So what is the Schultzter going to be reading this holiday season? Considering I have two young children it will most likely be instructions on how to put their toys together! But what would I like to be reading during the two weeks I have off? Here’s a quick look…
First and foremost is the The Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith. This is the book started it all (this and the next book in my list). After this economics, politics, sociology, every other social science (and even a few other sciences) are merely an extension of Adam Smith’s work.
If you’re going to buy this book anywhere else make sure you get an edition that includes all five original books and as un-abridged/un-edited as possible.
The second most important book in the world is The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli. This book describes modern politics in a brutal and honest way that has stood the test of time. Many people consider the work to be outdated, or the term machiavellian to be derogatory. But after carefully reading this book you will find that Machiavelli’s grasp of human nature and the demands put on those in power was flawless and holds true as much today as it did over 400 years ago!
Of course there must be something on this list from the LRC 100 (PDF). I choose to put Dennis Lee‘s Alligator Pie. I could have put one of the more lofty reports or one of the classic Pierre Berton books (The Last Spike: The Great Railway, 1881-1885
is definitely on my reading list somewhere), but as kid I remember being one of my favourite books and giving me an appreciate for poetry and verse that I still have today.
I need some light reading; and there’s nothing better for that than a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett! These novels are a hilarious look at humanity from the vantage point of an alternate universe, one where the world is flat, movie stars aren’t rich, witches aren’t evil, and time does sometimes stand still. If you like Douglas Adams (The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Dirk Gently) the you’ll probably like these books. And if you also like Neil Gaimon I strongly recommend Good Omens
– written by Neil & Terry!!!
There’s a bunch of computer projects I’ve had swirling around in my head for quite some time; and hopefully this will be the Christmas vacation I get a chance to work on them. I know there’s some more new fangled environments out there; but I think the tried and true stalwarts are the ones that are going to stand the test of time so I’m hoping to sit down in front of the ‘ol IBM PC, blow the dust my diskette caddy, pop in a couple floppies, and do some hardcore programming!
But like I said, I’ll probably by trying to put kids toys together, and back together again, and out from under the couch – again and again. So I doubt I’ll have time; but if I did this is what I would be reading.