Software Gardener Reading List

At a conference once, an attendee asked me and everyone he met a question: “What are your top 2 book recommendations; 1 programming and 1 not?” I love this question and realized how impactful a single book recommendation can be. So I wanted to share mine with you. Here is a list of all the books I have read, roughly ordered by my personal recommendation and grouped by category.

See my always work in progress post: [Software Gardener Reading List Reviewed] and [Alternative Book Reviews] for slightly more in depth reasons I recommend (or don’t) these books.

Categories

note: some books are duplicated to benefit each category

The Reading List

updated: 07/22/2018

Book Author Date Read
Individual
Rating
Global
Rating

Books to Base Your Life On

Leadership and Self Deception Arbinger Institute Feb 2016 10 9
Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware Andy Hunt 2010 10 10
Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics Richard Thaler May 2016 10 8
Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High Patterson, Grenny, etc 2012 9 9
Thinking Fast and Slow Daniel Kahneman Aug 2016 9 8
Anatomy of Peace Arbinger Institute Aug 2016 9 9
Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor E. Frankl Feb 2018 9 8
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow Yuval Noah Harari Dec 2017 9 8
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen R. Covey Nov 2015 8 9
Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion Sam Harris Jul 2017 8 7
Smarter Faster Better Charles Duhigg May 2016 8 8
Free Will Sam Harris Oct 2016 8 7
Stumbling on Happiness Daniel Gilbert Jul 2016 8 7
Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise Anders Ericsson & Pool Feb 2017 8 7
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder Nassim Nicholas Taleb Jul 2018 8 7
The Art of Learning Josh Waitzkin Aug 2016 8 7
Start With Why Simon Sinek Feb 2017 7 8
Find Your Why David Mead Oct 2017 8 7
The Spirit of Kaizen Robert Maurer May 2017 7 8
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck Mark Manson Jan 2018 8 7
The Obstacle is the Way Ryan Holiday Jan 2017 7 7
The Moral Landscape Sam Harris Jun 2016 7 7
Lying Sam Harris Jun 2016 7 8
How to Win Friends & Influence People Dale Carnegie Nov 2015 7 7
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Marie Kondo Jul 2018 7 7
The Coaching Habit Michael Stanier Aug 2017 7 7
How to Talk to Anyone Leil Lowndess Sep 2016 7 7
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions Dan Ariely May 2016 7 7
Mindset Carol Dweck Jan 2017 6 7
The 4-Hour Workweek Timothy Ferriss May 2016 6 6
Art of Living Epictetus (Sharon Lebell) Nov 2017 6 5
Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions Brian Christian May 2017 6 5
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance Angela Duckworth Nov 2017 5 7
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness Richard Thaler Apr 2016 5 6
The Outward Mindset The Arbinger Institute Sep 2016 5 5
Ego is the Enemy Ryan Holiday Aug 2017 4 6
You Are a Badass Jen Sincero May 2016 4 5
Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges Amy Cuddy Apr 2016 4 5
Edgy Conversations Dan Waldschmidt Mar 2017 4 4

Software Gardening Books

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware Andy Hunt 2010 10 10
Agile Software Development, Principles, Patterns, and Practices Robert C. Martin 2011 10 9
Badass: Making Users Awesome Kathy Sierra Dec 2017 10 9
Lean Startup Eric Ries Nov 2015 10 8
Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship Robert C. Martin Jan 2010 9 9
The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers Robert C. Martin 2011 9 9
Pair Programming Illuminated Williams, Kessler 2011 9 9
Phoenix Project Gene Kim Nov 2016 9 7
DevOps Handbook Gene Kim, Jez Humble +2 May 2018 7 9
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Robert M. Pirsig May 2016 9 6
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder Nassim Nicholas Taleb Jul 2018 8 7
Don’t Make Me Think Steve Krug 2014 8 7
The Spirit of Kaizen Bob Maurer May 2017 7 8
Rapid Problem Solving with Post-It Notes David Straker 2010 7 7
Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software Gamma, Helm +2 2009 7 7
Design Systems Alla Kholmatova Mar 2018 7 7
Working Effectively with Legacy Code Michael Feathers 2010 7 7
Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code Fowler, Beck, etc. 2010 7 7
Scrum Twice the Work in Half the Time Jeff Sutherland Aug 2016 7 7
Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum Mike Cohn 2012 7 7
Agile Project Management with Scrum Ken Schwaber 2012 7 6
Design of Everyday Things Donald Norman Dec 2017 6 7
Agile Estimating and Planning Mike Cohn 2012 6 6
The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering Frederick Brooks Jr 2008 6 6
Change by Design Tim Brown Jun 2017 4 4

Culture + Business

Creativity Inc Edwin Catmull, Wallace Jul 2016 10 9
Turn the Ship Around! L. David Marquet Dec 2015 10 9
Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity Kim Scott Aug 2017 9 8
The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur Mike Michalowicz Mar 2017 9 7
The End of Average Todd Rose Mar 2017 8 8
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us Daniel H. Pink Dec 2015 7 7
Work Rules Laszlo Block Jun 2016 7 7
Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard Dan & Chip Heath Feb 2016 7 7
The Coaching Habit Michael Stanier Aug 2017 7 7
Taking People With You David Novak Dec 2015 5 5
Pitch Anything Oren Klaff May 2016 5 4
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us Seth Godin Jan 2016 4 5

For Fun Non-Fiction

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Yuval Noah Harari Sep 2017 8 8
Suggestible You Erik Vance Dec 2016 7 7
The Game of Basketball Kevin Sivils Jun 2018 7 7
What to Talk About Chris Colin,‎ etc 2010 6 6
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Ashlee Vance Sep 2017 6 6
If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young Kurt Vonnegut Oct 2017 4 4

For Fun Fiction

Daemon Daniel Suarez Nov 2017 10 10
Freedom (TM) Daniel Suarez Dec 2017 10 10
Ready Player One Ernest Cline Dec 2017 9 9
Artemis Fowl (1-5) Eoin Colfer Jan-Jul 2018 8 8
Snow Crash Neal Stephenson Jan 2018 7 7

 

 

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