My Spring Booklist 2018

As you already know, I love writing book reviews on my blog. 🙂 I read most of them when I’m away on a vacation, so, again, ten days in the forest turned out productive. Here is my list:



Advanced Microservices

This one turned out a quite practical book. The author describes how good API looks like; how to manage service versions; what options do we have while building our infrastructure; which database should we use – Postgres, Redis, MongoDB, Elasticsearch… how to plan monitoring – Logstash, Kibana; analytics – Grafana, Graphite, StatsD; automatic documentation, Pipeline and CI servers, Service discovery – Consul, Zookeeper.. In short, he makes a reasonable review of currently existing technologies and gives some advice what to consider for automating the build and maintenance of our services.


Painless Docker

This book is not printed yet, so you will find lots of typos, but nevertheless, the book was interesting for me. It is based on real cases, problems and solutions (which are not so well documented in product docs). He describes interesting details and containerization technology in depth. I could not memorize everything, as it required practice. If you use docker, I’m sure you will find more than one novelty in the book.


Microservices AntiPatterns and Pitfalls

This is a tiny book, which describes problems and antipatterns related to microservices. Despite the popularization, clearly, microservice architecture is not a solution to all problems and has its own place with pros and cons. So, how can we split the system into independent parts without using shared code and shared database, considering that code duplication is evil and also we need accumulated data from many tables simultanously for reporting?


Building Microservices: Designing Fine-Grained Systems

Recently, I’ve become a fan of ThoughtWorks company. All the books that I liked, turned out to be written by its employees, including Martin Fowler. This one is by Sam Newman. Lots of good advice and answer to interesting questions; Microservices with all their difficulties and advantages in details. I think the book is mostly for architects, as it does not go into technology usage and configuration details.


Building Evolutionary Architectures: Support Constant Change

Probably, this book is an exception from my fav books from ThoughtWorks, because despite its high rating, I didn’t really like it much. In my opinion, it contains too much theory and repetitions, so I left it after 50%. Continuous Delivery still remains my favourite book about evolutionary architecture.


Pro REST API Development with Node.js

The book seems normal to me. It describes a REST architectural style, hypermedia, HATEOS, Node principles, several libraries for developing APIs – so, nothing new for me, but novice can deepen their knowledge. Probably, the book will get old soon as it was issued in 2015.


The Obesity Code

This book is a gold mine 🙂 and one of the greatest discoveries for me. All the things that I have read in life about food, nutrition, diets, lifestyle, or have heard from famous dietologist, were completely blown apart. This science is full of contradiction. On one year something is healthy and on another it kills. Do you know a ‘healthy’ lifestyle which you can happily follow for your whole life, without feeling guilt after having an ice cream?
A Canadian doctor, Jason Fung has a classic medical education and 20-year experience in nephrology. He chose to be a kidney doctor, as lots of interesting chemical processes take place exactly there and he loves puzzles.

In his book, Mr. Fung plainly explains what happens in our bodies when we take food. He uses only those researches which lasted for many years and had very large number of participants. He argues that obesity is not a caloric, but hormonal dysfunction and ‘eat less, move more’ philosophy is wrong. He started war with type 2 diabetes, which broke out as an epidemy and, for example, based on stats nearly every other person has a type 2 diabetes or prediabetes in the US. Jason Fung has cured diabetes and obesity in his patients within several months. He has not invented anything new and his method exists from the beginning of mankind. It is even included in most religions, we just lost it from our daily life on some stage of development.

I can talk for hours on this topic, so I better stop here. I will only say, that as long as I have a choice, from now on I only believe to the arguments of this doctor. Finally, everything is in place.

As far as the book is concerned, it has some repetitions, but if you start reading, my advice would be to go till the end, as major points are even more after the middle.


The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended

This and the previous book have much in common, but this one seems easier to read with less researches and more success stories. Also, it has some practical tips for increasing a fasting period.

My Summer Booklist 2015

I had a vacation for these two weeks to rest and breath in 🙂 When I leave internet, more time appears to read and that is my favourite activity after swimming. I write small book reviews here and there, so I decided to group the books from this vacation in this post, maybe someone finds any of them interesting…

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!

A famous physicist and nobel prize winner, Richard Feynman, tells us very funny and adventurous stories – childhood memories, working on the atomic bomb, cracking safes, evil jokes, papers in biology, participating in musicians’ festival at the Brazilian carnaval, selling own paintings, giving lectures, researches and ‘aha!’ moments. How did he found time for all this I have no idea :)) I even became interested in physics.

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

A dream is unreal and unreachable, isn’t it? Lately, I had one to build an electromobile factory in Georgia. This book ruined it :)) as I clearly saw how much non-human work and finances are required.

The book itself is a great source of motivation. It contains lots of stories about creation and development of SpaceX, Tesla and SolarCity – failures, lucky events and overcoming difficulties. Building and launching the SpaceX rocket with huge technological and managerial leaps is especially impressive. I think not only programmers, electronic engineers and managers will enjoy this adventurous book.

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

The author of this book is Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal. This and good reviews were the reasons to select it, but I could not even reach the middle. It was a bit disappointing. Maybe it had nothing new for me about startups. Also, I could not agree on several points (e.g. when he says that competition on market only ruins everything). Rework by Jason Fried still remains my favourite book about this topic.

fahrenheit 451 Fahrenheit 451

Bredbury and also this book in particular have been on my list for a while. I saw it now, but to tell the truth, it was a bit disappointing, too. While reading I always had a feeling of lacking information about that world. I could not see what replaced the books and what problems those people were facing. They would not have been able to move totally to verbal communication. 1984 by Orwel was far more realistic for me.
By the way, as time passes, I’m abandoning fiction more and more. It’s sad. I don’t know why, but I often get angry about the characters :)) or maybe the real stories are so interesting, that I cannot stop reading non-fiction.

why-zebras-dont-get-ulcers-big Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers

I love medical books, where complex topics are explained in simple language for us, mere mortals. This book is my most favourite. Mr. Sapolsky writes not only clearly, but also with humour and describes how our brains and body work.

creativity incCreativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

Pixar and Disney are two unique and superior companies for me, where superior people create superior films.
Ed Catmull is a co-founder of Pixar and currently is a president of Pixar and Disney. He, as a software developer, played a great role in the development of computer graphics and moved this field into the movie industry. (E.g. he is often attributed for inventing the Z-buffer concept, which now is in every computer and mobile device.) Catmull writes about under-the-hood stuff while working on animated movies – difficulties they faced, how they started and what does the culture look like in a company, whose every movie is better that its previous one. I think a half of this book is unnecessary, but there are good pearls here and there.

ios8 fundamentals iOS 8 Programming Fundamentals with Swift

I mentioned in my previous posts, that lately I had been working on iOS and their new programming language. Apple has a good book published – The Swift Programming Language which describes the language in depth, but after reading it I was lacking the best practices part and I was still struggling for writing good code. Generally, I don’t like wasting time like this and that is why I start learning a new language from books. Let me introduce Matt Neuburg. He fills his books with real project examples and personal experience, so he made lots of things easier for me. If you are starting this language, I would recommend his books.

programming_ios_8_deep_dive Programming iOS 8: Dive Deep into Views, View Controllers, and Frameworks

This is a Matt Neuburg book, too, (with relatively advanced topics) and he describes the basics in depth. This one also contains real project examples and lots and lots of solutions. I haven’t yet completed all thousand pages, but I already regret not reading it earlier.