Hello from Buenos Aires. I’m here until Tuesday August 20 if you’d like to meet up. I also realized I missed July. I guess time flies when you’re flying.

Project annoucement time: You might be familiar with my watch website, WristWatchReview.com. We’ve been covering watches sinces 2004 or so. In an effort to have a bit more fun we created Knapsack.News, a website dedicated to gadgets, gaming, and gear. I’ve been on the gadgets beat since 2000 and I figured now that I’m old and gray I might have some things to say that everyone else can’t. Please check it out! If you’re a PR person we’re accepting tips at tips@knapsack.news.

I also have a new book out, a real page turner: Building Intelligent Cloud Applications: Develop Scalable Models Using Serverless Architectures with Azure. I worked with some really smart people on it and if you’re into the topic please grab it.

And, with that, I present the great reads.

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The List

 

Hyperion

By Dan Simmons

MY HATE READ

I like sci-fi. I really do. But I can’t read too much of it. My favorite author, William Gibson, spoiled most sci-fi for me because of his language, pacing, and grittiness. So when I read Hyperion I read it with gritted teeth. It was so good yet so far from my comfort zone that I forced myself to finish it. What’s it about? It’s bascially Canterbury Tales with robot monsters. It’s beautifully written, to be sure, and the characters are wonderful. If I liked it I’m sure you’ll get a bigger kick out of it.

 

The Man They Wanted Me to Be: Toxic Masculinity and a Crisis of Our Own Making

By Jared Yates Sexton

SELF DESTRUCTION

Sexton is a journalist who covered the Trump campaign. The difference? Sexton could dress and act like the men who supported Trump because he grew up with those men. His main thesis is that a mixture of economics and “toxic masculinity” is what led to the fall of the midwest and the heartland and the only way out is to allow men to express emotions. His proof? He recounts the story of his father who threw his happy life away in search of some masculine ideal and then describes his own descent into anger. Amazing writing.

 

 

This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life

By Annie Grace

HELPFUL

I’ve been trying to stop drinking. It’s been a crutch for most of my 30s and as I approach my mid-forties it’s not doing me any favors. In this book Grace reminds you that drinking sucks. She cuts down all of the fake marketing and romantacism of booze and shows you what really happens when you drink. Let me know if you’ve seen anything good in your travels.