Reading a quick summary

It is elapsed some time from the last time I wrote a book review, but, in fact I keep on reading. I am pretty sure I will never get through all the backlog, so I decided to go the quick and easy way with a list and a brief description. Should you like to have more information about any book I read, feel free to ask.

James Rollins Artico (Ice Hunt).
Quite fresh and addictive adventure book. The setting is not so original, but I liked it. The main character is genuine and true.
James Rollins La mappa di pietra (Map of Bones).
Nice adventure book, not exceptional. If you like unlikely historical reconstruction, scientific nonsenses and fast paced adventure, then this may be for you.
James Rollins Il marchio di Giuda (Giuda’s Strain).
Adventure book, this belongs to the same series of “Map of Bones”. It shares the same kind of adventure and narration. It’s a page turner, but it left me quite unsatisfied.
Scarlett Thomas PopCo.
Unusual novel. It talks about a young lady who works for a toys corporation. This fictional corporation is described to be the size of Hasbro and Mattel. The book talks at length about the life in such company, how they deal with customers, and the contradictions of capitalism and occidental life-style. Oh, and it also talks about cryptography (that was the main reason I bought this). The book is pleasant, although slow at times, but it is able to give many points to think about.
Terry Pratchett Wintersmith.
Very good book by Terry in the Discworld series. This is the third of Tiffany Aching. Entertaining and witty.
Terry Pratchett Unseen Academicals.
Another Discworld novel, this time I didn’t much like it – it takes too much time to get the narration up to speed and lacks of the very part that makes Pratchett’s books so good. The story is about a Football (or Soccer if you happen to live the other side of the big pond) Discoworld version, with the stereotypical player and the equally stereotypical top model girlfriend.
Terry Pratchett Nation.
This time a Pratchett’s book not set in the Discworld universe but on an alternate history on a fictional Earth. I found this book very good. Although its intended readers are in the teen range I really enjoyed it. The author is clearly at his best, writing about differences, leadership, belief, faith and the hard task of growing up. Highly recommended.
Scott Rogers Level Up.
This is a great school book for game design. Or, to put it better, this is The Book if you want to learn and understand how to design videogames. In many parts it can be considered just common sense, although it is a highly organized and outstandingly well written common sense. If you want to be really picky, you may say that this book is not game genre specific so it may be too generic if you are very in a specific kind of games. I can’t wait to apply everything I learned.
Tom Demarco, Peter Hruschka, Tim Lister, Suzanne Robertson, James Robertson, Steve McMenamin Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies: Understanding Patterns of Project Behavior.
Demarco and Lister are two great project engineers, their “Peopleware” is one of the best book on project management. One of the first that collected evidences and put it straight – in software project people matters. I had high expectations for this book. Unfortunately it is somewhat less than I expected. It is a collection of 1-2 pages articles describing one pattern. Some pattern are good, some are evil and some can be both. I found the book somewhat lacking of structure and poor in references to facts and studies supporting the claims. Thinking better about it I don’t see who is the intended reader – the project manager either is peopleware “enlighted” or is not and for sure this is not the book you can throw at him to make him change. The programmer may nod for one or more pattern, but there is no clear way to make and propose changes it his/her company to improve practices.

Here we go. I have another burst of books I’ll report about in the next days.

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