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Reading: Books | Not What You Might Think

Not What You Might Think

Some books I bought turned out to be not what I thought they'd be. I'm not talking about books that didn't meet the level of quality expected, but the ones that are of good or high quality, written with great effort, which simply happened to be on a different track than expected. This is sometimes due to the lack of research from my part, sometimes due to the misguiding titles. The result? Sometimes you're happy you were brought to a totally different path or you were presented with a different perspective. The other times you feel disappointed.

Let me list some of my reading-related false expectations here. I'll be adding some which turned out to be exactly what I thought they'd be, too, because I think somebody else might be having false expectations regarding them.

Am I doing this to warn others? Not at all! As I said, although books that differ from your expectations might disappoint you at first, you might be grateful for the fresh ideas and viewpoints you got. They might even turn out to be better than the kind of books you actually sought. Then why am I listing some here? Just to say that with these, you might want to consider reading sample content from somewhere else before spending money to buy a copy of your own.

Linux Kernel in a Nutshell

Written by Greg Kroah-Hartman, a very important person behind the upstream Linux kernel, there is no doubt regarding the authenticity of this book. But you'd be wrong if you thought this book introduces you to the architecture or the internals of the Linux kernel. It's basically a how-to for building and configuring the kernel, and a glossary of various kernel parameters. It does that job very well, but the title doesn't. The back cover makes it almost clear, but many websites display the front cover only. Most of the user reviews are also misleading. This is very important since local bookshops might not be having a copy of this book and the only way for you to purchase would be online.

Greg Kroah-Hartman has generously made this book available online under a gratis and free license, which you can read at http://www.kroah.com/lkn/. If you are looking for your first book on the Linux internals, you might want to look for another one after checking out this online version. But even if you do so, recommending a print copy to your organization's library would be good idea, since someone else might find it useful for sure.

Now, a word regarding the age of the book: it came out in 2006, and is based on Linux 2.6. Even the 2020 fourth reprint available from O'Reilly/Shroff is just a reprint, not an updated edition. However, I'm sure it is still relevant. I'm not in a position to judge which parts are outdated (if any).

Ancient Egyptian Art and Architecture: A Very Short Introduction

Written by Christina Riggs, this excellent entry to the Short Introduction series from the Oxford University Press shares a lot that is missing from popular Egyptology. That also means this can't be your first book on pyramids or hieroglyphics, despite the title being connected. In fact, the whole book doesn't even use the word pyramid as many times a five minute online conspiracy video does. That is good, but if you are into the pop aspects and came looking for your first serious source, you might want to consider other books first. Even the same series has entries on Egyptian hieroglyphics and myths (I haven't read the latter).


This page was started on 2021-11-13.


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