Inside the Data Reading Room – Some Books to Start the New Year (2020)

Regular readers of my blog know that I periodically post quick reviews of the technology books that I have been reading. With that in mind, here is the first set of book reviews for 2020, taking a look at three recent books on topics that are in the news: AI, blockchain, and Big Data.

First up, we have The AI Delusion by Gary Smith. This is an interesting book on AI that is easy to read quickly. It is not going to give you any in-depth AI algorithms or models, but will help you to cut through the hype. Because right now, let’s face it, everything and everybody is touting how AI will change the world. And it probably will, but not with computers that think and behave like humans. This book helps you to understand why this is so – that computers lack “understanding.”

If you are at all interested in AI and its potential impact on humanity, you will enjoy reading Smith’s The AI Delusion .


Blockchain is another hyped, but useful technology, and Paul Tatro’s Blockchain Unchained: An Illustrated Guide to Understanding Blockchain can help you understand the ins and outs of what blockchain is and how it works. Indeed, if you are looking for a great, readable introduction to blockchain technology then look no further. Tatro’s Blockchain Unchained is in-depth, while at the same time easy to comprehend and digest. This is important for a topic that is potentially as confusing as the blockchain.

In 146 pages and just over a hundred figures, Tatro manages to instruct even beginners on the technology and capabilities of blockchain. Consider reading Blockchain Unchained to give yourself a firm blockchain foundation so you can understand its capabilities.


And finally, we have Building Big Data Applications by world-reknowned expert on all-things-data, Krish Krishnan. Although there are many books on the market that tackle the subject area of big data, Krishnan’s new tome on the topic, Building Big Data Applications, provides readers with a succinct overview of big data infrastructure, development, and technologies for designing and creating applications.

Building Big Data Applications offers up guidance for beginners, but one of the nice features of the book is the well-curated lists of resources for additional reading and discovery at the end of each chapter. The book also offers up nice examples of big data use cases that can be helpful to developers with similar requirements.


Have any new books that you would like to have reviewed here? Drop me a note to let me know about them…


I'm a data management strategist, researcher, and consultant with over three decades of experience in all facets of database systems development and implementation.
This entry was posted in AI, analytics, Big Data, blockchain, book review, books, data. Bookmark the permalink.

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