Jeff's Book List
The easiest way to find used books: Advanced
Book Exchange . Tell the system what you want and it will
search thousands of book dealers for it every day and e-mail the results
to you. Unfortunately in the last year prices have skyrocketed as
dealers compare prices and all try to raise the stakes.
My Tom Swift Jr. book collection still needs #30, #31, and #33 "Galaxy
Also looking for Bertrand Brinley's "The Big Kerplop" and "Apollo:The
Race to the Moon" by Murray and Cox..
Books that changed my life:
Other Favorite Books:
Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand:
Most of what you've been taught about how to think and what to value are
The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah - Richard Bach: Very inspirational.
Scientist's Club - Bertrand Brinley: My bible as a youngster.
Even formed a science club SOBCA, which has now been resurrected as STAC.
The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem - Nathaniel
Branden: The instruction manual for your brain. This should
be required reading in school and teachers should have to pass a class
based on this before being certified.
Systemantics - John Gall: Everything is connected to everything
else, so it is very useful to undersand how these systems work, and fail.
Very humorous and filled with truths so clear they ring like bells.
Systems are created to serve purposes, but the primary goal immediately
becomes the preservation and growth of the system: i.e. H.U.D., TVA, (insert
your favorite agency acronym)
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert M Pirsig:
My introduction to interleaved story lines, philosophy, and "quality".
Johnathan Livingston Seagull - Richard Bach: Never be afraid
to be an individual. Pursue your dreams regardless of the costs.
1966 Estes Model Rocket Catalog:
was my first hobby. This catalog has been read cover to cover hundreds
1954 Boy Scout Handbook - (my father's) Showed how to really survive
under difficult circumstances. All kinds of interesting skills and
projects they don't teach anymore.
Back to Jeff's Home page
Apollo: The Behind the Scenes Story of America's Race to the Moon:
& Cox: Geeks rule!
The Ayn Rand Lexicon - Harry Binswanger: A great glossary
of philosophical terminology using excerpts of Ayn Rands works to define
The Rocket Boys - Homer
Hickam: Just a great story. My father and uncles had a similar
club in the early sixties. They launched 6' tall steel pipe rockets
over a mile up. One had a mouse passenger but it didn't survive the
Principles of Dynamic Systems - Jay Forrester: The techniques
for understanding, modeling, and building simple or complex systems.
Great explaination of how toilets work.
Fate is the Hunter (+others)- Ernest K Gann: (esp Hostage
to Fortune, Gentleman of Adventure)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (5 book trillogy)- Douglas
Adams: Don't Panic! I have my towel.
Without Remorse (+ others)- Tom Clancy: This was the
only story of his with moral dilema. But all have great technical
detail and multi-threaded story lines.
Flight of the Intruder (+ others)- Stephen Coontz: Just great story
telling with the incredible technical detail of someone who'd been there.
Flight of the Old Dog (+ others)- Dale Brown
Fulcrum - Alexander Zuyev: the story of the Russian pilot who defected
with a MiG-29 (I met him) - "Screw the KGB!"
Andromeda Strain: Michael Creighton: Saw the movie first
as a child - pretty scary.
Collosus (trillogy) - D. F. Jones
The Cuckoo's Egg - Clifford Stoll: How an astrophysicist
tracked down an international hacker. Amazing application of scientific
lab equipment toward data filtering challenges.
Thud Ridge - Col. Jack Broughton: One of the best Vietnam
Engineer's Notebook - Forrest Mimms: My inspiration
for many electronics projects.
Surely You're Joking Dr. Feynman - Richard P. Feynman: It's
the unusual people who are interesting.
Nine Princes in Amber - Roger Zalazny: The only Science
Fantasy I've liked. A non-techno precursor to The Matrix. A man wakes
up in a hospital with no idea of who he is. The answer turns out
to be quite interesting.
Tom Swift Jr.
(series) - Victor Appleton (pseudonm): My father gave me three
books from his childhood. The collection of the remaining ones became
an obsession. I still need #30,31,33.
How and Why Wonder Books (Science & Technology series): My mother
is a very good teacher. Starting at about age three we'd get a new
book each month and do most of the experiments. Thanks to her,
I built a great foundation of knowledge in a wide variety of subjects well
before starting public school. Of course my father helped to: one
of my first toys was a simple board with a transformer, buzzer, doorbell
button, and some loose wires for me to learn how to wire up circuits.
(Not all toys were technical, my other favorite childhood toy was my BB