July was another busy month with job interviews and some traveling so I didn't quite hit my goal and I did read a book I had finished in the past because I felt like revisiting it. That's something I typically don't do, but I didn't want to read something new at that point.
The Player of Games
This was a book that I've read previously. I had to do some traveling and between various forms of studying I wanted something easy to read that was relaxing and not too taxing. I won't ruin the story in this book but it's one I really enjoy. If you're familiar with the culture novels at all, or just enjoy a good sci-fi novel this is a good place to start, especially if you have any interest in board games.
Web Operations: Keeping the Data On Time
I don't typically include tech books in these reviews because honestly I think they're pretty boring to talk about, and they don't usually count towards my goal at all, but I had to review some design and operation details for interviews and I ended up reading most of this. I've owned it for a number of years and wanted to review differences as to what the standards were at the time versus many of the standards preached in things like the Google SRE book. I found that a lot of the details, views, and procedures in this book still applied and were basically current (since this was cutting edge at the time). Comically there are still a lot of companies that aren't even up to the standards this book preaches back when it was published in 2010. Overall still pretty relevant, and even more relevant since many companies I've talked to were still operating with ideas from books like these, or even older setups.
The Design of Everyday Things
I was really looking forward to reading this book. I was hoping for examples of amazing implementations, ideas that I could apply to my own products and clear concise details of how to be better about your design. I didn't finish this book. Not only were these sorts of anecdotes not present in the book, the 50% or so that I read of it had so many abbreviations, technical terms, and downright awful explanations I couldn't bring myself to finish this. I was hoping for the "How to Win Friends and Influence People" of design, but instead I got a poorly written and poorly structured manual for designers that doesn't read like a textbook, but it doesn't read like a regular book, so instead you get a crummy middle ground that's a bummer all around.
I listened to the audio book version of this. The best way to describe it is a historical drama, so it has details based in fact, but also takes the voice of people who were there and expands on them. The book was about the Munich Agreement before WW2 started, and it was okay. This was a genre I hadn't explored before (the idea of a semi-accurate view of a particular event in history) so I wanted to try it out. I don't think I would read or listen to this sort of book again. The slow pace of recreating the event, combined with the general overview of the character's personal experience instead of an overall look at the talks created a disconnect that I didn't enjoy that much. In the future I would only be interested in a documentary style for this sort of event.