A fortunate coincidence meant that the MIT Press Bookstore Loading Dock Sale took place on the same weekend as Startup School. When I say fortunate, I mean fortunate for the bookstore owners: I came out 10 books heavier and $60 lighter. These are the books I got suckered into buying:
As if this wasn't enough to make me wonder how much I would be paying in excess baggage fees, between visits to Borders and Barnes & Nobles in downtown Boston I still managed to buy another 3 books:
The Head First Design Patterns book is currently the best-selling item in the Amazon.com Java section. I already knew that the book was quite, errr, unorthodox, but I was surprised all the same when I saw how tall and thick it is. I was also a bit disappointed when I started leafing through it: it looks like a book written for teenagers. I bought it anyway, thanks to all the rave reviews, and when I started reading some of first chapters I actually found its irreverent style very effective. In spite of what all the funky graphics might imply, the book is packed with information AND very understandable. Another very accessible patterns book is "Design Patterns Explained", which I've lent to several people with good success.
As for the Martin Fowler book, it's brilliant, or rather, it's brilliantly simple. This is a must-have introduction and reference for people who want to get into Software Architecture. Its first 100 pages present in a very compact but readable form the major concepts and problems of enterprise application development. The remaining pages present a detailed catalog of mostly architecture patterns. Maybe I'm exagerating, but I think the book is worth the price just for the 100-page intro, which basically lays out a common language for discussing most important concepts, problems and solutions of software architecture. I wish I had this book a few years ago.