books I read 2013

Once when I picked up a book from the local library, the librarian asked to tell her what I thought about the book when I would bring it back. Well, why not write a few lines about all the books I read so everybody could see what I thought about it? I'm often also happy to have friends recommend a certain book or tell me this and that is not really worth reading. I won't comment about the tons of books I have read so far, but about books I read from now on.

1-star recommended not to read it empfehlung das buch nicht zu lesen
2-star not too interesting nicht allzu interessant
3-star average durchschnittlich
4-star good reading gutes lesematerial
5-star highly recommended sehr empfohlen

Overview of all Books


Overview of all Books

titleClusterbau: Hochverfügbarkeit mit Linux
authorMichael Schwartzkopff
ISBN-103-868-99358-4
ISBN-13978-3-86899-358-5
impression5-star
date2013-Jan-16


Ein Buch, zu dem ich noch viele Male greifen werde.

Obwohl der Hauptfokus dieses Buches auf der Funktionsweise und Konfiguration von pacemaker mit corosync liegt, wird auch, für Administratoren welche einen bestehenden Cluster älteren Datums geerbt haben, in geringerem Umfang auf heartbeat eingegangen. Nicht nur das, Theorie zu Hochverfügbarkeit, Ueberlegungen zur Infrastruktur rund um den Cluster, Grundlagen des Clusterbaus und mehr sind ebenfalls Bestandteil, so dass mit diesem Buch wirklich ein umfassendes Werk zum Thema Clusterbau mit Linux vorliegt. Selbst LVS (Linux Virtual Server), nicht ein Cluster im eigentlichen Sinne aber eine andere Variante von Hochverfügbarkeit, wird beschrieben.

Ein ganzes Kapitel widmet sich verschiedenen interessanten Beispielszenarien, unter anderem auch unter Einbezug von DRBD (Distributed Redundant Block Devices), welche besprochen und mitsamt Konfiguration vorgestellt werden. Szenarien, die nicht nur theoretisch sind, sondern so wirklich auch "in der freien Wildbahn" Sinn machen und anwendbar sind.

Verschiedene Verwaltungswerkzeuge werden vorgestellt, sowie mögliche Vorgehensweisen für Upgrades der Clustersoftware selber. Die zur Verfügung stehenden Agenten werden genauso besprochen. Auch Themen wie Ueberwachung (etwas SNMP-lastig) und Sicherheit findet man.

Die ganzen Erklärungen sind nicht nur in einer gut verständlichen Sprache geschrieben, sondern auch logisch aufbauend angeordnet und immer mit Beispielkonfigurationen versehen. Bei den Beispielen wird abgewechselt zwischen der XML Notation und der Syntax, wie sie in der crm shell verwendet wird, sodass der Leser mit der Zeit beide Varianten zu verstehen in der Lage ist. Sehr schön ist auch, dass für Ungeduldige und Eilige am Ende des Kapitels über die Installation schon eine Minimalkonfiguration vorgestellt wird, mit der man erste Erfolgserlebnisse feiern kann.

Alles in allem ein sehr gelungenes Buch, welches man auch nach dem ersten Durchlesen immer wieder gerne zur Hand nimmt.


titleThe Wise Man's Fear
authorPatrick Rothfuss
ISBN-100-575-08142-2
ISBN-13978-0-575-08142-0
impression3-star
date2013-Mar-01


This is the second book of the "Kingkiller Chronicle". It has been a long wait for the second book to be published (several years). Was it worth the wait?

Two things struck me about this volume. One: It is huge. Already "The Name of the Wind" has been a big book. "The Wise Man's Fear" is even bigger. Two: This second volume continues exactly where the first one ended. Seamless. At the end of the first book Kvothe, Bast and Chronicler went to bed, at the beginning of the second book they get up the next morning. The story goes on as if it was one and the same book. This also means that reading "The Wise Man's Fear" without having read "The Name of the Wind" first, lots of things will not be so easy to understand. Even having read the first volume, I was in for a rough start, as it has been four years since I read it; I didn't have all the details ready at the tip of my fingers any more.

The book is still interesting to read, but it is not as engrossing as the first one, there is no real culmination. Sure, there are a few scenes where things happen but It mainly feels as if this was more or less meant to plow the path for a future book which then should have a highlight. One part of the book, where Felurian appears, is even rather long and slow going, threatening to get outright boring.

So, was it worth the wait? Still an OK book, but it did not quite fulfill the high expectations I had after having read the first book.


titleTor der Verwandlung
authorCarol Berg
ISBN-103-442-24361-0
ISBN-13978-3-442-24361-7
impression4-star
date2013-May-19


Seyonne, ein sklave. Sein leben nichts wert. Sein status dem eines tieres gleich. Derweil war er einst höchst angesehen. Der beste "wächter" den die Ezzarier seit vielen jahren hatten.

Aleksander, prinz. Thronfolger der Derzhi. Sein status am obersten ende der skala. Vererbt, von geburt an bis zu seinem tode.

Zwei männer, wie sie unterscheidlicher kaum sein könnten. Und doch so gleich. Zwei männer, die das schicksal auf seine unergründliche weise zusammenbringt und die beide das leben des anderen massiv verändern; in tiefste abgründe stürzen, in gefahr bringen, wieder aufbauen.

Viel kann nicht gesagt werden, über das buch, ohne einen teil des inhaltes zu verraten. Die geschichte spielt in einer welt von verschiedenen völkern, mit kriegen, unterdrückung, intriegen, magischen kräften, gut und böse. Der aufbau ist gut geplant, die erzählung schwebt flüssig dahin, wirkt nirgends langweilig. Die eigentliche geschichte liegt meines erachtens weniger in der handlung als in der sich verändernden beziehung der beiden hauptfiguren; nicht nur dem anderen gegenüber, sondern auch dem leben an und für sich und anderen menschen gegenüber.

Ein gutes buch.


titleFatal
authorMichael Palmer
ISBN-100-553-58361-1
ISBN-13978-0-553-58361-8
impression3-star
date2013-Jun-28


Dr. Matt Rutledge accuses the local coal mining company of wrongdoing ever since his beloved wife died. However, there is no prove and Matt does not even know what exactly should be wrong. All his blaming is solely based on suspicion. Matt is clinging to a couple of cases of an extremely rare conditions in a few patients, all of who die unpleasant deaths. Extremely rare conditions but too many cases in the immediate vicinity of the mining company to be a coincidence, Matt believes. His assumptions are disturbed when he learns about a death with the same symptoms of a former resident. The deceased simply has been living away from her home town too long to be affected by any local toxins. However, at the same time some kidnapping happens, something must be wrong...

The book starts our with three seemingly unrelated stories. It is only towards the end, where they finally all come together.


titleThe Great Game of Business
authorJack Stack
ISBN-101-781-25152-5
ISBN-13978-1-781-25152-2
ASINB00DIZQVP2
impression4-star
date2013-Aug-28


Jack Stack has not only saved a company from closing down, but at the same time developed a different way of managing a business. His way is an approach of openness, fairness and involvement right down to the bottom. An approach, which I think can work very well and actually do wonders for the health of an enterprise, even though, by only having read the book and not seen this in action, I'm a bit sceptical of the constantly described enthusiasm of every employee.

This definitely is an "American book", full of enthusiasm and lots of repetitions (tell the readers a hundred times and the hundred and first time they'll start to believe it), but it is better than many other "guides"; it is not only a list of "do this, do that", but also the story of the first successful implementation of this approach. What I found refreshing, compared with other "guides", is the fact that it also openly shows some wrong paths taken by Jack himself, the worries he had, etc. This helps a lot to understand why he recommends to do some things this and not another way. It also makes him more human by openly acknowledging that he had fears too and took a few wrong turns.

If you read the book, please do yourself a favour and read it all. Some things are only explained in the later chapters (such as downsizing, which I think is one of the most important aspects). This "explaining later" is not at all a shortcoming, it fits perfectly; the sequencing is very logical, exactly in the order you're likely to hit the various issues.

I've read the updated edition, which has an additional part in the form of a story detailing the introduction of this system in a fictious company. There's nothing new in this part and the book does not gain any more value from it, except, maybe, the references to online tools strewn throughout the part. However, I have not checked these tools and references and can not comment on them.


titleSuperstition
authorDavid Ambrose
ISBN-100-330-36747-5
ISBN-13978-0-330-36744-8
impression3-star
date2013-Sep-06


Joanna Cross, a journalist, who busted a scam which claimed to make it possible to contact the deceased, agrees to take part in an experiment run by Sam Towne. Sam is a scientist at an university and his area of research paranormal phenomena. The group of people taking part in the experiment, one of them Joanna, try to 'create' a ghost. Once they get first results, progress is very quick and witin a short time they are far beyond their initial expectations. As the created ghost is only a product of their combined imagination, there is no danger in exploring a bit deeper and go a bit further than originally planned. Or ther 'should' be no danger. However, the imagined ghost starts to show unexpected (re)actions. Some of the group get frightened, others want to explore more and things start to get out of hand.

The book is not frightening and interesting to read; it definitely is not part of the horror genre. But the more the experiment in the book gets out of control, the more the story lacks structure. Towards the end it felt to me, as if the author had not thought things through to that stage and was introducing twists and turns to somehow come to an end.

Half of the book is quite interesting, another third is ok and the last bit is, in my opinion, poor.


titleThe Glass Palace
authorAmitav Ghosh
ISBN-100-006-51409-X
ISBN-13978-0-006-51409-1
impression3-star
date2013-Oct-24


At the start of the book, Rajkumar Raha is eleven years old. An Indian boy who came to Mandalay by chance, rather than on purpose. From here, the book follows Rajkumar throughout his whole life, and further.

The Glass Palace is part fictious biography, part history book. It lets the characters explain their thoughts, their feelings, their reasoning; it picks up and mixes in historical events (which I did not check and therefor can not confirm) and gives faces to those events. In some parts it is very detailed and in other places it easily skips over many years.

This is an unusual book. Neither is it thrilling and making you want to read "just one more chapter before going to bed", nor is it boaring or uninteresting so you would put it away for good. It is somewhere in between: keeping you coming back to read a bit more, so long, you will have read the whole book in the end.


titleMr Clarinet
authorNick Stone
ISBN-100-141-02108-X
ISBN-13978-0-141-02108-9
impression4-star
date2013-Dec-14


Max Mingus, ex cop, ex private investigator, ex con, in that order. He's freshly out of prison and trying to find a new foothold in life. Yet he's offered a job to investigate the kidnapping of a child that happened two years ago, in Haiti. A job, he doesn't really want, but a job which would put him far away from his old/new home. A distance, he appreciates, money he can use, a challenge he welcomes.

The Carver family offers Max all the support he needs. But, as he finds out very soon, Allain, Gustav and Francesca Carver do not get along with each other all too well, but they all want to find little Charlie.

For Max Haiti is a strange place, with all the voodoo, spirits and black magic people believe in. They also believe in Tonton Clarinet, a figure who steals children. And Max finds a crime against which the kidnapping of Charlie Carver pales.

A well written book with a well arranged storyline. However, some of the content I would consider more likely NC-17 rated than R-rated. Definitely not a book for children or people who are easily upset.


titlePro Git
authorScott Chacon
ISBN-101-430-21833-9
ISBN-13978-1-430-21833-3
impression4-star
date2013-Dec-26


Like many other tech books, Pro Git starts out with a chapter titled "Getting Started". Well, that chapter alone certainly is not sufficient to get you started with git, but the book as a whole is an excellent way to learn how to work with git and how git is working with your code (or whatever you feed it to chew on).

I've used git before and scratched a bit more than just the bare surface of it, so many of the things described were not new to me. I was reading this book mainly to get a feel of whether I could recommend it to a team of IT people who will start working with git soon. And yes, I can recommend it. The book introduces the reader gradually and in a logical sequence to the concepts behind git and the way to work with it.

There are several ways a team can collaborate using git and Scott Chacon explains some of them in the book, complete with workflow, advantages and disadvantages. This is one of the things I like especially in this book. It is often difficult to decide on a workflow to use when you're new to a tool and this information can help a lot. Also the recommendations for size of commits, structure of commit message etc. are all there.

The samples in the book are clear and easy to understand. They are kept short, which is a good thing on one hand (quickly find what you need and be done with it), but in some circumstances you may need to piece together a few things by yourself to achieve what you want to do (branch, make changes, cleanup using interactive rebase, cherry-pick/rebase/merge back to master). An additional (optional) chapter walking the reader through a whole change step by step might be useful for new users.

One chapter is dedicated to working with and converting from other systems. Pro Git uses subversion and perforce as samples. A really helpful chapter if you're stuck with a central subversion repository or you need to import the history from an old setup.

The last chapter is rather technical and a great treasure trove and source of how git works internally. It walks the reader through a series of low-level commands and builds a complete repository just using the plumbing commands; a great way to learn and understand how git works behind the scenes. Very valuable information if you need to do something very special or if you're just very curious.

All in all, a good book.


Overview of all Books

Page last modified on 2012-Dec-26 22:18 GMT