A Few More Books I’ve Been Reading

Keeping in line with my other posts this week, today I’ll be sharing information on a few more technical books that I’ve been reading. I won’t be providing an in-depth book review of these books, just a short flavor of some of the books on my current reading list.

First up is The Manga Guide to Databases published by No Starch Press. I know it sounds weird, but the “weirdness of it all” is what urged me to buy this book. The novelty of the idea of combining the Japanese comic form of manga with database management was just too compelling for me to ignore. Now although I’d heard of it before, I’m not a fan of manga… but I am a fan of databases. Given that, this book is probably not the best format for me. But the information is accurate, so it could serve as a high-level introduction to databases for someone who is a manga fan.

I’ve also been spending a little bit of time flipping through another No Starch Press book, too: The Art of Assembly Language, 2nd edition. I’m not an Assembly language programmer, but I thought this book might be able to re-ignite some Assembler brain cells that haven’t been used since college. Well, that was years ago (and for a DEC 10), so there was no magic contained in these pages. That said, the book offers up a very nice introduction to High Level Assembly (HLA). HLA was developed as a tool to help teach assembly language programming and machine organization to University students. More information on HLA is available at http://webster.cs.ucr.edu/AsmTools/HLA/index.html.

More in line with my normal reading material is DBA Survivor: Become a Rock Star DBA by Thomas LaRock (Apress). This is an interesting little book that is not very technical at all. It covers mostly the soft skills required to be a successful DBA. What does that mean? Well, LaRock offers up guidance on office politics, social gatherings, food (yes, food), training, stress relief, and work/life balance. Oh, there are some techie things in here, too (e.g. RAID, DR), but this book is more about the non-technical aspects of succeeding as a DBA. And it does a nice job of detailing those issues if you’re looking for that.

I’m also skimming a couple of other interesting, new books that I probably won’t read cover to cover. Beautiful Visualization: Looking at Data Through the Eyes of Experts (O’Reilly) provides a wealth of information on how to better visually present your data. Anyone working on a modern, data-intensive application will get a plethora of great ideas from this beautifully illustrated tome. And I’m also reviewing Web Operations: Keeping the Data on Time (O’Reilly). This books goes into the operational details of web application support for Internet application developers and administrators. As you embark on managing your company’s web site and applications, this book can be your guide. Although DBAs perform many similar tasks (monitoring, backup, designing for scalability, etc.), the details are decidedly different for web operations. If you’re charged with managing web operations for your company, use this book to help guide you through the morass.

There are a couple more books that are on my reading pile, but I think that is enough for one day… don’t you?


About craig@craigsmullins.com

I'm a strategist, researcher, and consultant with nearly three decades of experience in all facets of database systems development.
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2 Responses to A Few More Books I’ve Been Reading

  1. Karen Lopez says:

    I have 3/4 of those. All valuable. I purchased the Manga Guide to Databases for friends and children of friends. I love it.

  2. You have 3/4 of 5 books?

    I’m guessing you overlooked the fifth book on Web Operations?

    What type of feedback have you gotten on the manga book?

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