Summer Reading

Admittedly, I have not been reading as much as I ‘d like to this year. I was hoping to read 2 books a month; unfortunately I started more than I’ve finished. That is, up until last weekend when I went to the beach. I managed to read 3 books over the course of 4 days. Allow me to tell you about them.

Note: There are no spoilers in this post! Feel free to read ahead.

Gumption by Nick Offerman (3.5/5)

gumptionThe first was a book I started a couple of weeks ago. I read Offerman’s first book, Paddle Your Own Canoe, in a short time frame. He portrays Ron Swanson on Parks and Rec – one of my favorite fictional characters! Needless to say, I was excited for this book.

It’s 21 essays about Americans Offerman feels exhibits great gumption. He starts with some founding fathers and moves through history, ending with Conan O’Brien. At times, I feel Offerman gets a little too preachy. I assume he does this to distance himself from his popular TV persona. Depending on your views, it could be tough to get through, but I implore you to stay until the end. He wraps it up quite nicely.  No matter what your background, you’ll get something out of the book. And a longer reading list.

The Martian by Andy Wier (5/5)

book-review-the-martianI cannot say enough great things about this book. Set some time in the future, NASA is doing manned missions to Mars. In one, something goes wrong and astronaut Mark Watney is left for dead. The problem is he’s not dead. Now he needs to survive over a year on Mars until the next mission arrives. He only has 30 days worth of food & resources.

I read the book over the course of 23 hours and could not put it down. Right from the beginning, Wier captivates the reader. Watney is relatable and downright entertaining. I actually laughed out loud at parts. As an added bonus for me, the author is a software engineer. He has a few Easter Eggs for his fellow programmers.

I strongly recommend The Martian, especially with the movie coming out in October.

Responsible Responsive Design by Scott Jehl (5/5)

rrdSo this one isn’t for everyone. It’s a programming book, specifically in the field of Web Design and Development.

That said, if you happen to be in that field, this is a must read. Jehl tells you how to make sure your website has a good user experience no matter what. This especially means people with slow connections or older machines.

It was a bit of an eye opener for me, and I talk about this stuff all the time! There are definitely things I can be doing better, and thanks to this book, I am.