Books I will read, am reading or have read. This list starts around March 2015.
We are Legion
New Spring (Wheel of Time prequel)
City of Stairs
The Untethered Soul
Monster Hunter: Seige
Not the best Monster Hunter book but still entertaining.
Getting the Love You Want
Courtney and I read this together as a couples book club. I like the message that you are drawn to a partner who can help you heal your childhood wounds.
Morning Star (Red Rising - Book 3)
The conclusion to the trilogy was fantastic. There is a second trilogy coming out but I'm waiting to read that until it's out in it's entirety.
Golden Son (Red Rising - Book 2)
Almost as good as the first one. So good!
Red Rising (Red Rising - Book 1)
Super fast-paced and very gripping. Very Hunger Games-esque.
A Memory of Light (Wheel of Time 14 of 14)
I finally finished the Wheel of Time after 2 years and it was sooo worth it!
So You Want to Talk About Race
This was a really interesting book that we read for work. I'd never ready anything like it before and it was eye opening. It lays out a basic set of frameworks for how to think about race and racism which I hadn't realized I was even lacking.
Ellen Pao came by the Figma office for a fireside chat and that's when I decided to read this one. I didn't know much about her story but it was very interesting. It definitely motivated me to think about my role in diversity and inclusion in Silicon Valley.
Orbiting the Giant Hairball
This was a surprising book and I didn't realize what I was getting in to but I really liked it! His section on teasing really resonated with me.
I'm a big fan of attachment theory but this book was not written for me. It's pretty much specifically for anxiously attached women.
Notes on the Synthesis of Form
Precursor to the gang of four classic book. This was very pleasingly rigorous.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
I find it really useful to continually remind myself to frame situations as changable. In particular, I enjoyed that part of the book that explains how a fixed mindset can lead to rushing work to get it done quickly but ultimately result in compromised quality.
The Towers of Midnight (Wheel of Time 13 of 14) Getting closer to completing wheel of time!
The Gathering Storm (Wheel of Time 12 of 14)
Getting closer to completing wheel of time!
The Obstacle Is The Way
This was my second time reading this book. I really like reading it right when I get up in the morning in small snippets.
Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time 11 of 14)
This is awesome, the last of the books written by Robert Jordan.
This is a fantastic book. I love the examples of how to give and receive empathically. The important (and hard) part to keep in mind is that nonviolent communication is a practice and it's okay to slip. Over time we improve and it's the practice that is important.
The Four Tendencies
I enjoyed this book. I'm definitely the "Rebel". I really liked how loose the framework is because it makes it much more generally applicable. I love the use of the word 'Tendencies' instead of something like 'Categories' to demonstrate that peoples' behavor has trends but is not fixed.
I really enjoy these positive psychology books. Particularly I liked the tip about "power leading" to start a conversation on a positive note. I love when someone explains the mechanics behind a common part of human interaction.
I really enjoyed this book a lot. The first time I dove in, I had less of an opinion about how to manage a software team and didn't really like the book. Now I have a little bit more opinion and I found it way more interesting. Particularly the section on defensive management and team gel put to words something I'd been thinking about but couldn't capture.
A fast read both because it's short and because it's well laid out. I see myself checking in with this book regularly in the future.
Thinking Fast and Slow
I really enjoyed the section on humans vs econs. I also really enjoy how not-self-help it was. He just says "Here are some interesting facts about human nature. Do what you will with it."
How to Castrate a Bull
I enjoy the tech entrepenuer memoir genre and this was a great example. No strong key take away but I enjoyed reading it.
Crossroads of Twilight (Wheel of Time 10 of 14)
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy
I really enjoyed this book. I found Sheryl's story relatable and captivating.
I love the concept of looking at life as a game and totally enjoy all of the positive psychology research. For some reason, the book dragged on a bit for me though.
The Book of Joy
Archbishop Tutu and the Dalai Lama are not people I follow regularly but this was really inspiring.
Winter's Heart (Wheel of Time 9 of 14)
Awesome, this series is so good but sooo long.
The Happiness Project
Super interesting story. I really appreciate how deliberate Gretchen Rubin is about her life.
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
Interesting book about how creativity. One of those I read after Amazon recommended it a million times on the Audible store. Definitely better than I expected.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fck*
Totally a "Hoo-rah! Go get 'em!" pump up book. It was short enough that I could get through it and get the pump up before the author's writing style got too annoying.
Monster Hunter Memiors: Sinners
This series is definitely my guilty pleasure. Just dumb, action scifi.
How to Measure Anything
I loved this book. It got me so hopped up do more statistics and modelling. Math is cool. :)
My second time reading this book, this time as part of a reading group for work. Still highly recommended because it sparked a number of insightful conversations about the Candor product.
Make it Stick
Wish I'd read this book my freshman year of college. It takes so many concepts I vaguely learned through hard knocks in school and distills them down to clear and applicable rules for learning.
Influnce: The Psychology of Persuasion
Really interesting book about the field of influence and persuasion. Good stories although almost all geared towards avoiding getting hustled.
Path of Daggers (Wheel of Time 8 of 14)
Wonderful book for introspection on how we treat ourselves. Compassion is hard and sometimes self-compassion is the hardest.
A Crown of Swords (Wheel of Time 7 of 14)
When Coffee and Kale Compete
A book about the 'Jobs to be Done' framework for thinking about building products people use. It was pretty interesting for me as a beginner on the subject.
This book inspired a ton of the ways we think about developing product at Radical Candor. It's very straight forward and applicable.
I loved this book. The concept of ownership is critical to being an effective member of a team and the stories the authors tell are super engaging.
Monster Hunter Memiors
Really enjoy the Monster Hunter series. Just simple action sci-fi that's great when I'm jogging.
Care personally and challenge directly!
The Lord of Chaos (Wheel of Time 6 of 14)
Wired for Love
Super interesting book about different attachment styles in romantic relationships. Turns out the key is understanding your partner's style.
Interesting overview of how VCs think about investing in start ups. Got a bit into the weeds at times but interesting info. Not a light read.
The Like Switch
Fascinating book about how an FBI agent goes about gaining trust and building rapport with enemy spies to turn them into double agents. Tons of cool stories and generally applicable advise.
The Fires of Heaven (Wheel of Time 5 of 14)
The Obstacle Is The Way
Super motivational book and an interesting introduction to stoicism. I found it hard to read for long stretches because it motivated me so much to go work on other stuff.
The Founder's Dilemmas
I learned the difference between wealth motivated and control motivated founders. Really valuable framework for thinking about my decisions in relation to Selbi. This book was a slog. Lots of numbers and that author writes in long and complex sentances.
The Shadow Rising (Wheel of Time 4 of 14)
Massive awesome epic fantasy. I've been listening to these on Audible for months now and it almost feels like I'm tuning into the news at this point.
The Dragon Rebord (Wheel of Time 3 of 14)
Massive awesome epic fantasy.
The Great Hunt (Wheel of Time 2 of 14)
Massive awesome epic fantasy.
The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time 1 of 14)
Massive awesome epic fantasy.
Mistborn Secret History
Super cool and revealing story about Brandon Sanderson's cosmere. Explains so much about the interplay between the various worlds in the different series. Make sure you read it at the right place in the order though.
Super easy read (like 3 hours). Helped provide a good framework for thinking about equity as I start working on Selbi with Jordan.
To Sell is Human
I really appreciated the thesis of this book, particularly having worked as a manager (aka non-sales sales person). Really helpful rationalizing what can feel like manipulation.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Got bored of this one half way through. Most of the things she suggested didn't seem particularly novel although it was a little motivating. If I feel clutter creeping up I'll finish the book.
Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley
The annecdotal stories were captivating and I'd recommend it to anyone interested in reading the very open story of a start up. The book could have used another editorial pass and what could have been an easy read was tough to push through. The flow was a bit jumpy and Antonio clearly has a high opinion of his own wit.
Ego is the Enemy
Listened to it and it was over much sooner than I thought. Tons of good points made through out but I didn't get sucked in and would have a hard time drawing out the narrative arc of the book. Still I found each little segment enjoyable.
Matchmaker: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms
Pretty interesting book which introduced a decent amount of terminology related to multisided platforms. Would only recommend if you're interested in working in that space
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
Interesting book but a little to detailed for my taste. Valuable if you want to run a sprint and need actual detailed rules but less so if you're just looking for general inspiration.
Interesting to read a Heinlein fantasy novel (although spoiler alert it still felt a lot like SciFi). As usual the book weaves around a fair bit. I found the hero's search for fulfillment relatable.
Listened on audio book which was little odd because the 3 authors each took turns narrating their own parts. Otherwise, it is a good book. A good reminder to listen (and make sure the other person understands you are listening) rather than talk.
Disrupted: My Misadventures In The Startup Bubble
I read this one straight through in a day. It was funny and a great reminder to be cynical. I don't 100% agree with everything in the book but it's refreshing to hear an informed and dissenting voice.
Smarter Faster Better
Lots of interesting stories about the differences between high performers and low performers in similar situations. Was very interesting to listen to but not a ton stuck with me.
The Startup of You
Fairly interesting and quick read. Reed Hoffman makes a number of good points, one of my favorites of which is that you should always be calibrating how much risk you are taking on in your career and that you probably can take on more.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Persiverence
Interesting s tudy of the science of grit and high performance. No huge revelations but I appreciate the sections about how to lead for a culture of grit.
This really sucked me in at first and I found it interesting (and accurate) how the author describes various tribes. Quite motivational to build a positive team culture.
Healing the Adult Child's Grieving Heart
I read most of this book after my father passed away on 3/28/2016. The bullet points were helpful and easy to digest.
The Third Wave - Steve Case
I accidentally bought this book from Amazon by clicking a one-click buy button and decided to read it. Actually quite good. Turned out Steve Case was the CEO of AOL and has a ton of interesting stories as well as thoughts about the future of technology and enterpenuership.
The Cycle of Arawn - Book One
Pretty good fantasy novel but I wasn't super drawn in. The world wasn't as vivid or mysterious as some other fantasy books I've really liked. Still interesting though.
Design of Everyday Things
Great book that helped me get in the mindset of a designer. Would recommend it but it got a bit repetative by the end.
The Rolling Stones
Another cheerful, sci-fi family adventure from Robert Heinlein. No epic stuggle or ridiculous plot but the book is still captivating. Heinlein is an excellent writing and his characters are always enjoyable.
Man's Search For Meaning
This one was recommended to me after my father's passing in March 2016. It's by Viktor Fankl, a psychologist who survived the internment camps of WWII. It's quite well written and provides a lot of good insight in to how human beings cope with suffering. If you're in the mood for something very thought provoking, I'd recommend it.
Principles of Product Development Flow
A bit dry but great book. Opened my eyes to the value of queue theory and economic thinking in product development. Check out my book report.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People A classic and an excellent read, I would highly recommend it. It makes so many great points that even though you may have heard some of the advice there is almost certainly something valuable for you. Even if you have heard all the same advice, you probably won't find anywhere else that is written so clearly.
How to Build a Billion Dollar App
This one was ok. It was sort of a narrative and sort of an autobiography written in the form of suggestions. Kind of interesting but nothing very noteworthy.
The Power of Habit
Really interesting book about the power of habits for individual change as well as organizational change. I already agreed strongly with the premise of the book so it wasn't mind blowing. I always enjoy this type of book about how to achieve my goals by taking advantage of my natural psycology.
The Lean Startup
Really enjoyed the emphasis on measuring, interating and focusing on learning. I totally get the hype.
Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to your Biggest Challenges
Interesting book with good explainations into how to induce a productive mental state using your physiology. I've actually read most of the ideas in this one already but would recommend it to anyone new to the topic of controlling your mental state by altering your body positioning.
Final book in the Brandon Sanderson Reckoners series. It was pretty satisfying to get most of the mysteries I cared about solved. Would definitely recommend the series although it's a bit more young adult fiction.
Sixth of the Dusk
Short but interesting story about another world in the Cosmere. Read it super fast using Spritz so may have missed some hints but it did prove that Spritz is effective for story content.
The Willpower Instinct
This was great book and really opened my eyes to be biology behind willpower. I'm not personally working on any willpower challenges but I would highly recommend this book for someone working on one.
The Bands of Mourning
Second book in the Wax & Wayne series. I enjoyed it but now about the overarching cosmere plot I enjoyed this individual story less because I was focussing on looking for clues towards the largers story.
Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell & Perfect State
Two good short stories from Brandon Sanderson. As usual, he delivers.
The First 90 Days
Wish I had read this when I was transitioning to lead the Search team at Palantir. Still helpful when thinking about others transitions. I plan to read it again next time I take on new responsibility.
Generic motivational book about being charged and energized. Good reminder of what aspects of life to focus on but not the most inspiring book. Used it more as a practice for Spritz to get up to 700 WPM.
The 80/20 Principle
The 80/20 principle often quoted but I really appreciated the deep dive and large number of examples from various aspects of life. It really helped me get in the 80/20 mindset.
How to Win Friends and Influence People
I deliberately read this right after Quiet because the author of Quiet cites Dale Carnegie's book as the rise of a "culture of personality" in America. In fact, they were more similar than I expected. Most of Dale's advise is about handling an individual and not necessarily advising you to be the center of attention at all times.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop talking
This book is an interesting discussion of introversion. It was a little feel-good, its-okay-to-be-yourself for me but I would love to get some extroverted people in my life to read it.
First Break All the Rules
Really interesting, the main point of the book is to ignore any perconception about how to manage people. In particular, it recommends treating each team member as an individual and stresses acknowledging individual strengths. Pretty good book. I read it with Spritz reader which is a really interesting way to read books.
The 4-Hour Work Week
Lots of tips about how to think about life as well as a lot of starter actions. I really like the parts about the mindset to have around work and creating space for leisure activities. The huge example in the book is travel which doesn't call out to me at all. Could have done without that.
The Upside of Stress
I would highly recommend this book to literally everyone. It breaks down the body's stress response in terms of its origin, purpose and how anyone can start to master it. The human stress response is an extremely powerful tool that anyone looking to improve personal performance (in any arena) should seek to understand.
The Mythical Man Month
This is a classic book and I can see why. Lots of good info, set out in a very organized way. It didn't really pull me in or get me really excited but I'm glad I got through it.
Getting Things Done
The book first goes over a system of organization based on how humans naturally plan and then goes in to detailed descriptions of the steps. This book really motivated me to clean up my task tracking systems and gave me ideas about good optimizations. I recommend listening to it on Audible.
The Pragmatic Programmer
This took a long time to get through because it's quite dense. Fortunately, you can dive in anywhere because the book is modular and all very useful. It does a great job phrasing ideology most programmers will have never quite verbalized.
James Altucher is a good writer and I enjoy how light and up beat he is.
Working Effectively with Legacy Code
This book is great. One of the best reading groups I've done (partly because the group membership was more senior developers). I really enjoy books that codify and explain general hueristics we all use but haven't thought through deeply.
Elasticsearch: The Definitive Guide
Started reading this when I started leading the team owning Palantir Gotham Search. Super useful grounding in ES but I stopped reading part way through because I needed more info about how we use ES not how ES works in general.
Shadows of Self
Per usual, Brandon Sanderson is awesome. I found out from my coworker that a number of his series are actually intertwined! Super freaking cool. Checkout the 17th Shard.
It's Not the How or the What but the Who
The author is a CEO headhunter with lots of experience. I found this book a bit less relevant than I hoped but it certainly drove home the importance of hiring well.
High Output Management
Lots of really good information but hard to get into. I think this will be better once I have more than a month of management experience.
Multipliers by Liz Wiseman
Really good book. One of those books that I mentally reference when making leadership decisions. "What would a multiplier do?"
A classic and well worth the read. I lead a reading group for this at work and I think clean code is a great topic for a group because it insights a lot of good discussion.
Another classic that was worth a second read. I found it much more valuable the second time now that I have much more java experience under my belt.
This book was great, I just sat and read it until I had finished. It resonated with a lot of my beliefs about how to get shit done but reducing extra overhead.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things
I enjoyed reading Ben Horowitz's war stories. Some of the parts about how to be a CEO were a bit dry for me but he's a good writer.
Four Steps to the Epiphany
I stopped reading this half way though. Not worth the time unless you're actually in the middle of a start up.
The Dragon's Path, Book 1
Never drew me in. The world was interesting but I didn't care about the characters.
The Art of the Start
Lots of hype but I found myself pushing my way through this one. Seems like there were lots of valuable facts but most weren't easily applicable to me.
Test Driven Development by Example
I really enjoyed this book. Walking through examples helped me get in the mindset of a test-driven developer. I saw immediate improvements in my code style.
I find a lot of the advice common sense but I find spending dedicated time thinking about the concepts surrounding happiness positive. Focussing on common sense practices makes it easier to make common sense actions into habits.
Founder's At Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days
Really interesting stories although many of the companies were before my time. I enjoyed reading in the voices of the founders. I really enjoy getting in the mindset of these driven, decisive people.
0 to 1
I really enjoyed this book because Peter Thiel presents cool ideas I've never heard before succinctly. I want my code to look like this: ingenious, creative and incredibly clear.
I wouldn't recommend this book. To summerize, "hoo-rah! work hard!". It's definitely motivating but also very repetetive and the author's language and mindset aren't enjoyable to read. He seems like I wouldn't like him in person.
Intercom on Product Management
More of a pdf but that's what made it good. They cover a number of topics breifly and clearly. I want to emulate this type of crisp clarity in my own writing and code.
Rework (37signals) and Getting Real (37signals)
I read both of these so fast I don't remember the distinctions but I really enjoyed them. They way they think about product and problem solving directly/immediately influenced my work. I also enjoy reading authors such as these who write in short, powerful language. It helps me stay in that mindset and enables me to work more effectively.
...and a crap load of SciFi and Fantasy.