Self-improvement, or a quest for Shoshin

My plans for graduate studies have been pushed-back for another year, but I’ve decided to not waste any time either. In the coming year, I want to learn about as many new things as I can.

I just ordered a few books from—which is, by the way, fast becoming my favourite Indian book store—and for a change, these are non-fiction. I think this will be the first non-fiction books I read in over a year:

  1. The Pragmatic Programmer has been on my wishlist for years, and shouldn’t need introduction. From what I hear, it’s must-read material for any professional programmer, and it’s about time I read it myself.

  2. Programming Pearls is an old gem. I hear it’s as much fun to read as ‘The Little Schemer’—even if this is half true, it’s worth a buy.

  3. Design of the Unix Operating System is another old book that I think is still relevant. Unix has a beautiful design, and a Linux user like me should be able to appreciate it (I think).

  4. Reminiscences Of A Stock Operator is the only book on the list not related to computers. I come from a family of investment and finance nuts, and at times, feel left out because I don’t really ‘get’ the stock market. This is another classic (published in 1923!), and does not really explain how the modern markets work. But from the reviews, I expect that it’s still relevant. If nothing else, it’ll provide a great historical perspective.

I guess I plan to read around 2-3 such ‘educational’ books a month, my tentative target is 30 books by end of 2010. I don’t want to just read about programming though, as I’m interested in lots of subjects. The object of this exercise if to get into a state of beginner’s mind, and see where it leads me.

Any recommendations, for any topic, are most welcome!