- 2018 Goal: 25 BOOKS
- 2018 Actual: 27 BOOKS
Books I read in 2018:
- (6) How Children Learn – John Holt (This was more personalized and less clinical than I thought it would be. Falls into the schlock category a bit too much. Too many anecdotes?)
- (7) Kubernetes: Up and Running: Dive into the Future of Infrastructure – Kelsey Hightower, Brendan Burns, Joe Beda (Kelsey is k8s incarnate. I don’t think the format of this book transcends “informative” though; watch Kelsey present a talk though!)
- (6) Terraform: Up and Running: Writing Infrastructure as Code – Yevgeniy Brikman (“Informative”.)
- (7) Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment – Angela Davis (“Informative”. My stupid assumptions go unchallenged internally too much though and I need to keep challenging myself to face ugly truths.)
- (8) All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire – Jonathan Abrams (Love the series. Love the insights. Generally not a fan of interview-style books though.)
- (7) Practical Monitoring: Effective Strategies for the Real World – Mike Julian (“Informative”.)
- (10) The Kremlin’s Candidate: A Novel (The Red Sparrow Trilogy Book 3) – Jason Matthews (Like a fucking window into the nation’s political soul. Except in real life they succeeded.)
- (8) Effective Python: 59 Specific Ways to Write Better Python (Effective Software Development Series) – Brett Slatkin (“Informative”.)
- (10) Messing with the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News – Clint Watts (People like Clint are why I do what I do. Absolutely fantastic online tactical operations.)
- (8) Stairway to Badass: The Making and Remaking of Doom 2016 – David L. Craddock (DOOM culture was formative to my life, even if I never DOOM multi’d much. I loved the DOOM reboot.)
- (5) Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down – J.E. Gordon (Read this because Elon Musk had it on a list. “Informative” but I was not as interested in some of the details.)
- (6) Monitoring with Prometheus – James Turnbull (Not sure I was ready to read this yet and it didn’t address my use cases.)
- (10) The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age – David E. Sanger (Books like this are why you read journalism. I particularly liked the discussion of cyber policy, and the shout-out to my former classmate Pav.)
- (6) Bandwidth (An Analog Novel Book 1) – Eliot Peper (Recommended as similar to Daniel Suarez. It’s not.)
- (7) Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason – Alfie Kohn (Challenging assertions but I’m not going to stop telling my kid “good job!”)
- (8) Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks – Ken Jennings (A steward of trivia knowledge and this is an ode to maps. I love mapping and hope to return to working on Galapag.us.)
- (9) Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity – Kim Scott (A Silicon Valley meme at this point but damn, yeah, I need to speak bluntly more.)
- (9) Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life – Eric Klinenberg (Fantastic research on social infrastructure from an NYU prof. Concepts are research for Galapag.us to me.)
- (10) Scaling Teams: Strategies for Building Successful Teams and Organizations – Alexander Grosse, David Loftesness (Incredibly relevant book for scaling your company to the next level. Wrestling with this right now at work.)
- (7) It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work – Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson (The Basecamp folks definitely have carved out a niche for themselves. Gotta respect ’em.)
- (10) The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win – Gene Kim (Re-read. Treat your processes like a factory line. One of the most influential books I’ve ever read.)
- (7) The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever – Michael Bungay Stanier (Not as solid as Radical Candor or online 1:1 literature from people like Camille Fournier.)
- (8) How F*cked Up Is Your Management?: An uncomfortable conversation about modern leadership – Johnathan and Melissa Nightingale (Blunt, but not entirely relevant all the time, at least to me.)
- (6) Janesville – Amy Goldstein (Not typically my thing; creative narration about small-town America. Gives Paul Ryan a pass.)
- (10) Game Programming Patterns – Robert Nystrom (re-read; in my opinion, one of the best nuts and bolts coding books out there)
- (8) Product Roadmaps Relaunched: How to Set Direction While Embracing Uncertainty – Lombardo, McCarthy, Ryan, Connors (Very useful for figuring out how to structure roadmaps and OKRs.)
- (6) Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams – Banfield, Eriksson, Walkingshaw (Business cliches, mostly.)
I spent 2018 trying to learn as quickly as I could for new roles: father of a 1-2 year-old, an engineering lead and manager, and director of engineering needing to contribute to product vision and roadmaps.
As a result, my book-reading was oriented towards that. I ended up re-reading Phoenix Project and Game Programming Patterns; they’re just so, so good and so applicable.
I rated 6 of the 27 books as 10s. The number of women I read this year was extremely low, unfortunately. Books on tech continue to be lackluster, and I rely on a layered approach of reading dozens of articles in order to figure out how to use new technologies. Info ops and the reporting on them are out in the open now — it would have been hard to imagine that stuff maybe 5 years ago.
Next year I’m going to have another child in the apartment, but I think my contributions at work will begin to hit a good stride and hopefully my team will begin to unlock its force multiplication effects.
As a result I’m going to just re-use my goal for 2019 at 25 books again.
And once again, if you can suggest books written by good journalists, I’d love to hear about them!