Listing books on one page just doesn’t scale. I have given up on this. Instead, I will write about books as I read them, and I will remember to mention their ISBN at least once. Just search for ISBN in the search box and you should find all entries on books. Check out the lastest stuff I read on Books.
See also: ProgrammingBooks.
- Gewaltfrei Stören, Gewalt Verhindern, von Liam Mahony und Luis Enrique Eguren – Die Peace Brigades International, ISBN 3-85869-241-7 – I had to stop reading half-way through because it was just too depressing.
- Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman – I need a good reference to some of his opinions on copyright and software patents, so I downloaded a copy of the book , ISBN 1-882114-98-1. It was good, but nothing really new. Good for references, I guess, of for people new to the idea of free softwaare or free text.
- Freie Software: Zwischen Privat- und Gemeineigentum, von VolkerGrassmuck – ein deutsches Buch zum Thema Urheberrecht, Patente, mit geschichtlichem Hintergrund, Unterschiede zwischen den USA und Europa, etc. Ein super Buch, und auch vom Netz runterzuladen , ISBN 3-89331-432-6.
- Open Source Development with CVS, 2nd ed. by Karl Fogel and Moshe Bar – I felt like I did not know enough about CVS and branches and all that, so I decided to download this book  because it promised to be a mix of tech docs and development philosophy, ISBN 1-58880-173-X. Chapter 1 was very good. The strange thing was Moshe’s dedication: “To Yisrael – The Land, the People, and its Torah” – which is a bit hard to swallow for me in the light of what is happening in Israel.
- Fiesta by Ernest Hemingway – I was totally impressed with his dialogues. Nobody I ever read writes as sparse and as tense as he does.
- Zeitgeist by Bruce Sterling – no science fiction, just pop biz, Turkish Mafia and a few funky esoteric moments. Some of the dialogs are hilarious, one of the books I read with a red pencil at hand to underline the quotables.
- Art Of Star Wars Books
- A Scanner Darkly by Philip K Dick
- A William Borroughs Reader – I was fascinated with Borroughs at first, but after reading about 200 pages from various stories, I must confess that they do not mean much to me. I keep going back to the book, however.
- Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie – A novel full of fantastic imagery. Two Bollywood actors fall out of an airplain and survive. One gets satanic horns and a hairy body, the other a halo. But the devil is not really evil, and the angel is not really strong. In fact, the angel has a knack of saying the things other people need to hear, and in his dreams he meets Mohammed (with a slightly different name) and tells him what Mohammed needs to hear. The visions of that time tell a very unglorious story. Reminds me a bit of The Gospel According to Jesus Christ by José Saramago, but lots weirder.
- Distraction by Bruce Sterling – I love Bruce Sterling: Close future, nice extrapolations – straw laptops, jelly wrist watches, the end of capitalism, how science and government and the people get along, media spin doctors, etc. Much like his other recent books, there is not much of a traditional plot with opposition, climax, ending – it is just a flow of events, an attempt to illustrate Zeitgeist (which, incidentally, is the title of another good book of his).
- Taiko by Eiji Yoshikawa.
- MeatBall:NetWar by John Arquila and David Ronfeldt (editors). Note that both Bruce Sterling and David Brin are in the ackneledgements… I like the article about the Battle of Seattle by Paul de Armond, untertitled “Netwar In The Emerald City: WTO Protest Strategy And Tactics”. Important points they raise are how to organize in a decentralized way. This also comes up in the political work at Wilhelm Tux (where we are not doing that well) and in FreeSoftware development (where we need to attract and keep good developpers without being able to pay them). The key point is that you must give each and everyone the freedom to step in if they like, and you must make sure that the people with similar ideas and objectives hear you. Then, by sheer numbers, there will always be enough volunteers to do this or do that. And since you have similar ideas and objectives, many people will just do the right thing without being told. It is a kind of PreOrganization skill that you need: To communicate the goals and ideas so effectively, that you attract the right people who know what to do without being told -- because they want to do just as much as anybody else.
- On The Road by Jack Kerouac. A road book about Sal and his crazy friend Dean, drunken dreams, ecstatic frantic digging of the cities, of people, of sweat and jazz and women, of waking up with a headache amidst cans of beer, and back to getting the kicks, of digging it, digging IT – for me, groundbreaking in what it means to be enlightened as a westerner in western culture. This is the real Zen! Wether it is desirable, I do not know. But I certainly know the feeling.
- ScepticalEnvironmentalist by Bjørn Lomborg. An interesting read: 1. Is the world in a bad shape? 2. Are we doing the right thing about it?
- Atlas der Globalisierung, a publication by Le MondeDiplomatique, ISBN 3-9806917-6-4. I liked it very much. It is has short essays and lots of graphics on all major globalization topics. It would make a great book for a teacher: Using these articles as an introduction to a new topic would be a good start.
- Der Kampf um das Blaue Gold von Vandana Shiva – Ursachen und Folgen der Wasserverknappung, ISBN 3-85869-251-4. A very interesting book on how draughts and famines are often man-made – precisely because we wanted to fight draughts. Cut down woods, dig deeper wells, improve irrigation, centralize the control over dams and wells, and suddenly those in power can have wonderful irrigation of their water-hungry crops, while ordinary peopple cannot pay for the water. At the same time, the old wells stop working, etc. The book also shows that we can learn a lot from countries such as India.
- Offene Wunde Nahost, von Noam Chomsky – Israel, die Palästinenser und die US-Politik, ISBN 3-203-76014-2. The original is called Fateful Triangle. The United States, Israel and the Palestinians, ISBN 0896086011. It is a book full of facts, usually cited from conservative Israeli sources, that build up into a story of terror, supression, violence, lies, and deceit. The reality is so revolting that I could not read it all through. Perhaps he has to dig that deep in order to wake the rest of America, but for it is very heavy reading for somebody like me.
- Israel-Palästina, von Alain Gresh – Die Hintergründe eines unendlichen Konflikts, ISBN 3-85869-245-X. Gresh’s style is a lot calmer than Chomsky. He mentions the injustice, but does not go into the details. He keeps his humanist perspective and therefore manages to make a solution much more plausible. And if we don’t want to just resign ourselfs to military occupation, apartheid, and low intensity warfare in Palestine, then we desperately need voices that show us a way out of resignation and anger.
- Irak, Chronik eines gewollten Krieges, von Hans von Sponeck und Andreas Zumach – Wie die Weltöffentlichkeit manipuliert und das Völkerrecht gebrochen wird, ISBN 3-462-03255-0. It is shocking to see how long the grave injustice of the sanctions on Iraq have been going on without the general public understanding it. Von Sponeck resigned in 2000, after two years of UN representation in Iraq, just as the responsible before him, because he could no longer bear to represent an organisation that was committing an organized genocide in his view. Scary, but very readable, since it is all one long interview.
- Hiroshima, by John Hersey, ISBN 0-88103-025-2. The book was much less cruel and gruesome than I had imagined. Slowly the events unfold, as we follow five people from the first flash, through the fire, looking for shelter, rebuilding their houses, and living their lives. Many more died.