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Marcia Savage
Marcia Savage
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The IT Nerd's Summer Reading List

If you're looking for a good book to take on your summer vacation, we've got 12 recommendations, including technical guides to brush up on your skills and just-for-fun reads.
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Ah, summer. Time for BBQs, pool parties, and family vacations. And the perfect time to pick up a good book. Of course, for IT pros, downtime can be a pretty foreign concept. Still, if you've got that long-awaited vacation coming up and need a good book to read by the pool, we've got 12 recommendations for you.  

We polled our team of expert bloggers and editors to find out what's on the top of their reading lists. Naturally, our list is filled with a lot of technical books because what else would an IT nerd take to the beach? We've got recommendations for those inclined to expand their skillsets or brush up on a particular area with books on everything from network architecture to 802.11ac, IPv6, and Python.

But if you want to branch out from the technical stuff, we've also got some lighter fare. Our recommendations include an engaging account of the development of Internet precursor Arpanet, Ray Kurzweil's book on reverse-engineering the human brain, and a post-apocalyptic thriller. So get your beach towel, sunscreen, and grab a book.

 

Marcia Savage is the managing editor for Network Computing, and has been covering technology for 15 years. She has written and edited for CRN and spent several years covering information security for SC Magazine and TechTarget. Marcia began her journalism career in daily ... View Full Bio

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MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Strategist
7/1/2014 | 11:57:59 AM
other suggestions?
Anyone have other favorites, or recent releases they'd recommend for summer reading?
MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Strategist
7/1/2014 | 6:32:45 PM
picks?
Any that you'd pick? I'm looking forward to reading Drew's "Wasteland Blues." I haven't read any post-apocalyptic fiction before (which probably puts me in the minority), so it will be an adventure!
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
7/2/2014 | 2:06:18 AM
Re: other suggestions?
There's a fantastic article in the current issue of [n+1] (which is a quarterly literary magazine -- you can find it at Barnes & Noble) written by a Microsoft engineer who worked on MSN Messenger Service during the IM chat wars with AOL.  A highly informative, highly entertaining read.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
7/2/2014 | 2:08:46 AM
Re: picks?
I've had Dave Eggers's The Circle lent to me, with a strong recommendation to read it.  Apparently it's a tech novel about social media and all the other garbage interesting stuff that I deal with every day.
Pablo Valerio
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Pablo Valerio,
User Rank: Author
7/2/2014 | 6:08:06 AM
Re: other suggestions?
Marcia, I tend not to read technical books during the summer (too many technical papers for work), but I like interesting books that could inspire me and also learn something.

A few books I really enjoyed:

Thinking Small
The Long, Strange Trip of the Volkswagen Beetle
by Andrea Hiott

Behind the Times
Inside the New New York Times
by Edwin Diamond

The Quants
How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It
by Scott Patterson

Enjoy your reading!
MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Strategist
7/2/2014 | 11:19:27 AM
Re: picks?
I've read reviews about "The Circle," and it sounds interesting; Dave Eggers is a good writer. The premise might be annoying though! 
MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Strategist
7/2/2014 | 11:27:55 AM
Re: other suggestions?
Those sound like great suggestions Pablo, thanks! "Thinking Small" sounds particularly interesting. There were so many Beetles on the road (especially the powder blue kind) when I was a kid.
MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Strategist
7/2/2014 | 11:34:08 AM
Re: other suggestions?
I'll have to look for that Joe, thanks for the suggestion! It would be interesting to read the story from an insider's perspective. I wonder if anyone uses AOL Instant Messenger anymore?
jjessup570
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jjessup570,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/3/2014 | 2:23:51 PM
Re: other suggestions?
Hi Pablo, 

If you liked Behind the Times, you might also enjoy 'The Kingdom and the Power', by Gay Talese. It's from the late sixties but is a classic look inside the NYT!

JJ
Pablo Valerio
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Pablo Valerio,
User Rank: Author
7/3/2014 | 4:46:24 PM
Re: other suggestions?
Thank you JJ, I'll look for it.
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