== Zhuo Hong Wei's Blog ==
Any and everything

The Books That Remained

Recently I have been going through my nth decluttering process. Part of that includes giving, selling or throwing away books that I no longer read. And I realized that some of these books have stood the test of time and continues to “spark joy”. After multiple rounds of decluttering, they are still on my shelves. So I decided to write a post about them and why they are worth reading and re-reading.

The C Programming Language

This book by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie doesn’t just cover the C programming langugae. It teaches the fundamentals of coding by writing command line utilities like wc and cat. From this book, I learnt how to order and arrange lines of code such that every line served its purpose and is only introduced when needed, creating clear and concise programs.

The Little Schemer

This book by Daniel P. Friedman and Matthias Felleisen is one unique programming book. The whole book is basically a large Q & A. Each page is divided into left and right columns. The left column houses the questions and the right column houses the answers. This book teaches the reader to think in lisp and adopt a recursive approach to problem solving.

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs.

I previously wrote about attempting to work through this book last year. This is definitely no walk in the park. The signal to noise ratio is very high for this book. It covers a lot of ground, and exposes the reader to some interesting concepts. Some examples include:

  • modelling classes with functions that takes symbol inputs that simulate different method calls
  • implementing lazy stream data structure (with ability to force evaluation)
  • writing simplified interpreters

I haven’t yet completed reading this book, currently at chapter 4.

Beating the Street

This is not a computing book. It’s an investing book written by Peter Lynch with John Rothchild. Despite being written more than 20 years ago, this is still a very relevant read. Peter Lynch writes about how he picks the companies to invest in. The text is a good dose of common sense (e.g., never invest in any idea you can’t illustrate with a crayon), with some specifics like what can be inferred from financial reports.