What I read last week
The Soul of a New Machine (Tracy Kidder)
This was a pretty cool read – published in 1981, this book provides a window into an era considered ancient by today’s technological standards, where a team of computer engineers is sprints to release a new machine. Kidder provides a ton of insights on the design processes that go into creating new technology, which depend not only on research but also careful engineering management and company politics. The narrative strikes a great balance between bland technical explanations and the human side of the story. I also found to my surprise the setting to be my own hometown, which I had never thought of as a particularly strong tech hub. I’d highly recommend reading this if you’re interested in computers and/or working with smart people.
What I’m reading this week
Why We Sleep (Matthew Walker)
We spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping, yet the topic doesn’t get as much research and attention as one would think. In this book, Walker (a professor at the Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab of UC Berkeley) explains the prevailing theories on why sleep is important and what can be done to improve your own sleep schedule.
East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
I’m in the middle of reading this after starting it last week. It’s been a nice read so far.