Summary of recent reading(October-December 2020)

Posted on Jan 1, 2021
  • Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks: This is a book about how to tell better stories, by an award-winning Moth storyteller. The book also talks about how to find better stories from your life.

    Besides surgically analyzing what goes into crafting a great story, the book is filled with great stories from the author’s own life and so is really entertaining to read.

  • The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova: This book documents the journey of a journalist who goes from knowing almost nothing about poker to becoming a pro player. It’s an enjoyable book which strikes a good balance between the poker lessons the author is learning and lessons that poker is teaching her about life outside of the game.

  • Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks: An enjoyable story, told from an interesting perspective. I read this shortly after Storyworthy(by the same author) so I found myself appreciating some of the story-crafting techniques show up in the book.

  • Creative Selection by Ken Kocienda: An Apple insider’s account of the development of the iPhone, iPad and WebKit. The book feels like it could use a little more editorial touching up– there are some weird analogies and tangents– but on the whole I enjoyed reading this book.

    Most stuff out there about iPhone-era Apple don’t have any substance beyond painting Steve Jobs as a visionary genius. While this book does show admiration towards Jobs, it is mostly an account of all the nuances that programmers like the author of the book were thinking about, and how the team there approached designing and building software.