David Neto's Books Page

Updated July 23, 1997
New(July 23, 1997) New reviews, added quote
New(May 25, 1997) Reviews for a few new books, mention Media Encore, and Edwards Bookstores is out of business.
New(April 24, 1997) This is a non-commercial site.
New(April 7, 1997) Added structure to and updated upcoming reviews page.



Quote of the page:
There's more to life than books, you know
But not much more
-- ``Handsome Devil'', The Smiths, 1984
I'm into politics, policy, science, science fiction, self-organizing systems and chaos, some spy novels, and American history from Franklin Roosevelt to the present, among other things. I've noticed myself moving away from fiction and migrating towards reading about timely topics like urban planning and political and ethical philosophy. Maybe I'm just getting old and informed.

It takes me a while to read a book, but I revel in it. It's one of my hobbies, and sometimes I wish I devoted more time to it. It sure beats watching Roseanne.


The following pages give you some idea of what I recommend, what I've read recently, and what I plan to read.

Tips on reading

Some people have wondered how I manage to read as much as I do. The trick is to read one book at a time. It works. The other trick is that I have a half hour streetcar commute between home and school; that's a precious hour a day of reading time. It's a good thing Toronto has a good transit system...

Buying books

Book sales

I get many of my books at book sales. That's the only way I could afford all these books on a student's budget.

I enjoy wandering around and scanning the remainders tables at book stores. But there's no substituting a good annual sale. Here's a listing of a few that I'm in the habit of visiting. Naturally, these are all in the Toronto area.

Book stores

Aside from the above, I regularly shop at the University of Toronto Bookstore. They have an excellent selection of computer books. It's where I get the The Linux Journal and occasionally WEBSmith magazine.

I also regularly visit Media Encore in the Beach, about 3 blocks east of Woodbine on Queen. It's spacious, bright, and has decent turnover and a good selection. They also offer used CDs.

If you're in Victoria B.C., then go to Victoria's finest bookstore, Bolen Books. Visit my friend Richard Alsen who works there; he'll probably be in the sci-fi section. Then take his recommendations -- they're good.

Looking for online bookstores? Take a look at Yahoo's listing for book companies.

This is a non-commercial site

On August 16, 1996 I received mail from someone at Amazon.Com Books, an online bookstore, asking me to become an Amazon.Com associate. Basically, I would review books and then provide a link of any book I recommend to that book's listing at the Amazon site. I'd get paid a referral fee of 8% for any that are purchased this way.

Update (April 24, 1997): I received mail from Book Express asking me to do the same for them. It's a 10% commission, and more.

I do this stuff for fun, not for profit. So I'm not going to commercialize my site in this way. Besides, my account is provided by a university for educational purposes. It's against the spirit and letter of the rules. However, I won't think twice about becoming a referral site once I get a private account. (Yeah, I may be giving them business for free right now by including their links, but I don't care: it's small potatos. Besides, you should support your local bookstore anyway, if you have one.)

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