pamela fox's reading list

You can look through my full booklist on Goodreads or browse here:

Pamela's bookshelf: read

The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu
5 of 5 stars
I loved the combination of food, etymology, and history - also liked learning about a lot of SF local recommendations.
Nonviolent Communication: A Language Of Life -- Life-Changing Tools For Healthy Relationships
5 of 5 stars
Loved it. Helps me think a lot about how I treat myself as well as other people. I've been recommending to everyone since reading it.
Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
5 of 5 stars
Great book that covers conversations across work, family, and relationships. Nice complement to NVC.
No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State
5 of 5 stars
Fascinating to see how press and the government really work.
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
5 of 5 stars
Great both because it covers a mini history of computer graphics and has inspiring ideas for creative companies.
The Cyberiad
5 of 5 stars
Fantastic. Sci-fi short stories with beautifully crafted language and made up words.
The Chemistry Between Us: Love, Sex, and the Science of Attraction
5 of 5 stars
Fascinating, research into the chemicals, genes, and neurotransmitters that influence gender and attraction.
Plan B
4 of 5 stars
A fun read, got me through an airplane ride.
Sock
5 of 5 stars
A murder detective story told from the eyes of a sock monkey. Hilarious, crude, true.
Pebble in the Sky
5 of 5 stars
Part of the Galactic Novels series, a great story about a man who finds himself suddenly in a future where people of his age aren't allowed to exist.
The Currents of Space
5 of 5 stars
Part of the Galactic Novels series, a great story about a man who's brainwashed but knows a really important secret about the universe.
The Stars, Like Dust
5 of 5 stars
Part of the Galactic Novels series, an action story about a son following his dad's legacy.
Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find--and Keep--Love
3 of 5 stars
A pop-sci book about attachment theory and how to use that knowledge to improve who you seek in a mate.
Ready Player One
5 of 5 stars
A sci-fi book with heavy references to 80s pop culture and video game history. Fun read!
Store of the Worlds: The Stories of Robert Sheckley
5 of 5 stars
A great set of sci-fi stories, very enjoyable.
The ethical slut : a practical guide to polyamory, open relationships & other adventures
4 of 5 stars
A guide to open relationships. A bit fluffy/anecdotal, but it has some good advice for communicating in relationships generally.
Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories About People Who Know How They Will Die
5 of 5 stars
Short stories of what would happen in a world where a machine loosely predicted your cause of death.
The Illustrated Man
4 of 5 stars
A set of sci-fi/fantasy stories.
Bagombo Snuff Box
5 of 5 stars
A collection of short stories from Vonnegut. Not so highly acclaimed, but I quite liked them.
The Martian Chronicles
5 of 5 stars
A collection of loosely connected stories about humans discovering Mars and growing a civilization on it. Lovely, surreal, thought-provoking.
The Sirens of Titan
5 of 5 stars
The story of humans searching for a new way of life in the universe and meaning in relationships.
Just a Geek: Unflinchingly honest tales of the search for life, love, and fulfillment beyond the Starship Enterprise
3 of 5 stars
The autobiographical stories of Wil Wheaton, who started as a child actor on Star Trek and went on to become a struggling actor and budding writer. Despite me not being a trekkie at all, it was a great story to read.
The Gods Themselves
5 of 5 stars
A sci-fi story about the discovery of an energy source from a parallel universe, and scientists who try to stop it. I loved the description of the beings from the parallel universe and the Moonlings. Makes you think about being human.
Player Piano
5 of 5 stars
A novel about what happens when most human work is replaced my machines, engineering managers reign above all, and IQ is the deciding factor in everyone's future. Fascinating.
The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
5 of 5 stars
A history of cryptography in the world, up until 10 years ago. Fantastic introduction, made me want to learn more. Also loved the tangents into linguistics.
Pattern Recognition
5 of 5 stars
A sci-fi novel about a woman with a keen sense for trends and an underground film. Great characters, exciting plot.
Slaughterhouse-Five
3 of 5 stars
A story about time-traveling, aliens, and the war. I didn't like it too much, it just left me feeling confused and like I'd missed the point.
Spin
5 of 5 stars
A sci-fi novel where the world is suddenly encased in a membrane, and humans have to figure out why. Absolutely loved this story. Great characters, great plot.
Something Wicked This Way Comes
3 of 5 stars
A fantasy story about two boys who encounter a rather evil circus and try to overcome it together. It was a good story, but I didn't identify much with the boys and I don't generally find fantasy as compelling as sci-fi.
Solaris
4 of 5 stars
A surreal story about life on a planet with an ocean that plays tricks on the minds of the few that live there. A very emotional and visual story.
Boneshaker
4 of 5 stars
A steampunk fiction novel about a town overtaken by zombie like creatures. It was like Pirates of the Carribbean meets Zombies meets coming-of-age. A fun read.
Cat's Cradle
3 of 5 stars
A novel about scientists who worked on the bomb, on both sides. It was a good story, but I didn't love it as much as I'd hoped.
Stumbling on Happiness
4 of 5 stars
Gilbert's research on happiness and certainty. Reading it won't necessarily make you happy, but it does help you understand your decisions and emotional consequences much better.
The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined
5 of 5 stars
A brief history on the education system we use today, the story of how Khan Academy started, and Sal's musings on how education could look different. Very thought provoking and relevant to all educators.
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
5 of 5 stars
Both a satire on English society at the time and a fascinating foray into multi-dimensional geometry. It both made me contemplate education in society and spend a few hours on Wikipedia reading about the mathematicians the book inspired.
Little Brother
5 of 5 stars
Like a modern 1984 - so it feels even more like something that really could and does happen today. Also, a great newbie-friendly intro to modern encryption.
Welcome to the Monkey House
5 of 5 stars
A collection of short fictional sci-fi-ish stories, many of which I absolutely loved and still remember.
The Poison Eaters and Other Stories
3 of 5 stars
A bunch of fantastical short stories. A bit too fantasy for my tastes, and none of them stuck with me after.
The End of Eternity
5 of 5 stars
A novel about a future where many realities exist at once, and the people in charge of subtly affecting these realities so that they are "happy."
Animal Farm
5 of 5 stars
What happens when animals decide to throw over their "government" and start a new? Really got me thinking about the importance of open communication, literacy, and accurate historical records.
1984
5 of 5 stars
The classic tale of life in a surveillance state. And romance, of course.
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
5 of 5 stars
A pop-sci book on the crazy world of gustation, digestion and excretion (more on the latter than the former).
Hallucinations
5 of 5 stars
A dive into the many types of hallucinations and the science that might explain them. Fascinating.
Lost At Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries
5 of 5 stars
An entertaining collection of strange news stories as reported by the hilarious Ronson.
HTML5 Multimedia: Develop and Design
3 of 5 stars
Great quick read about video and audio tags.
Pirate Cinema
5 of 5 stars
A sci-fi story that deals with freedom to remix.
Zoo City
5 of 5 stars
A sci-fi story set in a time where the outcasts all have their own animals that follow them around and become part of their souls.
Foundation
4 of 5 stars
The beginning of the foundation series. Not as enjoyable as the robot series for me, a bit too much war.
Robot Dreams
5 of 5 stars
Part of the robot series. <3
The Robots of Dawn
5 of 5 stars
Part of the robot series. <3
The Naked Sun
5 of 5 stars
Part of the robot series. <3
Team Geek: A Software Developer's Guide to Working Well with Others
5 of 5 stars
Highly recommended reading for any engineer working in a company or in an open source project, even if you're not a manager.
The Caves of Steel
5 of 5 stars
Part of the robot series. <3
I, Robot
5 of 5 stars
The start of the robot series, a collection of stories that create the basis of Asimov's laws.
Speaker for the Dead
5 of 5 stars
A similar story to the Avatar movie, but much more thought provoking.
Ender's Game
5 of 5 stars
A great sci-fi story about childhood and wars.
The Roving Mind
5 of 5 stars
A collection of essays from Asimov. Definitely made me think about a lot of different things.
Reamde
5 of 5 stars
Another damn exciting novel from Stephenson.
Neuromancer
2 of 5 stars
The famous novel that coined terms like "cyberspace." However, for me, it was too confusing and not compelling. I found it painful to read, really.
The Most Human Human
5 of 5 stars
Probably my favorite book of the year - covers computing, language, the soul, everything.
Little Earthquakes
3 of 5 stars
A novel about a group of pregnant women and the obstacles they encounter in their first year after pregnancy. Good read..and re-inforced that I won't be baby-making anytime soon. :)
The Diamond Age: or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer
5 of 5 stars
A sci-fi novel that follows a women from an abusive childhood to an epic adulthood -- I loved it because it reminds me of my favorite movie, Puff the Magic Dragon. Also makes interesting observations on how society is structured and what...
The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry
5 of 5 stars
An account of the author's investigation into what it means to be a psychopath, his interviews with actual psychopaths and the people who try to diagnose them. Really interesting to see the conclusions he reaches..makes you think.
Them: Adventures with Extremists
4 of 5 stars
An account of the author's investigation into extremists, terrorists, and the like - it's entertaining and interesting to get a peak into their daily life.
The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us
5 of 5 stars
A great overview of the history of kissing, its variance across cultures and different animals, and the science of what happens in your body while kissing.
Snow Crash
5 of 5 stars
A thrilling sci-fi novel which touches both on web technologies (coining the term avatar), history, and human languages - all interesting to me.
Confessions of a Public Speaker
5 of 5 stars
True tales and techniques from a writer that does a lot of public speaking. It's both funny and full of practical tips, and includes nice insights on the effectiveness of teaching.
A General Theory of Love
3 of 5 stars
A book about why people connect to and love others (particularly their children), including chapters on our different brains, memory, and evolution. The language is a bit overly florid at times, but it has some great insights.
The Pun Also Rises: How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More Than Some Antics
5 of 5 stars
Written by a champion punner, this book chronicles the history of the pun, including how its varying popularity (and lack thereof), and the different types of puns. It also argues that puns are a uniquely human skill - something to be pr...
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
5 of 5 stars
A story written from the perspective of an autistic teenager. Makes you think about what your thinking process might be like if you were autistic too.
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
5 of 5 stars
An exploration of recent research about what motivates humans, and how it differs from what we believed in the past. Targeted at managers, but relevant to anyone.
Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty
5 of 5 stars
An exploration on the research of human beauty, evolution, and why we value what we do. Cites many interesting studies and gives you lots to think about.
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
2 of 5 stars
A book of anecdotes and tips for reducing the time you spend worrying in life. It has some good ideas, but it also got overly Christian in the end and relied too much on anecdotes.
Indecent: How I Make It and Fake It as a Girl for Hire
4 of 5 stars
The memoir of a woman who decided to try out adult work in Seattle, including private shows, massages, cage shows, and amateur porn. It's funny and real, and the author is open about not being sure herself how she feels about how adult w...
The Selfish Gene
4 of 5 stars
A book that describes evolution from a gene-centric point of view. It's really interesting, but it is a long read and felt a bit over my head at times.
How to Win Friends & Influence People
5 of 5 stars
Great read for anyone who works with people - i.e. everyone.
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
4 of 5 stars
An exploration of the typically unexplored facets of space travel, like astronaut selection, waste elimination, monkey masturbation, and food hydration. I didn't get into it as much as her other books, but it was still a very interesting...
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!  Adventures of a Curious Character
5 of 5 stars
A bunch of short stories about Feynman's life - including stories of picking up girls and solving physics puzzles. Inspiring and entertaining.
The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy
4 of 5 stars
A description of Mark's philosophy of living like our ancestors lived 10,000 years ago, which entails a no-grains eating style, good sleep, good play, moving slowly alot, sprinting, and lifting heavy things. The eating style reflects muc...
Thanks for Coming
3 of 5 stars
The true story of a woman's attempt to achieve orgasm, where she attempts about 5 billion different strategies. Read it to find out which one worked.. :)
Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It
5 of 5 stars
A nice condensation of the research presented in the much longer "Good Calories, Bad Calories". This book disputes the myths that have been propagated for the last 50 years, and actually explains how fat is formed in the body and how one...
Superconnect: Harnessing the Power of Networks and the Strength of Weak Links
3 of 5 stars
A book about the connectedness between people, and how important connections are. It has a good point, but seemed a little too reliant on anecdotes at times.
Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age
5 of 5 stars
A great read about how humans will use their freetime, particularly in regards to the media and the growing ability to produce and not just consume. Particularly relevant if you're working in the social or collaborative space.
My Booky Wook
3 of 5 stars
Both funny and insightful, it recounts his childhood and various addictions (drug, sex). It's heavy on the British lingo, which makes it both educational but also harder to read at times.
The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman
3 of 5 stars
A series of tips on hacks for losing weight, gaining muscle, getting better sleep, etc - all based on the the author's rigorously scientific experiments and data tricking. Interesting, entertaining, and potentially useful.
Sex At Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality
5 of 5 stars
Very interesting read about the history of our species, and whether monogamy is actually an intrinsic part of us (answer: it's not). Lots of stuff to think about.
Food Inc.: A Participant Guide: How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter, and Poorer-And What You Can Do About It
3 of 5 stars
A collection of essays from journalists & organizations on the topics addressed in the Food, Inc. documentary. The essays vary in quality - some are quite good, but others make for more rote reading.
Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
4 of 5 stars
A great book about the effect of modern industrialized agriculture on our food, our society, and our environment. Very interesting.
Programming Google App Engine
4 of 5 stars
A well written book explaining App Engine, with many chapters dedicated to an in-depth look at the datastore, one of the trickiest parts. Slightly better for Python devs than Java devs.
Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
4 of 5 stars
A distilled version of "In Defense of Food", this lists all of his rules in short chapters & skips much of the background/technical reading. If you've already got "In Defense of Food", you'll find this one largely redundant.
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
4 of 5 stars
A great read about Michael's opinion on how we should be eating today, and a look at why we are eating so badly. It will make you want to run out and eat some organic leafy vegetables immediately.
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
5 of 5 stars
A fun read about the history of human cadavers and their use in medical research, including the history of what happens to humans after they die (compost, cremation, burial, etc). Learnt a lot of fun facts from this.
Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease
4 of 5 stars
This is Gary's first book on obesity & nutrition research, and is very heavy on the science/research details. It talks a lot about the bad science that got us to where we are today, and in the end it talks about the carbohydrate hypothes...

goodreads.com