David Neto's Books Page
Updated July 23, 1997
New(July 23, 1997) New reviews, added quote
New(May 25, 1997) Reviews for a few new books, mention
Media Encore, and Edwards Bookstores is out of business.
New(April 24, 1997) This is a non-commercial site.
New(April 7, 1997) Added structure to and updated upcoming
Quote of the page:
There's more to life than books, you know
I'm into politics, policy, science, science fiction,
self-organizing systems and chaos,
some spy novels,
history from Franklin Roosevelt to the present, among other things.
I've noticed myself moving away from fiction and
migrating towards reading about timely topics
like urban planning and political and ethical philosophy.
Maybe I'm just getting old and informed.
But not much more
-- ``Handsome Devil'', The Smiths, 1984
It takes me a while to read
a book, but I revel in it.
It's one of my hobbies, and sometimes
I wish I devoted more time to it.
It sure beats watching Roseanne.
The following pages give you some idea of what I recommend,
what I've read recently,
and what I plan to read.
Some people have wondered how I manage to read as much as I do.
The trick is to
read one book at a time. It works. The other trick is that I
have a half hour streetcar commute between home and school; that's a
precious hour a day of reading time. It's a good thing Toronto has a
good transit system...
I get many of my books at book sales. That's the only way I could afford
all these books on a student's budget.
I enjoy wandering around and scanning the remainders tables at book stores.
But there's no substituting a good annual sale. Here's a listing of
a few that I'm in the habit of visiting. Naturally, these are all
in the Toronto area.
Aside from the above, I regularly shop at
of Toronto Bookstore. They have an excellent selection of computer books.
It's where I get the The Linux
Journal and occasionally
- Graduate Students' Union Booksale -- late April. All new
publisher's remainders and bookstore overstock.
There are many
academic titles here, including lots of political science, and some
on the philosophy of the physical sciences.
There used to be some decent computer science books,
that has faded fast in the last few years. There's also a good stock of
- University College Booksale -- autumn. All the books here
are donated by alumni. Many titles are out of date, but there are some
real gems to be found. (For example, I got
The Elements of Programming Style by Kernighan and Plauger for
$2!) Lots of history books, and a good selection of old science text
books. Some rare books.
- Trinitiy College Booksale -- autumn. Again all books are
donated. Lots of paperback fiction. Many literary titles, science fiction,
- Edward's Books and Art -- January 1. Some really good deals
on New Years Day. Unfortunately, they went out of business this January.
I also regularly visit Media Encore in the Beach, about 3 blocks east
of Woodbine on Queen. It's spacious, bright, and has decent turnover
and a good selection.
They also offer used CDs.
If you're in Victoria B.C., then go to Victoria's finest bookstore,
Bolen Books. Visit my friend Richard Alsen who works there; he'll
probably be in the sci-fi section. Then take his recommendations -- they're good.
Looking for online bookstores? Take a look at
listing for book companies.
On August 16, 1996 I received mail from someone at
Amazon.Com Books, an online
bookstore, asking me to become
Amazon.Com associate. Basically, I would review books and
then provide a link of any book I recommend to that book's listing at
the Amazon site. I'd get paid a referral fee of 8% for any that are purchased
Update (April 24, 1997):
I received mail from Book Express
asking me to do the same for them. It's a 10% commission, and more.
I do this stuff for fun, not for profit.
So I'm not going to commercialize my site in this way.
Besides, my account is provided by a university for educational purposes.
It's against the spirit and letter of the rules.
However, I won't think twice about becoming a referral site
once I get a private account.
(Yeah, I may be giving them business for free
right now by including their links, but I don't care: it's small potatos.
Besides, you should support your local bookstore anyway, if you have one.)
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