"Basic Lathework" by Stan Bray. This is the best of the beginning lathe books that I've been reading recently, covering the parts of the machine and accessories, techniques, and cutting tools. Very minimal pre-requisites.
"Metals in the Service of Man" by Arthur Street and William Alexander. A very light read about industrially useful metals, a little history about them, and their uses.
"Measurement" by Paul Lockhart. I finally got this book after reading his "A Mathematicians Lament" from a while back. https://www.maa.org/external_archive/devlin/LockhartsLament....
"How Round is Your Circle" by John Bryant and Chris Sangwin. Just started this, but it sounds interesting, the pictures are intriguing, and it pushes a lot of my "interesting" buttons.
It's a brilliant book written by Sidney Dekker, a "Professor of Human Factors and Flight Safety". The basic point is that the default way of understanding bad outcomes is what he calls "the Old View or the Bad Apple Theory". He instead argues for the New View, where "human error is a symptom of trouble deeper inside a system".
Normally with a book like this, I read the first couple of chapters, say, "Ok, I get the idea," and can ignore the rest. After all, I both agree with and understand the basic thesis. But so far every chapter has been surprisingly useful; I keep discovering that I have Old View notions hidden away. E.g., when I discover a systemic flaw, I'm inclined to blame "bad design". But he points out that's a fancy way of calling the problem human error, just a different human and a different error than normal.
Even the driest parts are helped by his frequent use of examples, often taken from real-world aviation accident reports. There are also fascinating bits like a system for high-resolution markup of dialog transcripts to indicate timing (down to 1/10th second), speech inflection, and emphasis. I'll never use it myself, but I will definitely use the mindset that it requires.
Given how much time software projects spend dealing with bugs, I believe we need a new way to think about them, and for me this book describes a big piece of that.
The numerous real-world examples from airplane crash investigation also help put into perspective the relative unimportance of the "critical bugs" and "extreme pressure" most of us building the kinds of products discussed on HN actually experience.
I think the most common critique of his work might be about the occasional digressions on physics. It's undeniable that they make the book a bit dense, but in fact, he appears to have restrained himself to keep it readable and entertaining, instead publishing the actual hairy details on his website:
PS: I'd like to thank HN for making me discover this author. Now I'm keeping with the tradition!
If consciousness is only a series of states in your brain, does it matter what the order of running that sequence is? In Permutation City there is an experiment where brain states are played back backwards or in a random order, but to the person perceiving it, it seems like just business as usual.
I always assumed that after my brain is destroyed there would be just nothingness. But maybe if the "next state" will again exist some time in the future (or past?) from my perspective it will still be a totally continuous experience. Death might seem like just a bad dream.
He plays a lot with this stuff. In Diaspora consciousness is just a piece of software. Since this software can be run at a much higher speed than wetware can, each moment of real time seems much longer to the uploaded. But when they want to, for example when waiting for an interstellar trip to complete, they can "skip forward" and let the brain emulator run them at a much slower pace to make the trips more bareable.
I thought running a consciousness backwards or in random order would be as far as he goes, but in Diaspora they even go a step further, having every state be a completely separate structure in a completely separate universe. The book assumes that to the participants even that would seem like a continuous experience.
It really makes me question what I really am, how malleable is this "me"?
But as the book progresses, you get more and more comfortable with this universe, and with the fact the your consciousness could work like that. You learn to be at peace with this conception of the mind, and this feeling of peace is the main element that stuck with me after Diaspora. I suppose this may also pervade other works that belong to the vague cyberpunk genre.
I liked Permutation City, but I regard it as something of a cognitive hazard because it's not obvious which parts are realistic and which parts aren't unless you have a fairly specialized background. The above is something that wouldn't actually work, for the simple reason that the later states depend on the earlier ones, so you can't calculate them without first calculating the earlier states.
Incidentally, his answer to Q6 on that list inspired a more recent story, "Crystal Nights": http://ttapress.com/553/crystal-nights-by-greg-egan/
A fascinating thing about diaspora: if you read reviews of it, opinion is split between those who see it as a story about nerd-heaven, which to me is how egan wrote it, and those who see it as a dystopia, basically a vision of hell. Apparently to a lot of people, the book reads like pitch-dark satire. I'm guessing there aren't so many of those people here.
EDIT: Bonus scott aaronson quantum conciousness essays! Wooooo! Egan fans will like these:
That being said, I read disapora first, then permutation city, and that was fine.
I loved how humanity reacted to having their horizons limited, but in an unexpected but potentially reversible way.
Greg Egan's stories always ask really great what-if questions. I think about them long after I read them. I'd actually forgotten that permutation cities was where those interesting ideas about consciousness came from.
If you want something less theoretical, more personal, poetic and emotional, his "Le ton beau de Marot" (English, despite the title) is also fabulous. He takes a short poem and translates it a hundred different ways, all the while musing about what "translation" means (literal, conveying the same emotion, using the same metaphors, between cultures...) as well as about thought, language and meaning more generally. And then, while he writes the book, his wife gets a brain tumor and dies, and the book becomes part of his mourning.
* The C++ Programming Language, 4th Edition (Bjarne Stroustrup)
* Effective Modern C++: 42 Specific Ways to Improve Your Use of C++11 and C++14 (Scott Meyers)
* Interactive Computer Graphics: A Top-Down Approach with WebGL (7th Edition) (Edward Angel & Dave Schreiner)
* Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture (David Kushner)
* Neuromancer (William Gibson)
I most recently finished:
* Corporate Confidential: 50 Secrets Your Company Doesn't Want You to Know---and What to Do About Them (Cynthia Shapiro)
* C++ for dinosaurs (Nick Economidis)
I am highly anticipating the final(?) book of the Ender's Game Series by Orson Scott Card titled Shadows Alive.
I just learned about and probably will buy:
* The Denial of Death (Ernest Becker)
Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
by Steven Levy?
Artificial Life is also great and has a kind of similar feel to it too.
* Domain-Driven Design: Tackling Complexity in the Heart of Software (Eric Evans)
* F# Deep Dives (Tomas Petricek and Phillip Trelford)
* PostgreSQL: Up and Running AND PostGIS in Action, 2nd Edition (both by Regina O. Obe and Leo S. Hsu)
I'm eyeballing Purely Functional Data Structures by Chris Okasaki (1999) and a few others for after I finished the Postgres books.
s/Haskell/today's new JS framework/ ?
Or vim. Any books on neovim yet?
The media we use influence the way we think, the way we act, the political narrative of our times, etc. by placing limits and incentives on the messages we convey through those media. As an easy example, consider Twitter: you cannot have a coherent and intellectually involved conversation on Twitter. If Twitter were our only method, or main method, of communication, that property would drastically shape public discourse.
As technologists, we are developing the communications media of the future; it is imperative that we take on this task responsibly by first reflecting on the design and effects of media from the past.
If you're interested in his topic, you might want to read some books of Vilem Flusser. "Post-History" and "Does Writing Have a Future" are great texts which I think are highly relevant to computer scientists like me. Sadly, Flusser is almost unknown to people not taking classes in philosophy. I would never have read any text of him without taking philosophy as my minor subject ^^
* The Reckoners #1/#2
* Stormlight Archive #1/#2
* Mistborn #1/#2/#3
* Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures As the World's Most Wanted Hacker
* How to Win Friends and Influence People
* Malazon Book #1
* The Forever War
* The Martian
* Think and Grow Rich
* Watership Down
* Rainbows End
* Snow Crash
* What is Zen
* Wool: Silo
* Founders at Work
* Light Bringer
* The War of Art
* Atlas Shrugged
* The Demon Haunted World
* Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software
* Joe Abercrombie's books
* Rich Dad Poor Dad
* Founders at Work
* Fear the Sky
* Daemon -- EDIT ADDED
* All of Brandon Sanderson's Books
* The Kingkiller Chronicles
* How to Win Friends and Influence People
* Issac Asimov's short stories and Foundation series
* The Forever War
* Gentleman Bastards
* Ready Player One
* The Martian
* A Wizard of Earthsea
Atlas Shrugged is an important intellectual work whether you agree with the philosophy or not. It's a long slog, but worth reading to understand the people who follow it. It will just take a long long time. I read it when I was doing regular coast to coast flights.
The Demon Haunted World is vintage Sagan. Very well worth readying, though as an HN member it's probably preaching to the choir.
And a book I would recommend to you is Enders Game and the following ones... They are just great!
He is connecting quantum computing, computability, computational complexity, foundations of mathematics, probability, crypto, philosophy, and a bunch of other things I haven't gotten to yet. All the deep stuff -- but it's not pretentious or tedious at all.
Scott Aaronson is a great writer and lucid thinker. I got hooked from the preface alone.
I am particularly interest in rereading it and paying particular attention to the question of judgement and how poor judgements were formed. World War 1 is notable for its poor judgements. This interest is sparked by my recently listening to , which was very enlightening.
The essential question in our field often is not how fast we work, but if we're working on tasks worthy of attention - in other words, we have to judge the systems and features and determine what brings us the best outcomes. I've had some number of technically successful projects that were nulls when released. Avoiding that is part of significant improvement for me going forward.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFcHX0Menno , "Stranger than Fiction Case Studies in Software Engineering Judgment" Steve McConnell
Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy, Simon Blackburn. Not enjoying it. It is a well written book, and reads easilly, but it's way of explaining the themes is just not good. It's long-winded, goes back and forth between the philosophers and the analogies are not very good. Maybe I'm too used to technical books, but I was expecting something like "Theme X. This is what philosopher A thinks of it. This is what philosopher B thinks of it. This is how these theories clash". Probably gonna drop it.
Programming in Lua, Roberto Ierusalimschy. The first programming language book I bought since college. IMO, Lua is the most well-designed and beautiful language yet (from the one I know). The book is clear, concise, full of examples and it is simply a treat to read.
«Ready Player One», Ernest Cline -- Because all my friends read it and I've to.
«What is to go to war», Karl Marlantes -- After learning about it in a podcast, very interesting.
«Los enemigos del comercio, II», Escohotado -- Slowing progressing through it, full of footnotes and amazing stories about all the attempts of communism and socialism. Nearly clinical dissection of the original texts and sources.
«The windup girl», Paolo Bacigalupi -- Harsh, hot, cruel, realistic and futuristic. I'm enjoying it a lot.
Someone on HN had recommended The Box by Marc Levinson. It's a history of the shipping container. That sounds dreadfully prosaic, but the book is well written and the shipping container's influence on our modern global economy cannot be overstated.
Not reading per se, but Dan Carlin's WWI podcasts on the Hardcore History blog are well worth listening to. http://www.dancarlin.com/hardcore-history-series/
Treasure your original edition.
I think 'The Lean Startup' is not just a good read for startups in the usual sense; it's also a great advise on how to handle personal projects.
With regards to 'The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy' I think the stoic view of life is great and fits well into our western mindset while still being somewhat 'zen' like. I plan to read Marcus Aurelius' Meditations at some point since it's a bit like a diary of a stoic.
I will soon start with 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage' which was recommended in a previous HN thread.
The current technical one is Functional Programming in Scala:
http://manning.com/bjarnason/ which is awesome.
The non technical one, after a few books by Vernor Vinge, is Metro 2033. I'm halfway through it and it's a good read. It's kinda weird, a postapocalyptic novel with some mysticism mixed in.
Also, thanks to everyone who answered the question, my reading list is now long enough to last me a year or two!
Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance - Robert Pirsig:
Fantastic book that talks about philosophy in a new way and goes deeper into discovering what's "Quality" and what are the main 2 ways of interacting/reading the world around us.
Adam Smith, theory of moral sentiments: Just began the book under ryan holiday advice, but can't really say more about it.
Game of thrones, 1st volume, I suppose this book doesn't need any explanation :)
At first I bought the book thanks to many suggestions but didn't realize it was a philosophical book, it is sure training me to new levels of listening and concentration.
Sometimes I end up relistening to a part because I just didn't follow it enough closely.
For now Quiet seems more about getting to appreciate the differences between introverts and extroverts and how getting to respect the way introverts "works" (being someone else or even yourself) might lead to better performance and happiness.
It's not a self-help book (at least for now).
Nice book, although now I'm in the part where it's super-filled with references and it's kinda boring (I started reading it after writing the comment on HN :D )
Usually we are filled with self-help book that describe how to be "super".
I was a bit bored by all that topic (although some takeaways of the self-help world are valuable), and I wanted something that went in a totally different direction.
Reading something like quiet (aside from the fact that I feel like I'm a bit introvert) is a great way to expand how I see things, because it does give me new point of view about people and the world.
Hope it helps ;)
I'm somewhere in the middle of the E/I spectrum and the book has made me reconsider how workplaces, etc. should be structured to avoid excluding people. According to the author, something like 10-30% of the US population are more on the "I" end of the spectrum, including many of the most creative people, so it seems a terrible mistake to encourage practices that exclude such a huge number of people from contributing.
I'm not sure what I was hoping for when I read it but it started to go sour for me when she talked about Dale Carnegie's book How To Win Friends and Influence People. I couldn't help but think the author never read it (an irrational thought, but colored my perception the rest of the way).
Another fanfic that's well worth reading for the consumate HP fan, although cut from a very different cloth: Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness [https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4315906/1/Dumbledore-s-Army-and...]. If you've ever read Ender's Game, imagine Ender's Shadow for Book 7 of Harry Potter. :)
Currently I'm reading book three of the "Kefahuchi Tract" trilogy by M. John Harrison. It's like a cross between Donnie Darko and Neuromancer. Just surreal enough to be fun, without losing me completely, and some really amazing writing. 
There are very few stories that strike me as having been 'natively' written for a reader like me; this is one of them.
I also bought book 1 of the Bartimaeus series, read it, and am now onto book 2.
Plus some short stories and outtakes set in the same universe.
Currently reading "Naples 44", diary of an intelligence officer there just after the US landings. The author is classically trained enough to immediately fall in love with the place despite the war, so it's a strange mix of lounging around Paestum and the stark effects of war.
Next in queue: pick one to re-read from Iain M Banks or Pratchett.
(Presumably Clausewitz is in your reading list somewhere as well; his book is unfinished but contains both good quotes to mine and real insight into how few military problems are about actual fighting itself.)
Currently reading The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, after finishing East of Eden, which I loved. On the non-fiction front I'm reading Big Data by Kenneth Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Both interesting and compelling in their own ways.
- Virus Hunter - C.J. Peters with Mark Olshaker
- Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science - Richard Preston
- Asleep: The Forgotten Epidemic That Remains One of Medicine's Greatest Mysteries - Molly Caldwell Crosby
- The Woman With a Worm in Her Head and Other True Stories of Infectious Disease - Pamela Nagami
General good nonfiction
- Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin - Norah Vincent
- Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb - Jonathan Fetter-Vorm
- Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism - Ron Suskind
- Funny Once - short story collection by Antonya Nelson (sad, weird, but very good)
- It's Kind of a Funny Story - Ned Vizzini
- Backward Compatible - Sarah Daltry
Also definitely recommend the Magic 2.0 trilogy by Scott Meyer (starting with Off to Be the Wizard).
* Harry Potter series (thankfully I read this as a kid when I had more time)
* Thinking, Fast and Slow
* How to Win Friends and Influence People
* David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
* Self-Made Man: One Woman's Year Disguised as a Man
* The Martian: A Novel
* How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq
* Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets
* Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
* Outliers: The Story of Success
* The Rare Find: How Great Talent Stands Out
* The Martian's Daughter: A Memoir
* Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
* Ghost in the Wires: My Adventure as the World's Most Wanted Hacker
* The Better Angels of our Future
The first Pratchett book I've read, and I can't believe I've waited so long to read his work. Humorous in a Douglas Adams sort of way.
- Arabian Nights, Haddawy translation
This is a great read. The translation is modern and clear, and the stories are exciting. I can understand why these stories have been around for centuries.
Anyway, I've recently read (my Kindle list):
* Curious Myths of the Middles Ages by S. Baring-Gould
* American Gods by Neil Gaiman
* Instrumentalities of the Night series by Glen Cook
* The Dragon Never Sleeps by Glen Cook
* Many HP Lovecraft stories which I hadn't already read (I bought HP Lovecraft Complete Fiction)
* Grimm's Fairy Tales
* Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome by Apicius
* Takeshi Kovacs series by Richard K. Morgan
* A Fire in the Sun (Budayeen series) by George Alec Effinger
* Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey
* Hunted (Iron Druid Chronicles) by Kevin Hearne
* Catspaw by Joan D. Vinge
* Peaky Blinders
* Top Gear
* Grimm (where everyone in Portland lives in restored craftsman style homes and uses devices from Apple)
* The Grand Budapest Hotel
* Moby Dick (Patrick Stewart version)
* This is How You Lose Her - Junot Diaz
* Get in Trouble - Kelly Link
* St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves - Karen Russell
* The 10th of December - George Saunders
* Nocturnes - Kazuo Ishiguro
* After the Quake - Haruki Murakami
* The Girl in the Flammable Skirt - Aimee Bender
* The Buried Giant - Kazuo Ishiguro
* Death with Interruptions - Jose Saramago
* The Whispering Muse - Sjon
Probability by Pitman: its embarrassing I never took this course in college. This is the book used for intro stats/probability at Berkeley
Code Complete: honestly I don't understand the hype around this book. There's good info, but its so sparse, I feel like I only get something good every 20-30 pages and the thing is like 800 pages total.
The best line in the book though is the definition of traction: "It's identical to the Supreme Court's definition of porn: you know it when you see it!"
My go to recommendations:
http://www.amazon.com/Structure-Scientific-Revolutions-50th-... - The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn, (1996)
http://www.amazon.com/Pragmatic-Programmer-Journeyman-Master... - The Pragmatic Programmer, Andrew Hunt and David Thomas (1999)
Things I've liked in the last 6 months:
http://www.amazon.com/How-Measure-Anything-Intangibles-Busin... - How to Measure Anything, Douglas Hubbard (2007)
http://www.amazon.com/Mythical-Man-Month-Software-Engineerin... - Mythical Man Month: Essays in Software Engineering, Frederick Brooks Jr. (1975, but get the 1995 version)
http://www.amazon.com/Good-Great-Some-Companies-Others/dp/00... - Good To Great, Jim Collins (2001)
Next on my reading list (and I'm really excited about it):
http://www.amazon.com/Best-Interface-No-brilliant-technology... - The Best Interface is No Interface, Golden Krishna (2015)
No classics beyond that date?
If you liked that you might also enjoy Daemon and the sequel Freedom TM by Daniel Suarez.
* 7 languages in 7 weeks, Bruce A. Tate
* Coders at Work, Peter Seibel
* Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
* Neuromancer, William Gigson
* The Island of Doctor Moreau, H G Wells
* Brave new world, Aldous Huxley
* The Martian: A Novel, Andy Weir
* Dune, Frank Herbert
* 2001: A space odyssey, Arthur C Clarke
Anyone slightly interested in fantasy should definitely read the series. The story has been great so far and storytelling is exceptional.
Now I'm starting "The Naked Sun" by Isaac Asimov, having read "Caves of Steel" a few months ago. I don't know why I've never read Asimov before, but wow, the worlds and characters he creates are amazing.
As far as technical books go, I'm working on "Build Your Own AngularJS" by Tero Parviainen. I'm only a few chapters in, but enjoying it.
Review in The New York Times:
Since then, I've caught up with Song of Ice and Fire, read the first 11 books of Sword of Truth, and did the first 2 Dune books.
Most recently, I finished Stephen King's Dark Tower series, and I'm currently going through a bunch of HP Lovecraft (it feels good to finally understand the Cthulhu mythos and all that it implies).
When I finish that, I'm going to finish up the Sword of Truth series (the most recent 3 books), and I'm eagerly awaiting the 6th book in A Song of Ice and Fire.
These days, I don't actually read all that much, as I've picked up an appreciation for audiobooks and how you can read your stories while doing other things like driving, cooking, and shopping. So I don't read in freetime anymore, but instead just rock the audiobooks in the "between" times.
Obviously, audiobooks don't work with technical books so much.
I'm also currently learning French, so it's interesting to see that English also contains exceptions, debates and colourful characters.
A Dance with Dragons, George R. R. Martin, is the Tolkien of our times, but with a dark and raunchy twist ;-) Almost finished; book 6 is a year or more away if previous publishing trend continues -- we needs it ;-(
I guess it counts: Going through my 2 year old reading queue in instapaper.
I think we should have this on a weekly or monthly basis.
Blindsight (Peter Watts) - Hard sci-fi with themes of perception and identity.
Ancillary Justice (Anne Leckie) - More of a murder / mystery sci-fi with themes of gender.
Green Mars (Kim Stanley Robinson) - Hard sci-fi covering the terraforming of Mars. Very political, takes a broad scope.
Also, my girlfriend just sneaked Raymond Carver's What We Talk About When We Talk About Love into my computer bag the other day. I haven't read him in a long time, but coincidentally was just very recently talking to a friend about What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami, which is mostly unrelated to the Carver book, but also a really good read about his life of running.
A Game of Thrones, GRRM. The new preview chapter restarted my hype train and reminded me how much I missed reading the books. So I started another read-through, hoping I'll be done by the release of the next book.
I've also been reading lots of stuff on Git. I'm trying to learn everything I can about hooks so that I can start doing awesome things automatically, and I feel it's the one aspect of git workflows I haven't explored yet.
I loved The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, recommended previously in this thread, and that got me to Old Man's War by John Scalzi. (It might be interesting to note that Ridley Scott has hold the movie rights to this book for many years now. I can't see it really becoming a mainstream movie without cutting out some themes from the book.)
The theme in Old Man's War are sort of the same as The Forever War, but in such a minor way that it didn't bother me even once. Scalzi then turned that book into a series, all very well worth reading (except Sagan's Diary - give that a miss). After his Old Man's War series I read Redshirts (so and so), Agent to the Stars (good read) and now I'm reading Fuzzy Nation, which is shaping up nicely.
In the afterword to Agent to the Stars Scalzi actually recommends other scifi books, and per his recommendation I tried out Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein (of Starship Troopers fame) but that quickly grinded to a halt. Might give it another chance later.
Oh, I also read Haldeman's Camouflage. Seems to be liked by the reviews I find online, but I found it to be a waste of time due to a very weak end chapter.
After this I plan to dive into Rama territory and perhaps Dune also.
Please keep the book recommendations coming, this thread is a goldmine. :)
I also recommend "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by the same author.
It's an interesting primer on the potential benefits of synthetic biology to society at large from one of the field's luminaries.
He covers everything from engineering "mirror humans" (with inverted biochemical chirality) to reviving extinct species.
Recently finished Austen's Persuasion and Dickens' Oliver Twist. I'm trying to fill in big gaps in my reading of major English novels. Both were good. Dickens seems to have more compassion, which I appreciate. The two most moving scenes belong to his two worst villains. Persuasion was great though, and in many ways (compassion aside) a better novel than Dickens', not that they really deserve to be compared to one another. Persuasion's the first Austen novel I've managed to finish; usually I bounce off them in the first chapter or two. Looking like I'll make it through Emma, too, but it's certainly rougher going. Made it farther than I did on my last attempt, anyway.
The Things they Carried by O'Brien is up next after Graeber, probably, on recommendation (and loan) from a friend.
I haven't read it recently, but I feel compelled to recommend Revolutionary Road by Yates at every opportunity.
Also working through "Bold" by Peter Diamandis . Discussing how to leverage exponential technology over the next few decades.
Types and Programming Languages, Benjamin Pierce, slightly intimidating mathematically for me but worth diving in, lots of interesting ideas, I'm only through to the second chapter.
Also, if you didn't read the Edith Grossman translation, try that, it is very smart and modern. The older translation feels a bit stuffy to me.
Do any movies do it justice?
I have not seen any, my guess is no! Sometimes I think Monty Python comes close.
I've just finished Tamerlane: Sword of Islam, Conqueror of the World by Justin Marozzi. A fantastic, thrilling, unnerving read. Tamerlane's ingenuity and political nous appears to have been incredible. Learning about Temur's life may change how you read all other history books. His mere existence changes the context and relative importance of much of Western European history.
I'm also enjoying and recommend Bloodhoof by Gerthur Kristny (trans. Rory McTurk), The Zoo Father by Pascale Petit, and Black Cat Bone by John Burnside. The Zoo Father and Black Cat Bone are among the most powerful collections of poetry I've read that were published within the last three decades, and Bloodhoof is also very good.
- The Dip (super short read and has a few good points but overall I didn't really like it)
- Going Clear (great book, terrible formatting, but a great book)
- The Martian (short read, very entertaining and well researched)
Goedel, Escher, Bach -- I'm trying to push through it for the sake of keeping up with a subreddit-communal reading, but it's boring as all hell. At least, for the special value of "boring iff you've read quite a lot of theoretical computer-science and logic papers before", which I understand is not really anyone's usual meaning for the word. I'm still waiting to see how he actually gets to the bit about consciousness.
Certified Programming with Dependent Types -- started it recently, working through the programming exercises. I need to understand well-foundedness termination proofs for certain parts of my research proofs.
I'm looking for more Sci-fi if HN can recommend anything! I've been reading a lot of historical non-fiction over the years, but recently finished Snow Crash and the Diamond Age. Love the genre, but don't know much about it.
Also, the Culture series by Iain M. Banks, but I would recommend not starting with the first published book, Consider Phlebas. YMMV, but I personally found it hard to get in to and almost didn't continue the series. Later I read lots of reviews of the second book, The Player of Games, and decided to give it a chance and have since read most of the remaining books. I have now gone back and re-read Consider Phlebas and love it now that I have a better handle on the setting, universe, and concepts from the series, but I definitely feel that The Player of Games is a much better intro into the series.
Also, it's hard to go wrong with the yearly Hugo Award winners and nominees. Sometimes they are middle entries in long running series, which is worth checking on Wikipedia if you like to start at Book 1. Usually it is just going to mean the whole series is great.
How about a few great authors who have all won?
Ursula K LeGuin
Lois McMaster Bujold
Try Ian M Banks if you haven't already for some cerebral sci-fi, also Vernor Vinge.
Sailors knew for a while how to get your latitude (by using the position of the north star) but didn't have a way of getting their longitude pre-18th century. This was a serious problem in navigation and this is the story of how a solution came about.
Currently working my way through Thiel's book. It's not bad if you haven't read it yet.
The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen (as did pdevr) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Snow_Leopard
A Guide to the Good Life: the ancient art of Stoic joy by William Irvine - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5617966-a-guide-to-the-g...
Seneca's Dialogues & Essays - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1933080.Dialogues_and_Es...
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman 
Metamagical Themas by Douglas Hofstadter 
I'd second my sibling poster's recommendation of Galapagos, if you haven't read that one.
Slaughterhouse Five and Cat's Cradle are probably his two most widely-read and widely-referenced books, so if you haven't read those yet and you're still on a Vonnegut kick after those three, maybe read them. They're all quick cotton-candy reads anyway, so it's a small cost to read another. I do consider Cat's Cradle overrated, though. I think all the cute and memorable made-up words have boosted it to higher prominence than it deserves.
Rands does a great job at giving a broad range of career advice for software engineers. I also recommend his blog: http://randsinrepose.com/
A comprehensive study of the origins, actions, philosophy and results of the Black Panther party. Outgrowth of my interest in historical topics in general and Oakland, my adopted hometown, specifically.
I'm in awe of the drive, focus, and audacity of these revolutionaries, especially in light of present-day politics of race, inequality, police, and armed citizenry.
Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge
One traces the history of computing from inception to roughly 1990, the other feels like it picks it up around 2030. Highly recommend both.
It's stunning that the comic book character was created by a man who secretly lived with two wives as part of the radical women's rights/free love movement of the 1920s...
Highly recommended to anyone that cares about their privacy online!
Recently finished: 1089 and All That (finished today), The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Gibson's The Peripheral
Up next: God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican
If you're looking for something lighter, perhaps check out Time Ships by the same author. This was the only authorized sequel to the legendary classic The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.
Great thoughts on life, by creator of the Spartan Race.
* "Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World", Mark Williams, Danny Penman;
Meditation excercies plan for mindfulness, which gives different view on everyday life. Also considered as a good therapy for apathy, depression etc.
* "Mud, Sweat, and Tears: The Autobiography", Bear Grylls;
Great stories from former SAS member and adventurer.
Next I'm picking up Working Effectively with Legacy Code (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0131177052). It's been in my reading list for years and I can finally get to it!
I can't get enough of reading about the history of Apple and Jobs in particular. I read the Isaacson's Jobs biography twice. It's now more of a guilty pleasure than anything.
Don Quixote is good too. I'm listening to the audio book. While listening to it, I don't really know what to make of it. It's part comedy, part tragedy and all around captivating. Also recommend the mini-story within Don Quixote called The Ill-Advised Curiosity.
Would appreciate more suggestions for World War 1, World War 2 histories, especially Russian History books.
Already on my reading list (a few related to the above):
- Guns of August
Also, if you like podcasts, try Hardcore History - http://www.dancarlin.com/hardcore-history-series. There's a 5 part Series on WW1 called "Blueprint for armageddon".
The book start strong with this thesis and then goes into a very interesting detour on the history of writing, from the egyptian to Gutemberg all the way to Vint Cerf.
Very well researched book and well written.
Overall I enjoyed it, even though there were parts that I couldn't agree with.
Then the author dives deep into the history of culture (oral, written, mass-media, internet).
So far I haven't encountered any mention of how the mind of a "professional" wouldn't be affected by the distracting impulses of the internet and digital communication.
I'm really enjoying it. It is filled with history about creating NT that I've never found online. Also a large amount of information about Cutler, which is interesting.
Brushing up on:
K&R - The C Programming Language
K&P - The Unix Programming Environment
K&P - The Practice of Programming
Kerrisk - The Linux Programming Interface (Not light reading)
Even though it is mostly review, reading code and seeing commands that K&R&P run has actually helped my workflow, code quality, etc.
Highly recommend re-reading if it has been a while. Even things like variable names have noticeably improved since beginning re-reading.
And, the Linux Programming Interface....is huge. There's always more to learn in there.
- Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
If you know nothing about this book you might naturally hesitate to read "Harry Potter fanfiction" and assume that it's dumb/horrbile, but it's not. Just suspend your disbelief and read the first 5-10 chapters. Trust me, it's brilliant, hilarious, and life-changing.
- Atlas Shrugged
Controversial, I know, a lot of people here hate it for some reason, but it was incredibly influential on me, inspired my passion for entrepreneurship and science and philosophy. Still is one of the best books I am aware of.
- Hackers and Painters by Paul Graham
Also a collection of his essays that you can find on github. He is one of the most clever writers I am aware of, but I assume you know that, since you're on HN.
- "On Intelligence" by Jeff Hawkins
This book explains in simple terms a very awesome and elegant theory on how mind works. Incredibly fascinating, I've learned a lot from it and it explains a lot of things, and will change the way you think about thinking process.
- The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
Engaging and entertaining explanation of evolution, absolutely fantastic book.
- The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli.
Despite the stigma, and people thinking that Machhiavellian = "evil", I've found this book extremely clever and wise.
- Serious Creativity by Edward De Bono
The best book on creativity and the process of generating ideas that I'm aware of.
This is a very inspiring and optimistic book about the future of technology.
- Start Small, Stay Small
Guide to creating your first product/business for hackers. It lays out all the basics of entrepreneurship in a very concise and clear ways, my favorite introduction to startups.
Very wise and intelligent advice about startups, intelligent and witty, must read.
- Lean Startup
Classic book on "lean startup methodology", very useful.
- 4-Hour Workweek
Despite the silly title I think it is a great book and is very much worth reading. Many people here dislike Tim Ferris, but whatever, I think this book is cool.
- Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman
- Ghost In The Wires by Kevin Mitnick
- Catch me if you can by Abagnale
- iWoz by Steve Wozniak
- Losing my Virginity by Richard Branson
All these are fantastic and very intelligent autobiographies by the very awesome people.
Now I'm reading "Gödel, Escher, Bach" and "Rationality: From AI to Zombies."
"Rationality" is great and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. Can't say much about GEB, I've only started reading it, but everyone is saying that it is so great and the best book ever, so I think it's definitely worth checking out.
Do you disagree with her philosophy? If so - can you tell me about which things exactly made you dislike it and why?
Everyone repeats this quote, and everyone generally says bad things about this book, but never anything concrete, never a clear reason what exactly is so bad about it.
If you reject her philosophy, it's very hard to identify with the characters she positions as the good guys. And why else do you read fiction if not so that you can root for the good guys?
I'm sorry I can't offer anything with regard to Atlas since I haven't read it but it's clearly rooted in her ridiculous philosophy of capitalist moralism. It doesn't stand up to even the most elementary scrutiny and once you apply any of it to real life you find that society would collapse in less than a year.