Holiday Reading : Cyprus

I spent the past couple of weeks in sunny (excruciatingly hot) Paphos, Cyprus.  In a similar vein to last year’s Holiday Reading : Lanzarote, I took a lot of reading material with me…

With the exception of Sharp Ends they are all quite old books that I had never got round to reading.

Books

Sharp Ends – Having read all of Joe Abercrombie’s other books this latest collection of short stories was recently released, thankfully in time for my holiday.  It didn’t pull me in quite so far as the other books, but such is the nature of the short story beast.  It’s always great fun reading about “The Bloody Nine” and the new characters introduced left me wanting more.  Hopefully more is in the pipeline.

The Da Vinci Code – I watched the Da Vinci Code film many years back.  Aside from vaguely remembering there was a blonde monk who enjoyed whipping himself, all other details had been lost.  I read Angels and Demons recently and decided to continue with The Da Vinci Code.  It’s fascinating how Dan Brown mixes history with story.

The Moon of Gomrath – This is another old book from the 60s, I read the Owl Service last year, and subsequently Elidor.  Fast paced high fantasy, not a long read and won’t be for everyone.  If you like Wizards, Cat Armies, Dwarves, Elves, Possession and Witches you’ll like this one.

Adrian Mole – Sparked by a recent conversation in the pub with a couple of friends I decided to revisit Adrian Mole’s Diary.  The stories are hilarious and level of detail make it so easy to relate to.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker’s Guide Book 2) –  Another Comedy classic, Hitchhiker’s guide will no doubt be familiar with a majority of the audience likely to be reading this blog given the subject matter.  The humour is incredibly sharp and had me chuckling to myself (and groaning) throughout.

Paphos Shore
Paphos Shore

 

 

 

Review : Dark Days by D. Randall Blythe

As a drummer, Chris Adler of Lamb of God has always been an idol of mine (his signature sticks are my go to), and I’ve been a huge Lamb of God Fan for a number of years now.  The story of their front man, Randy Blythe getting arrested on Manslaughter charges on landing in Prague Airport, Czech Republic two years after the alleged incident was truly shocking.  His book, Dark Days, recounts the ordeal and offers an insight into his incredibly strong outlook on life and how he made it through the other side.

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Review : The Software Craftsman by Sandro Mancuso

The term Software Craftsmanship seems to be rather divisive in its support, with, as mentioned in the book numerous times (along with retorts) the fact that the movement can come across as elitist.  At it’s core it’s another manifesto, a fairly open-ended one at that, but having read the book it extends far beyond this.

In much the same way as Agile, in the pure sense, is more of a mindset than a prescriptive set of rules, the ideas behind Software Craftsmanship conveyed in the book really lean towards achieving excellence, building on and complementing a lot of the practices outlined under XP and Agile.

TheSoftwareCraftsman.jpg
The Software Craftsman

Continue reading “Review : The Software Craftsman by Sandro Mancuso”

Review : Write Modern Web Apps with the MEAN Stack by Jeff Dickey

I recently decided to push myself and delve into a new stack to broaden my horizons, having heard a lot from friends about how great JavaScript is and how it’s taking over the world, I decided it was finally time to get to grips with it, and an opportunity to have a play with Visual Studio Code at the same time.  I picked the MEAN stack to look into, for anyone not in the know, MEAN stands for :

  • MongoDB
  • Express
  • Angular
  • Node

Coming predominantly from a .NET background (as you may have guessed) this was obviously quite a shift. Continue reading “Review : Write Modern Web Apps with the MEAN Stack by Jeff Dickey”

Holiday Reading : Lanzarote

Something slightly different for this post, I was fortunate enough to spend the past couple of weeks on Holiday in Lanzarote, around doing/seeing some really amazing things (Lava Tunnels, Volcanoes, Fundacion Cesar Manrique pictured above, sitting on the beach, etc.), I managed to catch up on some reading.  I chose to read mostly non-technical Fiction books as I seem to find myself reading technical books throughout the rest of the year.

I took some inspiration from Christos Matskas’ Summer Reading List who had done the hard work and crowd sourced some suggestions and picked up The Rosie Project and The Martian, having already read Ready Player One and Soft Skills.

Continue reading “Holiday Reading : Lanzarote”