Associated with Apart from those hobbies which made it to a separate page - Programming and Spaceflight - I'm a reading quite a lot. All of the books listed here (and some on the other pages, too) are linked directly to the order section of and will give me a little extra money if you order them via these links.

Mostly I read book form of the hard Science Fiction genre, that means SF which has a big scientific basis. The most prominent authors of the genre are the late Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and, to name a younger one, Greg Egan. I like especially Egan's short stories like those collected in Axiomatic.
Currently reading:
Refactoring by Martin Fowler
1 edition (August 1999), Addison Wesley, ISBN 0201485672
A very helpful description of strategies how to clean up existing code and make it possible to add more functionality. It thus gives lots of examples on how to make use of the design patterns, but while that book is very theoretical this one is much more useful for the daily programming chores.
Recently read:
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Reissue edition (March 1997), Bantam Books, ISBN 0553577123
This book is a must-read for every german (but of cause also for everyone else), as it gives the nazi crimes against the jews a much more personal view then history books can do - the young girl experiencing more and more harassments by the german occupation, and finally taking refuge with her family in a small house in Amsterdam for the next years; but then they got discovered and Anne Frank died in the concentration camp. See the Anne Frank House for more.
Fermat's last theorem by Simon Singh
(September 1998), Bantam Books, ISBN 0385493622
When Fermats last theorem was finally proofed to be correct after more then three hundred years it had been quite a media fuzz - but Simon Singh tells the whole story, from the first greek mathematics, the life and the person of Fermat, all the fruitless attempts to solve this miracle, and the developements of the bases for the proof. Normally math books are very hard to read, but this one isn't - but of course it does not give the real proof itself, that would be very very hard to read...
Night Comes to the Cretaceous: Comets, Craters, Controversy, and the Last Days of the Dinosaurs by James Lawrence Powell
1 edition (September 1999), Harvest Books, ISBN 0156007037
The death of the dinosaurs is such a popular topic, this book not only tells the story of how they dies, but much more important how the theory of a asteroid killing them was developed, how it fought for acceptancy amoung the established scientist, and also the extensions of this theory that all the mass killings observed by paleontologists may be related to extraterrestial origin.
The Age of Spiritual Machines : When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil
January 2000, Penguin, ISBN 0140282025
The speed of the developments of electronics and computers is getting faster and faster, but will this exponetial growth trend continue in the future, and what will be the consequences for our daily life. Starting from the near future of real translating machines (the Babelfish is just the laughable low-end of currently available things), more and more real virtual reality, and in some more decade when the calculating power of computers exceeds the brain things like artificial persons, uploading ourselves into a computer and so on will be possible. The ethical and spiritual consequences of this are also discussed.
Next books to read

by Bill McGuire

Tuesdays with Morrie
by Mitch Albom

by Ben Bova


But of course the best Science Fiction ever written is the Hitchhikers Guide through the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, which begins with the following lines...

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.
Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea

So of you don't know the answer to the great question of life, the universe and everything yet you have to read this trilogy with four volumes in five books, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life, the Universe and Everything, So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish, Mostly harmless.


What can one do better while reading books than listening to good music? My musical taste is rather wide-spread starting from classical music (e.g. the symphonic works of Jean Sibelius) via some Pop music to Rock music. Currently I like the female singer-songwriter most, but instead of boring you with naming all those artist in my CD collection here's just a small selection of links to official or fan pages I can recommend. And of course I must mention my favourite radio show here, the Bob Harris Show on BFBS. I discovered several rather unknown artists via this show as well as just enjoy Bob's mix of music each Sunday afternoon. Sadly BFBS canceled it , so now only chance to listen to him is the internet broadcast of BBC Radio 2.


Traveling around the world is also great fun for me, especially to places which have both great landscape and nature as well as historic or important buildings. I have several albums online with the photos I made during my trips, so if you like to watch the vacation photos of others you can have a look.
Florida, USA April, 7th to 20th, 1998 Key West, Everglades National Park, Ft. Myers, Naples, St. Petersburg, Kennedy Space Center, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale
Washington DC, USA April, 10th till May 1st, 1999 Washington DC, Shenandoah National Park, Las Vegas
Georgia, USA March 15th to 25th, 2000 Macon, Okefenokee Swap, Savannah, Charleston, Ashville, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Huntsville, Chattanooga, Atlanta
London, UK June 1st to 4th, 2000
Thailand October 21st till November 4th, 2000 Bangkok, River Kwai, Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai
Thailand March 31st till April 16th, 2001 Bangkok, Trang, Andaman Sea, Phuket

Last changed 2001-06-30