What book did you read in 2016 that was so good you gifted it to others?
The man gives some great insights and actionable advice on how to consistently get into the zone as a programmer and produce great work.
I’ve gifted it twice already.
The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Because a lot of people seem to be losing wonder and imagination.
Team of Teams
Fundamentally about being agile, adaptable, transparent, collaborative and decentralised. You could say it’s about digital transformation but on a military scale. An excellent companion to some other books mentioned here, such as Deep Work and Ego is the Enemy.
The Elements of Computing Systems
Leads you through implementing logic gates, a CPU, Assembler, right up to a functional computer, with the help of simulator software on a PC. Fascinating, but requires 100-200 hours to complete all the exercises.
Show Your Work!
A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
It changed my outlook on life.
Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal
The Power of Habit
A fantastic book on how habits shape individuals, organisations, populations, and how habits can be improved.
If you like thinking about how people think (and act), read this. I wish more books were this cleverly compact.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t
The no-BS storytelling guide you will actually want to read. Warning: may trigger your creativity beyond control.
An Officer and a Spy
This book captivated me, a great piece of fiction documenting the political scandal behind the Dreyfus Affair.
I Am Pilgrim
A bit like Bond/Bourne, nothing pretentious really just pure escapism.
How to Make Sense of Any Mess
The Elements of Typographic Style
On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
Probably the best book on writing I’ve read.
Grid Systems in Graphic Design
Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur
Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise
Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual
Great book on the highs and lows of the creative process, and how to keep your curiosity alive
Watching the English
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Design is a Job
In Pursuit of the Common Good
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
Reasons to Stay Alive
Steal like an Artist
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE
When Breath Becomes Air
A story about the meaning of life. Not sure how anyone can go through this and not cry.
An Empire of Wealth
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
The Pragmatic Programmer
I had a talented junior (in experience, not age) dev and gave them the book to help them level up in programming.
The Rosie Project
Easy to read novel about a man searching for a wife, as recommended on Bill Gates’ blog
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
The Underground History of American Education
In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin
An excellent history of diplomatic relations between the US and Germany leading up to WWII.
Stranger in a Strange Land
Excellent. I really appreciate Heinlein and I like his world view. Though I’ve never read the traditional “cut” version, I’ve talked with people who have read both and I’m sold on the unabridged version.
The Moral Underground: How Ordinary Americans Subvert an Unfair Economy
An incredible look into the lives of the working poor and what it actually means to try and get out of poverty in America. It’s a beautiful book.
Some amazing insights in AI, Augmented Reality, and a distributed manufacturing society.
The Cuckoo’s Egg
For those of you who don’t know, it’s a story about chasing down a hacker at the dawn of the computing era (mid 80s, AFAIK). It’s riveting, and absolutely true.
Infinite Jest: A Novel
The 20th anniversary of publication was celebrated this year.
I also gifted this one this year. And also apologized to the person I gave it to…
How to keep your ideas flowing, and a peek inside one of the best creative companies.
Posted to: Life