Guus Bosman

software engineering director


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Here I keep track of some of the books that I've read, often with a short review and some personal thoughts. These are only a selection since I read a lot more books for work.

I like to read book in their original languages where possible: French, German, Dutch, English and I even read three books in Bulgarian. Here is the list of books I'd like to read. See also books about technology or management, and my all-time favorite books.

I'm an engineer, and enjoy science fiction novels. Some of my favorite authors are Vernor Vinge, Terry Pratchett and LE Modesitt Jr. No overview of my reading habits would be complete without mentioning The Economist -- I love that magazine.

Books below are in order of date read; this overview starts in October 2002.


Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

This book needs no further introduction. I read it when I was 14, 15 and this helped me decide to take on a degree in Computer Science.

Douglas Hofstadter
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English for work
Topic: 

Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software

In my first job at Chess patterns where just coming in fashion in the mid-1990's. Can't say that the GoF is a book that's great to read but it has a wealth of knowledge distilled.

Gang of Four
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English for work

The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google

I especially enjoyed the first part; the history of electricity and how technology transformed entire industries. The book makes the case that a similar revolution will take place in computing; where providers of cloud computing facilities will serve a role like electricity producers do today.

Nicholas Carr
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English for work

The Catcher in the Rye

Terribly depressing. Nicely done how it transfers you into the depressing life of an adolescent, the author writes well, but depressing nevertheless.

J. D. Salinger
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English

To Kill a Mockingbird

Another classic. Very Southern; nice to read a book from a child's perspective of live, with mysterious things being scary etc.

Harper Lee
978-0-446-31078-9
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English

Brave New World

A beautiful science fiction book, well written, original and with an interesting angle. Such a relief after reading Slaughterhouse-Five. Enjoyed it.

The copy of the book I read had a quote by the predecessor of our local newspaper, which used to be the Raleigh News & Observer.

Aldous Huxley
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English

Slaughterhouse-Five

I was quite disappointed with this book. It was on my list of 'famous books I never had time for in high school' so I figured it would be interesting, in one way or another, but it really wasn't.

This book must have been become famous for its political impact -- not for its literary impact. It was boring. Luckily it's very small so I finished it in a few hours.

Kurt Vonnegut
0440180295
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English

De Asielzoeker

De Asielzoeker is a beautiful but depressing book about a man's journey through life, and the role that his dying wife has played in it. The book won the Dutch AKO literatuurprijs in 2004 and it's easy to see why -- it's beautifully written with characters that are well thought out and executed. The downside was the depressing story line -- it's just so sad and depressing! The main character feels that life consists of illusions and self deception, and his way of approaching life is therefore very cold and, again, depressing. A beautiful read, over all. This book was a present by Jessica.
Arnon Grunbreg
90 388 2706 7
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Dutch
Topic: 

Der Proceß

One of my favorite authors who write in German is Franz Kafka. so I read what is his most characteristic book: Der Proceß. Reading in German is a lot slower than reading in English so it kept me busy during my travels to the Netherlands and Germany a few weeks ago.

It's a beautiful, disturbing book about a trial. It makes you realize that bureaucracy could always be worse -- it could be like Kafka's.

It was a beautiful book to read, and I was very interested to see how it would end. The strange order of the chapters in the end threw me off -- I never read reviews of books before I read them so I didn't know that the book was left not quite finished by the author, even though the final chapter was written.

I've read Das Schloss in the past and just recently I read Die Verwandlung. The next Kafka on my list is Amerika, or perhaps I'll read some of his short stories first.

Franz Kafka
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German

Enterprise Integration Patterns

Enterprise Integration Patterns is part of the same series as Patterns of Enterprise Architecture, a book I didn't care much for 6 years ago because it was stating the obvious too often. The EIP book is from 2004 and is somewhat better, although at times it suffers from the same weakness.

I used it to look up good definitions of components I wanted to use in our product. The definitions of Message Bus and Message Router were particularly helpful. Not immediately helpful in deciding about implementation elements, but good for documenting and communication the design we had in mind.

At the other hand, the descriptions are superficial, and don't offer much insight. This is the same beef I had with "Enterprise Application Patterns" -- the content is too obvious.

Gregor Hohpe and Bobby Woolf
0321200683
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English for work

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