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Matt
 

Team Talk: What's on your bookshelf?

Benjamin Franklin once wrote "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." Fortunately for me, he'll never see this blog entry.

The Invision Community team are a smart bunch. When they're not being support heroes, fixing code or writing cool new features, they occasionally like to pick up a book, although I guess download a book is more apt these days.

Here's what's on the team's bookshelves now.

Marc S
I go through a lot of books, usually audiobooks rather than actual books (I read enough online to last anyone a lifetime). I tend to go through a lot of factual books, rather than fiction. In the past week I've listened to:

  • What if? Serious Scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions - Randall Muroe
  • A short history of nearly everything - Bill Bryson
  • At home - Bill Bryson
  • How to land an A330 Airbus - James May

I haven't read any fiction for quite a while now, but if I was to pick any set of books as being my favourite, it would be Kelley Armstrongs Women of the otherworld series.

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Some books

Audiobooks tend to be factual, whereas actual books tend to be fiction. I just feel there is more imagination involved when you actually read something that's fiction [Are you talking about support tickets here? - Editor].

Mark W
The last book I read probably won't interest many (if you're curious though, it was "Milarepa and the Art of Discipleship" - a commentary on some of the stories about an 11th century Tibetan yogi) [Yep, we are now less interested - Editor] but the last fiction book I read was 1984 which I'd actually never read before and found it really fascinating - still totally relevant today and absolutely something everyone should read, especially geeks like us.

I read quite a lot of non-fiction, especially related to meditation and Buddhism - it's hard to pick a favourite but the book I probably refer to most and recommend most widely to anyone who might be interested is "Buddhist Meditation" by Kamalashila [How does it end? - Editor].

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iBooks

One thing I really enjoy when travelling driving or on a plane is listening to audiobooks of books I enjoyed as a child - I find I want some kind of background noise but nothing I have to pay any effort towards. [Like the last feature you wrote? - Editor] The Harry Potter series and "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" work brilliantly.

Jim
Last actual "for fun" book and not technology or programming related is probably "Car Guys VS Bean Counters." Very interesting book as Bob Lutz is well, Bob [Good to know - Editor] and he goes through the car business getting squeezed for profitability and how that ruined the soul of the car. 

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Lindy will approve

Brandon
I don't know how you all have time to read (or listen to audio books), but then again I guess not everyone has 6 kids that keep them busy. I'm a Dean Koontz fan and in terms of reading (which I rarely do as I don't have time) I always read Dean Koontz (paperback novels). Currently I have "The Silent Corner" [This is also where we send the naughty developers - Editor].in my nightstand which I haven't read yet.

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Can't say I've ever met Jane Hawk

Jen
The real real is that my favorite book ever is, The Giver. I ❤️ the ignorance=discipline dystopia. I think my favorite series is The Wit'ch series by James Clemens. I own tons of books but those are the ones that I can go back and read.

Andy
I’m reading Italian children’s books mostly as part of my ongoing learning of Italian. On my bookshelf, there’s also a lot of travel books for places I’ve been and yet to see (this summer we’ll be visiting Romania for a couple of weeks). The Twilight audio set, “Princess, Dragons and Helicopter stories” and other gems in the photo are not mine (honest).

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Not using the Dewey Decimal Classification system

I also have a DVD of “The Legend of Effin Eddie: The Amazing True Story of a Hilarious GAA Match Commentary which has Become Famous Worldwide” that I won at a Slovak Gaelic football quiz night [Wow, I have the same DVD! - Editor].

The Snowball by Warren Buffett is probably the book that has had the biggest practical impact on my life and I keep going back to it… I also have many leather bound books that smell of rich mahogany.

Daniel
Right now, I'm reading three different books [And writing this answer? Amazing skills - Editor].
On my iPad, I have my scriptum to prepare for the Boat Skipper B license which I'm going to make in 2 months.

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More books

I have some old Poker Books, because I love to gamble [Like when you push a branch? - Editor]. I played a lot in the past and miss the funny times, so I wanted to refresh my knowledge about all the stuff.
As you see, no fiction books, just educational books.

Matt M
I love to read. I'm old enough to remember the days when we made books from a material called paper. These books were quite thick and took up a lot of room. [lol slow down grandpa - Editor] These days I stick to the Kindle and Audible stores. I especially like Audible. It enables me to listen to books when I'm working around the house, or out and about dropping my son off at his clubs.

My all time favourite book is probably "The Road" by Cormack McCarthy. It's a dsytopian novel, which is a genre I enjoy. I also enjoy Stephen King's work. "The Stand" is of course one of his best. I quite enjoyed the Mercedes Killer series too.

I'm a huge fan of the Jack Reacher series of novels. The quality can vary a little, but Jack Reacher is a great creation and I admire Child's writing style. He tends to just sit down once a year and start working on a new novel. He doesn't often plan out plots and structures, he tends to write and see where it takes him [Bit like this blog - Editor]

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Even more books

I tend to listen to a lot of psychology. and health and fitness books. I'm currently working my way through "12 Rules For Life" by Jordan B Peterson.

If I wasn't a software developer, I think I'd happily be an author [Don't quit the day job - Editor].

Mark H
I don't have an all-time favorite "book" (singular), I read series of them. I'd say the first 6 Dune books are my favorite series.

  • Dune (1965)
  • Dune Messiah (1969)
  • Children of Dune (1976)
  • God Emperor of Dune (1981)
  • Heretics of Dune (1984)
  • Chapterhouse: Dune (1985)

After that it would be series by Robert Jordan, "The Wheel of Time". There are 15 books in total, but I've only read the first 12 written entirely by Jordan, not the prequel or the 2 that had to be finished by Brandon Sanderson after Jordan's death.

  • The Eye of the World    (1990)
  • The Great Hunt        (1990)
  • The Dragon Reborn    (1991)
  • The Shadow Rising    (1992)
  • The Fires of Heaven    (1993)
  • Lord of Chaos        (1994)
  • A Crown of Swords    (1996)
  • The Path of Daggers    (1998)
  • Winter's Heart        (2000)    
  • Crossroads of Twilight    (2003)
  • New Spring                (2004)
  • Knife of Dreams        (2005)
  • The Gathering Storm    (2009)
  • Towers of Midnight    (2010) **
  • A Memory of Light    (2013) **

**finished by Sanderson

After that it would be the original Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov. I've not read the 3 related books Asimov added to the series after the original 3. That's on my "to do" list.

  • Foundation
  • Foundation and Empire
  • Second Foundation

I'm sure I'll think of more which I've forgotten [Happens to us all eventually - Editor], but I am not reading any book now, nor have I within the last several years. Have no time to do so.

That's what is on our bookshelves. We'd love to know what your favourite book is, and what you're reading now. Let us know in the comments below.


 

Edited by Matt


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I'm about to go on holiday so will have to rummage through the not-read shelf and work out which to take with me. It's currently looking like this:

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If you've reached the conclusion that I like Ken Follett, you get the cookie. I've read all of his books in English and it's become a tradition that I buy his book Eye of the Needle in any language I passively understand if I can find it. The burgundy book is the Romanian version, although I'm not going to tackle it yet until I find the time to put more effort into learning the language first. I tend to buy Follett's books in other languages, too; I really enjoy them but they're not difficult to read.

I can see four Follett books in Portuguese there (bought for practice before going on holiday a few weeks back, although I only had time to read half of the books which Santa gave me, so these ones are left behind), two Spanish ones (a similar story for a holiday last year), plus an Italian one. It looks as though I have books in Gascon (a children's one, so it won't be difficult), French (the two Star Wars ones), Esperanto, and Slovakian (which I actually bought for my wife but didn't dare give her -- it's a biography of the inventor of Esperanto, so more my area of interest than hers) ... plus an Occitan course book. Don't have time, unfortunately.

I seem to get on well with historical fiction, so there are a few books which are the first in their series to try. If I get on well with book 1, the completist in me strikes and I start working my way through the lot. I really don't find the time to read very often anymore (hence the stack of Portuguese and Spanish books which I didn't manage to get to on time) so I'm looking forward to going away for two weeks at the weekend as the time of year in which I can leave work mostly to one side and sit down with a few good books ? 

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4 hours ago, TheJackal84 said:

What are these things called books? :biggrin:

Honestly, I have never read a book in my non school life

They are the cheapest source of knowledge you'll ever find.

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I've just started reading Jurassic Park again. I read the abridged version back in 1994 when the movie came out, but haven't read the full-length novel before.

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I'm also into Jack Reacher, but particularly fond of Dan Brown.  I don't get as much time to read these days, except when going to bed.  I still prefer paper back, especially when you doze off.  Better than a kindle wacking you is the nose! (can't bring myself to the modern age, part of a dying breed I guess),

Though my all time favourite is Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl.  I read it when I was 12, and loved it.  Now reading it with my 8 year old Son.

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21 hours ago, Cav3y said:

I'm also into Jack Reacher, but particularly fond of Dan Brown.  I don't get as much time to read these days, except when going to bed.  I still prefer paper back, especially when you doze off.  Better than a kindle wacking you is the nose! (can't bring myself to the modern age, part of a dying breed I guess),

Though my all time favourite is Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl.  I read it when I was 12, and loved it.  Now reading it with my 8 year old Son.

I'm a big fan of Dan Brown, but I can't say I've been interested in the most recent books. They're so formulaic now: someone threatening the planet, rush to a museum/gallery, solve some clues, chase scene, twist, fin. I stopped reading Inferno halfway through and didn't bother buying Origin.

It's a shame, his non-Robert Langdon books are incredible, as is Angels & Demons and Da Vinci Code. I hope he writes some more non-Robert Langdon books in future so he can go off in a different direction but maintain the thrill. 

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On 6/30/2018 at 10:33 PM, Rikki said:

I'm a big fan of Dan Brown, but I can't say I've been interested in the most recent books. They're so formulaic now: someone threatening the planet, rush to a museum/gallery, solve some clues, chase scene, twist, fin. I stopped reading Inferno halfway through and didn't bother buying Origin.

It's a shame, his non-Robert Langdon books are incredible, as is Angels & Demons and Da Vinci Code. I hope he writes some more non-Robert Langdon books in future so he can go off in a different direction but maintain the thrill. 

I agree, It's all becoming a bit familiar.  I guess he has been absorbed by the glittering desire of Hollywood (Tom Hanks).  I wish he would write more novels like Deception Point and Digital Fortress, and escape from his present pattern.

Either way I know I'll always be drawn in and read his books, like the sucker I am ?

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If by bookshelf I can take it to mean "all over my desk and in various cupboards.. then a few networking books, some generic sci-fi books, various arthur c clarke books including his collected short stories, the aubrey-maturin series and some philosophy books (the republic, st augustine, meditations).

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Worked in East Africa, Midlde East and Asia in my 20s and 30s, mostly alone, so got addicted to books. Mostly political economy and history. Deeply rooted in the enlightenment, Paine, Napoleon, Marx. Occasionally a classic: Dostoevsky, Kafka. Pseudo philosophy - Thus Spake Zarathustra (Nietzsche). Just finished the Undoing Project (prospect theory) and currently reading Nabakov’biography. Who, apart from the obvious, was a curated lepidopterist. Who knew. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by christopher-w

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These 8 I re-read often:

  • "Think & Grow Rich"  by Napoleon Hill
  • "Psycho-Cybernetics"  by Dr. Maxwell Maltz
  • "Focal Point" by Brian Tracy
  • "Tribes" by Seth Godin
  • "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki
  • "How to Win Friends and Influence People" ~ Dale Carnegie
  • "Unleash The Power Within" ~ Tony Robbins
  • "Resolved" ~ Orin Woodward

repetition is the mother of all learning ?

 

Edited by rhyker2u

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2 hours ago, opentype said:

Do I win for “book count”?

I took more than that to the charity shop last year to make space ?

I can get a bit out of control with reading if I end up in the zone. This was the pile of books I read in 2016:

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And I think this was 2015's:

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Getting busy and learning how to use the internet on my phone (ie I now idle in bed when I can't sleep instead of getting up and reading for a few hours) means I'm on a paltry 30 or so books so far this year.

Edited by Meddysong

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