What I'm Reading #7

reading books articles reviews

The latest in an irregular series of posts on what I’ve been reading.


Bomber by Len Deighton

I’ve just finished re-reading this novel on a fictional RAF bomber raid on Germany during World War II. With a cast of hundreds, it gave you an insight into what those involved (pilots, civilians, firefighters and many others) experienced during a bomber raid. An awe inspiring piece of writing, whilst simultaneously horrifying - this novel doesn’t shy away from the industrial scale suffering and brutality inflicted by the large scale bombing raids.

Finders Keepers by Stephen King

The second book in the Mr Mercedes trilogy, I found this to be a slightly mundane sequel to the first novel. Our hero, Bill Hodges, doesn’t appear until the second half of the book, and it telegraphs the confrontation to come in the final book of the trilogy. Unfortunately, there is a paranormal subplot to this book (part of the buildup to the final confrontation) that I could have done without. I love Stephen King’s horror stories, but it would have been nice to see him do a series of straight crime thrillers.

Not for Turning: The Life of Margaret Thatcher by Robin Harris

I finally got around to reading this biography of Margaret Thatcher after adding it to my reading list back in December 2013. It was an interesting read, written by someone who worked with her and who was obviously committed to her political project. For someone portrayed as the Iron Lady, this book cast in her as a more vulnerable, humane light than I expected. While I wouldn’t agree with many of Mrs Thatcher’s politics, I found this book gave me a greater appreciation of her as a person, and of the challenges she faced in her political career.

Radicalized by Cory Doctorow

This was a very impressive collection of novellas that really forced me to think. After reading this book, you won’t ever think of toasters, Superman ahem, the American Eagle, medical insurance and rich people cosplaying for the Apocalypse in quite the same way again…

Your Life in My Hands by Rachel Clarke

A deeply moving recollection of one Junior doctors’ experiences in the NHS.

Witchfinder by Andrew Williams

An espionage novel looking at the turmoil within MI5 and MI6 after the defection of Kim Philby, and the very human cost of the paranoia and distrust generated by Philby and the other defectors.


That Wild Ask a Manager Story by Jacob Kaplan-Moss

There have been may hot takes on the Ask a Manager (the new hire who showed up is not the same person we interviewed) story. This is the only one worth a damn.

Don’t Forget Microsoft by John Luttig

A comprehensive analysis of Microsoft’s cloud strategy. Well worth a read.

Tabs are better than Spaces by Matt Kruse

Because, deep down, who doesn’t love inflaming a religious war?

CDN Caching by Chris Ferdinandi

An explanation of why CDN caching isn’t the performance boost that it used to be.

Mistakes first time leads make by George Stocker

A useful list, to which I would add this , as I see it time and time again - managers being promoted within the team and trying to stay friendly with all their team mates. You just can’t do it - if you are a manager, you can’t be someone’s best mate as well as their boss. Either accept it and move on, or forget about being a manager.

Also to highlight George’s excellent weekly roundup on all things .NET, Last week in .NET, also on his blog.

The Future of the .NET Foundation and .NET OSS by Aaron Stannard

A dissection of the recent contremps of the .NET Foundation, and the state of .NET open source projects (hint, it isn’t great.

Arsène Wenger and the North Bank Redemption by David Squires

I don’t follow football; I actually hate playing it. But I still read and laugh at David Squire’s weekly piss-take of the state of the beautiful game. This particular comic is actually beautiful.