January 1, 2021

Books I read in 2020

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Each year I write a list of books I read during the year. This is the 2020 list:
  1. Historical Study: German Tank Maintenance in World War II. Available for free!
  2. Physically Based Shader Development for Unity 2017: Develop Custom Lighting Systems
  3. Omaha beachhead. Omaha beach was one of the beaches where allied forces landed during D-day. It turns out much more happened than what was seen in the movies. Available for free! 
  4. U.S. Army Engineers, 1965-1970. Available for free!
  5. The Volunteer: The True Story of the Resistance Hero who Infiltrated Auschwitz
  6. Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution
  7. The Art of Fluid Animation. Written by a guy who developed a real-time implementation of the Navier-Stokes equations called Stable Fluids, which is actually a simplified version of the Navier-Stokes but in the end he compares the results with real flow and they are similar.
  8. Disney's Land: Walt Disney and the Invention of the Amusement Park That Changed the World. Tells the story of how Disneyland was built in less than one year.
  9. Stuka Pilot. Written by a pilot who flew a Ju 87 "Stuka" dive bomber during World War 2.
  10. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America. Tells the story of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair: how it was designed, built, and operated. It also tells the story of a mass murderer who killed visitors to the fair.
  11. The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World. Tells the story of a cholera outbreak in 1850s London - you can find some parallels to the corona outbreak.
  12. Architects of Intelligence: The Truth About AI from the People Building It. Is a collection of interviews with people who are involved with the latest Artificial Intelligence algorithms, including Deep Learning.   
  13. Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness. Is a book about the octopus. 
  14. Outnumbered: From Facebook and Google to Fake News and Filter-bubbles – The Algorithms That Control Our Lives. This is not a math book - it's a book everyone can read who's interested in the algorithms used by Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. 
  15. The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild. The author, Lawrence Anthony, adopts a herd of elephants to his so-called game reserve, which is a large area of land where wild animals live safely and tourists can come and watch them. The book is not just about the elephants, but also about the general life in a game reserve.
  16. Thunderstruck. Tells the history of both the wireless telegraph and a murder that took place in London. Is written by the same guy who wrote "The Devil in the White City" which was also about a technical achievement and a murderer.  
  17. Erebus: The Story of a Ship. Written by a member of Monty Python, this book tells the story of the ship Erebus which explored the south- and north pole during the 19th century. If you ever saw the television series The Terror (season 1), you have already seen the ship Erebus and her sister ship Terror.
  18. Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team. Tells the story of what the Israelis were up to after the Munich terrorist attack. If you saw the movie Munich by Steven Spielberg, it's based on this book.     
  19. Game Programming Patterns. Is a free book with common design patterns used in games. These are really useful as your game project grows. It was the second time I read this book and I still learned a lot so it's really useful. 
  20. Level Design In Pursuit of Better Levels. Available for free!
  21. Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East. Tells the story of a six days long war between Israel and its neighbors. Half of the book is about the history of the region before the war. 
  22. Calculus Made Easy. Gives you a brief repetition of calculus which may be useful if you forgotten one or two things since you where in school. Is available for free!
  23. Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius. A biography on Nikola Tesla. 
  24. Sid Meier's Memoir!: A Life in Computer Games. Is written by the creator of the famous Civilization computer game series. 
  25. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Tells the history of where humans came from. It also includes discussions on religion, technology, and the meaning of life. 
  26. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. Is the follow-up book to "Sapiens." The author argues that we have solved humanity's major problems, such as hunger, war, and medicine. In the future humans will instead create technologies so we can live longer, be more happier, and have more power. But if that happens will we still be members of Homo Sapiens, or will we be categorized as a new species: Homo Deus? 
  27. Red Phoenix. Tells the story of a fictitious war between North- and South Korea. 
  28. Brief Answers to the Big Questions. Stephen Hawking is trying to answer questions like: "Is there a God?," "Is there other intelligent life in the universe?," "Will artificial intelligence outsmart us?"  
  29. Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam. The battle of the city Hue can be seen as Vietnam's Stalingrad. Is written by the guy who wrote Black Hawk Down.   

In Swedish:
  1. Berg-och-dalbanan: jakten på den heliga G-kraften. A book about roller coasters from a Swedish perspective.