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Posts about book-notes (old posts, page 3)

Orwell’s 1984

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face … forever.

That, probably is the quotable line, I found.

The book’s terrible, and I hated the story (too bleak, too dystopian).
The only reason for its popularity is that events in real life, are proving Orwell right.

Butterick’s Practical Typography

In my youth, I came across the work of Robin Williams.
No, not that one.

She introduced me to the beauty of CRAP.
And the fact that the PC is not a typewriter.
But most of all, she introducted me to the beauty of type and design

Fonts, and line spacing and kerning and everything else lovely, about the written word.

And now if you want all that wisdom distilled, into a short, opinionated, beautiful web series, look no further than Matthew Butterick’s, Practical Typography.

The content is freely given, and the book is reader supported

What is typography?
What is type composition?
How do you format text?
Are there two spaces after a line? Or one?
What are the best fonts to use, instead of tired old Times New Roman?
How do you layout your page for a letterhead? a research document? a presentation? a résumé?
And why in God’s name, does typography even matter? Isn’t print dead?

Answers to these, and many more questions in the book.
If you want your prose to look polished, you owe it to yourself to read it.


The Picture of Dorian Gray

Word for word, the most epigramatic book I have read.
Short, sweet and beautiful words and lines and dialogue.

Here’s a few.

The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.


Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.


Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.


Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.


Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.


There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book.


Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.


Man is many things, but he is not rational.


People are very fond of giving away what they need most themselves. It is what I call the depth of generosity.


We can have in life but one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible.


We live in an age that reads too much to be wise, and that thinks too much to be beautiful.


Ben Hur

Decided to reread the old stories I had read in my childhood.

Started with Ben–Hur.
You might know the movie, more the book.

Adventure, slave galleys, a love triangle, and of course really well written historical fiction.

Loved it so much that I went and got the rest of Lew Wallace’s fiction.
The rains are going to be so much more enjoyable :)


Forest 404


It calls itself, an eco thriller.
But that is selling the series short.

It’s a lush, beautiful soundscape.
The forests still ring in my ears.
The drums still thump.
The future is chilly and industrial.

The writing and the dialogue are crisp.
And most importantly, it has an all woman cast.

And that is all I am willing to share.
Find the podcast here. It says episodes available indefinitely.
So go have fun!
I binged it. I’m sure you will too.


A Hundred Days of Code, Day 036

While the storm passed us by, it bought upon us a day of no power.
So I just deciced to make the most of it and read a book, I’ve wanted to, for quite a while.

Finished Jon Stokes’, “Inside the Machine”.
This book is like a 5000 feet, overview on how the CPU inside a computer works.
If you’re curious like me, and don’t want to delve into the nitty-gritties of Computer Science, this is just the book for you.
Starting with a fictional CPU and then racing through the Intel/AMD (x86, IA-64, x86-64) and AIM (Apple, IBM, Motorala - PowerPC) line of CPUs, this is a wonderful exposition of how the brains in your computer work.
(spoiler, they are really dumb and plenty fast!)

This was a wonderful, wonderful, book!
I cannot wait for the new edition to arrive!


Introducing Regular Expressions

Done with Introducing Regular Expressions, by Michael Fitzgerald.
The subtitle, of the book says it all.

Unraveling Regular Expressions, Step-by-Step

Michael is a funny, patient and pithy author.

The book breaks down the basics of Regular Expressions into its components and then walks through explaining them in examples, line by painstaking line.
Any book that uses Coleridge to teach me Regular Expressions is awesome, so I’m biased :)

Definitely worth a read if you are brand new to the powerful world of RegEx.


A Hundred Days of Code, Day 026 (Grokking Algorithms)

With my area in near-quarantine, I was too busy rushing around, making sure family was ok.

Had a lot of patches of free time, in the middle of things though.
So I decided to read about algorithms.
I know I need a good base in the future, and knowing about the turtles that underlie my new world.

I decided to start small, and picked up Grokking Algorithms.
I loved it.
It taught me about the big low hanging basic problems that folks need to solve using computers and the patterns / recipes / algorithms we use to solve it.
Problems like how to sort stuff (selection sort, quicksort) And how we can break down a big problem into a set of similar problems that get smaller and smaller and solving them all using a single solution from the inside of the problem onion, outwards, or from the smallest Matryoshka doll to the largest. (recursion)
And how lists function and how to find the most efficient way to get from point A to point B.
It covers a set of the basic algorithms in use today and has plenty of pointers to more efficient ways of how things are done in the real world and also where to find more advanced problems.

It’s engaging, teaches its points with stories and pictures and has exercises to ensure you are paying attention.
I loved it.
I loved it so much, I finished it in a day :)
If you are just beginning and you want an easy way to understand what all this computer stuff is made of, this is a very good book.


Stillness is the Key, Ryan Holiday

Stillness is the Key, Ryan Holiday

This is the fitting conclusion to Ryan’s Stoic trilogy. (The Obstacle is the Way and Ego is the Enemy, being the other two)
Must read! Quick Read.
Stillness, intention, doing the work with deliberation, and focus; the book delves through it all in a beautiful manner.
Passages I loved …

“Wrestle with big questions. Wrestle with big ideas. Treat your brain like the muscle that it is. Get stronger through resistance and exposure and training.”

and

“Always think about what you’re really being asked to give. Because the answer is often a piece of your life, usually in exchange for something you don’t even want. Remember, that’s what time is. It’s your life, it’s your flesh and blood, that you can never get back.
In every situation ask:
What is it?
Why does it matter?
Do I need it?
Do I want it?
What are the hidden costs?
Will I look back from the distant future and be glad I did it?
If I never knew about it at all—if the request was lost in the mail, if they hadn’t been able to pin me down to ask me—would I even notice that I missed out?

When we know what to say no to, we can say yes to the things that matter.”