Happy long weekend!
I haven’t posted a reading update since back in February, and since I’m away on vacation for the weekend (with my nose hopefully buried in a book), I thought it would be appropriate to list some of the books I have on the go.
HVAC Handbook by Robert Rosaler
This is undoubtedly an odd one on the list. A few weeks back, our AC unit froze and we decided to replace both of our 30+ year old AC unit and slightly newer furnace in the house. I am not a handy guy by any stretch of the imagination, but I wanted to learn more about how a house’s HVAC system helps to control the indoor environment. I renewed my library card and checked this book out. I have no illusions that I can or should be performing my own repairs, but at least I can appreciate the engineering and design (or sometimes lack of) goes into my house’s climate control.
Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett
This list wouldn’t be complete without a Terry Pratchett book. This book finally brings us back in touch with the Wizzard Rincewind, whom we last saw in Sourcery and was blown away to another dimension. Set in the Counterweight Continent and the Agetean Empire, Rincewind, The Luggage, Twoflower, and Cohen reunite and get thrown in the middle of a peasant rebellion against the oppressive rule of the elite and a plot to murder the Emperor. These are interesting times!
Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
I quite enjoyed Jocko’s later book, Discipline Equals Freedom, so I thought I’d go back to check out his earlier book that is largely the reason why he’s known now. He and Babin are retired Navy SEALS who started a leadership consulting company after they retired from the forces. The book is a distillation of their experiences and the lessons they learned about leadership that they have brought with them to their civilian careers. It’s written, in part, as a no nonsense memoir, and I don’t get the impression that they are trying to waive any patriotic flags about being pro-military or pro-combat.
Madison’s Gift by David O. Stewart
Here’s another audiobook I grabbed from the library thanks to the Hoopla service. While I should probably start reading biographies about figures other than American presidents, this one intrigued me since it’s about James Madison’s partnerships with key people who helped him with his achievements. Rather than celebrating him as a visionary genius, it plays up the fact that he was fairly ordinary and unimpressive (the book’s description of him is “short, plain, balding, neither soldier nor orator, low on charisma and high on intelligence.” Something about the description spoke to me, and I thought I’d check it out.
The Perfectionists by Simon Winchester
I blame the fact that I work in the School of Engineering that I decided to check this book out. The Perfectionists covers the history of precision engineering after the industrial revolution. While the book covers things relatively chronologically, it’s thematically grouped into various stories related to tolerance in measurements. I’m only midway through the book, but the history of engineering design is incredible. The creativity and patience shown by the various craftsmen in areas such as machining by hand, horology, and even lock-picking, is fascinating to learn about, and gives me a greater appreciation for good design (see HVAC above…)
If this was a long weekend for you, I hope you had a great and safe weekend!