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Book of the Month: The Human Face of Big Data

Book of the Month: The Human Face of Big Data

This is a giant coffee table book that I slowly read over the course of about 3 months. It has its own app that is interactive with the book and plays videos if you hold your phone over the photos. It is like a giant hardcover magazine with different stories on every other page with large photos and infographics. I got it at a book sale for $3 and it was a total steal.

Now if I can only find a bookshelf to fit this on...

The Human Face of Big Data
By Rick Smolan, Jennifer Erwitt

Book of the Months: The Walking Dead: Compendium 1

The Walking Dead is one of me and my wife's favorite shows to watch together. I started reading this during their winter break from new shows. This book is so heavy to read in bed, It is about 3 inches thick. That was the worst part about it, everything else was good. A similar feel to the show but the stories and characters are so different between the show and the book that I am going to be confused once the show starts up again. It is a little cheesier since it is a comic book and all the zombies make "unggghh" sounds and the guns go "BANG!" but in other cases it is darker and grittier than the show with some pretty gruesome scenes that they probably couldn't get away with on AMC. I recommend both the show and the book. I am not buying the print version, I just got the ebook on my tablet and it is much easier to read.

The Walking Dead: Compendium One
By Robert Kirkman

Squirrel - watercolor

Squirrel - watercolor

Here are some more watercolor tests for my book however I think we are going with colored pencil instead.

Squirrel watercolor by Derek Mit

Squirrel watercolor by Derek Mit

Book of the Month: The Moral Landscape

I have been reading this off and on for about a year and just finally struggled through the last of it. I enjoyed Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris much more. It was shorter and for a broader audience and The Moral Landscape seemed like it was for a philosophy major. At least it will look like I am smart when I put it on my "read" bookshelf.

In this highly controversial book, Sam Harris seeks to link morality to the rest of human knowledge. Defining morality in terms of human and animal well-being, Harris argues that science can do more than tell how we are; it can, in principle, tell us how we ought to be. In his view, moral relativism is simply false—and comes at an increasing cost to humanity. And the intrusions of religion into the sphere of human values can be finally repelled: for just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim algebra, there can be no Christian or Muslim morality. Using his expertise in philosophy and neuroscience, along with his experience on the front lines of our “culture wars,” Harris delivers a game-changing book about the future of science and about the real basis of human cooperation.

Audiobook of the Month: Daemon

I read this as an audiobook from Audible.  I saw the author Daniel Suarez on Triangulation. So I added his book Daemon to my Audible wishlist. It was very interesting because all the tech and hacking going on in the book seemed plausible. I believe he mentioned a movie script in the Triangulation interview, so that sounds promising and exciting. Anyways, I recommend it. You can check out the plot summary at

By Daniel Suarez

Book of the Month: Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Book of the Month: Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Excerpt from Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Dad Is Fat
By Jim Gaffigan

I started reading this book 2 days before my son was born. I just finished it as he is almost 1 month old. It was very funny and I actually laughed out loud a few times. The guy has 5 kids that he is raising in a 2 bedroom apartment in New York City and has some hilarious stories that I am now relating to. It kinda makes me feel like I don't have it so bad with just one kid.

Book of the Month: Earth (the Book): A Vi​sitor's Guide to the Human Race

Earth (the Book): A Viitor's Guide to the Human Race is a hilarious book written by the Daily Show team. I laughed out loud a couple times which happens rarely for me even with the Daily Show and books that are funny. I picked this up for $8 at a Barnes & Noble a year ago and I just finished it. Check it out!

Audiobook of the Month: Pandora's Star

I just finished listening to the Pandora's Star audiobook from It was a long 37 hrs and 26 mins. I heard about it from multiple people on the TWiT network. I liked it but I think I would have liked it better as a paper book as I lost track of what was happening a lot. The last half of the book I listened to it at 2X speed. Anyways, now I have moved on to Daemon by Daniel Suarez and I am liking it better so far.

Pandora's Star
By Peter F. Hamilton

Book of the Month: The Paleo Diet

My mom gave me this book for christmas, among others, off of my wishlist. I just finished it 2 minutes ago and it has convinced me to get a little stricter in my diet and exercise. 

I read The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf about a year ago after listening to his Paleo Solution podcast for awhile. I started the diet pretty slowly over the course of a couple months. I had been gluten free for a couple months after a doctor diagnosed me with ulcerative colitis and prescribed 4 pills a day. I figured out that I didn't suffer the symptoms when I went gluten free and even more so after cleaning up my diet to paleo standards. Anyways, in that book he recommended this book as a resource, so I finally got it a year later. This is one of the first books on paleo. It originally came out in 2002, but this is an updated 2010 version. The newer version includes some of Dr. Cordain's updated stances on certain foods. He originally listed canola oil as a healthy oil, but has changed based on newer research. The book goes over the course of human history and the foods we evolved on. He explains how the agricultural revolution introduced new foods like dairy and grains that we weren't designed to eat. And in the 10,000 years since, most of us do not have the gut to deal with these foods. I have lost more than 20 lbs in the last year and it was extremely easy. I love food and I was never hungry. I basically eat some good protein, lots of veggies, some fruits and nuts and then treat myself to the occasional coffee, dark chocolate and wine. I would really recommend this book along with The Paleo Solution. You will lose fat, get healthy, be happier and live longer!