I like to read, and I learn better using books. This is why I always go through as many books as I can in a year. Goodreads keeps track for me, and in 2019, the tally was 43. Every year, I do an internal review of these books, but certain people convinced me just to post this. Here are my top picks!
I know, such a generic title. Basically, these are non-fiction books that I’ve used to extract learnings from and use in daily work or personal life.
- People Powered by Jono Bacon. I haven’t finished this one yet, but I cannot recommend it highly enough. Jono is a wizard with communities and understands the 2-way street it is. Looking forward to defining some community roadmaps in my current role.
- Deep Work by Cal Newport. I’m a big fan of closing yourself off for a few hours a day to do some deep work. This book explains why it is important, and has tips to take it even further.
- Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss. Massive book, as usual from Tim. There are a lot of interviews with unique people, answering questions around goals, routines, prioritising, etc. As there are 130+ interviews/opinions, take the answers and see how they fit in your own mind.
- Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman. How to rapidly scale a startup and achieve competitive advantage, while going through the stages of a company in rapid succession.
- The Unicorn Project by Gene Kim. The sequel to The Phoenix Project, and displaying the modern state of affairs in application development. In story-mode, Gene takes you through best practices in DevOps, and how they improve the business value. Entertaining, and subconsciously learning you a bunch!
- Hooked by Nir Eyal. Teaching you how to form a product around a habit, and how to change peoples’ habits. Threads a fine line between building something that people will like, and a bit manipulation, but so much truth and straight to the point tips, so, so much.
These are not directly related to my current life, and contain topics I’m curious about. Either that, or it’ll come in the future and I want to be prepared.
- Computing with Quantum Cats by John Gribbin. Quantum computing and its concepts 101, explained using cats.
- Machines that Think by New Scientist. Current, and future state of AI & ML. How it’s already working for you, and how we’ll work together in the future.
- Machine Learning by Ethem Alpaydin. The above book described use cases, this one actually goes into how ML works, and how to best feed it. Short and sweet, but it got me running some algorithms during & after reading it.
- What You Do Is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz. All about culture, and how to define it, by defining it, setting examples, and following through.
Loving all things space, these are some awesome space stories/opera’s. Just don’t take these too seriously and they will be enjoyable. 🙂
- Randomize by Andy Weir. Almost a very near-future prediction story about casinos’ using quantum computers, and a very cool way to game those systems.
- Black Star Renegades & We Are Mayhem is a series that feels like Star Wars. There’s an empire, there’s rebels, and there’s a “chosen one”. Fun reads.
- Starship Repo: Awesomely weird assemble of space creatures that repossess space ships. Includes rival repo gang, and a boy band.
- Mechanical Failure, Communication Failure, and System Failure – Feels like Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, has a similar robot. Pirate turns Admiral. The stupidness of the situations and some characters makes it a lot of fun.
It’s good to get different perspectives by reading about other peoples lives’.
- Einstein by Walter Isaacson. While it explains the discoveries that Einstein made, it goes more into Einsteins life and how his mind worked.
- Alibaba by Duncan Clark. Amazing insight into how Jack Ma built and sustained Alibaba.
- Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. The birth story of Nike. I’m a sneaker fan, but this book made me a Phil Knight fan as well. The intricacies of licensing business is (or was, in the 70s) very strange. Also learn where the swoosh comes from. 😉