Here are some books I am currently reading or listening to. I usually don’t get a chance to read, so I prefer audiobooks, but when I do read, I don’t just read one books at a time, but a few together (hold on, my ADD is showing). Mind you, while I usually am a very fast reader (at least in technology related materials and other readings where the fluff and colorful descriptions is unimportant), it usually takes me quite a while to finish a novel. Getting tired after a few pages doesn’t help either.
Designing Interactions – Bill Moggridge
This books is less about designing interfaces for user interaction and more about the incestuous relationships between Xerox PARC and Apple. This is basically a bio of the dozen or so people the author has rubbed elbows with, and leaves the impression that only those from PARC and Apple created all things computing. While there are a few thought provoking gems, the rest of the book is uninteresting if you want more of proficient design theory and less of the who’s-who.

Electronics for Dummies – Gordon McComb, Earl Boysen
Since I am starting to learn about electronics (I am familiar with the basics, and have made small circuits in the past), I wanted a quick read that was light on the mathematical aspects. This books seems to do just that. It describes the basic components and how they are used, and has you build a few small circuits to demonstrate the component uses.

Electronics Projects for Dummies – Earl Boysen, Nancy C. Muir
I picked this up to complement the Electronics for Dummies book, thinking there might be more small circuits that I could build to demonstrate to my young daughter. Yes, there are a handful of circuits that look interesting, but they all seem to require some specialized component only available from select online retailers. This leaves out the quick trip to Radio Shack or Fry’s to get what is needed, converting a 1/2 hour project into days of waiting for a $3.00 part (+ $10 shipping) to arrive. One is better off searching the Internet for small learning circuits.

Coming Back Alive – Spike Walker
I just started this book. It was promoted on Deadliest Catch last season on Discovery Channel, and sounded interesting. However, it took a while before my library received it, and I forgot the title of it until the scrap paper I wrote it on suddenly appeared when I was straightening up my computer room. I only finished the epilog, introduction and chapter one before my eyelids decided to shun outside lights. So far, from what I have read, the stories seem a bit sensationalized, which is probably needed to entertain readers. but then again, there is at least some truth to the stories, but I hope the entire book does not evolve into ‘fish tales’.

A Spell for Chameleon (Xanth, Book 1, audiobook) – Piers Anthony
I prefer audiobooks since I can listen on my communte to and from work. I really like fantasy audiobooks, but have a hard time picking ones to listen to, not being familiar with the whole fantasy book selections. I generally stick to those which have movies, such as Harry Potter, LOTR and Eragon, but decided to try those of Xanth, mainly since there are a lot of books in the series and the good reviews. At first, I didn’t know if I could stand it. I think it was a combination of the voice from the storyteller and the writing itself. I held on through the first few chapters, only to find myself being sucked into the storyline. Once you get the background and other obligatory storelines out of the way, you are whisked into the puzzle solving aspects of the story. What is the real talent? I think I already figured it out, but it is a joy to listen to the event unfold. I am not tempted to skip ahead to validate this, for the meat in between is engaging enough. While there are some attempts at dry humor (exploding magical cherries are ‘Cherry Bombs’) and many references to sexual attraction and tension, one must remember that these books were probably targeted at 14 year old boys, preying on their emerging urges.

Well, that is my reading list for now. A bit of history, knowledge and fiction.