September 14, 2003

The Great Purge, Part V

Around Christmas last year I started working my way through my library, winnowing out the books that I no longer wanted. I thought it would be appropriate to keep a list of them for future reference, and for fun I posted a full list to this weblog, with reasons. And then I got involved in other things, and now, about nine months later, I'm finally getting back to it. So here it is, still more books I no longer want.

Generative Programming, by Czarnecki and Eisenecker

This guys wrote a book to persuade everyone that "generative programming" is going to be the next big thing. Now, generative programming isn't just one thing; they try to tie together a whole bunch of disparate stuff, including some really exciting research done by Charles Simonyi at Microsoft on something he calls "Intentional Programming." The authors really get quite excited about it. It's a pity that Microsoft pulled the plug on the research around the time the book was published.

The XML Companion, by Neil Bradley

By now, you either know what XML is or you don't care. I'm quite possibly in both camps.

Windows 98 Annoyances, by David A. Karp

Blissfully, I am no longer annoyed by Windows 98.

Manuscript Submission, by Scott Edelstein.

I picked this up second-hand some years ago when I still thought that submitting manuscripts was a good idea. Posting them on-line is easier, and it's more likely that somebody will read them. Life's too short to chase the publishing companies, unless one has no other choice.

Tcl/Tk Tools, by Mark Harrison et al.

A fine book, but it was published in 1997. There's been a lot of water under this particular bridge in the last six years.

Bloodwinter, by Tom Deitz

I went through a Tom Dietz phase some years ago; more recently I tried re-reading his books, and discovered that the phase had definitely passed. I bought this one (alas) shortly before I discovered this. It was on a different shelf, or it would have gone with the rest.

The Gryphon King, by Tom Deitz.

So was this one.

Man-Kzin Wars VII, by Benford and Martin.

This might be OK; but I tired of this franchise before I got to this book, and though I've had it since 1995 I've never been sufficiently interested to read it. Out it goes.

Guerrilla Guide to Great Graphics with The Gimp

I no longer use the Gimp, so I no longer need the book.

2000 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market

Yet another vestige of a dying past.

2000 Novel and Short Story Writer's Market.

Ditto.

Saint Maybe, by Anne Tyler

This was one of my mom's books. I've read a little Anne Tyler, and I wasn't so thrilled that I felt the need to read more.

The Way of the Explorer, by Dr. Edgar Mitchell

My sister gave me this some long while back. It's written by one of the Apollo astronauts, and is subtitled "An Apollo Astronaut's Journey Through the Material and Mystical Worlds." As I work in the space biz, she thought I'd find it interesting. Alas, I find it rather appalling. Leafing through it I find such sentences as

In many religious traditions (including Christianity in its early years), subjective experience is believed to be carried forward by the reincarnation of souls into successive life experiences.

Whoops! Nope, sorry, unh-uh.

He ends up espousing some kind of weird pantheism based on the notion that the cosmos itself is conscious. Bad astronaut. No cookie.

The Hollowing, by Robert Holdstock

When Holdstock wrote Mythago Wood, I thought he was just amazing. I've since decided that there's less here than meets the eye.

The Children's Hour, by Jerry Pournelle and S.M Stirling

It was OK the first time, but that's enough.

Ten Philosophical Mistakes, by Mortimer J. Adler

I bought this hoping that it would interesting and fun. Interesting, yes, somewhat, but deadly, deadly dry.

Python and Tkinter Programming, by John E. Grayson

Now, I'm a programming language junky. I like the language Python, though I've never had the opportunity to use it for anything important. I'm a big fan of the Tcl language, and its "Tk" GUI toolkit. So when this book came out, explaining how to do Tk GUI programming in Python, I grabbed it. And frankly, despite being an experience programmer, and despite knowing Tk pretty well already, I couldn't make heads or tails of it.

HTML: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Ed., by Musciano and Bill Kennedy

A fine book, but obsolete.

PalmPilot: The Ultimate Guide, by David Pogue

Perhaps once upon a time it was, but now it's garbage.

Posted by Will Duquette at September 14, 2003 01:26 PM