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6/12/2015
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10 Geekiest Beach Reads Of 2015

Fiction, non-fiction, youth fiction, and even self-help. Here are 10 new books every geek should bring to the beach this summer.
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(Image: Winter-artwork via DeviantArt)

(Image: Winter-artwork via DeviantArt)

Happy summer to Geeks everywhere (well, at least in the Northern Hemisphere). 'Tis the season to grab a book and a deck chair and get a little sun on our bodies after being trapped in data centers and office cubes all year. Beach reading, even if it happens in your backyard with your toes in a kiddie pool, calls for lighter fare. But we Geeks aren't content to totally slack off. We still need our fill of robots, drones, and other worlds to keep us going.

Our beach reading list for Geeks aims to fit the spirit of the summer and still maintain Geek sensibilities. You don't find too many beach books about robots having a summer fling, though those of you looking for something provocative can turn to the 2007 hit Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships. Likewise, murder mysteries where the Butler did it with a smartphone are rare, though there is a great mystery set around Charles Babbage's Difference Engine.

This list offers sci-fi, narrative non-fiction, and a sprinkling of young adult books for sharing with the kids in your life. There's even one self-help book for those looking to kick-start the summer with a new attitude or maybe a new career. Every book on the list is new this year to either hardcover or paperback. And of course, nearly all of them have e-versions.

Here's one admission I'll make: The list is painfully short of female authors. I picked the titles based on topic alone, and didn't pay any attention to the mix of authors until the end (definitely an error on my part). I find I woefully failed in that department, and I feel that it means in part that our publishing industry has failed woefully as well. Rather than go back and change my list, I thought it might be more effective to admit the problem and ask you to help me fix it. You're welcome to tell me about your favorite authors, regardless of gender, but I especially want to hear who your favorite female writers are. 

Please check out the list of what I'll be reading this summer. Add to the list for me. Tell me in the comments section below what you can't wait to kick back and read. And have a safe, relaxing, and informative time at the beach.

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio

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Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
6/16/2015 | 1:53:11 PM
Re: "Penguins Can't Fly"
I was first drawn to the entertaining cover art, but I'd like to read that one too. Mondays aren't really that bad!
jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
6/16/2015 | 12:24:43 PM
"Penguins Can't Fly"
I've thought the "blue Monday/high Friday" phenomenon to be irrational since I was a teenager (do people really hate their weekday occupations that much, or is bipolar disorder more common than is generally believed?).  Apparently, someone else agrees.

 
jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
6/16/2015 | 12:20:18 PM
Most techies are male
So we expect most authors of tech-related books to be male (for better or worse).  As long as books by girl-geeks were not deliberately avoided, there is no need to apologize.

 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/15/2015 | 6:07:15 PM
Re: Martian too
@progman2000- I don't know if that's a compliment or not. I'm going to pretend it is. :)
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
6/14/2015 | 9:34:14 AM
Re: Martian too
Interesting list, some stuff on here I'll definitely check out.

And how did I know this was David's article before even needing to look at the author's name?
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
6/13/2015 | 8:46:02 PM
Re: Martian too
I really like your suggestions.  I'm reading a biography now. But, I'm dying to go back to really some nice fantasy or sci fi. Any of the books you have listed, specially the one about World War III and mixing today's technology into a sci fi novel.
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
6/13/2015 | 2:21:56 PM
Re: Martian too
I saw that Wright Brothers book in a store recently – would love to read it! Just gotta finish up some of these other books that I have been reading first...

So many books, so little time. 
tigger2
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tigger2,
User Rank: Strategist
6/13/2015 | 1:44:59 PM
Re: 10 Geekiest Beach Reads Of 2015
I would add the Nexus series by Ramez Naam. Truely one of the geekiest reads in a long time based on current research. The story is a great read as well.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2015 | 1:48:29 PM
Re: 10 Geekiest Beach Reads Of 2015
@TerryB- Yeah, he was talking about how the rash of people afraid to fly after 9/11 caused more traffic deaths. But I agree with you that over certain distances, driving is cheaper and more comfortable. Though every time I drive from SF to LA I swear it will be the last time and then I do it again. :)
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
6/12/2015 | 1:03:12 PM
Re: 10 Geekiest Beach Reads Of 2015
Good timing on this Dave. Headed to Florida beach next week, was going to pick out a book over weekend. I'll keep these in mind.

I had to chuckle at the one book where author talked about "irrational" behavior of driving instead of flying. Now, appears he is talking strictly about safety aspect. But I'm driving to Florida instead of flying and it has nothing to do with safety. Three tickets into Fort Walton were about $1800. Then you need to rent a car. Throw in the fact you can no longer trust airline to get you there or home anywhere close to ontime, I'd argue the irrational part is flying. We can stay in 5 star hotels on drive down and back and not spend that much money. Not to mention we are in control, not these incompetent, self absorbed airlines.

We actually got stranded in Miami Florida a couple years ago in June trying to get home! Must of been thunderstorms you say. No, they just could not get our plane into Miami in time for us to make our connection in Detroit to Green Bay. They would have just stranded us there overnight. Maybe we would have got on a flight next day to GB, maybe not. So airline put us in that dumpy hotel in Miami airport. Then next day, the exact same thing happened. American finally had to move our flight to Delta just to get us out, and even then we didn't get to GB until midnight versus the 5pm we were supposed to.

And it's irrational to want to not fly? :-(
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