Some More Books I Read in 2016

When I started the year I had a goal that I would write a blurb about each book I finished this year however I’ve fallen way behind in the writing piece. As a form of catch-up (read as cheating), I’m going to quickly recap the books I’ve read since The Power Of Habit.

  • Born To Run – A great read while I trained for my first half marathon. I always enjoy reading about forgotten knowledge and for running long distances we’ve certainly forgotten more than we know Today.
  • Domain Driven Design Distilled – If you are building software applications, domain driven design is an approach to wrangling complex business logic by structuring your applications as your users will think and speak of them. This book and others will help you work through the brainstorming process for that as well some design patterns like CQRS and Event sourcing to aid in communicating changes in your domain driven services.
  • Food a love story – Jim Gaffigan writing about food, it is great.
  • Infrastructure as code – You’ll be inspired to rewrite your entire infrastructure so it’s not a set of hand-rolled fragile pets but an automated, repeatable, scalable infrastructure made of ready to kill at any moment servers.
  • Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble- A man in his 50s joins Hubspot and hilarity ensues. Of course about half through the book things take a dark turn. A great read for anyone who has worked at a start up and thinks sometimes that you are all going nuts.
  • Packing for Mars – An adventure of all of the weird stuff about going to space (how do they determine who has “the right stuff”?), floating in space (has anyone ever had sex in there?) and how we’ll ever colonize space (It’s probably like locking people in a space capsule on earth for months at a time… let’s see how that goes)
  • American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford –Alan Mulally took a company that by all rights should have been dead and rebuilt it by getting people to work with each other, focusing the product line, and solving problems of quality above all else.
  • The Psychopath Test – There is a test that professionals use to determine if someone is a psychopath. Jon Ronson explores whether he can learn to identify psychopaths by learning the test and finds out a lot about crazy people along the way.
  • The Etymologicon – My favorite feature of google is asking <WORD> etymology. This was basically 7 hours of that but a constant flow of words, it was so much fun.
  • Grunt – Military science rarely gets covered in the news, this was a fun way to learn about it. I saw Mary Roach speak about this book when it came out, she said she focused on the human stories and innovations that are largely ignored,
  • Omnivore’s Dilemma – It’s tough being humans. We  are making complicated trade-offs – organic, local, slow, fast, …whatever the trend, none of them are silver bullets and this book covers a lot of these trade-offs.
  • Sienfeldia- I’m a big Seinfeld fan and to hear all about how the ideas and stories came to light is fascinating. Can you imagine where we would all be without the big salad, yadda yadda yadda and the contest? Probably the darkest timeline.
  • Shoe dog- I didn’t know the story of Nike. To hear about the giant risks they took to create one of the largest shoe companies and one of the most recognizable brands of all time is a ton of fun. Reading this book after Born To Run was great as well because you can see how early Nike design decisions influenced the shoe industry that may lead to a backlash that turns into the barefoot running movement.
  • Spook – I’m clearly a fan of Roach’s writing – while this wasn’t my favorite of her works it’s still a good time to explore what happens after we die. Roach doesn’t pull punches as she explores reincarnation, people who communicate with the dead and even stories about past popes.
  • American nations a history of the eleven rival regional cultures of North America – This was probably the one book I read this summer where I couldn’t stop talking about it. “And see the nations have never got along it was just these 3 events where we pretended to” or “Can you believe that people from the Appalachian states have made up the most of our military since the revolution but only account for a small piece of our population?”  is how I annoyed Sara every time I put down the book. When I finished the book I was amazed because the first article I read was about the prison sentences being widely different county to county. You can read the full article here, but the map of where the harshest prison sentences aren’t red states and blue states but almost an exact map of the “Borderland” states.
  • The Phoenix project – A fictional book about DevOps, what will they think of next. But you know what despite the deus ex machina up the wazoo – oh how convenient that the factory down the street has the exact same problem as our infrastructure team! – it was fun to see XP principles and DevOps applied and how it can transform an organization.
  • Notorious RBG – Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s journey to the Supreme Court and her impact on the court is inspiring. While the author tends to float into meme-heavy pieces about how cool RBG is, it was still a great story about a woman who has been steadfast in her fight to make our nation into a more perfect union.
  • The Ego Is the Enemy – Ryan Holiday goes deep throughout history and does a fantastic job finding examples where ego ruined a successful person. As much as we love Kanye, in looking at the data he is the exception not the rule.
  • Harry Potter and The Cursed Child – We’re going to see the plan in London next fall and after reading through the play, I can’t wait to see it on stage.


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