My favourite books 2020 – Ole Begemann


I learn 45 books in 2020. These have been my favorites. (Considering in SwiftUI was not within the operating as a result of I’m biased.)

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff (2019). In case you decide up one e book from this listing, make it this one. I feel everybody working within the tech trade ought to learn it, it’s so essential. Shoshana Zuboff takes aside the enterprise mannequin of the massive tech giants and the various unethical (and at instances probably unlawful) issues they’ve completed and proceed to do to protect it.

If we ever handle to control the digital surveillance trade that pervades trendy life (as we finally did with the manufacturing unit house owners who exploited staff through the industrialization), this e book will turn out to be a basic as a serious contribution to that effort.


Circe by Madeline Miller. An attractive reimagination of a Greek delusion. I purchased this e book as a result of I fell in love with the quilt design of the UK version with out realizing what it was about and I’m glad I did. Madeline Miller’s writing was a problem for my English abilities, I needed to lookup so many phrases. But it surely was completely value it.


Mythos: The Greek Myths Reimagined by Stephen Fry (2017). Circe led me to Stephen Fry’s pleasant retelling of the Greek myths. That is half one in a collection. The sequels, Heroes and Troy, are on my listing for subsequent 12 months. I purchased the US version as a result of I favored the quilt design higher than the UK model. It’s a really fairly e book.

Permanent Record

Everlasting File by Edward Snowden (2019). Snowden’s memoirs, recounting his work for NSA contractors up till the covert assembly with journalists in Hong Kong that led to his exile.

A Philosophy of Software Design

A Philosophy of Software program Design by John Ousterhout (2018). Very approachable (brief and straightforward to learn) and accommodates lots of stable recommendation for designing and sustaining advanced methods. Two good evaluations in regards to the e book: Gergely Orosz’s overview matches my very own ideas. James Koppel’s take is extra vital (however nonetheless constructive) and really insightful.

The Art of Doing Science and Engineering

The Artwork of Doing Science and Engineering: Studying to Be taught by Richard Hamming (1996, new version 2020). Lovely new version of Hamming’s Seventies lecture collection transformed to prose. Themes embody some technical matters, corresponding to Hamming’s invention of the error-correcting code named after him, however the majority of the e book is recommendation strategy scientific work and construct a profitable profession. The ultimate chapter is a model of Hamming’s well-known discuss “You and Your Analysis”, which provides a superb impression of the character of the e book. The 2020 Stripe Press model may be very fairly. Typography, illustrationsm and paper high quality are all top-notch.

Deutschland Schwarz Weiß

Deutschland Schwarz Weiß by Noah Sow (2008, up to date 2018). Racism in Germany. How white folks advance and strengthen racism by not excited about our actions. Unhealthy typography, however I in any other case favored it.

Fake Facts

Pretend Details: Wie Verschwörungstheorien unser Denken bestimmen by Katharina Nocun und Pia Lamberty (2020). An inside look into a number of conspiracist milieus in German society, from Holocaust deniers and antisemitic ideologists to anti-vaxxers and esoterics. Extremely related nowadays.


March (Ebook One to Three) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (2013–2016). The late US Congressman John Lewis recounts his extraordinary life within the US civil rights motion in comedian e book type. Studying this deeply impressed me. The battle Black folks fought then (and are nonetheless combating as we speak)! The braveness and dedication it took to take humiliation after humiliation, beating after beating, arrest after arrest, homicide after homicide, with out combating again with violence. I had identified this earlier than, however seeing it from the attitude of somebody who skilled it firsthand was one thing else.


MetaMaus by Artwork Spiegelman (2011). Studying March led me to a comic book basic: Maus (1985 and 1991), Artwork Spiegelman’s two-part story how his dad and mom survived the Holocaust in Poland. I favored the comics, however I felt I didn’t actually perceive why they have been so well-known.

MetaMaus is basically a 230-page interview with the creator through which he takes his work aside intimately: the way it got here to be, how he approached sure scenes (together with tons of draft sketches), Artwork’s difficult relationship along with his father (which performs a serious position in Maus), the various layers of hidden which means in his drawings (most of which I missed when studying the comics). Studying this gave me a a lot deeper appreciation for the unique work. Kudos to Hillary Chute, who went by way of Spiegelman’s archives and requested implausible questions.


Berlin Jason Lutes (2018). One other comedian basic, revealed as {a magazine} collection in 2000, 2008, and 2018. A 550-page tome that describes life in Berlin from 1928 to 1933, through the decline of the Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazis. Advisable for those who’re fascinated about that interval.


Brüder by Jackie Thomae (2019). The story of two brothers who get separated as youngsters and develop as much as dwell very completely different lives, every a tragic determine in their very own manner. Themes: racism, East and West, Eighties and Nineteen Nineties Berlin, provincialism vs. cosmopolitanism, how a single mistake can destroy a life.


Grünmantel by Manfred Maurenbrecher (2019). Persevering with my theme from final 12 months, that is one other novel set in rural East Germany, 25 years after reunification.

Im Sommer wieder Fahrrad

Im Sommer wieder Fahrrad by Lea Streisand (2016). Autobiographical novel. The creator (in her thirties) narrates her battle towards most cancers and recollections of her grandmother who led a nonconformist, emancipated life in pre-, mid-, and postwar Germany.

Aspect notice: writer web sites are horrible

I dread compiling this listing yearly as a result of discovering good hyperlinks and canopy photographs for the books is a ache. Most writer web sites are horrible. It’s very probably many hyperlinks on this web page will now not work in just a few months or years. The concept of not breaking URLs appears international to most corporations which have merchandise to promote. When a e book goes out of print, it might effectively simply disappear from the catalog. I preemptively apologize for that.

Nonetheless, I don’t wish to hyperlink to Amazon if I might help it. In case you determine to purchase a e book from this listing, please purchase it from a neighborhood bookshop or one other retailer that isn’t one of the crucial highly effective corporations on the earth. Let’s attempt to not make Jeff Bezos any richer. (Sure, I see the irony that the print model of my very own e book is just accessible on Amazon. Sorry.)