The One with Books to Read

I am currently reading 3 books for work: The 20th Anniversary edition of Pragmatic Programmer, Head First Ruby and The Minfulness Workbook for Anxiety. If the last one sounds weird to you as a book to read for work, you haven’t been reading much of this blog. I like the variety these books have: A technical book (albeit so far a very gentle one), a more high-level book about programming and a book that’s more general life advice.

I actually have 3 lists of books to read that are kind of in that vein and today I want to share my current top 5 of them. These lists are actually much longer because every time someone recommends a new book to me, I look for the appropriate list to put this book into and then decide where to place it based on my current feelings of what could be most important for me to read next. The distinction between these lists is not perfect but I mean, what is?

So here are my top 5 books for programming, product development and life lessons. If there’s anything you think is really missing, hit me up on twitter and tell me. :)


(this list is the least thought-out right now because all of the functional/Elixir books got shuffed way down and all the Ruby/Rails books from the very bottom got to the top without too much thinking now, and I’m definitely missing something general on Object-Oriented Programming)

  • Beck, Kent. Test-Driven Development: By Example
  • Gay, Jim. Clean Ruby
  • Pancowecki, Robert. Domain-Driven Rails
  • Fields, Jay. Refactoring: Ruby Edition
  • Whitehead, Alfred North. An Introduction to Mathematics

Product Development

  • Brooks, Frederick P. The Mythical Man Month: Essays on Software Engineering
  • Kerth, Norman L. Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Reviews
  • Mancuso, Sandro. The Software Craftsman: Professionalism, Pragmatism, Pride
  • Constantine, Larry. The Peopleware Papers: Notes on the Human Side of Software
  • Freeman, Eric. Head First Design Patterns: A Brain-Friendly Guide

Life Lessons

  • Harris, Dan. 10% Happier
  • Bernstein, Albert J., and Sydney Craft Rozen. Dinosaur Brains: Dealing with all those impossible people at work
  • Leonard, George. Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment
  • Boorstin, Daniel. The Discoverers
  • Greene, Robert. Mastery

I’m excited to see how this list changes at SoCraTes. Judging by the experience of the last two years, I’m going to come home with at least 20 books to add to my lists.