Selected Book List

This list is by no means an exhaustive accounting of the books I've read/owned. I have a LibraryThing account for that. It is more a list of books relevant to my research or otherwise something that engages me and makes me think. (Books on top are the most recent.)
  1. Principles of Language Learning and Teaching by H. Dougals Brown
    This book is the second one I ordered recently to help me start understanding the current state of language learning research. Although I would like to focus my research more on the advantages of mobile devices in language learning, I still want a background in language learning principles to help define the method of teaching.
  2. How Languages are Learned by Patsy M. Lightbown and Nina Spada
    This book was excellent at delineating the differences between a child learning a first language and learning a second language. It also gives some helpful information on how to analyze the language produced by a language learner.
  3. Deaf in America by Carol Padden and Tom Humphries
    I picked this book as part of my personal reading list for my qualifiers. It is more experiential in nature which is excellent as I start my research on technologies for the Deaf community. I found the section on the meaning of sound for those who are hearing impaired very compelling. Even though they cannot hear themselves. Deaf individuals become painfully aware of the existence of sound from trying to cope in the hearing world.
  4. SPSS Survival Manual (3rd Edition) by Julie Pallant
    I took a statistics class from the Psychology department and finally feel like I understand how and when to use what statistical test. This book has a really good table that shows you the parametric and non-parametric tests to use based on the type of data you have and the research question you are trying to answer. I've been recommending it to all of my lab mates. Somehow I've become the lab expert on stats.
  5. Creating a Web Site with Flash CS3 Professional by David Morris
    My research project uses flash, but the architecture of the site was already set. And its done completely in ActionScript. My mini-project for 7001 also involves Flash. I decided I needed to learn a bit on how to design a Flash site the correct way. It's a nice book because it doesn't give me too much useless information.
  6. Virtual Reality by Howard Reingold
    I found this on a VRAC bookshelf and it looked interesting. Its fun reading about the origins of VR and some earlier systems and seeing how far the technology has come. It is easy to become cynical about VR when you do research related to it. This book brings perspective and makes the field exciting again. Even if it is well over a decade old.
  7. About Face 2.0: The Essentials of Interaction Design by Alan Cooper and Robert M. Reimann
    Ok, something tells me I'm not going to finish this one all in one sitting. Probably because its as big as a textbook. I read The Inmates are Running the Asylum (also by Cooper) and enjoyed it. Robert Reimann is also a frequent poster in some of the mailing lists that I'm on. I figured this would be a worthwhile book to read.
  8. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
    I last read this book in 10th grade. It can best be described as Michener-ian in scope. The story talks about the building of a cathedral as the gothic architectural style rose to popularity (well more about the people involved in the creation but it does have some interesting architecture talk). I haven't read a book of such epic scope in a while, so here's hoping I finish it.
  9. The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett
    I wish I had read this book before I read Don't Me Think because it seems to be more of a general knowledge book. I do like the different planes as well as how he divides the planes up among Interaction Design, Information Architecture, Interface Design, and so on.
  10. The Safe-Keeper's Secret by Sharon Shinn
    After having read so many serious books in a row, its time to read something fun. Sharon Shinn's books tend to blend fantasy and science fiction, but this one seems to be strictly fantasy. So far, I still like Summers at Castle Auburn and Jenna Starborn better.
  11. Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (2nd Edition) by Steve Krug--Although expensive, this book was definitely worth the read. I especially enjoyed the chapters on "down-and- dirty" usability testing. Krug writes that its better to do limited user testing, than no testing at all, so he gives advice on how to get the most out of it. There was definitely lots of food for thought with regards to my web site redesign.
  12. Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing by Jane Margolis and Allan Fisher--When I thought I was working on the other project, I discovered this book during my literature search. This book touched close to home in many cases. The book came out of a 4-year qualitative study at Carnegie Mellon. When I was reading this book, I asked my mother which side of the master bedroom had the computer when I was growing up. According to this book the fact that it was located on my mom's side of the bed (because there was room on that side) was a factor in increasing my comfort with the computer. (Not that I really believe this.) It was interesting to read stories similar to my own, but I don't know what kind of conclusions can really be drawn from them.
  13. On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins --Hawkins is the first person with a computer science-typed background I've read who actually starts with the premise that Searle's Chinese Room argument is correct. He rejects AI and neural networks as methods for creating intelligent machines. So far, he suggests that the brain doesn't do algorithms, it retrieves the information from memory.
  14. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell--Gladwell describes different trends and the type of people who were necessary to cause these trends to become "epidemics". I read this book because it seems like everywhere I turn people are mentioning it. It definitely has interesting implications for marketing.
  15. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir by Bill Bryson--When I started reading this book, I started feeling jealous for not being able to grow up in the 50's. By the end of the book, I was glad not to have. I've read a lot of Bryson's books that are made even funnier now that I live in Iowa.
  16. The Science Question in Feminism by Sandra G. Harding-- I read this book in preparation for a project I was going to work on. I reject a lot of ideas from this book as being unproductive. One interesting thing I discovered and realized reading this book is that even science has underlying assumptions that make it skewed towards one way of viewing the world
  17. Qualitative Research for Education: An Introduction to Theories and Methods by Robert C. Bogdan and Sari Knopp Biklen--This is a textbook that describes how to pick and carry out a qualitative research study.