HackerNews Readings
40,000 HackerNews book recommendations identified using NLP and deep learning

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Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

Robert C. Martin

4.7 on Amazon

43 HN comments

Designing Data-Intensive Applications: The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable Systems

Martin Kleppmann

4.8 on Amazon

34 HN comments

The Martian

Andy Weir, Wil Wheaton, et al.

4.7 on Amazon

27 HN comments

The Pragmatic Programmer: 20th Anniversary Edition, 2nd Edition: Your Journey to Mastery

David Thomas, Andrew Hunt, et al.

4.8 on Amazon

27 HN comments

Snow Crash

Neal Stephenson, Jonathan Davis, et al.

4.3 on Amazon

24 HN comments

The Mom Test: How to Talk to Customers & Learn If Your Business Is a Good Idea When Everyone Is Lying to You

Rob Fitzpatrick and Robfitz Ltd

4.7 on Amazon

22 HN comments


Frank Herbert, Scott Brick, et al.

4.7 on Amazon

20 HN comments

Seveneves: A Novel

Neal Stephenson, Mary Robinette Kowal, et al.

4.1 on Amazon

20 HN comments

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

Matthew Walker, Steve West, et al.

4.7 on Amazon

19 HN comments

Project Hail Mary

Andy Weir, Ray Porter, et al.

4.7 on Amazon

18 HN comments

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It

Chris Voss, Michael Kramer, et al.

4.8 on Amazon

18 HN comments

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley

4.6 on Amazon

16 HN comments

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman, Patrick Egan, et al.

4.6 on Amazon

16 HN comments

The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition

Don Norman

4.6 on Amazon

15 HN comments

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure Series)

Christopher Alexander , Sara Ishikawa , et al.

4.7 on Amazon

15 HN comments

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davedxonJune 14, 2021

Foundation is great. Dune (original 6 books). All of Iain M Banks sci fi. Alastair Reynolds’ books. Dan Simmons’ Endymion series.

manojldsonAug 5, 2021

Feels more like a statement about make sure you read Dune before reading anything else, than about content.

TeeMassiveonJuly 24, 2021

Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.". ― Frank Herbert, Dune

DowwieonAug 3, 2021

My Summer scifi has thus far included "Project Hail Mary" by Andy Weir and "Dark Matter" by Peter Straub. Both are fast-past and engaging until the end.

I wouldn't recommend either if you haven't read Dune, book 1, though. Read it.

jesusloponJuly 31, 2021

In "Road to Dune" there are a couple of cut chapters of the first 2 books and the original ending of Dune Messiah

gostsamoonJune 14, 2021

Dune (first book only), The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur Clark, Robert Heinlein (Starship Troopers, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Stranger in a Strange Land), Uplift Series by David Brim, The Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanly Robinson, Ann Leckies books are really interesting new sf.

richk449onAug 11, 2021

Every time I hear these types of comments, I think that someone read the first Dune book, but not the rest of the series. In this case, it’s a bit too on the nose.

georgeoliveronJuly 11, 2021

I had a very weird moment of cognitive dissonance reading the headline, having just finished rereading the novel Dune yesterday.

teekertonApr 14, 2021

Studied is a big word but (on the fiction side) most things by Greg Egan keep me reading with ease. Also Harry Potter :). But also the Commonwealth Saga 1 and 2 by Peter F. Hamilton, the 3 books after that I never finished. Dune kept me going for 5 books until I stopped. On the non-fiction side, Richard Dawkins is a good writer.

WarOnPrivacyonAug 8, 2021

Dune II was first (and one of the few) PC game I really stuck with.

rhino369onAug 8, 2021

I happen to be reading Dune today, and AI is referred to as counterfeiting the human mind

ryanSrichonJune 14, 2021

Others have recommended Three Body. I’d second that. Amazing trilogy.

Rendezvous With Rama is one of my favorites.

I’d also recommend Children of Time and Children of Ruin by adrian tchaikovsky. It was one of those random ones I picked up with low expectations, and it turned out to be amazing. It’s well regarded now, but this was when it first came out.

Dune is one I recommend reading even if you’re aware of the story or the movie. It’s an amazingly creative work that lays the foundation of many modern science fiction concepts.

I’d also highly recommend Fire Upon the Deep.

Last ones I’ll recommend are the space odyssey books. I’m a huge fan of long timelines (if you couldn’t already tell) and this series spans 1000 years.

crooked-vonJune 9, 2021

If the survival of a single person is "high stakes" in fiction, then what do you even consider "low stakes"?

> I admit I'm limited to the sample I've experienced personally but it's over 90%.

You need to read a wider selection of books, then. Try, say, The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, Of Mice and Men, Frankenstein, Jane Eyre, A Christmas Carol, The Grapes of Wrath, The Time Machine, Dune, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the Foundation series, anything by Ray Bradbury... there's a very long list of books that are not driven by simplistic good vs. evil conflicts.

kkylinonJune 14, 2021

In addition to everything everyone else said, I have loved all of Ted Chiang's short stories. And almost everything Neal Stephenson's written, with the exception of REAMDE (which I personally found rather forgettable).

I would also recommend Dune, but unlike some of the other commenters, I would recommend the entire series. At the very least, read Dune and Dune Messiah together. (I found the first 100 pages or so of Dune a bit tough going, but once you get into it, it's fantastic.)

themolecularmanonAug 5, 2021

> I wouldn't recommend either if you haven't read Dune, book 1, though. Read it.

Why is that? I read Dune when I was a kid but don't remember the particulars -- do I need them for some reason?

hiidrewonJuly 23, 2021

I recently listened to KSR on Exponential View, Ministry of the Future has an intriguing premise and hope to read that soon.

Recently began a fiction kick after starting my full-time job for the first time, nice way to break screen-time instead of gaming. There's something nice about visualizing worlds instead of seeing worlds built by someone else.

Currently reading the first Dune book and love it. Reminds me of GOT on Mars.

Slow_HandonJuly 31, 2021

What element of Dune do you think would suffer by not having an ‘R’ rating? It’s not as if the book is reliant on anything exceptionally violent or obscene. Probably the darkest element is the reference to The Baron’s rape of young people. Frankly that’s better off as something to be implied and not depicted.

I think you can get away with enough in a PG-13 to suit the tone of this story. Watching the recent trailer you can catch a glimpse of what appear to be prisoners of war strapped upside down on troughs that will collect the blood from their slit throats. That’s pretty dark. And seemingly it’s an addition by the filmakers. It’s not an element from the book.

thedanbobonApr 6, 2021

You're reading more than I intended into what I wrote. When I first read Dune I was too young to know anything about politics besides the simple facts of interactions between nations. Dune helped me understand why a nation might react to a particular situation a particular way; the motivations behind the actions. So when I learned about real international politics later, I was better equipped to understand what was going on.

Obviously I know that Dune politics are not real-life politics.

snowwrestleronMay 31, 2021

A bunch of classic “golden era” science fiction novels feature characters with unexplained mental powers, like Asimov’s Foundation series, Dune, Niven’s Known Space series, etc.

Those seem like obvious fantasy now, but from about the 1950s through the 1970s, a lot of serious people believed that there were undiscovered powers of the human mind that science was on the verge of discovering or confirming. Mental powers are therefore a common anachronism of sci fi from that era.

Most science fiction stories are going to feature some elements that are essentially unexplained and therefore act like magic in the story. I think most folks would consider 2001 to be science fiction but the powers of the monolith are at least as crazy and unexplained as what the Jedi can do.

goatloveronMay 13, 2021

Almost all science fiction has some leap of imagination to make the story work. The Expanse tv show (and books) have the Epstein Drive and the protomolecule stuff. Obviously Star Trek is even more fantastical, so is Dune, or almost any space science fiction. Maybe Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars is an exception (one has to assume fully terraforming Mars in a couple centuries is in fact doable), but there's no movie or tv show for those books.
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