Edd Yerburgh Software Engineer

Books I enjoyed in 2019

I read fifty-nine books this year. Most were great, some were amazing, and three were so good that I wanted to share them with you.

Masters of Doom

ISBN-10: 0812972155

Masters of Doom chronicles the rise and fall of id Software, a company that revolutionized gaming with titles like Commander Keen, Quake, and Doom.

The book focuses on the story of the founders—John Carmack and John Romero. It was inspiring to read about their journey from teenage gamers to legendary game developers.

I finished Masters of Doom in one sitting because I kept wanting to find out what happened next.

On Writing Well

ISBN-10: 0060006641

On Writing Well begins with the usual advice—use active verbs, avoid clichés, and keep your writing simple. It then goes on to give more specific advice on writing for different genres.

The advice was useful (I especially enjoyed the Science and technology chapter) but what made me love On Writing Well was that it’s not just a book about writing. Throughout the book, the author tells his life story via personal anecdotes and excerpts from his articles.

Reading On Writing Well sparked my passion not just for writing, but also for life.

Ruby under a microscope

ISBN-10: 1593275277

Ruby under a microscope is a technical book about how the reference Ruby interpreter works under the hood. It walks through the lifetime of running Ruby code—from transforming source code into bytecode, to executing bytecode on a virtual machine, to managing Ruby objects in memory.

I loved reading this book. The author has an engaging writing style and uses experiments to help explain the topics.

If you’ve ever wondered how an interpreted language works, you should definitely read Ruby under a microscope.