Books I like


With indexed, searchable, up-to-date, dynamic resources at our disposal I find books becoming less and less useful. Good books, however, are able to present a lot of relevant information with little noise and a coherent structure; this can be tough to find online without a lot of searching. I found these ones totally worth it:

Computer Systems: A programmer's perspective

Great introduction to systems. The only thing is that I might be biased as I taught with the authors and maybe share their way of explaining things. Topics include:

  • Data representation
  • x86(_64), ELF, stack, & execution
  • VM, translations, caches
  • Processes, threads, signals
  • System I/O
  • Intro to network programming
  • Intro to concurrency

There is a newer version, and I'd think that it's better, but I learned from this one haven't used the newer one. And don't worry, I wasn't paid to say this and none of these links are give me referral money.

Introduction to Algorithms

Covers undergraduate algorithms, assumes some knowledge of common structures and basic strategies. Maybe it just happens to be what employers look for in CMU students, but this book is excellent for CS interview preparation coming out of school.

I also had the first-class information in this book presented to me by one of my all-time favorite teachers, Avrim Blum.

There is a newer version of this book as well, but I haven't used it.

Databases and Transaction Processing

I never took a formal course on database internals in school (c'mon, MIS doesn't count), but I feel like I've got the gist of it thanks to this guide.

I think the book is meant for a variety of audiences and so doesn't assume much prior knowledge at all. Consequently it starts out pretty slowly, but definitely gets into hard tech eventually.

CSS Mastery

It's tough to be in tech these days and fully avoid web frontend work. And at this point you've probably noticed that I'm no master of CSS, but quite the opposite. To make matters worse I have very little design talent or experience. But I've tried to embrace the beast and my knowledge about CSS, web layout, etc. is probably an even split between this book,, and the rest of the internet.

There is a newer version of this book as well, but I haven't used it.

Thanks for reading!

Hopefully some of these come in handy to you. If you know of any good reads in other subjects (AI/ML, Stats, Networks, etc.) let me know!

I'm Hari. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, working with computers, and doing math.

I share posts here about thoughts I have based on my experiences. For more information on me, here's a brief bio and an old personal website.

If you'd like, send me an email.