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Chris Biscardi

Books on My Bookshelf for 2014

I decided to take stock of the books that are sitting on my bookshelf for 2014. Here is that list.

Starting with some (of my) classics. These are books that I read in the middle/high school time period in my life.

Basic Technical Mathematics with Calculus

(note: my version is the second edition. It looks like they’re up to the tenth)

This was a book that let me explore math on my own. It goes from trig functions through linear equations, logarithms, determinants and matrices, derivatives, integration, series expansion and differential equations. A little beyond what my AP Calc class ended up taking us through. I would suggest it if you have an interest in Mathematics and Calculus at an advanced high school level.

Texas Instruments TI-83+ Manual

I read this cover to cover one day. It led through the days of BASIC on a calculator in Math class, where I would program equation solvers and games.

Distributed Systems

Distributed Systems Concepts and Design

The purchase of this book was driven by my interest in Erlang and Riak Core. I was hoping that this would give me some good information on distributed systems but it’s a bit of a slog to parse the wordiness of the book. Preferable would be to surf the repos of various open source projects. The table of contents, however, is useful in pointing you to on the path to those projects.

Parallel and Concurrent Programming in Haskell

A solid book that takes you through parallelism and concurrency in Haskell with plenty of code to work with. Concepts covered include Data Parallel Programing, GPU programming, MVars, Software Transactional Memory and finally distributed-process, which is an attempt to create a sort of Erlang-as-a-package for Haskell.


Readings in Database Systems

Databases are not my specialty, so I use this book as some casual reading. It is a collection of academic papers relating to databases.

Lisp, Lambda Calculus and Functional Programming

An Introduction to Functional Programming Through Lambda Calculus

This is a fun book that take you through the lambda calculus with a functional slant. Includes some comparisons with Lisp and Scheme later in the book.

Pearls of Functional Algorithm Design

A nice look at functional algorithms with plenty of Haskell code. I quite enjoy this book when I’m in an algorithmic mood.

Common Lisp

Widely recognized as a great introduction to the Common Lisp language. I don’t write as much Lisp as I would like to, but having mocl around for experimentation sure helps.

Let Over Lambda

Let Over Lambda is billed as a book about macros, in other words a book to move you from intermediate lisper to professional. I’d like to spend a little more time with Common Lisp over the next year and Let Over Lambda will be one of the books I use to do that.


For those that don’t know, I train for Volleyball and High Jump. Having played Division 1 Volleyball in college I still enjoy training and competing at a high level. These books help me move towards my athletic goals.

Weightlifting Programming: A Winning Coach’s Guide

This is a book by a well respected coach in the weightlifting community. Since I use Olympic lifts in my training this will help me program my lifting workouts for greater effect.

Overcoming Gravity

I’m not a huge fan of doing bench press, bicep curls, etc. So I got this book about training gymnastics movements to supplement my Olympic lifting, especially my upper body which I don’t need excess hypertrophy on.

Abs on the Ball: A Pilates Approach to Building Superb Abdominals

In the past I’ve found Pilates on exercise balls to be a great way to improve core strength and stability. Colleen Craig’s books have been on my shelf for awhile and I often take exercises from them. Core strength will help me in my lifts, gymnastics training and controlling my body in the air while jumping for High Jump and Volleyball.

Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance

This is a book I use for preventative maintenance of joints and muscles. I went to an arthritis specialist in college who told me that my joints were hypermobile, which means that I can do things like dislocate my shoulder or those weird thumb/finger tricks you may have seen people do, all over my body. Preventative maintenance is therefore particularly important in my mind.


The final book on my shelf for 2014 is Sartre’s L’existentialisme est un humanisme in the original French.