April to June 2016

Night at the Crossroads by Georges Simenon

Inspector Maigret #6. Maigret investigates a murder at the remote Three Widows crossroads.

The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien by Georges Simenon

Inspector Maigret #3. Maigret travels from Paris to Leige to solve the mystery of a suicide which seems only to be about a suitcase containing an old suit.

Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger

Read for the second time as I prepared to run Manchester in April, the Pfitzinger plan is now a key part of my yearly training. For now I’ve only done the lowest mileage (80 km per week) of the brutal training regimes, but even that moved my distance running on massively.

Along with the weekly plans, the chapters on physiology at the start helped me to understand how each of the many track sessions, intervals and long weekend runs develop $\mathrm{max(\dot{V}O_2)}$, lactate threshold and glycogen storage on the way to race fitness.

High Quality Software Engineering by David Drysdale

Lessons from the Six-Nines World. This free book available from Drysdale’s homepage drew me in with the perspective offered in that subhead — six-nines meaning 99.9999% uptime, or 31 seconds downtime per year. It covers the main areas of software engineering: design, coding, reviews and testing, and declares three themes: ‘maintainability’, ‘knowing reasons why’ and ‘developing developers’.

For me the most useful sections were on designing for scale and reliability and on testing strategies. Not so useful were those on project management, which felt dated. The list of technical fundamentals near the back will serve as a good to-do list for me.