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Stung Eye

The eye of the bee holder.

Reading and Listening in 2020

I read 22 books last year. Three were read on my new e-reader, the rest were deadtree format. Fourteen of them were fiction. Eight were non-fiction. I continued to read to the girls almost every night. Normally my bus commute allows for my reading and podcast habit. In 2020 my reading shifted into bed before sleep. Podcasts shifted to running and cooking. 2020 was also the year the fam truely took over my Spotify account. The algorithms are confused.

Where 2019 was all re-reads, 2020 included one re-read, a bunch of sci-fi (as per usual), and a number of math and coding tomes.

Fiction in 2020

Top Three Fiction Books in 2020

The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman

“The pleasure of knowing secrets was doubled by telling them.”

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

“There was a door, but it was terribly bashful, so Auri politely pretended not to see it.”

Rebel Angels by Robertson Davies

“Universities cannot be more universal than the people who teach, and the people who learn, within their walls.”

Non-Fiction in 2020

Top Three Non-Fiction in 2020

How to Solve It by George Pólya

“Solving problems is a practical skill like, let us say, swimming. We acquire any practical skill by imitation and practice. Trying to swim, you imitate what other people do with their hands and feet to keep their heads above water and, finally, you learn to swim by practicing swimming. Trying to solve problems, you have to observe and imitate what other people do when solving problems and, finally, you learn to do problems by doing them.”

Burn Math Class by Jason Wilkes

“Forget everything you’ve been told about math. Forget all those silly formulas you’ve ever been told to memorize. Make a little room in your head with clean white walls and no math. Without leaving that room, let’s reinvent mathematics for ourselves.”

A Tour of C++ - Bjarne Stroustrup

“Think of [this book as a] short sightseeing tour of a city. […] You do not know the city after such a tour. You do not understand all you have seen and heard. To really know a city, you have to live in it, often for years. […] After the tour, the real exploration can begin.”

Family Books in 2020

The library was closed for much of 2020 so our picture book consumption plummeted. We still managed 40 picture books, two Nancy Clancy chapter books, one Harry Potter, and far too many garfield comic strips. Jelani Memory’s A Kids Book About Racism gave us the words to talk through the racism the girls have no doubt already noticed in the world.

Podcasts in 2020

The plan for 2019 was to pare down my podcasts, but in 2020 my show count balloned from 20 to 28. To keep up, I’m no longer an every-show-completionist.

New Podcasts: Front Burner, Nice Games Club, Game Dev Advice, CBC Spark, CppCast, CppChat, Lex Fridman, Pitchfork Review, Gameplay

Podcasts that continue to be in rotation:

CBC Ideas, Commons, Greater than Code, Hanselminutes, Invisibilia, Javascript Jabber, Long Now Seminars, Overdue, Philosophize This!, Philosophy Bites, Reply All, Song Exploder, Syntax, The Bike Shed, The Public Philosopher, The Ruby Rogues, The Tim Ferriss Show, Think Again, This American Life

Top Three Podcasts in 2020

Lex Fridman

Machine-learning researcher does long-form interviews about the nature of intelligence, consciousness, love, and power.

Way more than three favourite episodes:

Front Burner and Spark from CBC

Front Burner is a short daily news podcast, while Spark is a weekly look at how technology, innovation and design affects our lives. I don’t listen to every episode, but Jayme Poisson and Nora Young are there when I need a news and culture explainer.

Instead of picking fav episodes, I suggest you cherry pick the topics that stand out to you.

Nice Games Club

A show where nice gamedevs talk gaming and game development. A lovely show with a thoughtful group of friends.

Navigate the 200 plus episodes by topic.

Number of books read each year from 2011 to 2020.

Past yearly overviews: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011.