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The Mysterious Island - Jules Verne. Probably my first favorite book, which I've read about 10 or 12 times in my life. Just re-read it again a few weeks ago. Never gets old. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mysterious_Island

The three titles in The Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant. I'm not normally real big on zombie stories, but this one was a breath of fresh air. Part zombies, part conspiracy story, and wildly entertaining. http://miragrant.com/newsflesh.php

Living Low Carb - Jonny Bowden. Picked this up after I was diagnosed as diabetic, and needed to clean up my diet and lose some weight. Very detailed book, explains the endocrine cycle and the relationship between carbs, fat, insulin, etc. very well, and makes a compelling case for eliminating most carbs from one's diet. I've been following this approach for the last 2-3 months and feel pretty good about it. My weight is coming down, even though I'm not doing a lot more exercise (that part will come eventually, but for now I'm basically just doing on mountain bike ride of about 2 hours, on Saturdays). http://www.amazon.com/Living-Low-Carb-Controlled-Carbohydrat...

The Startup Owner's Manual - Steve Blank and Bob Dorf. The successor to the famous The Four Steps to the Epiphany, this is the Bible of Customer Development. http://www.stevenblank.com/startup_index_qty.html

Winning The Knowledge Transfer Race - kinda niche, but important to me, vis-a-vis Fogbeam Labs. Our space is (largely) knowledge management, and I got a ton of ideas from this book, in terms of how to articulate problems our customers might be facing, how some of the solutions map to capabilities we're working on, etc. http://www.michaeljenglish.com/books/winning.html

Outthink The Competition - Kaihan Krippendorff. Definitely got me thinking about the value of strategy and strategic thinking. Contains a nice catalog of basic strategies one can employ. Inspired me pick up some other books on strategy and strategic thinking as well. I definitely recommend this one, unless you happen to be in a business that might compete with us at Fogbeam Labs, in which case, forget you ever heard of this. http://www.kaihan.net/outthinkthe_competitionbook.html

Capability Cases: A Solution Envisioning Approach - Irene Polioff, Robert Coyne, Ralph Hodgson. An interesting book on matching business problems to technical solutions through something called a "capability case". Think of a "capability case" as something like a cross between a "use case" and an Alexanderian pattern, and a business "case" like you'd study in business school. Basically it's an approach to distilling the essence of a problem an organization might have, laying out the capabilities needed to address that problem, and demonstrating the business justification for the solution. http://www.capabilitycases.org/

Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson. Just a fascinating story of a strangely interesting man. Lots of computer industry history embedded in here as well. http://www.amazon.com/Steve-Jobs-Walter-Isaacson/dp/14516485...

Hackers - Steven Levy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hackers:_Heroes_of_the_Computer...

Artificial Life - Steven Levy. http://www.stevenlevy.com/index.php/books/artificial-life

The Apocalypse Codex - Charles Stross. My first foray into "The Laundry Files" and it was a good one. When somebody first recommended this series to me, they said it was "sci fi with a Lovecraftian bent" which caught my attention as a huge fan of Lovecraft. Sure enough, that's exactly what it is. As soon as I encountered the phrase "computational demonologist" I knew I was in the right place. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Apocalypse_Codex

The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand. I like to read this for inspiration every now and again. Howard Roark is one of my favorite characters and I aspire to be more like him. Unfortunately, to date, I think I'm closer to Gail Wynand. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fountainhead

Trust Me, I'm Lying - Ryan Holiday. How one man manipulated a variety of media outlets to gain free PR for his clients. Some of these tactics may seem (and probably are) underhanded, perhaps even downright unethical. But even if you don't want to use them yourself, you should probably be aware of them, as it may help you understand why certain stories get featured in the media and why others don't. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trust_Me,_I%27m_Lying

Ghost In The Wires - Kevin Mitnick. http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Wires-Adventures-Worlds-Wanted/d...

This Machine Kills Secrets - Andy Greenberg. History of the cypherpunk movement, from the early days through Wikileaks and the Bradley Manning and Julian Assange sagas. Lots of great stuff here, definitely recommended for anyone interested in cypherpunks, government/corporate transparency, information security, and related topics. http://www.thismachinekillssecrets.com/

Started, but haven't yet finished Taking People With You by David Novak. Another book on leadership and how to engage other people and get them onboard with whatever it is you're trying to accomplish. So far it strikes me as pretty good, with actual actionable material, not just a bunch of pithy aphorisms. But I'm only about 1/3rd of the way in, so kinda early to pass judgement. http://www.takingpeoplewithyou.com/

Started Reamde by Neal Stephenson, but got distracted, set it aside and never resumed it. Will probably start it again sometime next year. Was entertaining up to the point I stopped. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reamde

Started, but didn't finish The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil. It's a long book, what can I say? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Singularity_Is_Near

Definitely recommend the rest of the Laundry books. Also be sure to check out Stross's short story "A Colder War", which came before those, and is very much in the same overall theme, although substantially darker.

Will do! I have a handful of other Stross books waiting in a pile to be ready already, but not sure I have any more of the Laundry ones yet. I know I have several of his other traditional sci-fi works waiting, and I'll definitely get to the rest of the Laundry books eventually.

I can highly recommend "Accelerando". It's one of my all time favorite books. I've read it a half dozen times, and I'll probably read it again, just not right away.

I also liked his Eschaton series, "Singularity Sky", and "Iron Sunrise".

In spite of loving "Accelerando", I've never been able to get into his non-hard science fiction series, like the Laundry series, or Merchant Princes.

I wouldn't recommend Merchant Princes too much. They're fun, but they're long, and don't really finish. At some point, the plot sort of gets lost, and the series ends with way more questions than answers. It's a cool universe, and really interesting, but IMO not used so well.

"singularity sky" is not necessarily my favourite stross book, but it's the one that impressed me the most. one of the best treatments of FTL in a relativistic universe I've seen (as in "fine, have FTL, but you can't ignore the fact that it violates causality".)

Yeah, I've got that one, but haven't gotten to it yet. The only other Stross I've read was, Halting State. But I have Accelerando, The Jennifer Morgue, Singularity Sky, and a couple of others, in the queue waiting to be read.

Ghost In The Wires was definitely my favourite read of 2012. I'm keen to read a few more in your list. Ta for posting!

OMG, I was going to put an Any Rand book on there as a joke and I see one seriously posted one here. If you like Rand books now, you probably newly "discovered" her and her books and philosophy. Strong probability you are around college age, plu or minus a few years. Circle back when you are wiser and compare what you think then to what you think now.

Nope, I'm 39 and discovered Rand some time ago. I only wish I had discovered her stuff when I was younger.

Also, just because you don't like Rand doesn't mean you should go around insulting people who happen to enjoy her work. It kinda makes you a dick. Reasonable people can disagree on things, you do realize this, right? If not, come back when you're a little wiser and maybe we can talk.

Yes, I agree that reasonable people can disagree. BTW, I used to like Rand, but then I became older and wiser. My experience is typical of many, not not all, of course. Same thing with Santa. I never actually believed in him, but many did when they were younger. Some still do. Most grew older and wiser (some not so much, same with religion, I guess). That's all. No need to get angry :) Anyway, like I said, "Circle back when you are wiser and compare what you think then to what you think now." If you are "normal," you will grow wiser with age, you do realize this, right? :)

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