BOOKS

What I've found Fascinating

Here's a List of Books that I've found fascinating.  I try to read as much as my time will permit for we can gain infinite knowledge through the words of others.  The comments next to the books are not summaries but rather my thoughts and reflection on what I’ve read.   

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The world around us is ever changing.  Factories are closing and what was traditionally known as job security is no longer prevalent.  Yet, the world us teaches us to embrace the old adage of playing it safe, to cling onto the false sense of security that a large established institution can offer us.  However, the reality is that if we restrict ourselves to the false perception of security, we could live our lives never knowing what could have been.  

Seth Godin refer to the venturers as artists and in a way, we are all artists because we have the innate ability to create.   The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity.  Anything is art, whether it is a new business concept, a gadget, a painting, etc.  

True to Seth’s message, I don’t want to live my life with regret of what could have been.  I want to fully embrace the freedom doing what I love as well as the challenges that comes along with it.   I highly recommend this book for it will open your eyes and push you to pursue your dreams.  

 
Life of Pi
$8.77
By Yann Martel

One of the best books I have read in a long time.  What makes this book fascinating other than the obvious story line is the author’s choice of words to describe certain aspect of life, religion, and humanity.  I don’t think the movie will do any justice to take the place of a book.  There is no way a movie can replace the poetic dictation of the relationship between life and death.  

“The reason death sticks so closely to life isn’t biological necessity - it’s envy.  Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jeolous, possessive love that grabs at what it can.  But life leaps over oblivion lightly, only losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud.”

Though Pi’s journey, he learns what many will learn in lifetime.  He had to overcome the most fearsome outcome of tragedy, living in constant state of fear.  This is what he had to say about fear.  

“I must say a word about fear.  It is life’s only true opponent.  Only fear can defeat life.  It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know.”

You shouldn’t go pass this year without reading it.  

 

As smartphones become more advanced, it could one day take the place of PCs.  In the 90s, web 1.0 was getting a lot of traction and those who paid attention to it, or at least knew how to build a simple HTML website was highly sought after.  Then came web 2.0, which we are in now (at the time of this writing and around the time this book was published).  Web 2.0 bought us blogs and social media.  Going forward, Mobile, and those who knows how to build mobile apps and responsive design with the focus of mobile will be as they say, the king of the hills.

 
Capital: A Novel
$17.79
By John Lanchester

This book was born in the wake of the great recessions that lasted from 2007 to 2009.   Several character’s lives is centered around a central character of the book, Rodger, an investment banker in London, who lived a very privileged life and now has to adjust to the new reality.  

This new reality can be daunting to Roger as much as for those who make significantly less.   Wealth is about perception and it is relative to what we define as necessity verse abundance.  The obligation of debt and a standard of life can dictate whether or not we are wealthy no matter how much money we have.   If a person makes a million dollars a year and spend two million dollars to maintain two mortgages, children’s education, and the acceptance to society, then that person could be more miserable and in need of more money than those who live within their means.  

A perfect example of this is our lives in America relative to a third world country.  In this country, we have a need to wear different clothes everyday to work and even have the need to rotate between several pairs of shoes in order to preserve our sense of hygiene.  It is embedded in our psychology not deviate too much from our familiar social standards.

Imagine living in a part of the world where washing one pair of clothes everyday and wearing it till it turns to rags was a norm.  Perhaps, after some adjustment, we wouldn’t a have a problem.  That is if we were to stay dormant in that society.  Likewise, all of Roger’s circle are pretty much like him and has a certain standard of living that they consider to be normal.   Their circle of influence dictates the standard of life that is considered to be normal.   

Although the author’s contention is to ridicule Roger and Arabella’s agony over their slight misfortune, the reality for all of us is that it is easy to adjust upwards rather than downwards.  Wealth and privilege is in the eyes of the beholder.

 

 

This book will not teach you to code.  However, it is a good back drop on what coding is all about and how it all started.  With any useful things in life, codes started with a problem and finding a solution to that problem.  As time progressed, the codes got better for it needed to solve complex problems and the only way to have the computer understand how to solve that problem was build in a language that a computer can actually understand.