This page is outdated. I’ve read many books since the time I published the following lists. Some of the fundamentals have faded and new ones have taken their place. I’ve forgotten much and I only reread books on-demand.
Non-fictional works fundamental to my thinking
- Eliezer Yudkowski: Rationality
- Bret Victor: Magic Ink
- Damian Conway: Perl Best Practices
- George Pólya: How to Solve It
- Dale Carnegie: How to Win Friends and Influence People
- Richard Hamming: The Art of Doing Science and Engineering
- Donald Reinertsen: The Principles of Product Development Flow
- Eric Orton: The Cool Impossible
- Harold McGee: On Food and Cooking
- Till Roenneberg: Internal Time
Other non-fiction I like a lot (amongst many others)
- Michel de Montaigne: Essais (German translation by Hans Stilett)
- Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall: River Cottage Veg Every Day!
- Sandor Ellix Katz: Wild Fermentation. The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods
- Betty Edwards: Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, 4th ed.
- Christopher McDougall: Born to Run
- Scott Jurek: Eat & Run
- Bernardo J. Carducci: Shyness. A Bold New Approach
- Harold Abelson, Gerald Jay Sussman, Julie Sussman: Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
- Paul Graham: On Lisp
- Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.: The Mythical Man-Month
- Niki Segnit: The Flavour Thesaurus
- Toni Weschler: Taking Charge of Your Fertility
I have read much less than I ought to have read. Just focusing on the Lisp literature, I haven’t read Lisp in Small Pieces, The Art of the Metaobject Protocol, Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming: Case Studies in Common Lisp, Essentials of Programming Languages. I have read Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs and On Lisp only half. I have begun reading Let Over Lambda. Why am I telling you what I haven’t read? Because the main reason (beside that being a ton of text) is that those books are not easily and affordably available. I am a student. Students have no money. So they go to the library. But the library has no books. At least not the ones listed up there. They have mountains of rubbish instead. Buy them? Forget it. Most of those books are really old tomes. They are out of print, available second-hand for hilariously high prices, nobody makes any revenue with them anymore and still nobody cares to put them online.
Okay, that was my original rant. Actually only some of them are really old tomes and hilariously overpriced. The others come at usual prices for technical writing, which is still forbiddingly high for a student on a tight budget. So I should go on ranting a bit more against libraries. Is it only the Berlin ones which have no taste in selecting programming books? But my spring of rant has dried up for today. I’ll finish with some praise:
Hats off to SICP, On Lisp and Let Over Lambda. They are a bit hard to read on my aged ebook reader and I’m gnawing my way through, but they are online and I thank those people who made them available. May others follow their example.
John E. Sarno: The Mindbody Prescription
There are many people on the internet writing about their RSI and there are many people on the internet writing about their experience with Sarno’s methods, but for some reason these sets appear largely disjunct. I have no idea whether his theories are correct, but everyone who suffers from RSI should read that book anyway. And everyone else, too.
(There ought to be lots (and lots) of items on this list, which is why it originally didn’t exist. However, Eliezer Yudkowski asks for spreading the word and this is what I do.)
- Eliezer Yudkowski: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality