimization" due out in mid-March. -- recc. Paul R. Santa-Maria (1994 Jan) "Go read Michael Abrash's book (Zen of Optimization) and all his old articles in Dr Dobbs (they're on the CD)." "David, stop assuming anything. Go out and buy Michael Abrash's book on optimization." -- recc. Michael Winser [Microsoft] 1994 Nov
  40. look up LC subject "Field programmable gate arrays"
  41. _An Introduction to Ray Tracing, edited by Andrew Glassner (Academic Press, 1989). "If you have any interest at all in photorealistic image synthesis you must add this volume to your library." -- Dean Clark (; "full of juicy nuggets" -- recc. Chris Lampton
  42. _Photorealism and Ray Tracing in C_ (M&T Books, 1992) by Christopher D. Watkins, et al. "full of juicy nuggets" -- recc. Chris Lampton
  43. "The Blind Watchmaker" - Richard Dawkins
  44. Catch-22 from Joseph Heller would have to rate as my second favourite book of all time. It is an intoxicating tale of a bomber trying to survive and stay sane amidst the chaos of WW2. Not only does Heller wield his cutting wit to highlight the insanity of war, but he also uses a rich vocabulary to keep the reader interested and sate the appetite of the most ardent wordsmith. -Nigel Cross (
  45. _The Difference Engine_ by Gibson and Sterling "... "steampunk" ... some very interesting flights of fancy about programmers, software and the social and political ramifications of computer technology. ... The ending was a disappointment in the usual Gibsonian mold - vague murky conspiratorial goings-on I found impenetrable. But it was a fun ride along the way." -- "John P. Satta" [Date: Wed, 12 Mar 1997] ... "The key is in realising that the book is narrated by the AI - the Analytical Engine. Moreover, this AI is a kind of quantum consciousness, so that the story involves a series of superposed alternatives. I was uncertain of this interpretation, so I asked Bill Gibson, and he said, `Of course'. " -- Damien Broderick [Date: Fri, 14 Mar 1997]
  46. find out more about "the German artist and amateur mathematician Albrecht D:urer." who made the engraving "Melancholia I" in 1514.

    Richard Bach "very good author" -- recc. Amin.

  47. "Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that most worthy theologian who was martyred during the last days of the Nazi horror"
  48. "Tyranny" by Poul Anderson in _Free Space_ -- recc. Dar Scott <> Mar 1998
  49. _The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence_ book by Ray Kurzwell "predicts $1000 brain parity machines in less than two decades" -- recc. Don Lancaster "excellent book" -- recc. Max More 2000-07-07
  50. _Beyond Calculation: The next 50 years of computing_ ``a collection of 20 essays ... contemplating the future of computing'' --???

Pointers to Software book recommendation lists

Pointers to other book recommendation lists

Pointers to books online


[FIXME: don't I have another list of bookstores somewhere ?]

Book-writing recommendations

book considerations: ``Stuff to remember to do if I ever publish a book''

Once you have your basic content, a few tips on packaging -- things that often frustrate me.

related to:

If you're writing a book, here is some recommendations for things that are not obvious:


Donald Norman

recommended book list

recommended books

From: Jeff Trahan, 72737,2154 To: Grant R. Heise, 70714,3272 Topic: C++ to VB Convert. HELP Msg #247910 Section: Programming Issues [5] Forum: MS BASIC Date: Wed, 1994 Mar 9, 09:34:15 >> But, as tou can see, I'm left with AppTab, * P_APP_TAB, and far * P_APP_TAB to deal with. >> Any Help will be really appreciated!!! I you don't already have Dan Appleman's book "Visual Basic Programmer's Guide to the Windows API" by Ziff-Davis publishing. This book really bridges the gap for C & C++ programmers (like me) to VB. It is well worth the $35 price tag. It includes a disk with some sample DLLs. One thing I have noticed. Not too much of C & C++ stuff ports to VB. For example, there are no pointers (at least VB doesn't handle pointers). You can *store* a 32-bit pointer for future use in DLL's by using the "long" VB data type. I am having to rethink every routine I am porting. Jeff


(really should go in above categories ...)

to read- software started 1994 April 5 see also "to read- graphics" see also "c_books" for recommendations on learning C and C++. see also "to read- AL" for more on neural nets and fuzzy logic.

Language: Mathematica

_Mathematica: A System for Doing Mathematics by Computer_ by Stephen Wolfram. "the most important book" - recc. P. Wessels _Guide to Standard Mathematica Packages_ by Wolfram Research. "second" - recc. P. Wessels _Mathematica, A Practical Approach_ by Nancy Blackman. "3rd" - recc. P. Wessels. _Applied Mathematica_ by Shaw and Tigg "4th" -recc. P. Wessels _Mathematica Reference Guide_ by Wolfram "you need" - recc. P. Wessels __ by Roman Meader "made Mathematica seem unnecessarily complicated ... If you are a programmer the Roman Meader book is probably essential." - recc. P. Wessels.

Language: Mac API

_Power Macintosh Programming Starter Kit_ by Tom Thompson, $40 "includes a CD-ROM that contains a limited version of the Metrowerks CodeWarrior C compiler and debugger that runs on both 680x0 and Power Macs. ... implementing drag-and-drop ..."-recc. Raymond GA Côté "a very good ... Power Mac programming starter kit." - Michael Swaine

Date: Tue, 12 Jul 1994 11:31:33 MST
From: 103t_english at
To: cary at
Subject: Re: Microsoft/WinG/Chicago/etc.
>Umm, could you give me some references to this stuff ?
>I have this nifty ADC / DAC board plugged into my Mac,
>and I'm working on a o'scope demo for it.
>It can throw a couple hundred points onto a
>simple line graph at about 3 frames/second.
>Surely there's some way I could speed it up a bit.
>The games I play seem to go a *lot* faster than that
>(more detail too).
d e v e l o p magazine is the best place.(Braving OffScreen GWorlds is the best
single article discussing drawing offscreen).
MacTutor (now MacTech) is also very
good. Greg (TCL 1.0/ PowerPlant) Dow's SPLaSH journal (THINKin' CaP) was decent
f you can find any back issues. The source code for Arashi (Tempest clone using
palatte animation), SpriteWorld 1.04b (available via PowerPC News and other
sources), DorothySoft's Glypha (Joust clone), and more, are all available
on-line some place or another...
>: If you need some kind of timer, the Time Manager in System 7.x gives you all
>: the capabilities of the Time Manager routines of earlier versions of the
>: System, plus the ability to schedule task execution with 20 microsecond
>: accuracy (in theory -allowing for how busy the interupt queue is, etc).
>: The point is, you don't need to know what the interupt-hardware on the Mac
>: looks like: it is "plug and play" for programmers like it is for users, no
>: matter which mac you are using (lots of exceptions to this, but you get the
>: idea).
>I've *used* the Mac for years (mostly MS Word and MS Excel),
>and am just learning to *program* the Mac
>( Think C 6.0, is there a better environment ?).
By far and away, the best up and coming development environment is CodeWarrior
C/C++ CD from MetroWerks. Source-code compatible with 68K and PowerMacs, and
you can get it in three flavors: Bronze ($199) for 68K-only, Silver ($299) for
PPC only and Gold ($399) for 68K AND PPC. If you buy one CD, you can upgrade to
a different one for the price difference. Price includes 2 upgrade CDs in a
Educational discount is $99 +S&H for the Gold CD.
Also includes Pascal. Paper documentation is $49 extra.
>: The best place to go for documentation of the "virtual Mac" is the 25-volume
>: _Inside Macintosh_ series, 2nd edition. This fall, all 25 volumes will be
>: available on CD for $99 or you can buy them separately.
>from APDA ?
Addison-Wesley. Due in October, I think.
>: If you get the 7100/66, enjoy: it is a nice computer. We've tested the
>: SpriteWorld animation libraries and have gotten up to 3,000 frames per second
>Isn't more than 60 frames / second just
>a *little* bit redundant ? :)
Thats with only one bouncing ball..
>: on a bouncing, spinning 32x32 globe in 256 colors out of a 2^48 color palette
>: (standard 256-color Mac monitor)...
>: Lawson
Lawson D. English <103T_ENGLISH at>

Language: Windows API, Windows programming

_Commando Windows Programming_ "If you are looking for ways to write short code samples to illustrate points, you might check out one of my books, Commando Windows Programming. You'd be surprised how short a Windows program can be if you know some neat tricks. Another good thing to do with code columns is a project. Pick some project (an editor? a database? a PIM?) and write it bit by bit exposing your design and coding in the column. Most programmers can learn something from another programmer so this sort of thing appeals to a wide audience. Look at Al Stevens' column in Dr. Dobb's for example. BTW, I am not Al Stevens! Many folks confuse us (except for those that have seen us -- I have at least 40kg on Al S! :-) )." - recc. Al Williams

Language: Lisp

lesser-priority programming books

Area #23: EC Prog * 601 msgs * Page #1
Message #8: (Read 2 times)
To:   Charles Leung                       12 May 90 18:32:15
From: Howard Sanner
Subj: Tiff

   The TIFF format is published in Thom Hogan's Programmer's PC
Sourcebook (Microsoft Press). This is a superb reference work on PC
programming in general. Absolutely no discursive text or entertainment
value; it assumes you know the tradeoffs involved in the various ways of
doing things & just want the information how to do it. It's one of my
most frequently consulted books.
   The PCX format can be obtained from its developer. There was also an
article on it in Micro Cornucopia within the last year or so.

--- RBBSMAIL 17.2A
 * Origin: The Progammer's Forum, Washington, DC (RBBS-PC 1:109/138)

B _Programming as if People Mattered_ by Nathaniel S. Borenstein.

A _IEEE Software Engineering Standards Collection_, Spring 1991 Edition. "contains the most recent ANSI/IEEE standards for software documents as of spring 1991. .... includes standards for quality-assurance plans, configuration-management plans, test documents, requirements specifications, verification and validation plans, .... and user documentation. The book is a distillation of the expertise of hundreds of people at the top of their fields, and would be a bargain at virtually any price." - recc. Steve McConnell

D Glass, Robert L. _Software Communication Skills_. Prentice Hall, 1988. "includes the full text of 2 military standards .... describe the software-project documentation required on DoD projects" - recc. Steve McConnell

_Quality Software Management_ (2 vols.) by Gerry Weinberg. recc: P.J.Plauger: "I think you should read them both ... his book _Psychology of Computer Programming_ ... was a fun mix of anecdotes and semiquantitative observations ... it is easy to dismiss early Weinberg books ... as mere entertainment. ... good entertianment ... the 1st 2 volumes of ... a series on self-help ... read these books to understand how much trouble you're in. Use them to improve yourself, at the very least. ... tools for measuring and correcting how you do business ... "

_The Elements of Programming Style_ by P.J.Plauger and Brian Kernighan

_Zen of Code Optimization_ by Michael Abrash. "a 10 out of 10 if you are working on any Intel processor and an 8 out of 10 for anyone working on the Macintosh who is interested in writing high performance code." - recc. Mike Scanlin.

C DeGrace, Peter, and Leslie Stahl. _Wicked Problems, Righteous Solutions: A Catalog of Modern Software Engineering Paradigms_. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Yourdon Press, 1990. "Your approach needs to vary as the size of the project varies" - recc. Steve McConnell

_Programming Pearls_ (1986) by Jon Bentley. "articulates some of the reasons some of us find programming so interesting. ... powerful insights" - (on Steve McConnel's top ten list)

_Principles of Software Engineering Management_ (1988) by Tom Gilb. (on Steve McConnel's top ten list)

_Controlling Software Projects_ (1982) by Tom DeMarco "a good alternative to [Tom] Gilb's book." - (on Steve McConnel's top ten list)

_The Art of Software Testing_ (1979) by Glenford Myers. (on Steve McConnel's top ten list) _The Complete Guide to Software Testing(1988) Bill Hetzel - "a good alternative" - Steve McConnel

D A book on requirements analysis (on Steve McConnel's top ten list): _Modern Structured Analysis_ (1989a) by Ed Yourdon, or _Strategies for Real-Time System Specification_ (Hatley and Pirbhai 1988).

A book on quantitative project planning (on Steve McConnel's top ten list): _Software Engineering Economics_ (1981) by Barry Boehm. "if I could have only 1 software-engineering reference book, it would be Boehm's" - Steve McConnel ... _Applied Software Measurement_ (Jones 1991) "a good companion or alternative" - Steve McConnel

A A book on data structures (on Steve McConnel's top ten list)

C "Literate programming" Bentley, Jon, and Donald Knuth. "Literate Programming". _Communications of the the ACM_ (May 1986): 364-69. Bentley, Jon, and Donald Knuth. "Literate Programming". _Communications of the the ACM_ (June 1986): 471-83. Knuth, Donald. _Computers and Typesetting, Volume B, TEX: The Program_. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1986. .... contains the source code for TEX, written as a literate program. .... Knuth's strong claim to the title Best Programmer on the Planet ...

B Papert, Seymour. _Mindstorms : children, computers, and powerful ideas_. -- New York : Basic Books, c1980.viii, 230 p. CALL NUMBER: 372.7 P197m 1980

_Computer Viruses, Artificial Life and Evolution_ (1994) by Mark A. Ludwig " .... Creation? Evolution? ... a rich and detailed book ... learn about DOS and its weak spots ..."

_Artificial Life Lab_ (1993)by Rudy Rucker $35 including diskette. "a toy AL world inhabited by graphic worms, and it's also fun to play with."

Minsky, Marvin Lee. _Computation: finite and infinite machines_ CALL NUMBER: 621.38195 M66 1967

Minsky, Marvin Lee. _The society of mind_. -- New York, N.Y. : Simon and Schuster, c1986. CALL NUMBER: 153 M667s 1986Y

C _The Unix-Haters Handbook_ by Garfinkel, Weise, and Strassmann. IDG Books, $17, ISBN 1-56884-203-1 with forward by Donald Norman, Apple Computer, and anti-forward by Dennis Richie, AT&T.

Algorithms and mathematical approximation

See also




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