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Deryck's book blog

Trying out book likes

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The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel - Neil Gaiman, Neil Gaiman I really loved this book. On the surface, it's a simple fantasy tale, but underneath, it's quite deep and revealing, just like the ocean it's titled after.

Ender's Game (Ender Wiggin Series #1)

Ender's Game (Ender Wiggin Series #1) - An interesting and compelling read, even if thematically incoherent at times. I read this book on a friend's recommendation. As I told him when I finished it, I'd read it again, which for me is high praise. I do think the book wants to have a political opinion but then never commits, which makes it feel disjointed. Otherwise, it's a good story with interesting characters.

Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World - Jane McGonigal Like all books this year, I took my time getting through this one. I really enjoyed it, though by the last few chapters it seemed to be repeating itself some. Perhaps it could be tightened up a bit and made more effective, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book for people wondering how games, gaming, game mechanics, and everything else gameful can impact our work and lives.

The Imperfectionists

The Imperfectionists - The writing is superb in this book, and the story is decent. The ending scene is a bit heavy-handed to me, so I didn't leave the book quite as satisfied as I had hoped. But perhaps the ending is the appropriate one. I'll have to think on it some to really come to terms with it. It is fitting on one hand, based on my own work in news media. It's also the party-line, if you will, among journalists, and I guess I was wanting something more profund, to which most of the rest of the book does aspire.Overall, it's a good read, and I would highly recommend it, especially for anyone who has worked in the news paper business.

Rebirth (Green Lantern Graphic Novels)

Green Lantern: Rebirth - Geoff Johns, Prentis Rollins, Ethan Van Sciver, Brad Meltzer The story is absolutely fantastic. Terrific writing with a solid plot and nice dialog. The art is good but not amazing. The art supports the story well, but doesn't do anything to really lift the great writing into a new dimension. Overall, I enjoyed it very much and would recommend it.

The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses

The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses - Jesse Schell This is a good book. I took my time with it, but really enjoyed it. It's very high level as other reviews suggests, so if you want on overview of game design, this is a great book. There are some practical bits about building games too, but mostly it's about what designers do and how to be a good designer. The "lens" meme that runs throughout the book is fantastic.

Making of Second Life: Notes from the New World

The Making of Second Life: Notes from the New World - Wagner James Au This is a good book on the history of making Second Life. I've long been an SL user and advocate, despite it's short comings, and enjoyed this book. Other SL users may enjoy this, but I'm not sure anyone else will. It's great to have this history documented, though, depending on what happens with virtual worlds in the next few years.

Coaching Youth Soccer: A Baffled Parent's Guide

Coaching Youth Soccer: A Baffled Parent's Guide - Bobby Clark, Nomad Communications This is a really good book for learning some basics of coaching soccer. Saved my life this spring, and I finished it off on a plane in July.

Making an Elephant

Making An Elephant: Writing From Within - Graham Swift This book on his life and writing is good, though not as good as other books I've read like this. I enjoyed the personal passages about his life, more than the thoughts on his craft. The chapter written on his father's death stands out as a moving essay.I have always been a fan of Graham Swift's fiction, so as a fan, I enjoyed this book. It's not as good as others like this I've read. Art Objects by Jeanette Winterson is better by a contemporary British author, and Mystery and Manners by Flannery O'Connor is a great example by an American author. Still, fans of Swift and other writers might enjoy this.Every time I read a book like this, I wish for more books like this in my field (computer programming, for those who don't know me). I would love to read from great hackers on how they became the person they are, how life has affected craft, and so on.


Underworld - Don DeLillo I read this some while back, during a break from college if I recall. I was hearing a lot about it as this great book, but I just could not get into it at all.

In the Lake of the Woods

In the Lake of the Woods - Tim O'Brien I can't believe I'm quitting a Tim O'Brien Book. He is one of my favorite authors. In fact, I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite between he, Flannery O'Connor, and Ian McEwan. However, this book was really not very good to me. The premise feels worn and the character was a horrible person whom I have no interest in learning more about.

Animal Farm: Centennial Edition

Animal Farm: Centennial Edition - I'm not as enamored by this as 1984. But it's still a good book, certainly.


1984 - I've read this 4 times at least. One of my favorite books.

JavaScript: The Good Parts: The Good Parts

JavaScript: The Good Parts - Douglas Crockford Anyone doing a lot of JavaScript development would benefit from reading this book. I feel very comfortable in the depth of my JavaScript knowledge, and I work with JavaScript on a weekly, if not daily, basis. I still learned things from this book. In many cases, I already knew about the particular peculiarity of JavaScript being outlined, but I learned a bit more about why a particular wart exists in the language.

The End of Mr. Y

The End of Mr. Y - Scarlett Thomas Occasionally, a book comes along that I really don't want to end. I mean really. I'll do everything to avoid the end. I'll read a chapter one week, wait another week, and then read another chapter. Or speed through 4-5 chapters on a Saturday night and then put the book away for two weeks. Maybe I'm the only person who does this, but this is how I read The End of Mr. Y.I loved this book's mix of theology, philosophy, critical theory, and information-age conflict. I studied English lit in college and fell in love with critical theory. I always wanted the be a writer of fiction and ended up being a writer of software. This book somehow marries many of my own interests in a compelling look at being human in contemporary culture. The book would appeal equally to my geek or English lit friends. The End of Mr. Y is one part Derrida and one part Susskind, and yet, these high concepts don't get in the way of a fantastic, time-traveling mystery/thriller. I imagine I'll return to this book many times again, and highly recommend it to any of my friends.

Web Component Development with Zope 3

Web Component Development With Zope 3 - Philipp von Weitershausen This is a good introduction to Zope 3. I've been reading it off and on since I started working on Launchpad, which uses Zope. The book was good for helping me get the terms and conventions of Zope development, but Launchpad has a very particular use of Zope 3. Some of the more general web dev uses of Zope 3 covered in the book don't apply, for that reason.But still, this is a good overview of web development using Zope 3. I would recommend the book if you're trying to get up to speed with Zope.