Disclaimers: This is not a new book, nor have I read it. I have read reviews of it, and am recommending its concept here, but can’t honestly recommend the book, not having read it. OK, that probably sounds awkward, but there you have it.
I found this review of the book The Art of War for Women: Sun Tzu’s Ancient Strategies and Wisdom for Winning at Work, which is a modern interpretation an application of the original The Ar Of War by Sun Tzu, now thousands of years old, yet still relevant. The reason I am promoting this book’s view of the original work is simple: It points out that The Art Of War is not just relevant to war. It is relevant in any situation where you are facing one or more parties with conflicting goals, or competing for the same resource. It could be at work, or dating, or politics, or even dealing with your relatives. It’s mostly about finding your strengths and the others’ weaknesses and using both to your advantage. It’s about looking for things in your environment that can help you. It’s about focus and balance.
Microreview: Most Excellent!
I bought this book because I was working on some gnarly multithreading problems. I was hoping to get up to speed on the wonderful new concurrency classes added in Java 1.5 to replace the boring old Thread class. What I got was so much more. It goes into great depth in:
- Preventing thread data escaping (what happens in thread, stays in thread)
- How to divide work among threads
- Exactly why the New Hotness is better than the Old Stuff
- The difference between the various implementations of the New Hotness
Effective Java (by Joshua Block, from Sun Developer Network), is a wonderful book that offers me hope for the new Software Engineers out there. It’s not just about writing high-performance software, but understanding the side effects and costs of skinning the cat one way instead of another. It’s a compendium of “issues” one faces while architecting or writing software, and best practices on how to face them. The concept of such a book comes from Scott Meyers’ book, Effective C++.
Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability is a book by Steve Krug about some high-level concepts on website design that take real-world users into account. I ordered this book, but I haven’t read it yet. The reviews on Amazon are very favorable, but I initially heard about this book on a tutorial on using AJAX in WordPress for interactive forms.
I really have high hopes for this book, because I like my tech guides with a heavy dose of reality. I’ll let you know when I start digging into it.
Disclaimer: I know Walter Hunt, but that’s what lead me to find out abou this series; I liked them a lot regardless.
Walter Hunt‘s four-book series, The Dark Wing universe, hits a lot of the aspects of SF I like. Lots of real, multifaceted characters, lack of pure good and pure evil, somewhat hard SF, and first-person aliens. Yes, one of my favorite types of SF is when you’re put in the head of a creature that thinks completely differently than we do. Hunt takes that to such an extent that he even has each race use a different numbering system based on their environment and physiology, as ours is.
He recently ran into some issues with his publisher, and then his next publisher, and I truly hope that all gets resolved soon. I also hope he comes out with another book or two in this series. I know he’s wrapping up a book right now that’s not in this universe, and I’m anxiously awaiting that.
If you’ve read those books, I would love to hear your thoughts on them.