Barbarian Meets Coding

WebDev, UX & a Pinch of Fantasy

5 minutes readbooks

Barbarian Goat-Skin Reading Digest May 2012

Hello! Here I am back with the monthly book digest that you’ve been all waiting for! (pho sure!)

This month was a little bit of a disaster in the feeding-the-brain area, I got terribly hooked to The Metro Developer Show and ended up listening to sort of 7x episodes ^_^ . Not saying that there’s nothing to learn from this awesome podcast, au contraire the show is full of great content, but mainly, it’s simply the most fun podcast I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. Both Ryan and Travis are freaking hilarious, and their chemistry is… how to say it.. otherworldly.


Programming: Finding Out The Recipe For Fun

The first book - an actual book in print for once :O - I read this month was Theory Of Fun For Game Design. It was also the first formal book I have ever read on the theory of making games, and it was extremely interesting. Extremely fortunate as well was to find out about his author Raph Koster, this guy is a savant in game design and has produced amazing articles on anything game development related from the arcane art of game design to the more mundane game industry business model. Among his articles, you can even find a very nice presentation about the theory of fun that partially summarizes the book.

Literature: Maese Stephen King Owned The Stage

It’s been a looong long time since I read anything from Stephen King… But earlier this month while I was browsing Audible figuring out what to spend my 2 precious credits on, I stumbled upon The Wind Through The Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel. I was shocked of excitement and anticipation! I had said goodbye and fare thee well to Roland and his ka-tet a long time ago, and I had never expected to hear from them again :). But there it was, a silver platter opportunity to meet my old friends once again, and it was a great shinding indeed xD. The book takes place during a short lapse within Roland’s oddisey to the Dark Tower, and it could be read completely independent from any of the other books. It is a particularly interesting book as it uses a very crafty trick: a story, within a story, within a story (recursive storytelling right there). Very enjoyable read all the way through anyway.

I fell once more in Stephen King’s grasp at the end of the month with 11/22/63: A Novel. This book was absolutely fantastic. The premise is simple, stop J.F.K. assasination by Lee Harvey Oswald the 11/22/63, the twist, a rabit-hole that connects our present to the 9th of September of 1958, the magic, Stephen King’s mastery to make it credible. The depth, realism and beauty of the characters, the mind-bending time traveling conumdrums, the sometimes beautiful sometimes dark portray of the past, every single thing in this book is sublime! And in the end of course, it is just a love story, because every single one of them is.

Non-Literature: On Knowing What Every Body Is Saying And Pushing The Envelope

There is a question I have asked myself countless times: Why does every one use the same specific gestures or the same body language when we are happy, sad, stressed or nervous? I’ve always thought that it was through imitation, we just happen to see those gestures from our elders while we grow up, we link them to certain situations or feelings, and so we use them ourselves. Apparently I was wrong!! :) In What Every Body Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People we are shown the reason behind why we make the gestures that we make, how to read body language and how to interpret it. Pretty interesting indeed, specially when you catch yourself communicating something unconciously through your body.

Finally, I read another book from Seth Godin [Linchping: Are You Indispensable?][]. I love the work this guy is doing, again, very much like in Tribes, this book in its whole is an exhortation to be awesome :) Seth shouts at us to become linchpins, not mere cogs in the machine, to become artists, to defeat the resistance - what he calls the lizard brain - and be great.

“You have a genius inside of you, a daemon with something to share with the world. Everyone does. Are you going to continue hiding it, holding it back, and settling for less than you deserve just because your lizard brain is a afraid?”

Wrap up

Again, in summary:

Jaime González García

Written by Jaime González García , dad, husband, software engineer, ux designer, amateur pixel artist, tinkerer and master of the arcane arts. You can also find him on Twitter jabbering about random stuff.Jaime González García