East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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I’m back to my two-books routine: one book downstairs, to read during lunch break and in the pauses I take from writing, and one book upstairs, to read before sleep. I don’t have a TV and my social life is almost exclusively online, and that makes such choices a lot easier.

And this month two books I am reading for very different reasons strangely fit together quite nicely.

Upstairs, before sleep, I am reading Marina Konnikova’s Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes, a book that uses Holmes and the Canon as a gateway to discuss rational thinking, mindfulness and mental decluttering, among other things. Sort of a beginner’s guide to the organization and maintenance of the brain, but in the light of all things Holmes.
This book covers two interests of mine – Holmes and rational thinking – and might come handy for a writing project I am about to begin, having sold my first Holmes-related pitch.

Downstairs I am reading Think like a Programmer, that I got as part of a recent Humble Bundle, and that’s part of my current attempt at putting some order in my very chaotic programming experience. Not much of an attempt, considering the book I got (for roughly 20 cents) is based on the C++ programming language, and I am currently halfway through a course of Python. But apart from these… ehm, details, what I am interested in here is the mental attitude and the problem-solving approach that goes best with programming.

And I am finding a few points in common, as you can imagine, between the two books.
But the downstairs book is going to be shelved, now – I studied C++ a lifetime ago, and I don’t want to get two languages mixed up, so I’ll finish my exploration of Python, that comes with the added perk of sounding very, uhm… Doc Savage-ish, and then brush up my C++ this summer.
So, I’ll have a new downstairs book soon.
I’ll tell you about that another time.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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