January Books (so far) — Timeless Way, Ventus, Thurber, Last Lecture

A little all over the place so far this month:

* “The Timeless Way of Building”:amazon by Christopher Alexander. Good discussion of a classic design methodology, applies to software as well as architecture. Not a scalable scheme at all — the author argues for intensive customization with great involvement from the intended users — but still important for some classes of projects, and most importantly, talks about the need to really inject character and soul into design, which is important for all projects.
* “Ventus”:amazon by Karl Schroeder. Classic coming of age myth, with a little high fantasy, nanotechnology, and space opera thrown in. Quite engaging.
* “My Life and Hard Times”:amazon by James Thurber. I read this years ago, and it ages well, Thurber was a fine writer. He was a contemporary of my grandfather’s at OSU I believe, so I feel a little personally attached to Thurber and his tales.
* “The Last Lecture”:amazon by Randy Pausch. I had watched part of the lecture some time ago, but finally got to the book, a gift from some nice folks at CMU. If you read only one biographical book this year about a tech industry figure dealing with pancreatic cancer, this is the one to read — a great message by a very thoughtful man.

I read all these in paper versions as I am trying to dig thru the pile of paper on the nightstand. This paper stuff seems so antiquated compared to the Kindle.