My Bookshelf

What’s on my bookshelf?

The books below reflect a sample of what’s on my professional bookshelf and what’s on my personal bookshelf. The professional books are work related… anything from tech to conceptual. The personal books are ones I read for purely recreational reasons or personal educational ones.

The higher they are on the list, the more recently I’ve acquired them.  All images, and book links, were taken from Amazon.com… in my mind the best place to buy books and a great example (from the early dotcom days) of ebusiness.

Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies Resource Kit
My Rating: 4 out of 5

I’m currently working on a project taking SPS2003 and MCMS2002 to implement a large portal solution with content management features.  One thing I’ve found (um, our project team has found) is the extreme lack of organized documentation (by organized I mean books and articles on sites like MSDN… there are tons of non-organized documentation sources out there in the form of blogs, personal sites (like FAQs and 3rd party consulting shops).  The Resource Kit just came out in mid-late June of 2004 and so far I’ve found it to be a very valuable reference.  If anything, it’s great to give the “party line” when management/customers ask questions about how something works.  So far… high praise from me.  Why not a perfect rating?  Resource Kit’s aren’t heavy on developer resources, just heavy on the product itself… I want something that goes into some pretty advanced detail (if they were still around, would love ot see something like Professional Windows SharePoint Services & SPS2003 Development by WROX).

Microsoft Content Management Server 2002: A Complete Guide
My Rating: 5 out of 5

A recent project I was on was the re-engineering of a external marketing site, heavy on content (at the time of launch, it contained upwards of 1,400 pages).  Unfortunately we didn’t get our copies of this until the project was almost complete… just a publishing-project timeline mismatch.  However, not only has it helped us since we acquired it, but I can see numerous topics within it that would have helped when we were working on the project.

Design Patterns
My Rating: 5 out of 5

In software development, many different problems follow a common path to a solution.  This common paths/techniquies, otherwise known as patters, are not language or platform specific, they can be used across any technology.  The Gang of Four (GOF), authors of this book, took time to identify 20+ common patterns, categorize them, explain their use, their implementation, and exacmples.  Although most of the code in the book is C++, it’s easy to understand exactly what is going on.  I’ve found this book to be invaluable as well as the site data and object factory which takes design patterns (most if not all in this book) and shows you C# implementations of them.

UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language, Third Edition
My Rating: 4 out of 5

Have you used UML in your software design before?  If so, this isn’t the best book for you.  If you haven’t, this is a great jumpstart.  I found it very helpful and constatntly refer to it as a good reference.  It’s very short and easy to thumb through.

ASP.NET Data Web Controls Kick Start
My Rating: 3 out of 5

Very good quick reference to ASP.NET’s v1.x DataGrid, DataView, DataList, Repeater, and other databound controls.

Professional ADO.NET
My Rating: 4 out of 5

Great ADO.NET reference.  Good for a quick thumbthrough to know what’s in there, and then just leave on the bookshelf for reference.  Better than the .NET Framework v1.x SDK documentation.

See my comments Professional C# review.  This is one of the 5 part collection I call my “.NET and C# library”.

Dissecting a C# Application: Inside SharpDevelop
My Rating: 4 out of 5

When I first got into .NET development, I started working on some digital photo management applications… a Windows Forms application.  In my research, I found SharpDevelop, an open source implementation of Visual Studio.NET written in C#.  This book by the developers of SharpDevelop goes into great detail how they built the application.  Great… GREAT case study on Windows Forms development.

Professional C# Web Services: Building .NET Web Services with ASP.NET and .NET Remoting
My Rating: 4 out of 5

Great refernce for web services and remoting with .NET.

See my comments Professional C# review.  This is one of the 5 part collection I call my “.NET and C# library”.

Professional ASP.NET 1.0, Special Edition
My Rating: 4 out of 5

Another great reference for ASP.NET v1.x.

See my comments Professional C# review.  This is one of the 5 part collection I call my “.NET and C# library”.

Professional C# (2nd Edition)
My Rating: 5 out of 5

The best C# book out there.  Why do I have this book and the Beginning C# book by WROX?  They don’t overlap and are each upwards of 1,000 pages.  It’s almost like volume 1 and 2.  These two books, in addition with the two WROX ASP.NET, ADO.NET and web services books make up my .NET C# reference.

Beginning Visual C#
My Rating: 5 out of 5

See my comments Professional C# review.  This is one of the 5 part collection I call my “.NET and C# library”.

Professional SQL Server 2000 DTS
My Rating: 4 out of 5

One freelance project I did involved a lot of data massaging from disparate sources.  SQL2000’s Data Transformation Services were used to accomplish about 80% of my tasks.  This book was invaluable.

Sidenote: I can’t express how much I’m looking forward to using SQL Server 2005’s (aka Yukon) version of DTS… especially because of the CLR implementation.  In SQL2000 DTS, you’re forced to use only VBScript… with the CLR, you’ll be able to use all the .NET Framework’s base class library and a full OO approach!

Personal/Recreation Bookshelf

Memorial Day by Vince Flynn
**My Rating: **4 out of 5

Just started… another CIA thriller (I hope).  Fantasic book!  Loved the story and was similar to one of Clancy’s earlier thrillers (the ones that don’t tail off at the end).

Leadership by Rudolph W. Giuliani
My Rating: 4 out of 5

I got to see Rudy speek, get my picture taken with him, and get this book signed when he came to Jacksonville to speak at part of the Florida Forum.  The more I learn about this man, the more I’ve come to respect him.  A great read.

Reagan’s War: The Epic Story of His Forty Year Struggle and Final Triumph Over Communism by Peter Schweizer
**My Rating: **5 out of 5

When Tom Clancy came to speak at the Florida Forum, he said she considered Ronald Reagan the reason why we won World War III which Clancy considers the Cold War.  Reading John Woosley’s op-ed’s in The Wall Street Journal, he says the same.  In my (1900’s) history kick, I was drawn to Reagan.  I’m not a fan of the title of this book (“Reagan’s War”) because it’s more of how he stood up to communism from his days as an actor to his days as leader of the free world.  Ronald Reagan passed away within a month of when I finished this book.  I’m a big fan of this man… his track record is very impressive and the skeptics who dismiss many of his accomplishments seem to me to be quite short sighted.

Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions by Ben Mezrich
**My Rating: **5 out of 5

Heard of the MIT blackjack teams?  If you like to bet or play cards or love Vegas (as I do, I do, I do), you’ll blow through this book.  There’s a movie being made about this story… I’ll be first in line when it’s released.

Flyboys: A True Story of Courage by James Bradley
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The true story of a bunch of navy pilots and their stories in the Pacific Theatre during Word War II.  One thing I didn’t realize when I got this book was that it includes the story of when George H. W. Bush (the father) was shot down.  It is a bit more of a history lesson than what I was looking for.. and dug a little more into the lives of the pilots than I expected.  A great read.

The Hunt for Bin Laden by Robin Moore
**My Rating: **4 out of 5

This isn’t a story, so if you take it as such (as I did at first), it will seem like quite a disorganized book.  But it’s more of a bullet list of what happened involving the CIA, Army Rangers, and Green Beret’s from the start to finish of the war in Afghanistan following September 11, 2001.

The Teeth of the Tiger by Tom Clancy
**My Rating: **2 out of 5

Red Rabbit by Tom Clancy

Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy
**My Rating: **4 out of 5

This is a great World War III fiction book about NATO and the Warsaw Pact fighting it out in Europe, the Middle East, and the Atlantic.  Long (800+ pages), but very very interesting.

Debt of Honor by Tom Clancy

The Cardinal of the Kremlin by Tom Clancy

The Sum of all Fears by Tom Clancy
**My Rating: **4 out of 5

The book was much better than the movie… but the movie was good.

Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy

Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy
**My Rating: **4 out of 5

Again, the book was better than the movie.

Patriot Games by Tom Clancy
**My Rating: **4 out of 5

Notice a theme?  The book was better than the movie.