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My favourite books 2020 – Ole Begemann

I learn 45 books in 2020. These have been my favorites. (Considering in SwiftUI was not within the working as a result of I’m biased.)

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff (2019). Should you decide up one e book from this record, make it this one. I feel everybody working within the tech business ought to learn it, it’s so essential. Shoshana Zuboff takes aside the enterprise mannequin of the large tech giants and the various unethical (and at occasions presumably unlawful) issues they’ve performed and proceed to do to protect it.

If we ever handle to manage the digital surveillance business that pervades trendy life (as we ultimately did with the manufacturing unit house owners who exploited staff through the industrialization), this e book will change into a traditional as a significant contribution to that effort.


Circe by Madeline Miller. A lovely reimagination of a Greek fable. I purchased this e book as a result of I fell in love with the quilt design of the UK version with out figuring out what it was about and I’m glad I did. Madeline Miller’s writing was a problem for my English expertise, I needed to lookup so many phrases. But it surely was completely price it.


Mythos: The Greek Myths Reimagined by Stephen Fry (2017). Circe led me to Stephen Fry’s pleasant retelling of the Greek myths. That is half one in a collection. The sequels, Heroes and Troy, are on my record for subsequent yr. I purchased the US version as a result of I favored the quilt design higher than the UK model. It’s a really fairly e book.

Permanent Record

Everlasting Report by Edward Snowden (2019). Snowden’s memoirs, recounting his work for NSA contractors up till the covert assembly with journalists in Hong Kong that led to his exile.

A Philosophy of Software Design

A Philosophy of Software program Design by John Ousterhout (2018). Very approachable (brief and simple to learn) and comprises lots of strong recommendation for designing and sustaining complicated techniques. Two good opinions in regards to the e book: Gergely Orosz’s evaluation matches my very own ideas. James Koppel’s take is extra vital (however nonetheless optimistic) and really insightful.

The Art of Doing Science and Engineering

The Artwork of Doing Science and Engineering: Studying to Study by Richard Hamming (1996, new version 2020). Stunning new version of Hamming’s Nineteen Seventies lecture collection transformed to prose. Themes embrace some technical subjects, similar to Hamming’s invention of the error-correcting code named after him, however the majority of the e book is recommendation learn how to strategy scientific work and learn how to construct a profitable profession. The ultimate chapter is a model of Hamming’s well-known discuss “You and Your Analysis”, which supplies an excellent impression of the character of the e book. The 2020 Stripe Press model could be very fairly. Typography, illustrationsm and paper high quality are all top-notch.

Deutschland Schwarz Weiß

Deutschland Schwarz Weiß by Noah Sow (2008, up to date 2018). Racism in Germany. How white folks advance and strengthen racism by not fascinated with our actions. Unhealthy typography, however I in any other case favored it.

Fake Facts

Pretend Information: Wie Verschwörungstheorien unser Denken bestimmen by Katharina Nocun und Pia Lamberty (2020). An inside look into a number of conspiracist milieus in German society, from Holocaust deniers and antisemitic ideologists to anti-vaxxers and esoterics. Extremely related today.


March (Ebook One to Three) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (2013–2016). The late US Congressman John Lewis recounts his extraordinary life within the US civil rights motion in comedian e book kind. Studying this deeply impressed me. The wrestle Black folks fought then (and are nonetheless combating immediately)! The braveness and willpower it took to take humiliation after humiliation, beating after beating, arrest after arrest, homicide after homicide, with out combating again with violence. I had identified this earlier than, however seeing it from the angle of somebody who skilled it firsthand was one thing else.


MetaMaus by Artwork Spiegelman (2011). Studying March led me to a comic book traditional: Maus (1985 and 1991), Artwork Spiegelman’s two-part story how his dad and mom survived the Holocaust in Poland. I favored the comics, however I felt I didn’t actually perceive why they have been so well-known.

MetaMaus is actually a 230-page interview with the writer through which he takes his work aside intimately: the way it got here to be, how he approached sure scenes (together with tons of draft sketches), Artwork’s difficult relationship together with his father (which performs a significant function in Maus), the various layers of hidden that means in his drawings (most of which I missed when studying the comics). Studying this gave me a a lot deeper appreciation for the unique work. Kudos to Hillary Chute, who went by means of Spiegelman’s archives and requested implausible questions.


Berlin Jason Lutes (2018). One other comedian traditional, printed as {a magazine} collection in 2000, 2008, and 2018. A 550-page tome that describes life in Berlin from 1928 to 1933, through the decline of the Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazis. Beneficial for those who’re inquisitive about that interval.


Brüder by Jackie Thomae (2019). The story of two brothers who get separated as kids and develop as much as reside very completely different lives, every a tragic determine in their very own method. Themes: racism, East and West, Nineteen Eighties and Nineties Berlin, provincialism vs. cosmopolitanism, how a single mistake can destroy a life.


Grünmantel by Manfred Maurenbrecher (2019). Persevering with my theme from final yr, that is one other novel set in rural East Germany, 25 years after reunification.

Im Sommer wieder Fahrrad

Im Sommer wieder Fahrrad by Lea Streisand (2016). Autobiographical novel. The writer (in her thirties) narrates her combat towards most cancers and reminiscences of her grandmother who led a nonconformist, emancipated life in pre-, mid-, and postwar Germany.

Facet notice: writer web sites are horrible

I dread compiling this record yearly as a result of discovering good hyperlinks and canopy photos for the books is a ache. Most writer web sites are horrible. It’s very doubtless many hyperlinks on this web page will not work in just a few months or years. The concept of not breaking URLs appears international to most firms which have merchandise to promote. When a e book goes out of print, it could effectively simply disappear from the catalog. I preemptively apologize for that.

Nonetheless, I don’t wish to hyperlink to Amazon if I might help it. Should you resolve to purchase a e book from this record, please purchase it from a neighborhood bookshop or one other retailer that isn’t one of the crucial highly effective firms on the earth. Let’s attempt to not make Jeff Bezos any richer. (Sure, I see the irony that the print model of my very own e book is just out there on Amazon. Sorry.)



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