Books

This is just a list of books (physical, eBooks, audio-books) that I’ve read recently. This exists mostly so that I have a place to keep the list.

Updated: December 12, 2018

October 2018 – December 12, 2018

I haven’t done a great job of keeping track of my books read. I have been reading as regularly as ever, however. Here’s the books I remember reading during this time:

  • Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant, Robert Kiyosaki *
  • Go Giver Leader, Bob Burg and John David Mann *
  • Go Givers Sell More, Bob Burg and John David Mann *
  • Entrepreneurship for the Rest of Us, Paul B. Brown *
  • The Magic of Tiny Business, Sharon Rowe *
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Cernegie *
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki
  • The Instant Millionaire, Mark Fisher
  • Emote: Using Emotions to Make Your Message Memorable, Vikas Gopal Jhingran
  • Unremembered Book about Communication – I don’t remember what it was called, but it was really good … for whatever that’ worth šŸ™‚
  • Knife of Dreams, Robert Jordan
  • The Gathering Storm, Robert Jordan
  • Towers of Midnight, Robert Jordan
  • A Memory of Light, Robert Jordan

* – These are books I will almost certainly read again at some point

September 2018

  • The Phoenix Project, Gene Kim and Kevin Behr –Ā Similar to The Adventures of an IT Leader, this book communicates IT practices via the novel format. Unlike that book, however, this one is much more nuanced and reflects many more of the dysfunctions that may exist within IT and the corporate environment. It also lacked many of the direct insights that Adventures… used and instead relies more heavily on the novel’s structure. It is also more focused on DevOps whereĀ Adventures… was focused on the more traditional model. All aside, this was a good book but I don’t think I’ll be revisiting it.
  • Game-Changer: Game Theory and the Art of Transforming Strategic Situations, David McAdams – Provides insight into the basics of Game Theory and how to strategically navigate complex situations. The first part of the book was straight-forward and very illuminating. The second part was a bit dense, and I’ll want to revisit this to make sure I understood everything properly.

August 2018

  • The Adventures of an IT Leader, Robert D. Austin, Shannon O’Donnell, Richard L. Nolan – This book takes the principles and concepts of high-level IT leadership and distills them into novel form. I got a lot of good ideas and insight from this book. I will probably read it again.
  • The Supply Chain Revolution: Innovative Sourcing and Logistics for a Fiercely Competitive World, Suman Sarkar – This was quite an informative book. It needs to be read with a pen. It contains a lot of value. I added a new category to my flashcard deck (“Supply Chain”) and filled it with concepts and principles outlined in this book.
  • The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength, Jennifer B. Kahnweiler – This was an insightful book that provided direction on how to leverage introvert-centric strengths, and strengthen weaknesses. It also gave guidance on leading, and being lead by, introverts, how to tackle networking, meetings, public presentations, etc.
  • Binary, Michael Crichton – An entertaining book by a very talented author. I’ve been a fan of Michael Crichton since I was a kid (read ‘Jurassic Park’ for the first time in Fourth Grade). It’s clear that this is one of the earlier works, but it’s still very good.
  • Crossroads of Twilight, Robert Jordan
  • The Art of War, Sun Tzu – I really liked this book. A lot of Sun Tzu’s teachings can be applied to business in various ways.
  • Winter’s Heart, Robert Jordan
  • The Path of Daggers, Robert Jordan
  • Total Money Makeover, Dave Ramsey – A very good book about getting out of debt and preparing for the future.
  • A Crown of Swords, Robert Jordan
  • Lord of Chaos, Robert Jordan – I’m no longer providing summaries on the series.

July 2018

  • The Fires of Heaven, Robert Jordan – I’m moving through the series fast enough that it’s getting hard to remember what happens in one book versus another. This one is largely about the retaking of Cairhien and the battle against the Shaido. However, this book is most notable because Perrin isn’t in it.
  • Financial Management – I read this for school. Despite being a rather typical text-book, it’s got a lot of information presented in an easily digestible format; I actually rather enjoyed it.
  • The Shadow Rising, Robert Jordan – I tend to move through fiction rather quickly and without a lot of critical analysis. This book is about Rand in the Waste, and gives a history of the Aiel. Also shows how Perrin became a Lord.
  • Judges – This is a cool entry in the Old Testament. It includes the stories of Gideon, Samson and Delilah, and others. I was pleasantly surprised to see an accentuated role for the women in this book. They lead armies, perform assassinations, and overthrow rulers. It’s good stuff all around. I’ll probably revisit this as a stand alone book at some point.
  • Python for Data Analysis – This is a very good, instructional book. I was hoping that it would contain more theory, but the technical information it provides on using Pandas for data analysis makes up for the scant explanations of theory.
  • The Dragon Reborn, Robert Jordan – This is really a series that needs to be read more than once. The first time I read this book it felt like a slog. It’s called ‘The Dragon Reborn’, yet the title character only makes a few appearances. On the second read-through, however, I see that it’s brimming with nuances, characterization, and foreshadowing. It’s a strong entry in the series and introduces a few key characters such as Rhuarc and Aviendha.

June 2018

  • The Great Hunt, Robert Jordan – This is one of my favorite books in the WoT series. This is where many of the characters begin to gain the motivations, attributes, and knowledge that will define their actions throughout the rest of the series. Also, the Seanchan are introduced – a nation that heavily influences the world going forward in the series.
  • The Eye of the World, Robert Jordan – I guess June is the month of fiction re-reads. This will be my second time through the Wheel of Time series. I have to say, EotW is far better the second time through. It’s chalk full of references, characters, and foreshadowing that really come to life after reading through the series once already. I’m a regular lurker (and sometimes poster) in the Wheel of Time sub-reddit.
  • Joshua – There’s some interesting battles in this book. A lot of it is about the dolling out of land to the various Israelite tribes, including the story of ‘The Walls of Jericho’.
  • Dune, Frank Herbert (read w/ the kids) – Honestly, I don’t know how many times I’ve ready this book. It’s possible that this is my all-time favorite novel. It’s absolutely wonderful! Reading it with the kids is a lot of fun too. I do have to edit a few parts here and there, but otherwise they really enjoy it.Ā  I’m looking forward to passing this down to be one of their favorites as well.
  • No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy – This is my second time reading this one. It’s a good story, very heavy. I really enjoy McCarthy’s writing style and because of it (and the stories themselves) his books always stick with me. This is, in particular, has a strong message about the futility of trying to hold back change and eventuality of reality.

May 2018

  • The 12th Plant, Zechariah Sitchin – I read this at the recommendation of a very good friend whom I greatly respect. It’s an interesting read, and a very unconventional take on history. It’s a bit far-fetched for me, but it definitely opens the mind to the different ways of interpreting the events described in ancient records. As a science-fiction fan, I would love to see some creative works based in the universe that Sitchin describes – as a history enthusiast, however, …
  • A Journey to the Center of the Earth, Jules Verne (read w/ the kids) – The kids love this book because of the adventure. I love this book because of the vocabulary. The kids interrupt me at least a few times per chapter to ask “what does that word mean?”. Towards the end, the book became a bit of a slog. We blitz the last three chapters simply so we could be done with it. The ending was somewhat unsatisfying.
  • Deuteronomy – Okay, for anyone interested in the Old Testament, but not really excited about wading through all of the commandments and building specifications, I suggest the following: Skip the second half of Exodus, skip Leviticus and Numbers, and read Deuteronomy. The first several chapters rehash, in narrative form, all of the important events of the previous three books.
  • Numbers – Numbers is an interesting book. In some ways it’s “more of the same” in continuing the multitude of commandments set forth in Exodus and Leviticus. It has a little bit more narrative that Leviticus, but not much.

April 2018

  • Leviticus – the best description of Leviticus is found in its last verse, which reads: “These are the commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.” Leviticus is, literally, a book of commandments. What should you do if someone has a sore on their scalp? What if a stranger kills your ox? These questions and more (so many, many more) are answered in the Book of Leviticus. Sometimes it was interesting, other times it was less so.
  • Exodus – The first 1/3 is about the Exodus from Egypt, the last 2/3 is about how to build the Tabernacle, Robes, and Ark of the Covenant. I tried to pay attention, but I’ll probably have to revisit the print version later on as it was easy for my mind to trail off while the audio book expounded upon the uses of shitim wood.
  • Genesis –My reading of the Old Testament was inspired by reading History of Egypt, and Dao De Jing. I decided to take another look at this old book. Genesis is much more about family than I remember. It also reminds me of the ancient nature of the Judeo-Christian God.
  • Ready Player One, Ernest Cline – Meh. I read this because I wanted to see the movie and wanted to read the book first. It’s underwhelming and over rated. Maybe I’m just getting old, but it seems to glorify the common follies of teenage life. Maybe the movie will be better.
  • Dragon Teeth, Michael Crichton – I read this book in one day – on the way from Salt Lake City to Halifax, NS. It’s a good read; it’s more of a Western than anything else, but that’s okay. I enjoy a good western, and this one definitely qualified.
  • Acceptance, Jeff VanderMeer – The Southern Reach Trilogy goes out with a bang. I’m not x2’ing it, but I will probably come back to it again. You can now find me on the Southern Reach sub-reddit
  • History Of Egypt, Volume 1 by G. Maspero – This is a monster of a book, but – as an ancient history enthusiast – it’s extremely interesting. It talks about all aspects of ancient Egyptian life, from family life, to agriculture, to religion, etc.
  • Dhammapada, Buddha – Back at it again. After listening to the audio book version I really had to download the eBook and read it again – a little slower this time.
  • The Book of Mormon – As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka. Mormon), The Book of Mormon is a staple for me; I read it every couple of years. Even if you’re not Mormon (I assume most readers aren’t) this book contains some good philosophical ideas, much like the Dhammapada and Dao De Jing, though in a more narrative format.
  • Authority, Jeff VanderMeer – Well, I came back for round 2. Authority isn’t as weird as Annihiliation, but it’s still got some creepy moments. Since I’ve come this far, I might as well read Acceptance.

March 2018

  • Wu Wei – I also love this book. This book helped me learn more about the difference between selfish and selfless love, among other things.
  • Dao De Jing (x2), Laozi – I love this book. It contains timeless and not-so-obvious wisdom. I read it twice, and reference it quite a bit.
  • Analects of Confucius – Also good, but not quite as good as Dhammapada. This is purely a matter of personal taste though. Confucius was very involved in statecraft and tradition and I just don’t have a lot of interest in those things
  • Dhammapada, Buddha – Excellent. I probably highlighted close to 25% of this book.
  • Astrology and Religion, Manly P. Hall – This is a very interesting topic. It discusses a possible origin for all major ancient (and modern) religions, and explains the origins of a lot of religious symbology
  • Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer – This book is weird but (thankfully) nothing like the movie. Not sure if I’ll read the other two in the series.
  • Principles of Finance (x2) – Read this for school. It was a slog, but it had the information I needed
  • The Startup Owner’s Manual, Steve Blank and Bob Dorf –This is a very good reference to starting and growing a sustainable, customer-validated business
  • Anything You Want (x2), Derek Sivers – So good I read it twice (also, it’s a really small book). This is Derek’s account of CD Baby and many of his philosophies on business and life in general.
  • The Lean Startup, Eric Reis – Very good book. It takes Agile concepts and applies it to entrepreneurship.

February 2018

  • Creativity, Inc, Ed Catmull – An interesting look at the origin and philosophy behind Pixar. It’s a little long-winded though, and I lost interest about half-way through.
  • Scrum and XP from the Trenches, Henrik Kniberg – In preparation for the PSM I exam. This was really interesting – a chance to see Scrum “in the wild”
  • The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling (read w/ the kids) – The kids loved it. We read the story about Mogli, and Rikki Tikki Tavi. We then watched the associated animated movies.
  • Secrets of Closing the Sale, Zig Ziglar – I’m not a salesman, but this was an interesting look into “real” sales and what it means to be “on the customer’s side of the table”. I recommend this for anyone, not just salespeople.
  • Personal Power, Tony Robbins – Very cool. I highly recommend this to anyone. This really helped me to get out of my own head, and got me out of a mental and emotional funk that I’d been stuck in for a few weeks.

A Few Disclaimers

  • Yes, as indicated in the list “(x2)”, I read some books twice in a row. If a book really stands out to me and I believe that I can derive additional meaning by doing so, I’ll read it once again, immediately after finishing the first read-through. Also, some books show up on the list more than once. That’s because they were read more than once, but not back-to-back. Yes, I know this all makes me peculiar.
  • “(read w/ the kids)” means that I read the book to my kids. I read to my kids (almost) every night, and I mark the books appropriately
  • Most of the books on this list I finished reading. I don’t always finish a book once I’ve started it. If it is not to my liking, or (more often) if the author repeats him/herself too much or uses too much fluff, I’ll move on to something else and I do so without apology.
  • I read more than one book at a time. At any given time I’m usually reading three books. Two e/books (maybe one fiction, one nonfiction) and at least one audio book.

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