The Martian

The book is not for everyone, but science and engineering nerds would surely enjoy it. It tells the story of a botanist Mark Watney being stranded on mars and his journey to escape (or not :) the planet. He is doing all the weird crazy science and duct tape engineering to make his escape possible, fighting the odds of uncertainty on his way home.

The book's science seems to be error-less for a casual sci-fi lover. Engineering and stage setup for the books's action seems to be organized in such a way, the the action hero was supplied by all the necessary resources to make his escape only. There is a series of events which would almost kill Mark, bit now. And yes, there is always a workaround possible with only few resources brought to Mars with him. There are about 7 of them and I stopped trusting real-life positive outcome on about 3rd. Real-life entropy is much more unexpected and deadly. Mark had more odds to die from diarrhea than surviving all the mayhem he's being through.

Reading science and engineering is mostly joy. Although he ratio of science/action book's content is about 90/10 which makes it boring at times. You wish to move action forward while being  stuck with some crafting scenario.

If you like to know how to escape Mars with Duct tape and disco music, the book is for you.

Network Warrior, 2nd Edition

Dear networkers, The Network Warrior is the most naturally written book about networking. By far it's the only book written by human for humans. The rest are by nerds or teachers for: a -business people, b - nerds. When nerds or teachers hit these audiences, every engineer touched by the shock wave gets bored and falls asleep until the next attempt. This book is opposite. Author's language speaks instead of describing, wisdom comes from the author's stories, enlightenment follows as an aftershock. Moreover, the book is highly practical. I was 3 years in networking and saw stuff, but no any single written source had ever delivered so much wisdom to me popping numerous enlightenments on the way.

Needless to say, the book is highly practical. Network engineers got used to manuals, certification guides, RFCs and all other kinds of specifications and descriptions written in an emotionless mesmerising robot-like language. Network Warrior is different. It takes you through tasks, stories, applications, best practices, real world examples, all that multiplied by a talent of a high skilled speaker and a great teacher. You won't find any theory in the book, only practice, practice, practice, and the best practice.

The book is so amazingly better than any other network engineering manuscript out there that I wish every engineer gets hit with the author's energy stream and gets as passionate as the author is. Why do I wish so? Because I want every excited engineer out there to be inspirational. To create so much that creation won't be limited by a state of art network designs, but would fill the gazing gap of network engineering subculture with tons subcultural art, traditions, folklore.

CCNA Security Official Exam Certification Guide (Exam 640-553)

Book is good guide for CCNA security exam preparation. It introduces you into First and third parts are easily readable and perfectly understandable, second part is not. Second part is really bad - it covers basics of 5 unrelated topics and covers them poorly. However, I can not blame the book - most likely it's been dictated by exam topics.

Generally, the book is comprehensive guide for IINS exam preparation. I would recommend it to everybody who is willing to take the exam regardless of reader's background expertise. For ones, who does not want to take the exam, but wants to use it for self education, below is the list of topic and my opinion about their coverage level.

Book covers Well:
- Firewalls theory and technologies
- Cryptography technologies, hashing and PKI organization
- Network security attacks theory
- Switch port security and EAPOL

Book covers poorly:
- Endpoint security
- VPN tunnels
- SAN security
- VoIP security
- Firewall applications: Zone-based and CBAC