When your day job is trying to help Google organize the world’s information, you need as much sleep as you can get. If you get started on some book that you can’t put down, you’ll be bleary the next day. That has led me to seek out “put-down-able” books. I’m not talking about bad books, but tomes that you can stop reading at any time.
Without further ado, here is my list of put-down-able books, in case other webmasters or search engine reps need their sleep:
- The Big Show: High Times and Dirty Dealings Backstage at the Academy Awards. I normally don’t care for celebrity stuff, but a friend was reading this and I nicked it from them. 400+ pages and you can read the chapters in any order.
- The Other Hollywood : The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry. A great record of the history of pornographic films, and another Hollywood-ish book I enjoyed. You can literally hop anywhere into this book and just start reading. (By the way, does anyone have recommendations to learn more about the online porn industry? Ynot? Netpond? Luke Ford? Where should I be reading to improve my understanding?)
- The Baroque Cycle, by Neal Stephenson. I love Stephenson’s early work, and his In the Beginning was the Command Line was fantastic. Cryptonomicon was good reading, but it was pretty dense and intricate. The Baroque Cycle consist of three books: Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World, making for 960+832+912 = 2704 pages that you can pick up and put down at will.
- Nightwork: A History of Hacks and Pranks at MIT. A fun little read with no tension or drama, so it’s easy to interrupt at any point.
- Anything by Amy Tan. I’ve read most of her books and I’m about to start Saving Fish from Drowning. I love Tan’s deliberate pacing.
- The “Stealing the Network” series (How to Own the Box, How to Own a Continent, and How to Own an Identity). I love fiction that teaches me something. For example, I had no idea how to use Nmap until I watched The Matrix ;). This series of computer security books is steeped in real-world facts. The books are easy to put down because each chapter is an independent little story that stands on its own, but the chapters still form a larger story.
Those are the ones that I can think of right now. What non-stressy or put-down-able books have you read recently?
(Yes, yes, comment approval will start again tomorrow. Or maybe Friday.)