Scott Hanselman

July 2008 Technical Reading List

July 26, 2008 Comment on this post [28] Posted in Learning .NET | Musings
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IMG_0019I'm still using the Kindle every day for casual reading, but just now I noticed that my pile of technical books on my desk is taller than my son.

Actually, a few of these I've already read in manuscript form and I wrote either a foreword or a quote for good ones. The vast majority of the pile are books I'm currently wading through (slowly).

Here's the books I'm currently trying to read, as told by the Delicious Library application.


I've previously read Code Leader and Head First Software Development and provided quotes extolling the virtues of both, but they are such good books that I end up referring to them often enough that I haven't moved tem over to the shelf.

BTW: The Ian Griffiths/Chris Sells WPF book is in my bag. ;)

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What are you currently reading (technical books...we'll do fiction later)?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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July 26, 2008 3:57
Head First Design Patterns
Refactoring, Fowler
Pro ASP.Net, Evjen
More Joel on Software, Splonsky
July 26, 2008 4:20
Good list. I would add Neal Ford's "The Productive Programmer". I have a review of it on my blog here:
July 26, 2008 8:04
I would like to add "NET Domain-Driven Design with C#: Problem - Design - Solution" by Tim McCarthy
July 26, 2008 9:44
"Agile Software Development, Principles, Patterns, and Practices" by Robert C. Martin can be a good choice.

Thanks. :D
July 26, 2008 11:22
I just finished reading The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki (It can't be considered a technical book, but it isn't fiction either ;) )
I'm going back-to-very-basics and just started re-reading Applying UML and Patterns by Craig Larman.
I'm also in the middle of Adam Nathan's WPF Unleashed.
July 26, 2008 11:44
Windows Presentation Foundation Unleashed
Definite Guide To Grails
And finished Pragmatic Unit Testing In C# With NUnit
July 26, 2008 23:22
Sorry, just testing out OpenID; comments are closed on your other post. : )
July 26, 2008 23:51
I just started on Transcending CSS. It's a couple years old, but still very relevant, and just a beautifully designed book.

Looking at the previous comments, it looks like the gravatar identicon support for Open ID might be broken. Four comments with the same identicon?
July 27, 2008 1:10
heh.. not nearly as advanced:

Head Start C# & Beginning ASP.NET 3.5
July 27, 2008 8:13
Lance - That identicon is the same because I'm using the email address "" for OpenID endpoints that don't return an email address. I suppose I could add a check to my gravatar code to ignore that special case.
July 27, 2008 8:38
Woah, that's a large list of books! :-)

I'm mostly reading Manning books these days: jQuery in Action and nHibernate in Action (still a 'early access' book unfortunately!).

I've browsed through the 'Refactoring HTML' book and I just don't get it? It seemed rather boring...

re: Shiju -- That looks like a great recommendation. I'll have to go to the bookstore and check that book out.
July 27, 2008 8:54
Do you usually read books from cover to cover or pick chapters of interest only? Cause these are too many books to read plus I assume you have another stack for non technical books?
July 27, 2008 15:45
Hi Scott,

Huge reading list - how do you find time to do any work?! ;)

I was just wondering if you or some of your readers could provide some recommendation for a book to introduce me to Silverlight? I'm quite adept at programming, web dev using 2/3.5, c#, etc - but I have a project that requires a bit of advanced downloading functionality, for which I want to use Silverlight.

However, I have no idea where to start really. Do I code against Silverlight 1 or 2 at this stage? How do I code it? I need a cood book to start me off... so any recommendations are very welcome!


July 27, 2008 16:02
Code Leader is highly recommended
July 27, 2008 18:46
The Little Schemer.
July 27, 2008 19:49
On the client side, recently:
AdvancED DOM Scripting
Accelerated DOM Scripting with Ajax, APIs, and Libraries
Javascript: The good parts

Code leader just landed on my wishlist.
July 28, 2008 4:40
I am reading

1) Linq in Action -- Great book
2) C# 3.0 in the Nutshell --- Great example , really Like this book.

July 28, 2008 13:26
Do you have a strategy for choosing books to read? Or do you just pile up books according to your whims and fancies (like I tend to)? Sometimes it occurs to me that I treat Amazon like a restaurant rather than a pharmacy: I order what I feel like rather than what's good for me. Good fun, but perhaps not terribly healthy in the long run?
July 28, 2008 16:14
Just finished said WPF book. Tip: plan on reading most - possibly all - the appendices too. Most are important enough to warrant dedicated chapters in the book, IMHO.
July 28, 2008 19:33
I'm reading now
Code Complete
Patterns of Enterprise Application (Fowler)
Applying Domain-Driven Design and Patterns: With Examples in C# and .NET
Essential Windows Communication Foundation

What is better read in PDF (Online 24x7) or in the Book?
July 28, 2008 19:36
Dumb question. But do you write .Net code on your Mac? I love my Mac but feel like a traitor cause I write .Net applications. Where's the loyalty? lol.
July 28, 2008 20:11
I would recommend Sells book for WPF. I have found it's the only one I need. I have tried reading the two you have on your list and found both of them lacking. There are too many computer books being published on interesting topics. Pick your battles wisely.

As for my current reading, I have The Productive Programmer on its way.
July 28, 2008 21:53
David - Yes, I run Vista x86 on my Mac. I don't feel like a traitor, it's running my code! :)

Einar - Not strategy, I just read whatever seems interesting at the time, although I do take personal recommendations for books *very* seriously if the recommendation comes from someone I trust or respect.

Dan Nash - Focus on Silverlight 2. Don't bother with Silverlight 1.
July 29, 2008 2:47
I reccomend safari books online

virtually all these books are on there! + the others people have mentioned.

It's really changed how I access technical information, its fantastic.

I tend to read a lot more books, but I only read certain parts, and I tend to read a lot more across multiple books.

July 29, 2008 4:04
Head First Design Patterns
July 30, 2008 18:56
Agreed that personal recommendations count for a lot. What about reading circles? Do you (Scott) or you (others) have any experience with that? Personally, I have the problem that most of my close large-cranium friends are non-programmers, so the last recommendations I've gotten are Wittgenstein and Herodotus ;-)
July 31, 2008 0:36
Code Complete (again)
Accelerated C#
Effective C++ (again)

Summer is usually a good time for me to re-read a book - especially this summer since Alaska has been experiencing more rain than usual ;-)
August 01, 2008 19:11
Hi All,

I am wondering if you guys know of any good books on advance .net 3.5/c# or other related tech, that are not the size of the phone book, preferably within 200 - 400 pages to get me up to speed, otherwise there's no way in hell I'll ever finish them, and if I can’t finish them, what’s the point?


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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.