I’ve been in a reading slump lately – I just haven’t felt like reading. This happens sometimes and whenever I break my "at least two books a week" rhythm, I just roll with it until it changes.
Yesterday was a three book day. I absorbed the books into my brain as though it was meant to be. All three were non-fiction, although only one was "challenging non-fiction" (in a good way.)
Math You Can’t Use: Patents, Copyright, and Software by Ben Klemens was superb. This is a detailed, thoughtful, comprehensive, and (other great adjective goes here) book about why patents are completely fubared for software. Ben has created the End Software Patents Coalition and this book could easily be its manifesto. While I put it in the "challenging" (e.g. you have to actually read it vs. skim it) category, it’s extremely well written and a pleasure to read. If you are in the software industry in any role and have ever encountered software patents, this is a must read.
Next up was The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. I met Tim at the predinner for the New New Internet conference in DC last month. It appeared I was the only person at dinner that hadn’t heard about Tim and his revolutionary idea to have a 4-Hour Workweek which is apparently the rage in Silicon Valley right now. Tim’s a fun character and his story is very entertaining. I thought the first half of the book was a blast and the second half (where he gets deeper into the "how to" mechanics) became tedious and overwrought. Tim – you need a better editor (yeah – I know, so do I.)
I usually don’t call out crummy books on this blog, but since the third one – Make The Right Choice – was part of my Saturday reading trifecta, I thought I’d mention it. I can’t remember who recommended it to me (I would have never bought it without a recommendation) but I thought it was silly and dull. After about 30 pages I skimmed it looking for some meat, but never found it.