|A friend of mine went to prison 17 years ago (robbed a bank; first offense; no one was hurt, but they through the book at him). He'll be released in November and is trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life (he's 39).|
I told him the only truly meritocratic profession in the world is programming. He's done a lot of VB/Access-work for the prison factory and really enjoys it, so this path is probably a great fit for him. He'd like to use the next 9 months to learn as much as humanly possible about the general fundamentals of computer science and, more specifically, the basics of what is needed to be a web developer.
Unfortunately, he is limited to book-learning because, well, it's not like they have a One Laptop Per Inmate program. Additionally, his facility does not allow actual programming texts to be received/read by inmates. The more technical/instructive/informative a book is, the more likely it is to be returned to the sender. Yes, it sucks. But it is the reality of the situation.
He is, however, allowed to receive/read books that are conceptual in nature. Based on these constraints, which programming-oriented books (they must be physical books, as opposed to ebooks and pdfs) do you recommend I purchase for him? Given the constraints, what books do you recommend?