What a n00b!

2015 Reading List - Part 1

Inspired by other folks posting reading lists and wanting to start writing again, I've decided to start compiling my list of books read and post them periodically. So far this is the list I've recorded for the first half of 2015. Since I didn't start recording the books I read until recently, this list is only the highlights (and lowlights) that I can remember.

  • How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie - This one is a classic in the self-help genre. The book was less about winning friends as the title suggests, and more about influence and getting along with strangers. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who struggles with conflicts and affecting behavior from others.

  • How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams - Yes, that's the same Scott Adams of Dilbert fame. His storytelling is amazing and this book has actually had a major impact on my year. Specifically, his generic life advice - diet, exercise, and "using systems not goals" - has helped me quite a bit since I read the book. Not bad for a book by a guy that creates comics for a living.

  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain - This one was recommended at a local tech Meetup, so I decided to check it out from the library. As someone who considers himself an introvert, it was eye-opening to read examples of how my world experiences are vastly different from others with less of this trait. Definitely worth a read, whether you consider yourself introverted or not. I did skip over a bit of the first section of the book as it got a bit repetitive to me while describing all the reasons that it's an "extroverted world".

  • Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager by Michael Lopp - This book has been on my shelf for a while. I don't even remember where or why I picked it up. Since I recently became a manager (again), I figured now was as good a time as any to finally read it. A pretty generic read about managing software developers, covered quite a few topics that I didn't think about as someone who went from being an engineer to manager without a lot of formal training.

  • Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck--Why Some Thrive Despite Them All by Jim Collins - I've read a lot of the other popular books by Collins (Good to Great, Built to Last, How the Mighty Fall) and this one definitely didn't disappoint. None of the concepts about "greatness" and achivement introduced are new, but reiterating each of the concepts in the compilation and reinforcing their importance was good stuff.

  • Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek - I read this one immediately following Great By Choice which was kind of interesting since several of the companies studied are the exact same ones. The two authors came to slightly different conclusions about what made those companies great (though not necessarily competing), which is expected since there's really not one solution for being "great". The book was a bit repetitive, but perhaps my perspective was skewed by reading a book on a similar topic so close together.

  • The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M Goldratt and Jeff Cox - I really enjoy a well-done education fiction book, and The Goal definitely fits into that category. This fictional book is used to provide an introduction to the lean manufacturing techniques and does so in a really easy-to-read way.

  • Rework by Jason Fried - This book is a collection of essays from 37 Signals capturing lessons learned while building their business. It's been on my list of books to read for a while and was a bit disappointed at the lack of depth.

That's it for now. Hopefully a longer list for the second half of 2015 since I've started to record which books I read in a consistent place.


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