Book Watch Archive

Book Watch is I Programmer's listing of new books and is compiled using publishers' publicity material. It is not to be read as a review where we provide an independent assessment. Some, but by no means all, of the books in Book Watch are eventually reviewed.

Click on the title (in blue) for more information on any book.



Foundations of Deep Reinforcement Learning (Addison-Wesley)
Wednesday, 30 September 2020

In the past decade deep reinforcement learning (RL) has achieved remarkable results on a range of problems, from single and multiplayer games–such as Go, Atari games, and DotA 2–to robotics. This book, subtitled "Theory and Practice in Python", is an introduction to deep RL that combines both theory and implementation. Laura Graesser and Wah Loon Keng start with intuition, then explain the theory of deep RL algorithms, discusse implementations in its companion software library SLM Lab, and finish with the practical details of getting deep RL to work.


JavaScript Absolute Beginner's Guide 2nd Ed (Que)
Monday, 28 September 2020

This book aims to help people make the most of JavaScript -- even if they've never programmed anything before. Kirupa Chinnathambi covers JavaScript and how to use it together with CSS3 and HTML5 to create powerful web and mobile experiences.


The Read Aloud Cloud (Wiley)
Friday, 25 September 2020

This book of cartoons and rhymes, subtitled "An Innocent's Guide to the Tech Inside" aims to explain cloud computing for non-techies in an amusing way. Forrest Brazeal, creator of the popular "FaaS and Furious" webcomic, takes his readers on a tour through the past, present and future of cloud computing, from mainframes to serverless and from the Internet of Things to artificial intelligence. In Brazeal's world, cloud computing space is a jungle filled with prehistoric beasts, while a data breach looks like a neo-noir nightmare full of turned-up coat collars and rain-soaked alleys.


Modern Fortran Explained 5th Ed (Oxford University Press)
Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Written by Michael Metcalf, John Reid and Malcolm Cohen, all leading experts in the field, two of whom have actively contributed to Fortran 2018, this is a complete and authoritative description of Fortran in its latest form. It is intended for new and existing users of the language, and for all those involved in scientific and numerical computing. Four new chapters describe the additional features of Fortran 2018, with its enhancements to coarrays for parallel programming, interoperability with C, IEEE arithmetic, and various other improvements.


Modern C++ Programming Cookbook 2nd Ed (Packt)
Monday, 21 September 2020

This updated second edition addresses the latest features of C++20, such as modules, concepts, coroutines, and the many additions to the standard library, including ranges and text formatting. Marius Bancila organizes the book in practical recipes covering a wide range of problems faced by modern developers. The book also delves into the details of all the core concepts in modern C++ programming, such as functions and classes, iterators and algorithms, streams and the file system, threading and concurrency, smart pointers and move semantics, and many others.


Elements of Game Design (MIT Press)
Friday, 18 September 2020

This textbook by well-known game designer Robert Zubek introduces the basics of game design, covering tools and techniques used by practitioners in commercial game production. It presents a model for analyzing game design in terms of three interconnected levels—mechanics and systems, gameplay, and player experience. The book explains how novice game designers can use these three levels as a framework to guide their design process. It emphasizes models and vocabulary used in industry practice and focuses on the design of games as dynamic systems of gameplay.


Quantum Computing (Pragmatic Bookshelf)
Wednesday, 16 September 2020

With the subtitle "Program Next-Gen Computers for Hard, Real-World Applications", This book explains how quantum computing works, and shows how to write programs that run on the IBM Q quantum computer. Author Nihal Mehta shows how to introduce quantum effects in your programs, and how to apply quantum algorithms to solve real world problems. The book also looks at how to identify problems suitable for quantum computers, and how to interface with a quantum computer from within applications.


Tiny Python Projects (Manning)
Monday, 14 September 2020

This book aims to teach Python through the creation of 22 bitesize programs. In each tiny project author Ken Youens-Clark teaches a new programming concept, from the basics of lists and strings right through to regular expressions and randomness.The activities in this book teach Python fundamentals through puzzles and games. Youens-Clark aims to entertain while teaching elements such as text manipulation, basic algorithms, and lists and dictionaries.


Sid Meier's Memoir (W. W. Norton)
Friday, 11 September 2020

Over his four-decade career, Sid Meier has produced some of the world’s most popular video games, including Sid Meier’s Civilization, which has sold more than 51 million units worldwide and accumulated more than one billion hours of play. His book, subtitled "A Life in Computer Games", is the story of an obsessive young computer enthusiast who helped launch a multibillion-dollar industry. Writing with warmth and ironic humor, Meier describes the genesis of his influential studio, MicroProse, founded in 1982 after a trip to a Las Vegas arcade, and recounts the development of landmark games, from vintage classics like Pirates! and Railroad Tycoon, to Civilization and beyond.


Learning C# by Developing Games with Unity 2020, 5th Ed (Packt)
Wednesday, 09 September 2020

With the strap line, "An enjoyable and intuitive approach to getting started with C# programming and Unity", this book is an updated edition in which Harrison Ferrone demonstrates C# programming from the ground up without complex jargon or unclear programming logic, while building a simple game with Unity. This fifth edition has been updated to introduce modern C# features with the latest version of the Unity game engine, and a new chapter has been added on intermediate collection types.


SQL, 4th Ed (In Easy Steps)
Monday, 07 September 2020

This book makes no assumption that you will have previous knowledge of any programming or scripting language and is aimed at the newcomer to SQL. In each chapter, Mike McGrath builds your knowledge of executing database queries, and by the end of the book shows how to write your own SQL scripts to insert, extract, and manipulate data. The examples are based on MySQL, and the book begins by explaining how to download and install the MySQL database server on Windows and Linux.


Burn-In (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Friday, 04 September 2020
In this 'technothriller' fiction book, an FBI agent hunts a new kind of terrorist through a Washington, DC, of the future. Authors P. W. Singer and  August Cole combine fiction with a fact-based tour of tomorrow. The book is set in a future America on the brink of a revolution, one both technological and political. The science fiction of AI and robotics has finally come true, but millions are angry and fearful that the future has left them behind.



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