My favourite books 2020 – Ole Begemann


I learn 45 books in 2020. These have been my favorites. (Considering in SwiftUI was not within the working as a result of I’m biased.)

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff (2019). Should you choose up one guide from this listing, make it this one. I believe everybody working within the tech trade ought to learn it, it’s so essential. Shoshana Zuboff takes aside the enterprise mannequin of the large tech giants and the various unethical (and at occasions presumably unlawful) issues they’ve executed and proceed to do to protect it.

If we ever handle to control the digital surveillance trade that pervades fashionable life (as we ultimately did with the manufacturing unit homeowners who exploited staff throughout the industrialization), this guide will turn out to be a traditional as a significant contribution to that effort.


Circe by Madeline Miller. A wonderful reimagination of a Greek delusion. I purchased this guide as a result of I fell in love with the quilt design of the UK version with out realizing what it was about and I’m glad I did. Madeline Miller’s writing was a problem for my English abilities, I needed to search for so many phrases. Nevertheless it was completely value it.


Mythos: The Greek Myths Reimagined by Stephen Fry (2017). Circe led me to Stephen Fry’s pleasant retelling of the Greek myths. That is half one in a collection. The sequels, Heroes and Troy, are on my listing for subsequent yr. I purchased the US version as a result of I appreciated the quilt design higher than the UK model. It’s a really fairly guide.

Permanent Record

Everlasting Document by Edward Snowden (2019). Snowden’s memoirs, recounting his work for NSA contractors up till the covert assembly with journalists in Hong Kong that led to his exile.

A Philosophy of Software Design

A Philosophy of Software program Design by John Ousterhout (2018). Very approachable (quick and simple to learn) and accommodates quite a lot of strong recommendation for designing and sustaining complicated methods. Two good critiques in regards to the guide: Gergely Orosz’s overview matches my very own ideas. James Koppel’s take is extra crucial (however nonetheless optimistic) and really insightful.

The Art of Doing Science and Engineering

The Artwork of Doing Science and Engineering: Studying to Study by Richard Hamming (1996, re-creation 2020). Stunning re-creation of Hamming’s Seventies lecture collection transformed to prose. Themes embody some technical matters, corresponding to Hamming’s invention of the error-correcting code named after him, however the majority of the guide is recommendation tips on how to method scientific work and tips on how to construct a profitable profession. The ultimate chapter is a model of Hamming’s well-known discuss “You and Your Analysis”, which supplies impression of the character of the guide. The 2020 Stripe Press model could be very fairly. Typography, illustrationsm and paper high quality are all top-notch.

Deutschland Schwarz Weiß

Deutschland Schwarz Weiß by Noah Sow (2008, up to date 2018). Racism in Germany. How white folks advance and strengthen racism by not desirous about our actions. Unhealthy typography, however I in any other case appreciated it.

Fake Facts

Pretend Details: Wie Verschwörungstheorien unser Denken bestimmen by Katharina Nocun und Pia Lamberty (2020). An inside look into a number of conspiracist milieus in German society, from Holocaust deniers and antisemitic ideologists to anti-vaxxers and esoterics. Extremely related lately.


March (E book One to Three) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (2013–2016). The late US Congressman John Lewis recounts his extraordinary life within the US civil rights motion in comedian guide kind. Studying this deeply impressed me. The battle Black folks fought then (and are nonetheless combating at the moment)! The braveness and willpower it took to take humiliation after humiliation, beating after beating, arrest after arrest, homicide after homicide, with out combating again with violence. I had recognized this earlier than, however seeing it from the angle of somebody who skilled it firsthand was one thing else.


MetaMaus by Artwork Spiegelman (2011). Studying March led me to a comic book traditional: Maus (1985 and 1991), Artwork Spiegelman’s two-part story how his dad and mom survived the Holocaust in Poland. I appreciated the comics, however I felt I didn’t actually perceive why they have been so well-known.

MetaMaus is actually a 230-page interview with the writer wherein he takes his work aside intimately: the way it got here to be, how he approached sure scenes (together with tons of draft sketches), Artwork’s difficult relationship together with his father (which performs a significant function in Maus), the various layers of hidden which means in his drawings (most of which I missed when studying the comics). Studying this gave me a a lot deeper appreciation for the unique work. Kudos to Hillary Chute, who went by way of Spiegelman’s archives and requested unbelievable questions.


Berlin Jason Lutes (2018). One other comedian traditional, printed as {a magazine} collection in 2000, 2008, and 2018. A 550-page tome that describes life in Berlin from 1928 to 1933, throughout the decline of the Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazis. Really useful for those who’re occupied with that interval.


Brüder by Jackie Thomae (2019). The story of two brothers who get separated as youngsters and develop as much as stay very totally different lives, every a tragic determine in their very own approach. Themes: racism, East and West, Nineteen Eighties and Nineties Berlin, provincialism vs. cosmopolitanism, how a single mistake can destroy a life.


Grünmantel by Manfred Maurenbrecher (2019). Persevering with my theme from final yr, that is one other novel set in rural East Germany, 25 years after reunification.

Im Sommer wieder Fahrrad

Im Sommer wieder Fahrrad by Lea Streisand (2016). Autobiographical novel. The writer (in her thirties) narrates her combat towards most cancers and recollections of her grandmother who led a nonconformist, emancipated life in pre-, mid-, and postwar Germany.

Aspect word: writer web sites are horrible

I dread compiling this listing yearly as a result of discovering good hyperlinks and canopy pictures for the books is a ache. Most writer web sites are horrible. It’s very seemingly many hyperlinks on this web page will now not work in a number of months or years. The concept of not breaking URLs appears overseas to most corporations which have merchandise to promote. When a guide goes out of print, it might properly simply disappear from the catalog. I preemptively apologize for that.

Nonetheless, I don’t wish to hyperlink to Amazon if I may also help it. Should you determine to purchase a guide from this listing, please purchase it from a neighborhood bookshop or one other retailer that isn’t one of the highly effective corporations on the planet. Let’s attempt to not make Jeff Bezos any richer. (Sure, I see the irony that the print model of my very own guide is just obtainable on Amazon. Sorry.)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here