Given that I haven’t heard of many of the other books on the list, I’d say this is a good list I’ll be checking out a few of the titles.
One trick about “reading” (listening) to a good chunk of books has been Audible, to retain the content I’m listening to on my commutes and on the go I take a lot of notes.
As a little self promotion I created a cross platform App that lets you listen to any Article from the web by using great sounding AI/ML to convert the text to audio. I built it recently because I feel really strongly that Audio is a great way to learn and maximize that dead on the go time rather than waste it.
If you’d like to check my app out it’s here:
If I didn’t spend some time thinking I would’ve never built this thing :)
Still though on these busy commutes, especially while standing, I find the time much better spent staying informed and learning but that’s just me.
Also if you don't mind sharing, how did you get the voice library?
But I also find that that's rarely my goal when listening to an audiobook. Fiction is the obvious example. Unless you're studying a book for school or something, I think audio is a great way to take in a book. There's also "non-critical" non-fiction which I find works really well. Books like Sapiens or People's History of the United States, or books on management techniques, where you're more interested in the concepts and high-level material rather than retaining specific details. I would happily do audiobook for a book club, but not for a school assignment. That's just my experience though, results may vary.
While I share your enthusiasm about audiobooks, I encourage you to leave Audible behind:
- Audible is heavy on DRM, for no particular reason except for platform lockin and control. There are plenty of DRM free alternatives e.g. https://audiobookstore.com/ or https://www.downpour.com/ . To this day Audible doesn't sell Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, because they insist on adding DRM (which the author doesn't permit – he has strong principles regarding digital freedom).
- Audible, like Amazon, is becoming too much of a monopoly, which in general harms the product/user (remember IE6?). You don't even have to look for alternatives because of lofty principles, but just for your selfish interests to have a prospering alternative at hand, when Audible/Amazon screws you over.
Btw, small bug with an empty history (iOS): https://ibb.co/C2hT5Jq
At this time there is no limit to the size, it’s distributed on the backend so could technically do a whole book.
Shhesh, for a while there we thought we had achieved Cyberspace - now we're moving back to thousands of fuedal kingdoms all guarding their borders....
Premium is required beyond the 30?
Listening to 5 seconds of an article counts as a play?
Overall really cool app though. Could see it branch out with an awesome feature set.
lol, appreciate that, thank you for trying it.
Going all in on a philosopher at least once, especially when you're young, is the best way to really appreciate philosophy. It's the difference between understanding what the philosopher thought and understanding what it's like to truly think those thoughts and be immersed in the value system.
In general, you can bolster your defenses against unwitting influence if you have a good teacher guiding you and reminding you to be critical. This is more or less the point of dialectic.
And some were politically inspiring: with the Challenger disaster, he was an outside mind investigating a systemic problem where people's incentives were en masse preventing them from seeing an ossified power structure. At least that's how he described it, and I'm convinced the lesson was valuable even if it was more complex than that.
> Picking locks and doing physics problems at the strip club won't help you become the next Feynmann.
Those also sound a lot like stereotypes of the smart wannabe-cool (or wannabe-smart cool?) people in films and TV. Just look at the awful stereotypes of smug-smarter-than-all young guy in Goodwill Hunting for example. Or any movie where people write equations on glass with a marker.
That said, I'm not around physics grads much so I'm not expert. Although the one physics grad I know well fits into your categorization well. Nothing worse than a "quirky intellectual" without the intellectual part down.
I think there are some good lessons for a young person in his playful curiosity about the world & the anti-authority message was mostly about not taking things for granted & not to be afraid to push further for a more complete answer and question things just because they have always been done a certain way.
*There are many translations of this book and the one I feel is easy to read is the one by Gregory Hays: https://www.amazon.com/Meditations-New-Translation-Marcus-Au...
But in general I agree - I don’t want to read about I can be more “efficient” at work during my leisure time. I’d rather read a novel or history book.
I used to love reading novels when I was younger. I read them voraciously. These days I find it incredibly hard to sit down and read novels, even when they're "good".
J.R. - William Gaddis (1975)
(A very nice blog post on it here: https://biblioklept.org/2012/02/09/i-riff-again-on-william-g...)
J R, ambitious sixth-grader in torn sneakers, bred on the challenge of "free enterprise" and fired up by heady mail-order promises of "success." His teachers would rather be elsewhere, his principal doubles as a bank president, his Long Island classroom mirrors the world he sees around him -- a world of public relations and private betrayals where everything (and everyone) wears a price tag, a world of "deals" where honesty is no substitute for experience, and the letter of the law flouts its spirit at every turn.
Operating from the remote anonymity of phone booths and the local post office, with beachheads in a seedy New York cafeteria and a catastrophic, carton-crammed tenement on East 96th Street, J R parlays a deal for thousands of surplus Navy picnic forks through penny stock flyers and a distant textile-mill bankruptcy into a nationwide, hydra-headed "family of companies."
Bleeding Edge - Thomas Pynchon (2013)
It deals with government paranoia, conspiracy theories for 9/11, It uses Computer and ‘deepweb’ Internet as the framing device for the novel—which is why I bring it up in this context. It somehow fits fairly nicely into the political thriller genre, while addressing modern concerns.
Don Delillo - White Noise (1985)
While Jack Gladney is an intellectual academic, an expert in the unlikely field of “Hitler studies” (and something of a fraud, to boot), he’s also a pretty normal dad. Casual reviewers of White Noise tend to overlook the sublime banality of domesticity represented in DeLillo’s signature novel: Gladney is an excellent father to his many kids and step-kids, and DeLillo draws their relationships with a realism that belies–and perhaps helps to create–the novel’s satirical bent.
Crossing to Safety - William Gaddis
Chronic City - Jonathan Lethem
Latro in the Mist - Gene Wolfe
Arcadia (Play) - Tom Stoppard
The Last Picture Show & Texasville - Larry McMurtry [Read both]
The Blithdale Romance - Nathaniel Hawthorne
Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy
The Crossing - Cormac McCarthy
^One of the most interesting novels touching on Southwestern United States. The First chapter regarding the Wolf is one of the most uniquely environmental sections I've seen by prominant American authors. Admittedly, I'm a bit biased in this regard.
A Scanner Darkly - Phillip K Dick
Finished 'The Recognitions' a couple of weeks ago and will definitely get into 'J.R.' soon. I hear it's almost all dialog.
Of the Pynchon I've read, I find there's almost a recursive structure to his sentences/paragraphs...paragraph-sentences. Made 'Gravity's Rainbow' a bit of a challenge, for me. Though, 'Inherent Vice' was a bit easier to digest. 'Bleeding Edge' has been on my radar and the themes seem right up my alley, so it'll be read within the next couple of years for sure.
3. What is J R about? Money. Capitalism. Art. Education. Desperate people. America.
4. The question posed in #3 is a fair question, but probably not the right question, or at least not the right first question about J R. Instead—What is the form of J R—How is J R?
5. A simple answer is that the novel is almost entirely dialog, usually unattributed (although made clear once one learns the reading rules for J R). These episodes of dialogue are couched in brief, pristine, precise, concrete—yet poetic—descriptions of setting. Otherwise, no exposition. Reminiscent of a movie script, almost.
6. A more complex answer: J R, overstuffed with voices, characters (shadows and doubles), and motifs, is an opera, or a riff on an opera, at least.
7. A few of the motifs in J R: paper, shoes, opera, T.V. equipment, entropy, chaos, novels, failure, frustration, mechanization, noise, hunting, war, music, commercials, trains, eruptions of nonconformity, advertising, the rotten shallowness of modern life . . .
8. Okay, so maybe that list of motifs dipped into themes. It’s certainly incomplete (but my reading of J R is incomplete, so . . .)
9. Well hang on so what’s it about? What happens?—This is a hard question to answer even though there are plenty of concrete answers. A little more riffage then—
10. Our eponymous hero, snot-nosed JR (of the sixth grade) amasses a paper fortune by trading cheap stocks. He does this from a payphone (that he engineers to have installed!) in school.
11. JR’s unwilling agent—his emissary into the adult world—is Edward Bast, a struggling young composer who is fired from his teaching position at JR’s school after going (quite literally) off script during a lesson.
12. Echoes of Bast: Thomas Eigen, struggling writer. Jack Gibbs, struggling writer human. Gibbs, a frustrated, exasperated, alcoholic intellectual is perhaps the soul of the book. (Or at least my favorite character).
13. Characters in J R tend to be frustrated or oblivious. The oblivious characters tend to be rich and powerful; the frustrated tend to be artistic and intellectual.
14. Hence, satire: J R is very, very funny.
15. J R was published over 35 years ago, but its take on Wall Street, greed, the mechanization of education, the marginalization of art in society, and the increasing anti-intellectualism in America is more relevant than ever.
16. So, even when J R is funny, it’s also deeply sad.
18. Young JR is a fascinating study, an innocent of sorts who attempts to navigate the ridiculous rules of his society. He is immature; he lacks human experience (he’s only 11, after all), and, like most young children, lacks empathy or foresight. He’s the perfect predatory capitalist.
19. All the love (whether familial or romantic or sexual) in J R (thus far, anyway) is frustrated, blocked, barred, delayed, interrupted . . .
20. I’m particularly fascinated by the scenes in JR’s school, particularly the ones involving Principal Whiteback, who, in addition to his educational duties, is also president of a local bank. Whiteback is a consummate yes man; he babbles out in an unending stammer of doubletalk; he’s a fount of delicious ironic humor. Sadly though, he’s also absolutely real, the kind of educational administrator who thinks a school should be run like a corporation.
They’re advertised as books for “programmers” or people that know little math, yet they hide solutions from the reader.
The reader that doesn’t know proper proofs or deep mathematics likely isn’t the same ones that know if their solutions are correct.
Programmers like to write code with test cases. We don’t like to write code once and trust there are no bugs. So, why would we want to write mathematics any differently? How is a beginner math student even going to know if their answers are correct? I’m sure someone reading this will say “you’re robbing the reader” if you provide solutions. I don’t agree with that. That’s a bit of gatekeeping because not everyone has access to a TA or professor and we’d really like to learn this stuff and know if we’re on the right track.
Are there any actual math text with solutions that are better than the one advertised in this list?
The real reason is twofold:
1. Authors write textbooks for universities and professors, not students. They write for the academic paradigm they’re familiar with, in which the professor is primarily teaching a student. The textbook is simply used to arrange a course, and professors would rather not have solutions available in the textbook.
2. Authors don’t earn much money from textbooks and textbooks aren’t weighed very heavily for tenure. There isn’t much of an incentive for them to write textbooks with solutions for the reason stated above, and it’s actually significantly more work to include solutions to your exercises.
To put it very bluntly, there are extremely few non-students in the market for math textbooks, which is already a high-effort and low-return market for authors as it is. To get such a textbook you’d need someone who: knows the material extremely well, is very good at exposition, has a lot of time to invest in this as a passion project and doesn’t mind if it’s not used much or at all in well-known universities.
I completely agree that any book with exercises without solutions is completely useless. I didn't even have access to professors or any teaching assistants even DURING my undergraduate years. So the assumption that you can discuss the questions with your professor doesn't even hold water.
I always wondered why there weren't supplement books/websites of practice problems that were separate from the text book. Seems like an easy way to make money. I guess because it makes it harder to pass on to the students.
It’s true that these are most common for big, intro-to-intermediate classes, and less common elsewhere, but there are a lot kicking around....
> So, why would we want to write mathematics any differently?
I haven't looked at the book in question, but generally, you don't just "know if" your solution is correct, you prove it, or at least consider examples that can demonstrate if your solution works in some conceivable cases. That's how "unit tests" work in mathematics.
If the book has armed you with enough knowledge to work though a problem to the end, it has done it's job. The real test will come as you build on that knowledge later on in the book or in real-life applications.
Moreover, it's not like this stuff is obscure knowledge. You can find help online or by looking at other books or connecting with others.
In any case, since the study of mathematics is cumulative. Even if the student can't prove or verify that their answer to a specific problem is correct they will eventually reach a point, often within the same problem-set, where inability to solve a problem will force them to encounter their gaps/misconceptions.
The most important thing in a mathematics text, as with any other text, is lucidity of writing and the preparation of the student.
Test cases are not proofs. I don't want to write mathematics, I want to write code and maybe draw some fuzzy and fallible human inspiration from mathematics.
I did find this: https://github.com/pim-book/exercises but it doesn't seem to have taken hold quite yet. Maybe if you and others are so inclined, a nice community effort can solve this issue together and maybe that interactive discussion helps mediate some of the other reasons people give for not providing the solutions up front.
All of these solutions are equivalent (or at least, may be if there are no other mistakes). There are probably other equivalent formulations that I can't immediately think of. But each of these students may see the solution and not realize that they're equivalent. Or worse, they may understand the equivalence of the foregoing statements but make a critical flaw elsewhere in the proof, and still think they have the correct solution.
I'm not arguing against solutions in textbooks. I'm just saying that for most proof-based mathematics they wouldn't be useful as solution checkers.
Can it be done? Yes, absolutely. It is likely to be done? Almost certainly not. This is why we have solutions books - you can usually write a full book consisting only of solutions to another book's exercises.
There's a reason these books declare some level of "mathematical maturity" as a prerequisite. By the time you get to certain content you have to either be comfortable checking a proof (maybe set it aside for a few days like you would any other writing) or have human help.
Of course it isn't ideal to work alone; it's helpful to have other people to point out errors in your proofs and to present their own proofs to you. I just don't think providing solutions helps at all in that way. What gives you the best approximation of that experience is spending a long time working on problems. Sometimes you'll realize you've proved something false and have to debug your own proof, so you'll be collaborating with yourself. Solutions will only make it harder for you to force yourself to have those experiences.
That’s completely fine. Don’t advertise the books for self-learners or “programmers”.
I would like to see actual books targeted at these demographics that provide solutions and aren’t concerned about being adapted in a classroom.
There is a market for those that graduated university a long time ago and would like to learn math outside of a classroom.
These sort of people don’t want to see solutions because they have to turn their work in for a grade, but because they want to check their work and get feedback. Outside of having to consult with TAs or professors they don’t have access to.
It does not provide answers to every exercise--maybe 10% tops--but a lot of the exercises are small and should not be any problem. These are often in a group, where he takes something that would be one hard exercise in another book and breaks it down almost to the level it would be if were part of the main text, leaving just small thing for you to fill in as exercises.
There are a few recurring themes throughout the exercises, where he applies the material of the chapter to some specific application in several exercises (e.g., error correcting codes if I recall correctly), and subsequent chapters continue with those themes in their exercises.
For Linear Algebra, "Linear Algebra Done Right" -- way better than my college lin alg course.
For "general mathematics", I like books that read almost like novels to really grasp the "why" of mathematics, so these are more to embellish your general understanding of "what is the point" type questions -- so things here like Euclid's Window come to mind, and "An Imaginary Tale: The story of square root minus one" will help explain complex numbers in more detail than you ever cared. Reading about the history of mathematics and the writings of some of the greats, like Rene Descartes, Lehonard Euler, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Issac Newton (the amazing thing is all these greats lived within a century of each other)
I definitely sympathize with your position. But I think a few things are worth pointing out.
Firstly, it's useful to remember that the purpose of a mathematics book is to teach mathematics, and conversely the purpose of studying one is to learn mathematics, not to solve its exercises. That is, the exercises are not a goal in themselves — they are an additional gift offered by the author in addition to the mathematical content. (Many famous mathematical books don't even have exercises... writing a book is already a lot of effort, coming up with good exercises is additional work, and including solutions is a bit more on top of that.) Moreover, even if a book has exercises, they are never enough, and it is the reader's job to make up many more of their own. (I think readers' giving so much weight to exercises that happen to be written in the book come from school/college mathematics education and testing.)
: https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/57889/hardy-wrights... ("A random sample of 10 maths books I have handy shows that 4 doesn't have exercises.")
: https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~abhishek/chicmath.htm (search for "no exercises")
To put it in programming terms: the exercises are the tests, the way to verify that your understanding of the mathematics has no bugs in it. If you're trying to verify that your solutions to exercises are correct, you're in a position akin to writing tests for your tests: it can be useful, but it's a second-order concern. Just as tests should be as “dumb” and “obvious” as possible, if there's any doubt at all that you've solved an exercise correctly, that itself is an indication that your understanding of the mathematics isn't complete, and you need to go back and engage with the material (think deeply, write your own exercises/tests, etc) until it becomes obvious. Of course this takes a lot more effort than plowing through exercises and verifying one's solutions.
Programmers have another advantage over other mathematics students: you can test your understanding of the mathematics by writing actual programs. For example, if you're reading an elementary number theory book and learn about the Chinese Remainder Theorem, you can write an actual program/function for finding solutions to a system of modular congruences. As computers require a level of precision greater than human readers, this will force your understanding to become really sharp, as you have to deal with all the corner cases as well. (No doubt there are areas of mathematics for which this is hard to do, but most of the undergraduate curriculum can fit, and if you find something that's hard then maybe making it “programmable” can be your unique contribution.)
All that said, it's definitely comforting to have solutions to exercises: there's a boost in motivation from being told that your answer is correct and you can progress to the next section, and though there's a cost here (if you needed to be told your solution is correct then maybe you should actually spend more time understanding the mathematics instead of going to the next section — but then again maybe not everyone really wants to understand the mathematics that well), I think that's probably the main thing that's missed when books don't have solutions. As a self-learner, motivation is most of the challenge, and solutions can definitely help there.
Personally, if I look back at books I went through a good fraction of as a self-learner (and loved), there's an even mix:
• Concrete Mathematics and Generatingfunctionology have complete solutions.
• Burton's Elementary Number Theory has “Hints”, and “Answers” to selected exercises (i.e. those where the answer was a number, not a proof — these are not much work for an author to include).
• The Art of Computer Programming (obviously I've read only a tiny bit of it) has problem ratings and sometimes very terse solutions / outlines of solutions.
• Uspensky and Heaslet's Elementary Number Theory (which I read before Burton) and Analytic Combinatorics have no solutions at all.
I don't think solutions to exercises have made a substantial difference in my engagement with these books, but who knows.
A beginner could easily fool herself onto thinking she has correct understanding, but actually her proof is buggy. Without feedback, she wouldn’t know.
BTW, I didn't mention this earlier, but for verifying solutions to exercises which ask to prove something, I've never found it useful to see a solution that is simply a proof. The only way to get more confidence that you've proved something correctly is to find someone adversarial (e.g. a friend with similar or greater mathematical maturity) and try to prove it to them while they keep say “why” or “I'm not convinced”. (A proof is a social process; you cannot get feedback on your proof from a static, non-interactive source like a book.) One's proof may be superficially similar to what's in the book and yet not be a proof, while it can be very different and still be fine.
What provided proofs can help with is getting you unstuck when you've been unsuccessful at proving something. So they help with frustration and motivation, as I mentioned earlier (feedback not so much).
There's probably a reason for that. It might be good if people made a sincere effort to actually understand that reason, instead of just dismissing it and trying to explain it away.
Programmers have another advantage over other mathematics students: you can test your understanding of the mathematics by writing actual programs. For example, if you're reading an elementary number theory book and learn about the Chinese Remainder Theorem, you can write an actual program/function for finding solutions to a system of modular congruences.
Agreed. But I personally don't find that to be sufficient justification for not including solutions to exercises. But at least those of us who are programmers do have this option to help supplement our understanding.
All that said, it's definitely comforting to have solutions to exercises: there's a boost in motivation from being told that your answer is correct and you can progress to the next section
I guess everybody approaches this different, but for me, it's not a question of comfort or motivation... I'm literally blocked from proceeding to the next section until I know I understand the current section. I mean, yeah, it's a self-imposed limitation, but it's no less real as a result.
Of course, at the end of the day, it's always possible to make progress, because you can check your answer other ways (using math.se, /r/cheatatmathhomework, the physicsforums.com boards, etc.) but for my money, a good textbook is one which provides solutions, or for which a solutions manual is available (to students, not just to teachers).
• Level 1: You're not seeking much understanding, just reading the book like a novel, maybe glancing at the exercises and trying to solve one here or there. (As we're talking about solutions to exercises, we can ignore this demographic for purposes of this discussion.)
• Level 2: You're seeking some amount of understanding, the kind that would be enough to pass a test. You read through the theorems, then you try each exercise (or most of them), want to be sure you've got it right and could solve it again in a test, etc. Most of the “work” (the kind with pencil and paper) you do with any section, you do when you're solving the exercises.
• Level 3: You're trying to really understand the mathematics, not just what would be enough to get an A if you'd been taking it in a classroom somewhere. You read the book carefully, you treat every theorem as an exercise (i.e. try to prove it yourself before reading the proof given in the book), ask lots of questions (see the Halmos quote starting with “Don't just read it; fight it!”), try lots of examples and counterexamples. Conversely you may even ignore the details of a proof that's written out in the book, if you have one of your own and can see at a glance that there's nothing mathematically interesting going on in what's in the book. Or you may read the book's sections in a different order, after getting a feel for what it's trying to do (see Thurston's quote about “the best psychological order”: https://books.google.com/books?id=5irlDQAAQBAJ&pg=PR9). Either way, by the time you reach the part labelled “exercises”, you've filled up more pages of paper than you will by working through all the exercises. And despite all this, there may still be parts that you realize you only half-understand (or not at all), but you're excited and want to read ahead anyway and know you'll come back to this.
Part of “mathematical maturity” is going from 1 to 2 to 3. Of course, we're all at different levels when it comes to different areas of mathematics, and different life situations. (Frankly for many areas of mathematics I'm at level 0, actively trying to avoid reading anything about it because I find it so painful.)
Anyway, to talk more concretely, when it comes to exercises, there are two kinds:
• those that ask you to find or compute an answer, something which satisfies some equation(s) or inequalities or some property or whatever. These are the “hard to find but easy to verify” kind, and can have one-line answers at the back of the book, and frankly there's no reason authors shouldn't include them.
• those that ask you to prove something. Here a solution given in the book can show you one way to prove it, and can be extremely useful when you're stuck and frustrated that you cannot solve the exercise and would really like to do so before you proceed. (So I always appreciate one when it's present.) What it cannot do in general is give you feedback on whether your proof is correct: there can be many ways of proving the same thing, and many incorrect ways that look very similar to what the book may have.
> it's not a question of comfort or motivation... I'm literally blocked from proceeding to the next section until I know I understand the current section. I mean, yeah, it's a self-imposed limitation, but it's no less real as a result.
My two comments to that are: Firstly, reminding oneself that the goal really is “I know I understand the current section”, not “I know my solution to this exercise is correct” — if you have doubts about the latter then almost certainly the answer to the former is no, you don't yet understand the current section (even if you can solve all the exercises) and would benefit from more time spent on it. But secondly, the opposite: from http://pi.math.cornell.edu/~hubbard/readingmath.pdf
> This may contradict what you have been told—that mathematics is sequential, and that you must understand each sentence before going on to the next. In reality, although mathematical writing is necessarily sequential, mathematical understanding is not: you (and the experts) never understand perfectly up to some point and not at all beyond. The “beyond,” where understanding is only partial, is an essential part of the motivation and the conceptual background of the “here and now.” You may often (perhaps usually) find that when you return to something you left half-understood, it will have become clear in the light of the further things you have studied, even though the further things are themselves obscure. Many students are very uncomfortable in this state of partial understanding, like a beginning rock climber who wants to be in stable equilibrium at all times. To learn effectively one must be willing to leave the cocoon of equilibrium. So if you don’t understand something perfectly, go on ahead and then circle back.
For what my goals are, I don't necessarily need to get to level 3 (although I might like to if I had infinite time available to indulge in every hobby/interest that I have).
Anyway, my feeling is that exercise solutions are very useful up to, or just around, what you call "level 2." And I expect that a lot of other HN users making this same complaint about solutions, are probably also working at or near that same level. For getting to level 3, I would agree with you that solutions are less useful (although even there I expect they would have some value, at least for self-learners).
It really is a different thing when you're trying to learn this stuff on your own, instead of being in the context of a classroom where you have an instructor and/or TA's that you can get to check your answers. For those of us in that mode, anything that adds friction to the process is extremely frustrating, at least from my subjective perspective.
This may contradict what you have been told—that mathematics is sequential, and that you must understand each sentence before going on to the next. In reality, although mathematical writing is necessarily sequential, mathematical understanding is not: you (and the experts) never understand perfectly up to some point and not at all beyond.
I expect this is another of those things where it kinda depends on where you are. Getting up to and through, say, Multi-Variable Calculus does seem to depend on a lot of earlier subjects that depend on earlier things, in a roughly sequential stream. But beyond that, I can see that things start to diverge and become not-strictly-sequential.
Maybe if enough people like it, it'll get some activity. :)
Whenever I read a book thread on HN I end up adding most of the books to my reading list on goodreads. But a year later, I don't remember why I've added the book and all I have to go on is the Goodreads rating and goodreads comments.
These aren't that bad, but if the book has been on a HN book thread, I would much rather see a one sentence comment from HN that reads: "I loved this book, you should read it right now." Instead of any other comments from normal Goodreads users.
How else is it possible to even begin parsing a thread like this? https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17980964
Ugh.. no. If there was a book I read this year which read as if it was written for the sake of writing a book, it was 'The Manager's Path'. It was a series of insipid blog posts consisting of frequent itemizations of 'truths'. So many repetitions that I legit thought I mis-touched my kindle when turning pages a couple of times as I felt I read the same paragraph twice across a couple of chapters. Looking at the table of contents it looks as if it's fairly organized but when you're reading it, it's mostly all over the place. Also, if you spent more than a couple of years in the industry nothing in the book should be a surprise.
I was so hyped before reading the book as literally everyone recommended it but honestly it fell short for a generic non-fiction read.
That may be obvious for others, but it wasn't for me.
I was not even sure what "IC" meant or what an "engineering manager" might do.
Personally, I found there was lots of actionable advice and a clear "path" for how one might operate in different roles in an organisation.
Almost any non-fiction book could be described as a series of blog posts or articles, so I don't really understand that criticism.
YMMV but I would recommend it.
I suspect you're referring to "Shoe Dog" (singular, not plural) by Phil Knight describing the early history of Nike.
It is a fascinating book, indeed.
Thank you for your book recommendations.
That might the the more shocking thing lol
It would be pretty nice for posters to put some additional information about the topic rather than just posting a link.
So, the short explanations of why the books are interesting is your introduction to yourself, your overlap (books I already read) is the evaluation material, and the rest of the blog/notes is the thing that it's really being discussed.
On a more serious note: Because there are some books in this list that at least I've never heard about but sound interesting.
In the grand scheme of things, Twitter fame means little.
To me, the book is decent for background listening during chores or driving (it is a free audiobook if your library has an associated Hoopla account), but almost all stories boil down to either "I was such a horny guy", or "I used different math tools which allowed me to solve the physics problem", which gets old after a while.
but tech culture is pretty averse to doing that and will insist that it doesn't matter and we can ignore the sexism which is safely "in the past" (as if).