Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, Charles Petzold
If you find computers mystical and the talk surrounding them too full of jargon, then this is the book for you. It will teach you about the inner workings of computers and give you an understanding of today’s digital world and the Internet in simple, well-illustrated language. Charles Petzold is a renowned programmer and author of many seminal programming books, yet this book isn’t just another Programming Windows. Here Petzold explains how computers work using easily grasped ideas that will make even the most uninitiated technophobe at ease with the ins and outs of computers.
The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master, Andrew Hunt and David Thomas
This book comes highly recommended by many readers who make their living from programming. If you already have some knowledge of the subject and want to take that step from hobby to profession, then this book will give you indispensible tips to get you there. It’s an absolute must for readers who want to make themselves employable in programming.
Learning Web Design, Jennifer Niederst Robbins
Like programming, web design can be a well-paid career choice. The good news is you don’t need to invest the time and money in a formal education to become a web designer as there is a lot of information available on the Internet, and also a great supply of available books. This is one of the most popular for beginners. It is a complete course in web design with exercises and techniques that will teach you everything you need to know for the professional world.
The ‘e’ is for ‘entrepreneur’ and perhaps the ultimate dream is, rather than working for somebody else, you become your own boss. If that’s the case then this book has come up time and time again as a must-read. First published in the 1990s, it is now a classic amongst entrepreneurs themselves, and it will give you invaluable insight into the dos and don’ts of setting up your business and how to make it grow and last.
The Clever Stuff
The Colossal Book of Mathematics, Martin Gardner
You could take a formal course in maths, which of course would be a great thing to do, or you could learn about or improve your maths the fun way with this book. Martin Gardner’s truly Colossal Book of Mathematics brings you ‘recreational mathematics’ and illuminates complex mathematical concepts through games and quizzes that make the tricky subject accessible to all. You don’t need to be a whiz at maths to read this book but you’ll certainly feel like one after!
Mr Tompkins in Paperback, George Gamow
Physics is often considered one of the harder subjects to grasp, but this update of George Gamow’s 1940s classic Tompkins series will have you engaging with the central concepts of physics in no time. Through the nature-bending dreams and adventures of Mr Tompkins, Gamow successfully demonstrates the effects of physics on us as human beings.
In Other Words: A Course Book on Translation, Mona Baker
Perhaps you speak a second language and want to make a living from it but don’t know where to begin. This is the book that most serious translators start with. It’s also often prescribed reading for any Master’s student of translation. Mona Baker’s In Other Words will familiarize you with many of the issues met in translation and start you on your journey from amateur to professional.
The Creative Arts
Keys to Drawing, Bert Dodson
This is a great book based on the premise that with a bit of regular training, anyone can draw. It contains straightforward, short and fun lessons that will build your confidence and have you drawing well in no time. It’s packed with ideas and inspiration making it a great reference book you will revisit time and again over your newfound drawing career.
Rebel without a Crew, Robert Rodriguez
What is special about Robert Rodriguez’s Rebel without a Crew is that it is the true story of how he made a film on an extremely low budget with no crew. Once you’ve read this you will be convinced of ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’ and you’ll have no excuses not to go out and make that film you’ve always dreamed of.
Singing for the Stars, Seth Riggs
Want to do music but don’t know what instrument to choose? Well, there’s an instrument you already possess and have used your entire life: your voice. This book, by Hollywood vocal coach Seth Riggs, whose students include the King of Pop, the late Michael Jackson, among many others, will show you how to develop your speaking voice naturally into the voice of a star: you!