It is probably safe to say that during the summer period we all will likely have vacations. The same for burnout, I am trying to weather this break with a sense of not losing progress. Most of us can and should disconnect during a break, but I have some added pressure this year. My mission to to get a job (“A wink is the same as a nod to a blind bat. You know what I mean? You know what I mean? Say no more, say no more. Wink-wink. Nudge-nudge. Hint-hint “).
That simply means is that I might decide not to do anything too complicated this week. I know that I have a week of family and that it will take away from the blog and any intense projects that I am working on. That means I want to leave some summer reading. I have recently picked up Stephanie Molin’s book Hands on Data Analysis with Pandas. It has a forward by our friend Ken Jee. It’s actually a very good book for any level from beginner to intermediate. I’m enjoying it so far.
Here is a list of books that are on my radar to go through (in no particular order):
- Atomic Habits – James Clear: This is probably lower on the necessity scale. I seem to understand the basics. It’s that it just came up on my radar again and maybe I can refine some of my conception of it.
- Automate the Boring Stuff with Python(2nd ed.) – Al Sweigart: I really need to implement this one, more than read it. It has got some very good automation suggestions for everybody.
- Practical Statistics for Data Scienctist(2nd ed.) – Peter Bruce and Andrew Bruce: I am following along in a study group. It is very important to get a strong grip on these concepts of statistics because it is your tool to interpret data, which in the end is was distinguishes Data works from “regular” workers. I am also following along with StatsQuest videos on Youtube.
- Hands on Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn, Keras, and TensorFlow (2nd ed.)– Aurélien Géron: I like any thing “hands on”. This does a great job. I will also be actively moving through this book and rereading certain parts.
- Feature Engineering for Machine Learning – Alice Zheng: A good companion to the previous book. Really, we should be concerned with this book before we go into Machine Learning projects. These three topics (Stats-Feature Engineering-ML) are a holy trinity we should cycle through.
- Hands on Data Analysis with Pandas(2nd ed.) – Stephanie Molin: This is a great fusion of all three previous books plus working with Pandas with in Python. It is not as in depth on each of those topics but bridges the gap between beginner and intermediate. I am very eager to get into this one!
- Where the Wizards Stay Up Late – Katie Hafner: This is history of the internet and the people who started it. Spoiler….it was not Al Gore. I understand that he took an important role in promoting it to the public in the 90’s, but he did not invent it. I got really interested in this after taking Dr. Chuck’s University of Michigan course on the History of the Internet.
- CODE: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software – Charles Petzold: This is a wonderful book to build up the basis of very complex systems that form our modern computers. It discusses every type of code from Morse, to braille, and bar codes. Then establishes how binary is calculation and leads you to understand the logistics of every process in order to build your own computer.
- Dune – Frank Herbert: I want to finish this before the movie comes out. You know the old adage that once you see something you can’t un-see it and I don’t want every situation to be locked in the cinematic version, though right now I have David Lynch’s Dune in my head when I read it.
- Stages to Saturn – Roger Bilstein: This presents all the design problems the engineers faced in developing the Saturn rockets for the Apollo Missions. By the way, it was one of the most successful rocket design. Not a single one failed. The evolution of the V-2 rocket to the Saturn rockets is a very compelling series of spectacularly difficult problems to solve and a heavy dose of inspiration.
- Operation Paperclip – Annie Jacobson: This is a complementary book to my interest in the history of the NASA space program. I prefer to think the rocketry men had set their intentions for space travel and not killing millions of people. But some of these issues are between them and God at this point. And those were the engineers. But the darker side of science such as the biological/chemical human experiments are off the table for me in being remotely redeemable. A difficult moral dilemma, for sure.
- Cradle of American Space Exploration – Kenny Mitchell: This rounds out my NASA history very well. It is a local history book about Huntsville, AL. I visited this year and it sparked my imagination again. This puts a human face to some of the stories of Operation Paperclip, told through memoirs written by the scientists and their families. One story is of a last minute decision to rendezvous with the US military, leaving their family and pregnant wife behind. They were oping they could follow soon and that their children wouldn’t have to cry themselves to sleep at night from hunger. It seems life is always complicated.
- Don Quijote – Cervantes: I am going to visit family in the middle of La Mancha so it is appropriate. Also have a course through UFM. It is in Spanish because I need to practice my Spanish.
I am always more ambitious about my reading than I am capable of. So this is admittedly a long list. I usually only focus on two or three. Leave a list of business and pleasure books that you might tackle this summer in the comments.