10 Must-Read Books for Geeks – Part II

10 Must-Read Books for Geeks - Part II

By Patrick Biz
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

It is time for Part II of our 10 Must-Read Books for Geeks series. If you have missed last week’s article, just click here and you’ll be taken back in time to Part I. Here’s the next 5 titles to complete this great collection of books all geeks should own.

On The Edge: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore

 
On The Edge: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of CommodoreAuthor: Brian Bagnall
Publisher: Variant Press
548 pages
Book homepage

Raise your hand those who once owned a Commodore 64? God, I would pay a lot of money to go back to the 1980s when the C64 was the king of the hill. This particular book, however, is not about hot rods. The story of Commodore is about very affordable family computers. This book starts at the very beginning of Commodore, when they acquired MOS Technologies, a semiconductor manufacturer, that lead to the development of the PET. Once the PET was history, then came the VIC-20, followed by the Commodore 64, which is known as the most sold computer of all time. The story even introduces the 128, the Amiga, and the end of Commodore. How could such a successful company fall so abruptly from the top of the world? This is what you will find out if you get yourself a copy of On The Edge. Definitely one to buy for the Commodore lover. And while you’re at it, check out this VIC-20 TV ad to remember the good old days.

Hackers

HackersAuthors: Steven Levy, Steven Levy
464 pages
Book homepage

In this book, the word “hackers” does not refer to bad guys taking control of your Windows 98 PC or sending e-mail viruses. Hackers in this book are people who improved primitive systems by hacking electronics, thereby increasing their computing power and efficiency. In a period where computers were looked at like lab rats, university researchers and early developers such as Lee Felsenstein, Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak, pushed their limits and literally inspired what would be one day be seen as the computer revolution. Hackers offers a peek at a very formative time in geekdom and is worth reading no matter what year it is.

The Perfect Thing

The Perfect ThingAuthor: Steven Levy
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
304 pages
Book homepage

What’s the coolest gadget of the third millennium? The iPod, no doubt about it. This is one of the coolest books I’ve read in years. When you decide to write about such a cool thing, you need to deliver cool content, and Steven Levy does it amazingly. If you want to learn about the development of the iPod, how it changed Apple, the music industry, and the way consumers buy their favorite songs, then you need to get a copy of the perfect book: The Perfect Thing. Just check out how cool the book cover is!

Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything

 

WikinomicsAuthors: Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams
320 pages
Book homepage

The Web, and Web 2.0 in particular, has changed our lives and is currently changing our entire economy. New possibilities inspired by social network groups and mass collaboration are smashing down boundaries, creating endless new business models for Internet companies. This book will definitively change your thinking and enlighten you. If you still have a hard time picturing what the Web 2.0 is, read Wikinomics – once you’re done you’ll be a real Web 2.0 Ninja. Fabulous read, and a very popular title lately.

The Second Coming of Steve Jobs

The Second Coming of Steve JobsAuthor: Alan Deutschman
Publisher: Broadway
352 pages
Book homepage

This is the story of Steve Jobs, starting from the moment he was pushed away from Apple in 1985, and following his story until his return in 1996. During his leave of absence, Jobs tried to revolutionize education with the NeXT Cube, his startup that never made it big. On the side though, he purchased Pixar, the company behind Toy Story, from George Lucas himself, and literally made a fortune with something he couldn’t care less about. Finally, his journey with NeXT ended when the company was purchased by Apple in 1996, bringing Jobs back to his mother company, and the rest is history. The story of Jobs’ post-1985 Apple career is captivating, and the author brings you a very well-written book that’s entertaining from the first to the very last page.

This completes the 10 Must-Read Books for Geeks series. If you are tired of reading Danielle Steel, I guarantee you now have quite an exciting pile of geeky books on your bedside table.

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48 Responses to 10 Must-Read Books for Geeks – Part II

    • Hey MAt, because at one point I had to choose 10 books :-) This could've been a top 25, there are so many great books for geeks. But that's a good suggestion, thanks.

      Patrick

    • Hey MAt, because at one point I had to choose 10 books :-) This could’ve been a top 25, there are so many great books for geeks. But that’s a good suggestion, thanks.

      Patrick

  1. So far this is a good list Patrick!

    But except for the one gamer book in part 1, wouldn't this be more of a list for 'Computer Geeks' as opposed to 'geeks' in general? Try to mix in some books on science and art and d20 gaming or history of Star Trek, etc…that your average geek may be interested in. :-)

    Keep it up!

    • Hi Andy,

      We're planning to write another top book list soon :) So expect to see something that will appeal to a wider audience.

      K.

  2. So far this is a good list Patrick!

    But except for the one gamer book in part 1, wouldn’t this be more of a list for ‘Computer Geeks’ as opposed to ‘geeks’ in general? Try to mix in some books on science and art and d20 gaming or history of Star Trek, etc…that your average geek may be interested in. :-)

    Keep it up!

    • Hi Andy,

      We’re planning to write another top book list soon :) So expect to see something that will appeal to a wider audience.

      K.

  3. One other fascinating book on the early days: What the Dormouse Said by John Markoff. Engelbart and Xerox PARC, alongside the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab. Throw in the cultural upheavals in the Bay Area and you get a new perspective on personal computing.

  4. One other fascinating book on the early days: What the Dormouse Said by John Markoff. Engelbart and Xerox PARC, alongside the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab. Throw in the cultural upheavals in the Bay Area and you get a new perspective on personal computing.

  5. Hey folks!

    Greetings from germany, but you have forgotten the best book about geekdom: Microserfs from Douglas Coupland !

    Actually no "Sci" but damn good "Fi" !

  6. Hey folks!

    Greetings from germany, but you have forgotten the best book about geekdom: Microserfs from Douglas Coupland !

    Actually no “Sci” but damn good “Fi” !

  7. Does anyone have to recommend any book on adventure games? Ideally I am looking something like "the utlimate history of video games" but focusing mainly on adventures.

  8. Does anyone have to recommend any book on adventure games? Ideally I am looking something like “the utlimate history of video games” but focusing mainly on adventures.

  9. And one that every working geek really should read, Leading Geeks. by Paul Glen. ISBN 0-7879-6148-5. It explains why geeks have such trouble getting ahead at work, though it is really intended for geek managers.

    • In reply on your thoughts whys and ifs laughing how about the name Scott it was listed in Men's that guys with the name of Scott has short peters and no common sence

  10. And one that every working geek really should read, Leading Geeks. by Paul Glen. ISBN 0-7879-6148-5. It explains why geeks have such trouble getting ahead at work, though it is really intended for geek managers.

    • In reply on your thoughts whys and ifs laughing how about the name Scott it was listed in Men’s that guys with the name of Scott has short peters and no common sence

  11. i think this should be on the list:

    The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal, by Ben Mezrich

  12. i think this should be on the list:

    The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal, by Ben Mezrich

  13. What about us Geeky teen girls? Where is the Fiction?!?!?!? It is sooo hard to find good books because apparently quirky-witty-geeky-odd-relatable-maybe gothish-music loving-realistic-chick-fiction isnt a genre of its own. Please make a list. I am quicky running out of reading material at the library.

  14. What about us Geeky teen girls? Where is the Fiction?!?!?!? It is sooo hard to find good books because apparently quirky-witty-geeky-odd-relatable-maybe gothish-music loving-realistic-chick-fiction isnt a genre of its own. Please make a list. I am quicky running out of reading material at the library.

  15. Among these, "Hackers" might be the only book interesting to geeks.

    The rest are books about businesses, not technology and are more suited for marketdroids and manager wannabees than for geeks. (Yes, essentially the people who buy "Secrets to success" and "Being a successful manager in ten easy lessons", who think that reading the story of Google, Microsoft, Apple or Commodore will give them insights into how to build a business.)

  16. Among these, “Hackers” might be the only book interesting to geeks.
    The rest are books about businesses, not technology and are more suited for marketdroids and manager wannabees than for geeks. (Yes, essentially the people who buy “Secrets to success” and “Being a successful manager in ten easy lessons”, who think that reading the story of Google, Microsoft, Apple or Commodore will give them insights into how to build a business.)

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